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The Substitution of Unknowns
by Jamie Gould
Having travelled many a Matrix based site, all claiming to have the
correct take on the theory behind the Matrix, I couldn't help but feel that
although many have come close, all have missed the mark. The following is my interpretation of the theory behind the Matrix.
The machines start with the original iterations of the Matrix being perfect,
however they find that humans try to 'wake up' from this reality, its
perfection it would seem is in direct contradiction to the human experience.
They therefore set about creating a reality from the humans past; they know
that humans have existed with this version of reality so they are even more
confused when the humans still begin to reject the experience. It is at this
point the Architect decides that a lesser mind is needed, rather than his
own perfect mind, by perfect I mean a mind based purely on logic, a mind
trained to work based on deduction. The difference being that a perfect mind
knows that 1+1=2 because it has been taught this, however a deductive mind
must find this answer from experience. Just like a human mind the answer is
found from getting it wrong 100's, 1000's, perhaps even millions of times,
however the answer will eventually be found. The master of deductive
reasoning is The Oracle, this also explains how the Oracle knows everything,
she knows everything because her knowledge is based upon all possible
permutations of reality, she has seen everything that can possibly happen
within the matrix reality, however she cannot foresee the outcome of
decision that she cannot understand. She knows all the paths, but not which
one will be chosen. This is in essence the purpose of the Oracle. If she can
work out which path with be taken by a human she will have worked out the
ultimate problem faced by the Architect. The problem of choice.

You may well be saying, well that's all well and good but where does Neo
come into this, I'm getting to that bit. Deep breathe… here goes.
The path of the one was the creation of Oracle, not the Architect. The
problem of choice is the unknown element of the equation. It is this
inability to correctly express the equation that causes anomalies in all the
equations that express the virtual world that is the matrix. If you need to
work out an unknown in an equation, the first thing you do is try to
substitute out the unknowns. Originally this is exactly what she does, she
waits for a complete human manifestation of the 'problem' and forces it to
makes a choice, this can however not just be any old choice, like what
flavour icecream to have! It must be a fundamental choice based on the
human condition, cutting into the pure essence of what is to be human,
besides, it is not a logical reaction like denial; the outcome of a choice
is often a purely illogical reaction, hence why the machines can not
understand it. Once the 'One' is made to make this choice, the 'One's'
signature, or electronically sampled conscious is used as a blueprint to
enhance the equations used to create the next iteration of the matrix. The
process is not perfect however and the process is thought to be a long one,
each time the anomaly manifests in human form the matrix can be improved.
However after the 6th iteration of this happening the Oracle starts to
realise that there may be a better way. Another way to solve an equation is
to reduce the number of unknowns or at least get them on only one side, She
realises that if she can reduce the code in the matrix so that on one side
she has neo (The pure manifestation of the problem) on one side and
everything else on the other, as long as she can sample fully the side that
neo isn't on then she has to have the answer. Normally this cannot be done
as the matrix is full of blue pills. This therefore explains the end scene,
Smith takes over Neo, at this point the machines have access to not only
Neo, as they normally would after the path of the one is complete and Neo
returns to the source, but they have access to full balanced equation. A
risky game, indeed, as the Architect says, if it had gone wrong the 01
(machine city) would have been taken over by smith. However a far more
efficient way of modelling the Matrix, don't get me wrong the matrix will
not be perfect, hence there will still be people opting for the red pill,
but the numbers will be reduced due to a more efficient modelling of choice.
It wasn't that the machines didn't want to offer the humans choice, they
just didn't know how to without it jeopardising the whole Matrix.

Did You Know?
Cypher's choice to return to the Matrix is echoed in the Animatrix episode Program. Find out more about Program.
