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Human redemption in (and of) the matrix of technological modernity

Barns, I. (2005) Human redemption in (and of) the matrix of technological modernity. Futures, 37 (8). pp. 867-880.

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Despite the indifferent responses to the second and third instalments of 'The Matrix' series, the trilogy is nevertheless a valuable contribution to popular debate about the human implications of a rapidly emerging technoculture. In this essay, I will develop a reading of the Matrix scenario, not so much as a cautionary warning about the folly of developing intelligent machines, but as a reflection on the moral meanings of becoming increasingly immersed in a technological milieu. I argue that whilst 'The Matrix', the first of the trilogy, depicts a simplisitic opposition between humans and machines, 'Reloaded' and 'Revolutions' open up a more dialectical understanding of human meaning in a technological world and instead explore the tension between two competing moral trajectories of technological existence: The first, the unfolding of a bleak, nihilistic instrumentalism, the second, a reflexive recovery of human relationship made possible by the renewal of a moral ontology of sacrificial self-giving.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2005 Elsevier Ltd
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