I have really enjoyed my time in this class. During this class, we have explored how technology has changed and actively affects our lives, and through our readings, movie screenings, the games we’ve played/explored, and our historical ad objects and looked at how things have changed with several of our senses, such as those of taste and smelling. In addition, all of the works that we have read or gone through have augmented our experiences, especially some of the depression simulation ones and such. But, despite this, I wish that there were some other works that we had read.
One such work that I wish we had gone over was the movie, The Matrix. This movie is interesting in many different ways. It has a commentary on technological innovation, our brain and our senses, and has a philosophical standpoint as well. But, for this class, technology and the senses, we would focus on the former two points for our discussions.
In regards to the technological aspects, we have often discussed technology and how it has affected our lives. Our historical objects focused on just that: how certain objects affected one of our senses or changed the way we saw, tasted, or etc. things. While the movie does not specifically delve into those such subjects it does, as a backstory, talk about what happens when we go too far with technology. What happens when we go too far in the name of science and technology, and create something we can no longer control? For that matter, what happens when we try combining ourselves with technology, as what happened in the movie. But even further than that, we can start discussing exactly what it is our senses are, something which is introduced in the very beginning of the movie.
The movie opens up with our protagonist, Neo, getting strange instructions, and soon, we learn that the world he was living in the whole time doesn’t really exist. Or does it? Just because it is in a computer doesn’t quite mean it doesn’t exist. The computer (an insanely powerful one, I might add) simulated for all the different people (or programs) what certain sensations what feel like and sent that to either the program’s central processes or in the case of humans, through wires to their brains. So, once we have this basic premise down, we can start discussing a couple of things. What is it exactly that makes up our existences? Our experiences, sensations, and memories? But, if these can all be fabricated through electronic means, what exactly does it mean to live? And in that case, what exactly are our senses? What makes them up, and what are they?
While I don’t have a particular answer to these, I would love to see these question answered. I feel like a lot of people may watch the movie for the movie, and may not ask themselves these questions, either because it is in a movie or because the technology seems so far away. But the technology is not necessarily the focus here. Rather, I am asking everyone to consider the questions raised by the technology in the movie.