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5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual Thrill Ride
There was a reason that cyberpunk's quick-paced revival resonated with audiences, something more than Neo and Trinity's sexy androgyny, the cool effects and apocalyptic story. Audiences left the theater literally blown away; people heatedly discussed "The Matrix" in the car on their way home.
As I sat in the theater seat nearly four years ago, the screen flashing...
Published on April 14 2003 by scaughey9

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and Bad
This is actually a hard book to review because of the essays beign written by many authors. Basically I give this a three because it does not go into great depth. If you have thought about the Matrix while watching you more than likely have an opinion and thoughts on the subjects they write about, for example - Was Cypher right in wanting to be plugged back in? The...
Published on Jan. 5 2004


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4.0 out of 5 stars Furthur Explorations of the Rabbit Hole, Aug. 28 2003
By 
mirasreviews (McLean, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
"Taking the Red Pill" is, as its title implies, a collection of essays that explore the scientific, philosophical, and religious content of the groundbreaking science fiction film "The Matrix". There are fourteen essays, each by a different author, and a glossary of Matrix terms as well as short bios of the contributing authors in the back of the book. The essays address a wide range of topics as they relate directly to the film: the nature of reality, the evolution of artificial intelligence, postmodern theory, Judeo-Christian symbolism, Buddhist metaphors, and the science behind the Matrix' technology. The last three essays don't discuss the film itself, but express ideas about emerging technologies which may make a Matrix-like world of human-machine interdependence a reality in our future. Editor Glenn Yeffeth has given us contributors with opposing views in many cases, so many of the essays are grouped in pairs so that we can read them in a point-counterpoint style. The very fact that "The Matrix" can be interpreted as representing both Socialist and Capitalist, Monotheist and Pantheist, Postmodernist and Crass Commercial ideals may provide the greatest insight into the film's genius and staying power. My only criticism of the book is that, among its many interesting essays, there are none that analyze the film's meaning in and of itself, as opposed to discussing its relationship to various external religious and philosophical doctrines. "The Matrix" borrows from and alludes to numerous esteemed schools of thought, but it is the film's own fascinating, complex, and thought-provoking conditions that make "The Matrix" resonate so powerfully with its audience. "The Matrix" has a philosophical identity of its own. That said, the essays that are included in this collection are thoughtful and enlightening. I recommend "Taking the Red Pill" to fans of "The Matrix " who would like to delve further into the film's iconography and implications.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual Thrill Ride, April 14 2003
By 
scaughey9 (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
There was a reason that cyberpunk's quick-paced revival resonated with audiences, something more than Neo and Trinity's sexy androgyny, the cool effects and apocalyptic story. Audiences left the theater literally blown away; people heatedly discussed "The Matrix" in the car on their way home.
As I sat in the theater seat nearly four years ago, the screen flashing before me, I got the sense that I was on to something big. There's so much going on, so much packed into the film -- how can you even begin to address it, compartmentalize, etc?
Taking the Red Pill picks up all the threads woven into the film and gives them a good tug. The result? A vibrant plentitude of interpretation springs to view. The book is accessible. It's funny and riveting, and filled to the brim with a diversity of approaches. The intellectual vigorous debate renewed my excitement for "The Matrix."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and Bad, Jan. 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
This is actually a hard book to review because of the essays beign written by many authors. Basically I give this a three because it does not go into great depth. If you have thought about the Matrix while watching you more than likely have an opinion and thoughts on the subjects they write about, for example - Was Cypher right in wanting to be plugged back in? The good part of this book though is that it is a great introduction to some philosophical concepts if one hasn't taken an intro to philosophy course. It does give the background on where the ideas for this movie came from. If you really like this one or don't like it for that matter read The Matrix and Philosophy. This is a good read that goes into a little more depth than this book seems to do. Although everything I have said is not positive I do not want to discourage you from reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing look at how the Matrix could indeed be real, Nov. 25 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
Every essay in this book will shed new light on the way you view this world. It is so well researched, written, and edited that I'm hard pressed to find another book that I would rate so highly. There are theories presented here that will have you talking to anyone who will listen about the almost unreal possibilities these authors present. They are the top people in their respective fields and were not chosen because they just had cool ideas. They were chosen because they know what they're talking about. I can say this with some authority as one of my good friends is basically 2nd in command at the publishing company. So, do not hesitate to pick up this book and gain unbelievable new insights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, Nov. 6 2003
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
Like another reviewer said, I thought the matrix was deep before I read this book. It really shows you just "how deep the rabbit hole goes."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read if you're a Matrix fan, Nov. 1 2003
By 
E. Bartoszak "Media Geek" (murrell's inlet, sc United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
I'm an admitted Matrix junkie, and having just read this book, it's gotten even worse. If you're a newbie to philosophy, yet are a Matrix fan, get this book. It's mostly in essay form, from various writers/philosphers, and relates sci-fi literature, popular culture, and human perception to the story of The Matrix. Read it, it will open your eyes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Like Most Anthologies,, Oct. 4 2003
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
There are good essays, and there are bad essays.
The book also lacks focus. It seems to be just a bunch of essays that are by people who are famous and who slightly modified another essay that they had already written in order to make them apply to The Matrix as well. Only three or so of the essays directly applied, and one of them didn't mention the movie at all (although that essay was noted as having been written before the movie and was included as a prophetic statement). Of these essays, one focused entirely on whether the technology in The Matrix was possible, which wasn't entirely interesting to me.
Other essays, notably the religious ones, were quite amusing, as religion was never really intended to be a main theme of the movie, although philosophy was. The author (can't remember his name off hand, but I am sure you can look at the table of contents) who said that The Matrix was a Christian movie was quite entertaining, although a bit...inaccurate. He compared Neo to Jesus (of course) and cited Biblical scripture about the Messiah coming and being a military and spiritual leader, which is funny, since that isn't what Jesus did at all.
The author comparing it to Buddhism seemed similarly deluded, since The Matrix is an anthem of personal choice and individuality, which is not at all what Buddhism is all about. Granted, there are overtones of both in the movie, but they are both wrong that the movie instills their religious viewpoints. It is, however, interesting to note that such widely disparate religions could both think that the movie referred to their religion. Perhaps they are not as far apart as they think? Perhaps they simply fell into the trap of confirmation bias.
Either way, it is a fairly fun read, but not because it will give you any terribly new thoughts on the movie...rather, it will allow you to see why the movie was so popular. It meant many things to many people, and the creators did a great job of manufacturing a movie that allowed people to suspend disbelief, even if for only a moment.
The book is all right, but I would rent it from a library instead of purchasing it again. I will likely only read it once.
You may find it to be better. Good luck.
Harkius
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Better Matrix Books, Sept. 27 2003
By 
Jeremy D. Weinstein (Walnut Creek, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
This anthology does a great job pulling interesting commentary on the movie together. In some ways it's more enjoyable than the movie itself. It has something of a religious bias, but so did the movie. Recommended if you're in the mood for deep thought lite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why is the Simulacra by Jean Baulldriaud not mentioned?, Sept. 19 2003
By 
Kina Wai (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
I have not yet but will read this book because of the reference to the Red Pill concept. But I continue to be curious why authors dont acknowledge that the Matrix was written in response to the Simulacra by french philosopher Jean Baulldriaud? The brothers acknowledged him in the movie....in the first movie when the customers of Neo come to buy a disk, Neo pulls it from the cut out insides of that book. I hope that someone will acknowlege that the Matrix concept was taken from the works of Baulldriaud.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for someone prepared to question it all, Sept. 18 2003
By 
Jimi Michalscheck (Oak Creek, WI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and the Religion in the Matrix (Paperback)
I picked up this book and read it cover to cover; even the glossary in the end.
I did skim through one essay that seemed to drag on, but overall it was very interesting to hear other viewpoints from very intelligent people on the meaning of life and where we might be headed in the next 50 years.
I'm an engineer by trade, but this book is for anyone who is interested in asking the question:
"What are we doing here and what will happen to us?"
It explains things and speaks to people of all levels of experience in a way that will stimulate thinking.
For instance, it talks about nanotechnology and where it could take us if the probability (happens to be 30% currently) of us destroying ourselves is overcome. Nanotechnology (which I never heard of before reading this book) could be small engineered machines that are many times smaller than 1mm and could be inserted into the brain in the future by the billions. There they could take their place in the brain and transmit and receive information via a wireless network. This will allow us to learn about the brain and how it works in a much more detailed manner.
Also, it would allow us to finally communicate with the brain directly (bypassing all the sensories...smell, touch, taste, sight, sound) We might even be able to start downloading information, skills, even create Virtual Reality like the matrix.
This all lends itself to the real question..."If we can get the technology to recreate 'reality' as we know it and create simulations in the future, then what's to say we aren't a simulation already? Or a simulation of a simulation? and so on."
Some people might think that's implausible, but mathmaticians would disagree. All a brain is, is a very slow bio-computer that is wired in parallel to give a very powerful bio-computer that we have yet to duplicate in speed. Give it 50 years and we'll have a computer more powerful than all of the human brains put together. That said, you still need software to give it "intelligence" or "AI".
I believe that reverse engineering the brain from the replication of one brain cell, to the replication of the entire brain will be the path to AI, because it will allow the computer to teach itself. Thus "learning" will be limited by the speed of the computer...which could be very very very fast.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to people who are "moved" by the Matrix series, as it brings up even deeper thoughts with more science to back it up.
Just my .02
-Jimi
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