In the movie The Matrix, humans are imprisoned in a virtual world by a powerful artificial intelligence system in a dystopian future. What they take to be reality is actually a computer program that has been jacked into their brains to keep them in a comatose state. They live their whole lives in that virtual simulation, without any way of knowing that what they appear to be experiencing with their senses is actually made of AI-generated code.
This is now my favorite article. As a narrative designer for games I have been exploring how player perspective and point of view can change the interpreted meaning of plotlines for decades. Games can reach people in a way that stories and propaganda cannot, by making players complicit in the decision-making process that leads to an outcome. I'm working on several games now that will hopefully expose the way narrative changes based on point of view and information, as well as push players towards understanding the consequences of their choices in the game, and thus potentially also in the real world.
Thank you for writing this. :)
You have a rare gift for smashing mirrors with tools everyone owns but has temporarily loaned to their imaginary neighbor. Thank you for already making the world better.
Yes, awakening from the narrative matrix is our task these days, though the manipulative narratives are centuries old. Animals and plants know exactly when Life happens, which is only Now. And thoughts just get in the way. Breathe, forgive, quiet the mind and gratitude begins to emerge as we check out of the old ugly stories. Then we can begin to heal all of our trapped sisters and brothers. Love your work Caitlin...
Everything is control and manipulation no matter who is doing it. It starts from birth with parents, school, church, friends...all is a narrative even the narrative to replace a narrative...
It took me 50+ years to begin to comprehend the system of institutionalized predation that exploits the earth and most of humanity. I refused to believe we were capable (still!) of such ignorance, cruelty, thoughtlessness. I studied anthropology, ecology, sociobiology, psychology, and more. I became so distraught I could only take care of plants and animals. I became a Master Gardener and recluse. When I finally discovered our innate predatory behavior is preconscious and out of rational control, the facts fell into place. We have no idea what our species is organically up against!
As long as we believe in a pie in the sky god for the "ultimate" narrative, instead of rational and rigorous thought about the big issues ... we will be "handicapped" as a society and species. Eventually, in some geologic eon if not soon, a more rational and rigorous society or species will develop and wipe us out over time.
How very zen of you, Caitlin! Thank you for the reminder. We all need reminders.
The problem with using the "Matrix" to illustrate a situation is that people seem to only remember the action sequences
Translated in French on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gilbertg7/posts/10226948779289881
From the start of the plandemic my group of unvaccinated friends have repeatedly asked why we see the matrix when others don’t. This is a timely article I can pass on as explanation. Thankyou
I understand your viewpoint of us living in a lie matrix yet I do want to point out that Big Joel used the Wachowski's "Chosen One character "as being a falsity in our scenario. In a way that is the attitude of many Liberals that think if they can just get the right POTUS then he or she will change everything. It will take all of us to do the work.
Thank you for this insightful article. I want to send it to someone who I think would really take to the 'mindful' side of the article, but I predict will fail to apply it to the narrative management side of it.
An objection I could imagine would be "in reality..." contrast that you use. Since these things are narrative, can you expand on what makes one narrative more "in reality" and another less?
In general, my observation is that the older generation and in particular, the *comfortable* older generation, tend to shield themselves from insight through a kind of nihilism - "sure, what Caitlin says is true, but all she is offering is another narrative, so why should we trust her agenda".
Obviously, simplifying here but trying to distil a common pushback I get from my family.
I have no problem agreeing with all the statements made in your article. It is not the first of his articles that I have read, and I appreciate his work, which is why I decided to click on the link that led me to medium.com, in his writing titled: “11 things you should know about me and where I come from ”. And there I found something that left me baffled for a moment. From what I read there, it seems to me that you think there is nothing wrong with Maduro continuing to play the role of president of Venezuela. Being a victim and an eyewitness, because I live in Venezuela, of all the crimes committed by this regime, of the devastation and suffering that it has caused and continues to cause in millions of human beings, I believe that there is still a lot of naivety in his thinking. I am writing this without intending to offend you, and I hope you will take it as constructive criticism. I refer to naivety, because it is naive to think that those "oligarchs" that you mention in your article have never had, nor do they have, control over what happens in this country, right in the backyard of the empire. I want to encourage her to think as José Martí said: “In politics, what is real is what is not seen”, to see if you can conclude that those who apparently are staunch enemies in the political theater are actually only cronies. It can also come to the conclusion, if you study the case well, that Venezuela has been used as a social engineering laboratory at the service of the sinister agenda of that oligarchy. I am going to give you a fact: the Venezuelan population, which for the most part has wanted to get out of the regime since its inception, was led to believe that there was a fierce struggle for the seizure of power between two opposing factions, the right against the left, and that supposed right represented by the political parties that make up the unitary platform of the opposition, sabotaged all the attempts of the population to leave the regime through disobedience and nonviolent civic uprising, and in turn, encouraged them to consider that the only viable option was to go to the polls in rigged elections, with agreed results that gave the regime the unquestionable winner in each one of them. Much of the population learned very late that the opposition was not really opposition but cronies. It seems to me that you have not yet calibrated the real magnitude of the control system of the matrix, nor its scope. But hey, we are constantly learning. You can continue counting on this assiduous reader and follower.
The narrative creates a logos, words popularized with a connotation to keep you plugged into the matrix or narrative. Words commonly used incorrectly or popularized indicate that you are still programmed.
Such words are 'democracy', none exist on the planet, at best you get a democratic republic like the USA, 'outcome' the word used by many especially the radical socialists as opposed to 'result' which you hear rarely. Another word is 'Pride'. Have people forgotten the cliche 'Pride goes before a fall'?People in US constantly says 'aren't you Proud of ...' instead 'aren't you happy for...'
So yes the narrative hypnotizes you but also people are cowed by force because if you totally abandon the narrative, people with guns show up and take you away.
Unless you can live like a mountain man alone in the wilderness (and by the way, mountain men never lived alone in the wild it was usually a group and they were doing business like hunting for furs) or a hermit you have to deal with the narrative on a daily basis.