I've read on several occasions here a tendency to assume that the Matrix as a technology is operated much like out-of-universe (ie. "our world") computers: Assuming the Matrix runs in a similar fashion to our current level of technology (i.e. servers, ports, firewalls etc.) or: the earpiece might be implemented as a socket or a message pipe etc.

For me that's wildly crazy, given you have a fantastic movie that:

  • about technology after singularity
  • a few hunderds of years into the future after that

It's not unlikely, it seems unplausible that the Matrix would run on technology that has anything to do with tech "today".

I even considered the cons:

  • hack in Enter the Matrix. Ruled out, seems just the out-of-universe way to put something real-looking you can learn into the game, not really relevant
  • ship operator control (Tank's, etc.): Ruled out: those are just controls. when Mouse is watching Morpheus fighting Neo, the image drops on his screen, yet there's no lag in the Construct. That means they are two different systems and thus the control's workings is basis for no assumptions on the neuro-interactive dreamworld.

This is what machines' technology looks like:

concept art of machine city from revolutions by George Hull Reloaded Machine city concept art - George Hull

little roll I made from Matriculated sequence robot entering simulation Little roll I made from Matriculated sequence - writer-director Peter Chung

clarification: these depict machine hardware and simulation hardware "real-world" in-universe, then simulation operation. Notice that the simulation is on a very different hardware and a very different level than what the assumptions try to focus on. Yet they are being used in explanations about simulating. Why?

Is there actually anything in this universe that even slightly suggests that the tech running the Matrix bears any resemblence to tech of our age and world?

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    You're misinterpreting the comments. The Assuming the Matrix runs in a similar fashion to our current level of technology (i.e. servers, ports, firewalls etc.) is saying that if the implementation of the robot's technology is analogous to what we know now... the earpiece might be implemented as a socket or a message pipe is also providing an analogy of how the implementation of earpiece could work, using our known programming/networking technology as the example. Neither have anything to do with the appearance nor the level of technology of the robots. – user31178 Jan 19 '17 at 5:17
  • @CreationEdge the appearance of the earpiece is simulated. The appearance of the machine city and the robot entering the simulation are in the real world. They are implementation in hardware. The hardware is different why so you assume that the software is similar? – n611x007 Jan 19 '17 at 5:22
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    I'm not saying the software is similar, I'm saying that they're using analogies to explain it. – user31178 Jan 19 '17 at 5:36
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    @n611x007: in the movie, they refer to objects in the simulation as corresponding to particular bits of code. E.g. the pills, the tracking bug. It's a silly conceit, but film is a visual medium; it wouldn't play as well to have imporant programs be invisible. – wyvern Jan 19 '17 at 13:39
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    @sumelic are you sure? the ones doing their jobs ... are invisible. You’d never even know they were here. - the Oracle, Reloaded. program was written to watch over the trees, and the wind, the sunrise, and sunset. Now compare: the other ones, well, we hear about them all the time. ie., which are not invisible. wouldn't that mean the majority of them are? I mean, why bring this even up in a main, main-main dialog? Do you find it not a very-very tiny little bit curious the least? – n611x007 Jan 21 '17 at 23:45

No, there is no concrete evidence that the Machines in the Matrix work anything like modern computers in the real world.

However, if you want to ask questions about anything in the movie that isn't explicitly and completely described in the dialogue presented within the films (which is what all these other questions you reference are doing) AND you want to get some kind of meaningful answer - not just 1,000 random "I think this sounds cool" responses - then we need to start making some assumptions about how things work. We need to build a common reference point for deducing information that is not specifically described in canon sources.

The easiest and most common means of doing this, in any movie, is to assume that things which vaguely resemble the real world work in ways that are analogous to the real world. This doesn't mean they're literally identical, just that you can make comparisons between the real and the fictional equivalents.

In order to have a meaningful conversation about how magic fireballs work in Lord of the Rings, we need to make some assumptions about how magic fire works. It's helpful to assume magic fire works basically the same as real fire, apart from its magical creation, so that we can draw conclusions about its limitations and energy output. Technically, Magic is a force that routinely defies the laws of physics, but if we don't make a few assumptions about magic fire then we can't really get started on such a conversation at all.

Similarly, it is helpful to assume that the Machines and their virtual reality world are analogous to real computers and real-world computer simulated environments (albiet with MUCH more advanced procedural generation and graphics capabilities.) We're not saying the Machines literally run on a variant linux distro, but assuming that their programming and networking abilities are somehow similar gives us a "common ground" on which to discuss "how the Machines network." Provided, of course, that nothing in the movies explicitly contradicts these assumptions.

  • in the dialogue you can do better than just that, can't you? what about the non-dialog? how do silent comics work? the matrix movies are very inspired by comics. is not the dialog just an extra layer in a comic? – n611x007 Jan 21 '17 at 23:30
  • The easiest and most common means of doing this that might be the easiest and most common means indeed, however you can do better here too. the creators obviously need to work their way up to create their world and their work you can see. with the fireball example you can make your own assumptions about fireball workings, you can even have lot's of other people accept your ideas, but ultimately everyone can has an own interpretation and certainly the creators had something in mind which might or might not match any narrative fabricated, famous or not. is that not so, do you think? – n611x007 Jan 21 '17 at 23:36
  • it is helpful in what way, precisely? if you re-read my post you might get that I try to ask, is it even worthwile to focus on our-world computer analogies with the matrix universe?. might give you a common ground but do they really get you closer? – n611x007 Jan 21 '17 at 23:40
  • Let's do an experiment. I assume for the sake of experiment that Smith flowing black stuff into people in Reloaded has to do something with sockets. That gives you the problem of William Gibson's novels. Shall Neo "hack back the socket" to avoid infiltration, how the matrix visualizes it as black stuff flowing here and there? Gibson says companies have trademarks on visualisations but only in the third book. Kind of weak contradiction but I think it would not be a very robust or cost-effective system if the Matrix needed to make up visualizations on-the-fly. – n611x007 Jan 21 '17 at 23:53
  • I checked back whether I can accept this... well it seems that none of the comments had been shone new light on so far. However you didn't retract the parts of your answer they address, either. I realize downvoted questions aren't exactly popular so I was happy to have your answer, and made the comments because I couldn't accept it. Do my comments mean nothing to you? That's okay but I would actually be surprised. I'm interested how they worked for you, even if they didn't - well if you took them seriously, that is... I can assure you I made them genuinely. BTW. LOTR the book is all-textual. – n611x007 Feb 21 '17 at 4:21

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