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Journal Journal: SPOILERS- More thoughts on Matrix: Revolutions

Saw Matrix: Revolutions on opening day and have some observations to share. First, my mind was blown by the flight of the hovercraft all the way up and through the permanent, dark, cloud layer into the beautiful blue sky above that layer. The first implication of this is that all of the electrical interference in that dark layer is keeping the machines from climbing high enough to learn of the blue sky far above. If the machines knew, presumably they could set up solar power collectors and stop having any "need" for the humans in their pods. One could also see this as a new layer to the Matrix universe. One can think of all the elements of the Matrix universe as existing within envelopes going from a smallest envelope at the center placed into a next-size larger envelope which is in a still-larger envelope... The most-enveloped are the humans plugged into the Matrix, the second-most enveloped are the machines keeping the humans cocooned, the third-most enveloped are the humans in Zion, and the least-enveloped of all are Neo, the Oracle and the Architect. The three most-enveloped groups have been kept in permanent ignorance that the "scorching of the sky" has not actually trapped all of them in their cycle of interdependence. Second, perhaps this glimpse is a foreshadowing of the eventual peace and the blue sky visible at the very end of the movie.

I really enjoyed the advertisement for "Tastee Wheat" that I noticed in the train station when Neo, Trinity, and Seraph were chasing the Trainmaster. Next time I see the movie, I will look for more such visual delights.

I really liked the battle in the rainstorm near the end of the movie for two reasons. The first was it was reminiscent of all the rain in Matrix I, such as when Neo was first picked up in the black, Lincoln Continental. The second thing I liked about the rain is it was kind of a tangible version of the streaming, green code that Neo perceived so much in Matrix I & II. The accompanying thunder and lightning were of course used to melodramatic effect during the fight sequence.

Another treat was the black cat used when the little girl is revived on the sidewalk near the end of the movie. Of course, that bit of "deja vu" with the black cat had been in Matrix I.

In the final analysis, Man and Machine need each other. Man will make the choices and the Machines will follow directions and serve their well-defined purposes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Immediate impressions of Matrix: Revolutions (SPOILERS!!!)

1. Trinity dies for no reason, as they don't use her death in any meaningful way.

See other posts. Trinity's death frees Neo to serve his purpose.

2. The scene with the machines entering the outer hull of Zion was drawn out needlessly, as it contained no switching between the fight at Zion and Neo's plight (think: middle/end of ROTJ)

The fight for the Zion Dock was extremely predictable, I thought, but much of this movie as a whole was rather predictable. Once I concluded that Zion would survive the simplistic attack from the Sentinels and that the real struggle would be Neo's, I was ready to move on. This did not necessarily hurt the scene for other viewers however. In fact, this whole thing is just a gigantic scale rehash of the climax of the original Matrix where the Sentinels are trying to destroy the Nebuchanezzer while Neo is battling the three agents in room 303.

3. The fight scene with Smith/Baines and Neo in the Logos was completely extraneous.

Hardly. Neo's loss of eyesight was shocking after watching him survive innumerable ammo crates of hot lead up to this point. The worst injury I think he had exhibited was coughing up some blood. Then whamo!, he's blind. Wow. It began setting up the following scenes in which there would really be finality brought to this trilogy.

4. Neo's death in the end leaves the humans without a powerful weapon against the machines if they were to decide to attack the humans again. Contrast this with Star Wars and LotR, where the playing field is leveled at the end, or slightly in favor of the protagonists.

Neo's not dead, for heaven's sake. We even see him pulling away from the camera on that Wachowski version of a pickup truck through Neo's own red-tinged "sight". It is only through Neo's "eyes" that we saw the world in that way in this movie. This post reminds me of the goofy ones after Reloaded that said Zion had been destroyed. Like the title of the song that began rolling the credits in the first Matrix; Wake Up!

5. Keanu Reeves performance was subpar, even for him. In the climactic battle with Smith at the end, he looked drugged and was not convincing as the leader of the free world. He had no fire, and it was the machines and the Oracle that actually spurred him on to defeat Smith (esp. the machines, as they revived him after being consumed by Smith).

Umm, Keanu HAS been drugged a time or two. You're totally missing the points of that scene. Everything has a purpose. The purpose of a virus (Smith) is simply to spread. "Humans are a virus that consumes everything and then must move on." Once Smith spreads to his last bit of opposition, his purpose has been fufilled and the virus collapses. Neo's purpose is to continue to exhibit freewill. Smith had no freewill but could only go on annihilating everything around him until it was gone. Once the virus collapsed, all the beings simply returned to their previous state, like a community returning to health. On the other hand, Neo's purpose can never be exhausted as long as there are choices to be made.

6. In the beginning, he was trapped in the train station for no conceivable reason but to lengthen the movie. It served no purpose, benefitted the movie naught and did not lead to any great discoveries that were used later in the film. Likewise, how we could be jacked in without being jacked in was never satisfactorily addressed.

The train station conversation with the Indian family served the very important purpose of showing one of the overriding themes of the trilogy; that Man and Machine need one another. Neo sees machines that are embracing elements of humanity. How the heck were we supposed to get this message otherwise, while Neo was dangling from a helicopter skid and dodging bullets? The quiet, antiseptic get-together was reminiscent of Neo's meeting with the Architect in Reloaded or Neo's conversation with that Minister-guy about Zion's water purification system in Reloaded. As for Neo being jacked-in, for heaven's sake the rest of the humans are virtual pygmies, save for Morpheus. Do they really think they can win a war against a bunch of self-replicating robots through attrition? Neo steadily moves towards a full enlightenment (a la Siddhartha) through the three movies. None of the other humans can so much as stop a bullet in midair by the end of the trilogy. Neo simply sticks up a hand and stops a salvo of flying Sentinels. Eventually, he doesn't even need his eyeballs to get around and master that which nobody and nothing else in this Universe could; the Smith's. Why are you nitpicking about Neo no longer needing a needle in his head to function in the Matrix? Didn't you notice him knocking out Sentinels in Reloaded without using Kung Fu? Come on man, Free your Mind! Or at least suspend some disbelief.

User Journal

Journal Journal: SCO License query.

I've gotten a little tired of the SCO FUD against Linux, and as a result have contacted SCO regarding the licensing prices they are claiming. Today, I found out they say everyone who owns a Tivo or a Sharp Zarus owes them $35.00, in addition to the $699 they want from anyone using Linux on a desktop or server.

This is the URL to their feedback form: http://www.sco.com/company/feedback/index.html

This is the request I sent using said form:

This is what I said:

Do I need a license for using Linux?

Do you have any white papers detailing the licensing issues involved with Linux? We are thinking of deploying a Linux server. Are licenses per server, corporate or per CPU? I've heard only some kernel versions are covered. Would it be possible to remove kernel code to eliminate the SCO property and thus have a Linux version that did not incur additional license fees? If so, what code would be involved? Does or will SCO make similar claims regarding MAC OS X or any of the BSD variants? The whole issue is very murky at the moment, and we're looking for some clarification on the matter.

And this is their automated reply:

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To: cac@caldera.com
Subject: Do I need a license for using Linux?
From: sco_licenses@onlineconfessional.com
X-originating-ip: 66.89.42.162
Message-Id:
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 07:34:30 -0600 (MDT)

This email is from the company feedback form.
-------------------------------------------------

COUNTRY: United States
CONCERNING: Registration

MESSAGE:
Do you have any white papers detailing the licensing issues involved with Linux? We are thinking of deploying a Linux server. Are licenses per server, corporate or per CPU? I\'ve heard only some kernel versions are covered. Would it be possible to remove kernel code to eliminate the SCO property and thus have a Linux version that did not incur additional license fees? If so, what code would be involved? Does or will SCO make similar claims regarding MAC OS X or any of the BSD variants? The whole issue is very murky at the moment, and we\'re looking for some clarification on the matter.

More as it develops.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Linux Fund Cards (Rant)

A while back, I made the mistake of applying for a Linux fund card. This was not foolish in and of itself, but doing business with the parent parasite was.

I moved, and during the moving process I knew my new street address before I had the new phone number. I filled out all of the "Change of address" slots on my credit card and sent it off, using my cell phone as the contact number.

This was easily one of the dumbest things I've ever done, with the single possible exception of that one fling with a web cam girl, but we won't go there.

A week before this writing, I received a phone call, on my call, from the credit card company responsible for the Linux Fund Card. They pointed out that I was well under my credit limit, and were trying to get me to transfer my balances to their card.

I explained, quietly at first, that I did not want to get any phone calls unless there was a problem. I also explained that this was my cell phone, and that I wanted to be placed on the "do not call list."

The smarmy telemarketer replied with "This is the contact number you gave us sir."

"Do not call me to sell me anything."

"I'm not trying to sell you anything, I'm just informing you of the low interest rate on your existi-"

"Don't waste my time with semantics. You know what I mean. Is there a problem with my account?"

Click.

On March 19, I received another call. This one was from the same damn credit card company, offering the same damn balance transfer.

I said, very politely, "I am not interested. I do not wish to be called unless there is a problem with my account or if you suspect the card may have been stolen. If you wish to contact me for any other reason I prefer you do so by mail."

Then I hung up.

We'll see if they call again.

If they do, then I'm about to cancel a credit card.

User Journal

Journal Journal: International Eat an Animal for PETA Day 15

If you haven't heard by now, PETA has started yet another offensive ad campaign:

http://www.masskilling.com/mdh.html

This one really reaches bottom-they are using Holocaust terminology, quotes, and pictures to liken the "slaughter" of animals to the slaughter of the Jews by the Nazis.

I've already received a letter from a child of Holocaust survivors who is, of course, extraordinarily offended. But here's the thing: PETA is known for this kind of outrageous publicity stunt-and that's what it is, an outrageous publicity stunt-and while I am also offended and outraged, there is absolutely nothing we can do that will make PETA change their ad campaign. I'm sure they knew exactly what they were doing, have a plan in mind, and, if they withdraw the campaign, will do it according to their deadlines and their decisions.

So let's make up our own outrageous publicity stunt. Let's designate Saturday, March 15th, as International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. Everybody set the date on your calendar, and either go out and enjoy a great steak, or cook one at home. Or cook up some chicken or fish or anything else that PETA wouldn't want you to eat. And let's let PETA know how their ad campaign has affected us.
Send a letter to PETA something on the order of this one: (You can cut and paste, but you can also write your own.)

        Dear PETA,

        I found your new ad campaign, "The Holocaust on your plate," offensive and outrageous. But I don't expect your organization to suddenly develop any sense of tact or human decency, so I thought I'd tell you what your campaign has wrought:

        March 15th has been designated "International Eat An Animal For PETA" day. On that day, I'll be chowing down on a juicy steak, or chicken, or perhaps I'll have lobster-fresh, of course, chosen from the tank specifically for me. Maybe I'll have a plate of ribs at my local barbecue restaurant. Then there's that great seafood restaurant with the poached salmon and the delicious crabcakes. I could take my family there.

        America's a free country, and you have the right to say what you want, no matter how offensive I think it is. But as a result of your insensitivity to those millions of people who died in the real Holocaust, and to the survivors and their descendants, I and my family will show PETA the same kind of insensitivity.

        And have a great, meat-filled dinner, while we're at it.

        Chew on that.

Fellow webloggers: Please feel free to join in and put up your own letter for your readers to grab. Here are the contact addresses.

http://www.peta.org/about/contact.html

Obviously, the above letter needs to be changed for the international crowd. There are more country contacts on the page.

It's like my father taught me: Don't get mad. Get even.

-- Meryl Yourish, at http://www.yourish.com

User Journal

Journal Journal: First Entry

Well, here I am testing the journal mode for ./

If this works out I could find myself forgetting about setting up a livejournal account and using this as my BLOG.

Today is another dress up day at work. I'm in a suit in the IT department.

IT is located in the basement, with a few windows and no air conditioning. It's not QUITE as hot at the 90+ degrees outside, but it's close.

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