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Whaat? MindF*ck: Simulated Realities

For the Ghouls Whaaaaat?? Mind F*ck series, they're taking a dive into the simulated world of the Matrix. Kat discusses the likelihood that we're in a simulation now and Gabe talks about how Capitalism is the real Robot siphoning our energy. We watched the whole Matrix trilogy (Gabe's first time).

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RED: Quotes, someone else's words.

Kat's Facts - Are we living in a simulated reality?

What are the chances that we are living in a simulated reality? And if we were, how would that really affect us? I think the most important part of the answer to the 1st question is that there is a chance. Scientists, and Philosophers actually research this idea, that the reality we are in could be a very effective simulation, controlled by a posthuman civilization, alien, robotic or otherwise. There are arguments in favor and against the idea, both arguing kind of the same thing: That it cannot be proven or unproven. Those who disagree use that as a “what’s the point in even questioning something we’ll never know the answer to?” and the ones in favor of a simulated reality, argue that the exact inability to know means it’s probably true. So what if we were? Should we take the red or blue pill? is being in a simulation without knowing some great infringement on our human rights and choice. I argue no, because I don’t think we’d exist outside of it. Our conception of our identity and what we’re entitled to is just our brains processing the reality we exist in. Also, if we were in a simulation, that doesn’t mean our simulated lives don’t matter, it’s all we know so it’s as real as anything else, cause at the end of the day we have no knowledge that would indicate we exist outside of it. We could be nothing more than brains in a box. Now let’s unpack the brain in a box argument, cause based on things I read I think it’s possible. I say this not as a scientist but as just like a regular person so like….don’t quote me on it I guess, but in my research I found a Ted Talk called “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality” by Anil Seth. In this Ted talk Anil basically runs through how our brain perceives our environment, and argues that we are constantly fluctuating between a state of controlled and uncontrolled hallucinations, motivated by our perceptions of rules decided by the brain. He says “There’s no light or sound inside a skull, All you got to go on is a steam of electrical impulses, which are only indirectly related to things in the world, whatever they may be. So perception, figuring out what’s there, has to be a process of informed guesswork. In which the brain combines these sensory signals with its prior expectations or beliefs about the way the world is, to form it’s best guess of what caused those signals….The world we see is much more from the inside out than the outside in.” He goes on to say that “when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it reality”.

What I will say to this is that if this were to be true, from what we understand about our reality, in that it is governed by scientific and mathematical laws, that just because our reality is simulated, does not mean that there are not real consequences for actions taken in the simulation, as the program must follow the laws in place. So unlike Neo in the matrix, we may not be able to just change these laws because our mind decides, because that would be assuming we have any control over the simulation, where it is more likely that we do not. For example, say we are in a simulation, if you drive your car off a bridge, the laws of physics, which are the laws that govern how matter travels in the simulation, your perception of the simulation would not stop your car from falling, and if the rules governing the simulation follow how we perceive death, than ending it all in the simulation would not be a way out it, but instead just the end of your consciousness.



Gabe's Film Analysis - Capitalism as the Machine

Sit down folx. We’re about to have fun because the Matrix is very much relevant RIGHT NOW as it ever was. We’re about to dive into some current issues and the main theme behind the Matrix - the Oppression of our Capitalistic Society!

In ‘The Precession of Simulacra,’ Baudrillard writes: “To simulate is to feign to have what one doesn't have.” (2006, p.3)

One of the most overt philosophical references occurs near the beginning of The Matrix when Neo stashes his illegal software inside a hollowed-out copy of a book by French postmodern philosopher Jean Baudrillard entitled Simulacra and Simulation. Originally published in 1981, Baudrillard’s book argues that late-twentieth-century consumer culture is a world in which simulations or imitations of reality have become more real than reality itself, a condition he describes as the “hyper-real.” Morpheus introduces Neo to the real world by welcoming him to “the desert of the real,” a phrase taken from the first page of Simulacra and Simulation.

Essentially, humans don’t have to work for things like they used to - but we keep up appearances and have simulations of things our bodies would understand. Like we don’t do fitness to survive, we fitness to look hot - appearances. So similar to how the machines use us as batteries, we also use us as batteries or more specifically - capitalism uses us as machines. Which brings me to our next guy referenced for Matrix! Thus, the entire concept of the Matrix films can be interpreted as a criticism of the unreal consumer culture we live in, a culture that may be distracting us from the reality that we are being exploited by someone or something, just as the machines exploit the humans in the Matrix for bioelectricity.

Much of The Consumer Society (2009) is premised on the idea that consumption is “a powerful element of social control” (p.84), whereby desires—long detached from actual material needs—are instilled as part of a system of signs and subsequently satisfied via another system of signs (i.e., commodities).

QUOTE - What is the Matrix?

MORPHEUS: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. NEO: What truth? MORPHEUS: That you are a slave. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.

Time to talk about my main man, Mr. Karl Marx. Woot Woot! Here’s the thing. We’re currently living a simulation nightmare. Capitalism is so strongly ingrained in us that even when we exist in a literal pandemic that highlights ALL of the flaws in our capitalistic society and that our people are severely underpaid and unappreciated - we still have a bunch of Karen and Chad’s “protesting” to reopen our “economy” *cough* Capitalism *cough* for their damned haircuts and movie theatres because they think not having these incredibly useless and unimportant things means they are oppressed. Kindly take a seat boomer. The very existence of our current president and the honest likelihood of him getting 4 more years, shows us how deep this fantasy goes. We have a fantasy in America, which we’ve discussed in previous episodes and it's called the American Dream. This incredibly fictional and unattainable dream keeps our society in check - they don’t want to change the world because then they can’t reap the benefits when they make it to the top. It makes me think of Cypher when he’s eating the steak and he says, he knows it's not real but he loves it anyway. He wants all of it, the money and luxury, no matter how unreal and he’ll sacrifice the lives of his friends to get it. SOUND FAMILIAR AMERICA! We don’t have giant, insect-like, lovecraftian robots siphoning our bodies for energies (could