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Excerpt from this answer:

From the script, lines that didn't make it into the film:

MORPHEUS: Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you have the gift.

NEO: What gift?

MORPHEUS: I've watched you, Neo. You do not use a computer like a tool. You use it like it was part of yourself. What you can do inside a computer is not normal. I know. I've seen it. What you do is magic.

NEO: It's not magic.

MORPHEUS: But it is, Neo. It is. How else would you describe what has been happening to you?

This seems to imply that Morpheus was looking exclusively at hackers for the next One. Was this the case? Do we have any canon evidence that if Neo's "magic abilities" were in art, sports, or car sales that he'd still gain the attention of Morpheus anyway? It seems that whatever computer knowledge Neo would need to fulfill the prophecy could be taught after he took the red pill along with the rest of his lessons. So was Morpheus being biased or not?

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    Is it not backwards? Was Neo not a computer hacker BECAUSE he was THE ONE. So he had an affinity to the fabric of the Matrix and changing it due to his gifts? Also Trinity was a hacker (IRS DBase) and Mouse creating artifacts like the woman in the red dress, plus how did Cypher get back from his meeting with Smith, the anomolies were all hackers, Neo more than the others. – The Wandering Dev Manager Apr 11 '17 at 20:02
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Hacking skills aren't a prerequisite but gifted individual do seem to gravitate toward computers as a way of trying to reach out to other individual who feel the same "splinter in their minds". They also seem to possess an instinctive feel for computers.

In Burning Hope and Broadcast Depth we learn that the Oracle is steering the Zionese rebels toward gifted children. It's unlikely that they've got much by way of computer skills.

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In Farewell Performance we meet a potential redpill, a young psychology student and a Zionese rebel named Bixby who's being coerced by the Agents. Neither seem to have much by way of visible computer skills. Bixby exorcises his demons by practicing escapology and the student is researching why people don't feel free.

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  • So generally they look for really smart people since they have the best chance of noticing the irregularities within the Matrix, and those people tend to have a background in computer science? – DCOPTimDowd Apr 11 '17 at 20:22
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    @SonOfSam - Yes. There's also the fact that potential potentials are being steered toward Morpheus. Since he's a known hacker, it stands to reason that those with the best chance of finding him are themselves hackers. – Valorum Apr 11 '17 at 20:28
  • Interesting. So anyone who gets out has to go through Morpheus? And thanks for the bigger picture. I could barely read the top one the first time. :) – DCOPTimDowd Apr 11 '17 at 20:40
  • @SonOfSam - There are other ways to get out of the Matrix but what would be the point? Without a Zionese ship to pick you up, you just get flushed and die. – Valorum Apr 11 '17 at 20:52
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    @SonOfSam - Other ships do seem to be engaged in helping redpills to leave the Matrix. Perhaps they have other methods; targeting people who gravitate towards other career paths that inherently draw those who have a problem accepting the Matrix. Perhaps Niobe spends her time casing philosophy students and perhaps Captain Ballard spends his time hanging around musicians. – Valorum Apr 11 '17 at 20:55
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We know very little about Neo's five predecessors so we don't know if the One must be a computer expert. It probably helps to be a computer expert but it's doubtful that it's necessary. The purpose of the One is to act as the "integral anomaly" (i.e. sum up the small rejections by all the humans in the Matrix) and return to the Source to restart the cycle, but you don't really need to be a computer expert for that. Any computer expertise required by the One could be easily taught in the same way as the martial arts Neo learned after he was unplugged.

Furthermore, the Machines have a role in deciding which human is the One: the One is "designed" to be attached to the human species and carries Machine code which must be returned to the Source. Therefore, the Machines would choose a human who has (or can acquire) any necessary computer skills to perform the function of the One.

The Oracle also plays an active role in finding the One -- she told Morpheus that he'd find the One, Trinity that she'd fall in love with the One, and Neo that he wasn't the One so that he'd end up believing he was the One. Morpheus had substantial help from the Oracle while looking for the One, so she could have guided him if he started looking down the wrong path.

  • So nothing from the Oracle either about whether she suggested focusing on computer experts? – DCOPTimDowd Apr 11 '17 at 19:25
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    @SonOfSam No, the Zion operatives are pretty tight-lipped with each other on what the Oracle told them. We know that Morpheus was destined to find the One, but we don't know any further details -- i.e. if she told him what kind of people to look for, how he would recognize the One, etc. – Null Apr 11 '17 at 19:29
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    It's worth noting that if any previous version of the Matrix had simulated any time period before the 80s, hackers would have been practically (or completely) nonexistent. – PlutoThePlanet Apr 11 '17 at 19:57

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