The Matrix - Human and Machine


Agent Smith interrogating Neo

Deborah Lupton has written of this use of the notion of the virus to describe both technological and human ‘illness’, which thereby incorporates the technology within the same set of signifiers as the human: “popular and technological representations of computer viruses draw on discourses that assume that computers themselves are humanoid and embodied (and therefore subject to illness spread by viruses” (Lupton, 2000: 478). She notes that the HIV/AIDS virus has particular significance within this symbolics as computer malfunction is traced to the ‘penetration’ of the computer systems by ‘foreign’ disks (or programs) allowed access by the careless or ‘promiscuous’ behaviour of the user (2000: 478-79).

A quote used in a post I wrote last week that I ultimately lost when Textmate 2 was quit by accident and did not reopen with the unsaved post. That'll teach me not to save my work!

In any case, Anne Cranny-Francis draws our attention to an interesting point, that is, the use of the term 'virus' when relating to computers, which is a quintessentially 'human' term. But not only this, it is interesting that again this 'virus' is created by the behaviour of none other than the user. This further relates back to what Agent Smith says within the Matrix:

There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern [as humans]. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

A most interesting essay on a most interesting film. This post does justice to neither. The below scene was the most intriguing - do check it out.

Simulation and Simulacra book Neo has