Why didn't the machines just fix the sky?
By - Shaunisdone
This is one of the few points of the matrix series I don’t have a clear cut answer to, however there is an old theory that I subscribe to that makes a bit of sense.
As the theory goes….
The real reason the machines are dependent on the humans is not entirely because of a power any longer. They’ve had ample time to remedy this problem. Th a real issue is that the machines rely on humans for their creative, problem solving, emotional components that machines just can’t quite replicate. This is why Agent smith hates humans so much is because on some level he knows despite all of the machines power / advancements they are still tethered to humans, they are still dependent of them. If this is the case the machines have no need to solve the problem of the sky because they would still need the humans to survive and remain at their peak of machine achievement.
Also there is the simple solution that despite the machines incredible advancements, they have still not been able to replicate the computing power of the human brain.
EDIT: This makes some sense because we also know that even at the time of the trilogy, the architect and the oracle are still running on algorithms. The architect can see all possible choices someone can make at a given moment, but still cannot see a moment past those decisions. This is demonstrated with the TVs when neo talks to the architect. The Oracle on the hand can see all possible outcomes based off pure number crunching of the matrix computing power and was the one that discovers how the get the matrix mostly function correctly with only 1% rejection rate. Despite all of this they are still unable to solve the ultimate problem of the matrix, the emergent anomaly / rejection of the matrix.
There is more that goes into it, but that was the core of it. If you want more details let me know and I’ll try looking it up when I get home.
Edit 2: phone typing is a nightmare, apologize for the numerous spelling errors and grammatical mishaps.
This would be congruent with the original nature of the machines' need for and use of humans from what I recall, they were supposed to use us for the reasons you give, and not as a power source, but apparently the studio thought the audience wouldn't buy into it so got them to modify the reason to power source. Forgive me if I'm mistaken
Also, thanks for writing that up so beautifully, and I think you're right as well
Edit - relationship was the wrong word so changed, and thanks added
The emergent anomaly part only makes sense if we believe that the "real world" we/the characters are shown is actually the real world. And not a 2nd layer of control. Which, without some weird super power explanation has to be the case...otherwise how does Neo have powers in the real world, how does Smith control "humans" in the "real world" etc.
So, Neo is human, but he is also partly “machine”. He has some of the matrix source code within him, giving him the power of the one, the power to break the rules of the matrix.
Because of this Neo has what is essentially wi-fi capability. He is able to sense the sentinels before he realizes he has the power to stop them, but the ability is there early on.
This is why Neo can see beyond the RSI projections in the matrix, the reason he can see that Seraph is gold and not green. He is able to see these things because he is a human that encapsulates the red pill rejections of the matrix because he is part software. He has a purpose and a function.
Edit: Seraph is an actual machine jacked into the Matrix, hence the gold, just like Machine City is gold, he’s picking up those signals and can sense these things. We also know he’s still human because after losing his sight he can’t see things that don’t emit any matrix-like code.
There is a scene where even Bane Smith tells neo to look past the soft gelatin skin and look below to see his enemy. At this point I suspect Smith Bane “realizes” that Neo lacks the skill or ability to sense his program within Bane, however after his eye sight is burned away, it only heightened his sense of picking up the signals from other machines which at this point allows Neo to finally see Smith for who he is and defeat him on the ship.
OK, I like this explanation. So please don't see these questions as tearing you apart or shitting on you:
How does Neo have source code "in him"? Are we going with almost Biblical level of ACTUAL SAVIOR stuff, or is this something he got during the movies?
I can't recall but during the architecht scene, he reveals that this is the..what 7th? rotation of "the one" cycle. Is every cycles "morpheus" and "Trinity" etc etc, different people? I'd assume so, because Tank and Dozer didn't have plugs, and a senator in the real world said they'd been in Zion his whole life, so these cycles take real world lifetimes to complete, and the architecht mentions they "pick x number of men and x number of women" to "free" into zion to get it going. If we assume the architecht is being truthful, and that the real world IS the real world....why have no previous "the one"s had any real world powers?
If Bane Smith is telling Neo to look past the skin, wouldn't that imply Smith can also see his machine signals and stuff? Else, how would he know to tell Neo to use that "ability" that so far, only Neo has ever in history had?
If Seraph is a machine physically jacked into the Matrix, why would his matrix "code" shine gold, like the "real world" machine city? Apologize here, but i don't get that.
These explanations, are we assuming that the "real world" is in fact, actual reality, and not a 2nd level of "matrix"?
Haha, not at all! My friends and I got really deep into this stuff when it first hit the scenes. It coincided with our upbringing on the internet so naturally we obsessively lost ourselves in the Matrix Mythology. Now, years later we are blessed with another film so these questions are absolutely brilliant for myself to dive back into lore long forgotten.
>How does Neo have source code "in him"? Are we going with almost Biblical level of ACTUAL SAVIOR stuff, or is this something he got during the movies?
So in my opinion this is probably one of harder things to grasp as even I still have moments where I think to myself "Wait, what?, I do not understand".
Is Neo a human or is he a machine? Can he be both? A quote from the Architect,
*"Your 5 predecessors were, by design, based on a similar predication - a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of the One." - The Architect*
There are 3 purposes for "The One".
1. Sum up all the human rejections of the matrix into one person. Eventually this one person will hold the balance of humanity's extinction or survival with each iteration of the matrix. Thus they feel immense attachment to humanity driving them to return to the source to update the code with with new iteration and reset the next version of the matrix with essentially a new clean slate.
2. Awaken the next 23 individuals who will seed the next Zion and begin training the next generation of hackers. This allows for the subconscious choice for humans to reject the matrix(redpills) so Zion can swoop them up and continue to build the rebellion that will awaken the next "One" in the next 100 years (or maybe several 100s) or so.
3. Return to the source so the machines can then begin to analyze his code to better understand human choice and irrationality.
So, the only conclusion we can arrive at is that Neo is both human and machine. I've always helped my mind accept it as the human as the hardware, and the machines code as the software.
As for the biblical side of things, nailing down all of the philosophy becomes even more tricky especially when just typing it all. Someone can probably better point out all the religious parallels. However I personally do not see it as divine intervention, but rather, the machines are able to hack humans and manipulate our electrical signals. They can not get their minds around our free will and irrationally, emotionally charged decisions which consequently is one of the few things that empowers humans to do things they could never have done before.
>Is every cycles "morpheus" and "Trinity" etc etc, different people?
I've seen both answers to this over the years. A. Yes they are the same bodies, they have purpose just like Neo, the machines control their growth, etc. B. The machines can control the purpose / design of people, but they let biology take way when growing humans so they can maintain a gigantic healthy DNA pool of humanity as to never inhibit the system of the Matrix because of humans faulty DNA / biology. Undoubtedly the machines learned every cell in our bodies and how they worked and maintain the most diverse and healthy crop of humans they can.
Nevertheless, I tend to go back and forth on this at times as I enjoy the thought experiment of both scenarios.
>If we assume the architect is being truthful
We have every reason to assume the machines are more 'truthful'. The architect says something to the impact of,
*"What do you think I am, human?"* Implying that they would not lie like a human because they are better than that.
>why have no previous "the one"s had any real world powers?
Maybe they did, but I'm not sure there are really any answers that explain that. There may be a tidbit buried in one of the games though, but I am not sure at this time. None of the previous "Ones" may never have got to that point to really test those ideas out anyway.
>If Bane Smith is telling Neo to look past the skin, wouldn't that imply Smith can also see his machine signals and stuff? Else, how would he know to tell Neo to use that "ability" that so far, only Neo has ever in history had?
I do not believe Smith has a telepathic / wifi connection to the source like "The One". However Smith being of machine origin, or rather Matrix Program origin, is probably aware of how machines broadcast signals to each other, no different how all of our devices(routers, switches, hubs, phones, computers, smart devices like lights and doorbells) talk to each today. They process those signals down into code and are able to recognize each other virtually. Just like a Smith Program.
>If Seraph is a machine physically jacked into the Matrix, why would his matrix "code" shine gold, like the "real world" machine city? Apologize here, but i don't get that.
This is how the machines make distinction between software and hardware, program and machine.
Seraph's function is to protect what is most important. Which I believe the Oracle to be that directive because she is also the Prime Program. Think of computers today, we setup firewalls to project our computers and Seraph is probably no different. He is not apart of the Matrix like a program so he is not hindered by anyone or anything. This is why he is able to fight Neo as well as Agents because ultimately the architect knows that programs can run afoul and having something super cede even the matrix to protect the matrix is the best form of defense. This is represented in Gold and later in M3 when Neo looks up Machine City all he sees is the gold shimmering light, the actual sentient machines that live in the real world, not the matrix(unless they choose to jack in).
>These explanations, are we assuming that the "real world" is in fact, actual reality, and not a 2nd level of "matrix"?
Correct, it is a fanciful idea, but it is a much harder stretch to make that argument. I have seen them made to some degree or another, but personally I do not believe this to be the case. There is a lot of evidence and experience to suggest the opposite, but Matrix Resurrections may bring new canon that expands upon this or reveals that there is a matrix with a matrix.
It is not out of the realm of possibility, but the evidence for the real world being the actual real world outweighs the evidence for a matrix within a matrix.
Hope this gives you a lot to think about, if you have any more questions keep them coming, I'd be able to keep chatting and discussing it to see if we come to new conclusions!
Just read some on the wiki...each cycle is said explicitly to be 100 years. So, I must have interpreted the timeline wrong before. Morpheus believes it is 2199ish because he believes this is the first time this has happened. Machine war starts 2039ish, by 2099 matrix is up and first cycle starts. It's ACTUALLY 2700 or so when Neo makes the truce with Deus ex machina to destroy Smith, and ends the cycle of the one by not reinstating the prime program. The matrix was reloaded, but to allow rejections to happen and just leave. I also read the thing about him being "programmed" with the special "the one" code. So I get that part now. But still confused about the real world powers bit.
Unless we start going into the parallels to Neo being Jesus...sacrificing himself to save the human race, representing all the rejections of the matrix in himself etc. Then it's just a literal "coz God" metaphor and needs no further explanation coz it's a cop out lol
Are your 3 purposes of the one speculation based on stuff from the movie, or is that explicitly stated somewhere? I know the architecht mentions the bit about Neo choosing people for the next cycle. But I still don't see how those 3 purposes would indicate he's anything more than human. All of the awoken members of the resistance break laws within the matrix. Not to the extent of Neo, but per the fight with Morpheus, it's Neos lack of belief that makes him unable to stop bullets etc. For all we know, the other humans could do that shit if the concept of the one didn't exist. If it didn't exist, they wouldn't have a "ceiling" on what they believe they can do? Or are the abilites they're allowed to display in the matrix just the machines LETTING them defy physics to make them feel they've got an edge? Coz it's clear that the agents still terrify them, so there's still control over the humans there.
So, the movie came out in 1999. In the movie, Morpheus confirms that inside the matrix it is supposed to represent 1999. But in actuality it is closer to 2199. If we assume Tank and Dozer are mid 20s (I think Dozer is probably older, 30+) and the older senator Neo talks to early on in the 2nd movie, he mentions he's been there "his whole life". Coupled with Morpheus comment that they usually don't wake people up over a certain age, and all the kids in the oracles house being 10ish, I'd say the senator has been in Zion for...charitably speaking, 50 years? So how long is a cycle? It's probably not an exact timeline, but probably within a spread of 10 years difference of each other I'd guess. Since the machines allow the one to happen, they'd know roughly when the resistance would find the one and then from there it would be a fairly quick progression to architecht and reset. So the timeline doesn't make much sense at all. the machine war happened in 2139 roughly, and the truce Neo makes with Deus ex is 2200. So. .how is it possible there's been 5, now 6 cycles in just 60 years if we've got people who have been alive in Zion for that long? Even half that long. They'd have seen the previous cycles happen and know about it all.
As for possibility of none of the other versions making it that far...the architecht says Neo isn't the first, so if we are going with the honest machines theory, they had to have gotten that far. Every time, if I remember the wording right. But the machines treat Neo as if he is a brand new level of power. The giant machine face (which is hilariously called Deus Machina in the credits lawl) changes the matrix per Neos deal, and they have a "pact" or "agreement" or whatever. If Neo had powers in the real world, why do this? Honest machines theory again, Neo is the only one who has had real world powers, and Smith has never happened like he did this time.
As for the bane Smith bit...I still don't get it. Bane Smith would have to have known that Neo could use powers in the real world BEFOREHAND. Otherwise him saying "look beneath the skin" makes no sense. Analogy: you are sitting fixing your computer and struggling. I am sitting in the next room watching TV. You yell for me to come help. Without me having the information that you need help, why would I assume you do, and come in preemptively? Bane Smith would have had to have known neo had real world powers in order to tell him to use them. He understands how MACHINES communicate in the real world and virtually, why would he assume that a human, specifically Neo who he hates and disdains, insults, can also do that stuff?
Sorry, I'm bad at organizing questions and info because a lot of the time stuff bleeds into other stuff lol
Probably for the same reasons humans don't fix their sky in real life.
The mechanism by which the sky was "scorched" was allegedly a shroud composed of nanites - microscopic mechanisms. The cloud generates a field that disrupts electrical systems. We see evidence of this when Neo and Trinity fly through it and the ship immediately shuts down. The Machines simply cannot get close enough to the cloud to remove it.
Okay so something you’ve gotta understand about the whole “machines using people for power” thing is that *that was not how it was supposed to work*.
The Wachowski’s original script had the reason for humans being held and plugged in the Matrix be that they were using humanity as a giant wetware (i.e., biological) computer to increase their own computing potential. Despite this making much more sense, the studio execs were worried audiences wouldn’t understand it and insisted it be dumbed down into the “living battery” idea.
It frankly makes much more sense from a storytelling and worldbuilding standpoint to just headcanon that the battery thing is another wrong assumption Zion makes about the Machines (there’s certainly a lot of other things they don’t understand) and go with the original idea.
My issues with "humans as processing power" notwithstanding... the fact remains that *would have* been the canon, but it's not.
So we have to work out their reasoning from the official explanation.
It really does make sense that they use humans as a source of anything really. Its far easier to grow billions of humans than to build billions of machines that require rare and hard to mine/process materials.
This is the plot for resurrection! The true meaning of the Matrix, we were told by Morpheus, and Morpheus was already wrong once. The first emotion ai would replicate is lying. This wetware thing explains Neo's powers outside of the Matrix better.
What the humans did to the sky probably made it impossible for the machines to fix it.
Either that, or r/theydidthemath and realized the most effective and efficient investment was to kill two birds with one stone by taking over the humans and using them as power source...
Also, making the planet inhospitable would force humans to rely on machines for survival.
Yeah, that whole plan backfired in more than one way for the humans...but if I recall correctly, part of it is that the Earth's core was beginning to cool down? That's why Tank says "Deep underground, near the Earth's core, **where it's still warm**". I doubt darkening the sky cooled the planet down to the point that you need to be near the core for warmth...
Its kinda iffy because it's hard to separate artistic intent from pandering to broad appeal.
I might be completely wrong with idea but I never thought that fixing the sky was any important for the machines. Let me explain...or actually ask counter questions.
So machines and humans were at war and humans decided to darken the sky as the machines were run (mainly) by solar.
Given the very nature of the war situation, aren't the machines better off having total control of the humans in form of the Matrix?
Why would the machines even bother having a blue sky if the human batteries are fulfilling their job of providing energy? I mean the machines don't need a blue sky anymore as the get enough energy from humans.
Please let me know if I'm completely wrong here...
No, I think you are right. And given computer-type-thought they would discover human-power and never look back.
Maybe they weren’t above pettiness and vengeance, when the machines speak to Neo before plugging him in to fight Smith it sounded pretty petulant when it didn’t want to admit it needed Neo to fight Smith.
They may also have liked having there boot in humanities throat, we oppressed them so they enslaved us. It could also have been the fear of what would happen if they released humanity I guess.
The whole scene in the Train Station was meant to communicate that the Machines experience emotion; if Rama Kandra and his family can know love and Smith can express hatred, no reason insecurity or bitterness are off the table.
Imo the simplest answer was always revenge.
Humans spent years persecuting and attempting to exterminate AI so when the time came to take the upper hand, it wasn't enough to simply exterminate them and be on their merry, the Machines had to work through that feeling of betrayal by turning the oppressor into the oppressed.
From there, an act of payback and catharsis became dependency.
> Imo the simplest answer was always revenge.
Computers don't do revenge. AI's could, but we've seen no evidence of true AI's in the trilogy.
I mean the films don't really have time to Turing test every program we meet and the whole story is balanced on the idea that the Machines achieve sentience so I'm not sure how you get through the series without accepting that initial premise.
....there's an electrical field that keeps machines away from it, but as the Architect says, there are levels of survival the machines are willing to accept.
Imo, the machines don't fix the sky because they don't have to.
[This video](https://youtu.be/K5xwXvlFmQo) provides an explanation.
They can't. In Matrix: Revolutions, when Trinity and Neo pilot the Logos above the clouds, the clouds themselves have an EMP-like effect on both the ship and the sentinels attached to it. No machine can cross the clouds, or really get near them. So, there is no way to fix it.
I have a theory about this. Sometime in the mid to late 21st century, the humans scorched the sky to deprive the Machines of solar power. Okay, fine. But who in their right mind would think that super-intelligent machines wouldn't be able to use something like nuclear energy to survive? I think this is only a partial explanation for why they blacked out the sky.
My theory is that the main reason for the humans scorching the sky was to quarantine the Machines to Earth. I think a small group of humans settled in space just before this happened (this was like the 2050s after all) and may have built a civilization outside of Earth in the hundreds of years after.
I feel like I heard from matrix explained that it was tied to aliens potentially invading the planet so the machines kept the sky black so that the aliens space ships can't enter the atmosphere or something like that, I think it was explained in a comic tied to the Matrix
Yeah, it was a comic by Bill Sienkiewicz and possibly one of my favorites in that anthology.
So... if the machines were defending the Earth from aliens, why wouldn't they be allied with the humans?
Kinda seems like Hitler turning on Stalin before finishing off Europe.
I didn't read the comic so I'm not sure sadly, but if I was going to guess, I would compare it to the same reason the south didn't free every slave to have them join their army to fight the union, and the same reason Hitler didn't free every member in camp to bulk up his army, hubris over their own beliefs. They don't want their slave's status to change and felt like they could handle the issue through their own pride and prejudice. But then again all motivations are confusing with The Matrix lol
Beep. Boop. I'm a robot.
Here's a copy of
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Slaves didn't just get equal status because their masters needed them for something critical.
In the story, aliens invaded presumably long after Machines defeated humanity, and then the Machines engineered a human to be a specific kind of weapon against the invaders.
Not a good source. They check the script and Reddit for everything.
Or build a ladder with a solar panel...
I've always accepted that these movies are about ideas and don't have perfect writing or perfect continuity... it's not Lucasfilm where they hired an army of archivists to "keep the lore" or ensure they had no plot holes.
The beauty of the first movie is, like the original Star Wars, it was made on a relatively small budget and trying to tell a story about identity that studios didn't want to tell, so they resorted to the Gene Roddenberry approach of disguising social issues in science fiction.
I don't worry about the fact that an entire AI country existed with no space program.
> Or build a ladder with a solar panel...
A ladder tens of thousands of feet high?
Please don't compare star wars to the matrix. Star wars is the monster it is because kids like it and because it sells toys. Adults only like it because of nostalgia.
Ergo, vis a vis, apropos. ERGO!
Forgot that one! 🤣
It may not have been that simple to do. We're not given much information on what exactly was done to the sky. But reversing its effects could take a lengthy amount of time.
How did they darken the sky by the way? Also without poisoning themselves. They had to find something that didn't sink back to ground, or evaporate/dissipitate. I imagine it either had to balance at some altitude ( with wind and storms though?) Or getr hung up in the atmosphere, probably the latter.
I'm not a client scientist, but I imagine if you could evaporate enough water (talking about **millions of cubic miles** of water here, an entire oceans worth), you could potentially create enough cloud cover to cover the entire Earth and even potentially kickstart a new ecological system to sustain it.
In The Animatrix, they showed them doing it with airplanes - releasing a type of smokescreen. It was definitely "blackened."
By the time the war kicks off both sides are utilizing technology at least a century ahead of real life.
You're no better off asking how the TARDIS gets around.
I mean they're relevant questions from a fun, "Popular Science speculation" standpoint.
Questions like yours are how the Alcubierre Drive was born.
Or use nuclear
Yeah! Or wind or water! Why not just build a wind turbine and a fan?
Because they love the dark....they were born in it 😄
Makes so much sense! solved.
I know the nanite cloud is supposed to generate an em field the Machines can't penetrate but it feels like a problem an old school nuke could punch a hole through. The nanites themselves would likely fall victim to an em field at some point so I really don't understand why it's still there except as a plot device.
I think it would make more sense if the Zion Archive is inaccurate (Second Renaissance is presented through the Zion Archive) , and the machines were the ones to black out the sky.
No sun, biodiversity collapses, no food chain, no oxygen. Humans are crippled and can only live below the earth with life supporting machines that were provided by the machine faction. It's another form of population control.
Morpheus said that the machines have a form of fusion. The solar power explanation feels off. Whoever did it, the machines have literally zero incentive to fix it.
Well, apparently the can resurrect people back to life....
Whatever man did to the sky kept the machines from going there. That's why Neo & Trinity went through the clouds and the sentinels fell.
I'm thinking the machines function as a collective and their consciousness signal can't breach the sky. Also, the Neb lost power after going through the clouds, AND Trinity died immediately after, and so did Neo.
Flew too close to the light.
Sure, if they could invent something that would undo whatever it is the humans did to it, they just might. But without a truce with the humans, they're going to have to keep the humans enslaved, or wipe them out. I think they wouldn't wipe out their creators.
The machines were never the evil enemies here. The humans thought they were.
The premise was utter nonsense. There's a super massive fusion reactor 93M miles away whose energy could be accessed by in orbit satellites and the power beamed back in microwave form to Earth. Alternatively, there's a huge molten core here on Earth. If the machines can dig to Zion in a few days I'm pretty sure they could dig to access geothermal power. And, if they had a clue they could have built laser ignited nuclear fusion reactors (as we are doing now) and made use of the vast amount of sea water we have for fuel (isotopes).
So it was complete garbage on every level. Human battery. What nonsense.
A better explanation in an unpublished short story I wrote in 1989 (very similar to the Matrix including MIB agents, the simulated universe and so on) was that the humans had ruined the planet and were at war at the same time with the machines (supported by a small faction of humans). They eventually entered into a truce whereby the human race volunteered to enter into the Matrix (I called it the Plane) for a better life, whilst the Earth healed itself. In return the machines got a truce and, being curious about their creators and the nature of the soul, would study the humans in the Plane. Except, time had passed, the Earth had healed but the machines, having seen into the deepest parts of the human mind, didn't make good on their end of the bargain to progressively release humans to the real world.
In the story the messianic human (yes, with powers like Neo) discovers that his love (think Trinity) was simulated and had no real body. In the end the hero voluntarily plugs himself back into the Plane to be with her.
I say unpublished but I did put it out on Usenet in the early days of the web in the early 90s. Hence quel suprise when the Matrix came out. Pleasantly surprised. Apart from the half arsed battery theory.
If you think the wachoskis stole your idea, take them to court.
No I dont think that all. Simply convergent thinking.
A 90s Twilight Zone episode
Lots very similar.