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The Matrix - Smith or Neo?

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KinNaoko90
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Posted 06/27/12 - 7:06 PM:
Subject: The Matrix - Smith or Neo?
*Spoiler Alert*
(Just in case there are any of us here who have not watched the films.)

A friend of mine made an interesting comment yesterday. It went along the lines of this: "Since watching the entire trilogy, I've always considered Smith to be 'The One' more than Neo."

His reasoning was that Smith was truly able control the software of the Matrix (even to the point of copying his own self (his program) into the software embedded in Bane.) Thus Smith was able to leave the matrix even though he had no "body" of his own outside of it.

I found this very thought-provoking. (I've always identified more with Smith's values than Neo's, to be honest.)

My question is this: In your opinions (duh), is Smith or Neo "The One"?
Why would you choose one over the other? Would you even choose one over the other? Or would you choose someone else entirely? If so, please explain.

I'll leave you to it now.
libertygrl
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Posted 06/28/12 - 9:39 AM:

started watching matrix reloaded again last night so i could brush up on matrix mythology. haven't finished it yet but my thoughts so far are that i don't think i'd want to be smith. my impression of him was that he acted as a virus, taking over the identity of others and using them to achieve his own ends.

still, i think of smith and neo and 2 sides of the same coin - they exist because of each other. this was touched on in 'reloaded', smith talks about how he and neo died and were in effect reborn at the same time. neo was "the one", smith was "the many" - these distinctions are characterized by the contrast with each other.

still, i think i would pick neo just for the sheer humanity of his character. there's something appealing about being a unique individual. i think if i had the opportunity to clone myself into hundreds of versions of myself, or even a dozen, or even just a few, i think i would pass on that.

of course, the vulnerability of humanity and conscience is seen as a flaw by some. better to be unhindered, like smith was. i don't think i would choose that for myself, though.

you mentioned identifying with smith's values, kin, which values would you say those are? just curious.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/28/12 - 11:15 AM:

lib wrote:
i think if i had the opportunity to clone myself into hundreds of versions of myself, or even a dozen, or even just a few, i think i would pass on that.

of course, the vulnerability of humanity and conscience is seen as a flaw by some. better to be unhindered, like smith was. i don't think i would choose that for myself, though.


But I would love that: What a great experiment it would be to keep track of thoughts, feelings, life-stories of all of those.

BTW, looks like you have not changed your avatar in last 3 years. sticking out tongue

Back to school? Your signatures are changing so frequently. Do you remember your signature on Apr 27,2009?

peace
libertygrl
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Posted 06/28/12 - 11:23 AM:

back to school yes, i'm off to film school this fall. don't remember my first signature...

i'm particularly attached to this avatar. smiling face thought about changing it recently then decided nah...

about the clones, how could you know what they're thinking? you might be able to guess what they're feeling after hearing about their life stories, but that is not to say that all of them would be interested in sharing it with you. unless we are assuming that the clones have no autonomy of their own.

Edited by libertygrl on 06/28/12 - 11:27 AM
KinNaoko90
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Posted 06/28/12 - 11:43 AM:

lib wrote:
you mentioned identifying with smith's values, kin, which values would you say those are? just curious


I believe Smith is a type of determinist, like the Merovingian. Determinists believe everything has already been determined. However the Merovingian believes that we can understand "why" things happen. Smith believes that existence there is no "why", purpose, or reason except for what we create for ourselves. Therefore, trying to understand causation is pointless.

Neo, on the other hand, doesn't believe in fate. He believes in choice. This is demonstrated in the first movie when Morpheus asks Neo, "Do you believe in fate?" Neo replies "No." and, when asked why not, his answer is simply "because I don't like the feeling that I'm not in control of my own life." (Not to say I like it; I don't.) Also when Smith asks Neo, "Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting?..." (His questions were too long to remember the entire quote) Neo only responded with: "Because I choose to."

Also Smith thinks humans are the "cancer of this planet". I happen to agree with that. Actually, when you watch the Animatrix, it shows that the Machines sought initially to work with humanity. The humans however were prejudiced and believed they were superior to Machines. Moreover, they wanted to the machines to be their slaves. Can you blame them for what they did? They needed humans to exist and humanity needed them. The machines were still being generous and in many ways were more humane than the humans. Thus, they gave humanity the option of choice via the matrix. All they needed to do was make us brain-dead in order to control us. Instead, they tried to keep autonomy available to as great an extent as would allow them both to exist.

If I had to choose who would be the "One", I would probably choose neither Neo, nor Smith. I'd choose the Kid. He woke himself up from the matrix during an incident with an agent... No one unhooked him, he did it all himself. He killed himself in the Matrix to force himself awake. Now that is something else.
libertygrl
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Posted 06/28/12 - 12:16 PM:

which movie is the kid in? i have all of them at home, including the animatrix. currently about halfway through re-watching the 2nd one, haven't got to the merovingian yet.
KinNaoko90
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Posted 06/28/12 - 12:20 PM:

The Kid is in Reloaded and Revolutions. You catch a glimpse of him in the beginning of the Reloaded following Trinity and Neo around like a lost duckling. In Revolutions he plays a crucial role. I won't ruin that for you. In the Animatrix, the section called Kid's Story is... well... Kid's Story. It's a good one. Watch it. wink
Thinker13
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Posted 06/28/12 - 12:21 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
back to school yes, i'm off to film school this fall. don't remember my first signature...

i'm particularly attached to this avatar. smiling face thought about changing it recently then decided nah...

about the clones, how could you know what they're thinking? you might be able to guess what they're feeling after hearing about their life stories, but that is not to say that all of them would be interested in sharing it with you. unless we are assuming that the clones have no autonomy of their own.



I would just love your being in film school, since I cannot be in one, right now. Do share your experiences with me(via PM/mail/or here) if you feel like. So, you would take leave from your 'full time job?'

Oh, I took hyper-liberty of defining and keeping 'definitions' in my head there. laughing

I assume: Clones and me, all of them would be totally autonomous and somehow ever aware of each game of every other clone.

KinNaoko90
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Posted 06/28/12 - 12:45 PM:

Thinker wrote:

I assume: Clones and me, all of them would be totally autonomous and somehow ever aware of each game of every other clone.


It would be a bit scary for the poor clone that might happen to disagree with the others. laughing

-imagines a smith clone getting assaulted by the other smith clones-

Yea, that could get a bit ugly. Fortunately, the Wachowski brothers excluded something like that if only for the sake of the story.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/28/12 - 12:51 PM:

Something from my personal experience which might relate with yours, kin: It seems that very often struggling young men would be inclined towards 'Determinism,' because that liberates a great deal. Your mind is saved from getting fried up---but when you are doing good you start having more faith in 'flux' and 'choices'.

Just a conjecture.
KinNaoko90
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Posted 06/28/12 - 2:22 PM:

I would be classified as a struggling young woman, but I do see your point.

However, my realization that I was a causal determinist came from one of the calmer moments in my life. It was actually a deduction based on my theory that if someone knew all the facts there were to know about the past and present, they could accurately predict the future (if it sounds Dune-ish, that's where the original concept came from). Then I thought about this on the physical and chemical level. I imagined the infinite earliest moment in time. The prime mover (whatever it was: higher power or big bang or it's even possible that the universe has always existed) was the infinite earliest moment in time. Now, in that moment, whatever happened happened in a certain way. The molecules interacting with each other effected the next instant in time. That instant caused the next moment in time etc. Even having sentient beings on this world was a product of this ongoing equation. Us being "sentient" cannot even affect the this because our molecules are already set in motion.

It's a grim way to look at things and I don't find it liberating at all. Actually I find myself struggling with the belief that I can't choose anything. I can see how some people would say I'm using this as a cop-out but I strongly believe we should be held accountable for our actions, regardless of whether or not we're responsible for them. Otherwise the world would be even less desirable for me.

My beliefs could well change with time. They often do.

But what do you think about the Smith vs Neo debate?
Thinker13
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Posted 06/29/12 - 1:36 AM:

I would be classified as a struggling young woman, but I do see your point.


Oh, I mostly do gender-neutral comments--I did not mean that it happens just with men.smiling face


However, my realization that I was a causal determinist came from one of the calmer moments in my life. It was actually a deduction based on my theory that if someone knew all the facts there were to know about the past and present, they could accurately predict the future (if it sounds Dune-ish, that's where the original concept came from). Then I thought about this on the physical and chemical level. I imagined the infinite earliest moment in time. The prime mover (whatever it was: higher power or big bang or it's even possible that the universe has always existed) was the infinite earliest moment in time. Now, in that moment, whatever happened happened in a certain way. The molecules interacting with each other effected the next instant in time. That instant caused the next moment in time etc. Even having sentient beings on this world was a product of this ongoing equation. Us being "sentient" cannot even affect the this because our molecules are already set in motion.


Hey, I could not understand the sentence in bold. Could you please elaborate it?



It's a grim way to look at things and I don't find it liberating at all. Actually I find myself struggling with the belief that I can't choose anything. I can see how some people would say I'm using this as a cop-out but I strongly believe we should be held accountable for our actions, regardless of whether or not we're responsible for them. Otherwise the world would be even less desirable for me.

My beliefs could well change with time. They often do.

But what do you think about the Smith vs Neo debate?


On Smith vs Neo: I watched this movie a long time ago--may be 8-10 years ago when it was released. I remember core themes in it but not many a things anymore. More than that: It was God-like figure in white suit and Oracle which impressed me the most. Matrix was a good watch at that time but then I feel I have found many more good movies since then. I don't intend to watch Matrix ever again!

My views about Determinism liberating are different from yours but it's good to have different views:

I feel that 'choosing' has an ego burden with it, in the sense that you have constantly cope with consequences. When you accept yourself and the universe as it's---you are free from the burden of choosing---universe chooses for you and you are part of it. Then, you don't intend to change things and there is no struggle to 'improve' yourself.

The whole problem is problem of making yourself 'something else.' Since we feel that our choices would change the 'future'. If it's written on slate then we might try changing it--which causes the constant joy and frustration and thrill.
henry quirk
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Posted 06/29/12 - 9:22 AM:

As I see it: Smith and Neo (as well as the entirety of Zion's population and all lesser programs) are tools in a game or war between the Oracle and the Architect.

What exactly is the agenda of the Oracle (or the Architect) is never explained. The Oracle (in her second iteration) tells Neo she intends to see the war between man and machine ended, but she never explains 'why' (and Neo, being a dumbass, never probes further).

So: the question of who or what is the One is kinda meaningless since all are pawns.

*shrug*
Thinker13
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Posted 07/04/12 - 3:20 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
As I see it: Smith and Neo (as well as the entirety of Zion's population and all lesser programs) are tools in a game or war between the Oracle and the Architect.

What exactly is the agenda of the Oracle (or the Architect) is never explained. The Oracle (in her second iteration) tells Neo she intends to see the war between man and machine ended, but she never explains 'why' (and Neo, being a dumbass, never probes further).

So: the question of who or what is the One is kinda meaningless since all are pawns.

*shrug*



I agree with Neo being a dumbass part.laughing
KinNaoko90
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#15 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/05/12 - 2:11 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

I agree with Neo being a dumbass part.laughing


thumb up Can't help but agree with you two.
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