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In The Matrix, the Matrix itself is a simulated version of Earth in the 90's.

Being as we had access to primitive forms of technology that were later used to create Artifial Intelligence and eventually the Matrix itself in that time (such as programming languages and technological hardware), does the Matrix frequently "reset" the level of technology available to the people in it to stop them from ever gaining a technological advantage over the machines that are imprisoning them?

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Referring you back to this answer, the thing you need to understand about the world of the matrix is that it's a setup, a scam, a flim-flam. Everything you see inside the Matrix has been 'rebooted' dozens, if not hundreds of times before. The machines appear to have total control of the whole environment including the memories of its inhabitants.

The only people who aren't subject to this memory alteration are those who're disconnected from the Matrix and we learn, later that their entire existence is also a put-up job, a concoction, a hustle, a subterfuge. Zion is periodically destroyed and recreated by the machines to their own specification. This includes the knowledge they're given access to and the technology they're permitted to use.

It's arguable that the reason why Trinity is such a good hacker is that because at the start of each new loop, she's already got knowledge of advanced programming languages but there's no real evidence of this in the film.

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    Those people in Zion... ya gotta realize brother... they've been BAMBOOZLED. HOOOOOOOD-WINKED. They sit upon their freedom on a mountain of LIES. LIES! – Omegacron Jan 27 '15 at 16:18
  • You mean they earned their freedom less relatively based than those plugged in? Kind of like being born into a rich family not in a country of war? What do you mean, im lost -LOL as LIES LIES! though :D – Sidhartha Jan 29 '15 at 3:43
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They could if it would serve them in some way, but afaik there is no indication its happening that way.

On the contrary, if we accept, that whole matrix and the world presented as "outside" is still another simulation and that the machines are trying to actually get to the point, when coexistence with mankind will be maintainable. It would serve purpose to advance available technology in each iteration of matrix so humans can get used to it.

Perhaps the whole point of matrix in this perspective would be that natural advancement is progressing far to quickly for humans to adapt to new ideas (conflict of new progress vs old habits), and so machines in controlled environment are trying to make humans more open to new ideas at the speed humans can handle.

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    Downvoted because the "Matrix within a Matrix" theory has no proven basis. – Valorum Jan 27 '15 at 10:52
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    @Richard Other than the fact that by your own admission, the Machines control and reboot Zion as they do The Matrix, that Neo can still use his powers (and later, see after having been blinded) in the outside world, and that Agent Smith can take on a physical form? I'd say that there is more than enough evidence for the Matrix within a Matrix theory to be plausible, even likely. – Dr R Dizzle Jan 27 '15 at 11:10
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    @DrRDizzle - I will happily upvote if you can offer anything more than supposition. There are reasonable in-universe explanations for all the things you've mentioned. – Valorum Jan 27 '15 at 11:17
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    @Richard The rules of the Matrix itself (and how those rules can be bent/broken) explain all the things I've just mentioned, whereas our knowledge of real world physics and technology do not. I'd argue that the Matrix within a Matrix theory makes more sense than the alternative - that Neo is magic and computer programs can take over peoples minds. – Dr R Dizzle Jan 27 '15 at 11:22
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    Well, we know that the ports have a wireless component. That explains most of the things you've described. scifi.stackexchange.com/a/51521/20774 – Valorum Jan 27 '15 at 11:29

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