Want to feeling old? consider that The Wachowskis’ groundbreaking science fiction action film turns 15 years old this year. That’s old enough to begin shaving and also testing for a learner’s permit.

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Forget what friend think around the polarizing sequels, The Matrix helped bridge the occasionally cheesy science fiction movies of the 80s and 90s v the much more modern, computer-dominated films of the 21st century. It no necessarily a new idea, but it was rather stunning how the Wachowskis gift it.

It’s a staple of cyberpunk plots: man versus machine. Still, as frequently as this device is used, watching the movie 15 year later obtained me thinking: to be the matrix system even necessary?

The Answer: not really, however it would have made for one boring movie if it weren’t there.

Let’s forget around the awesomess that bullet-time because that a minute. Let’s forget around the kick-ass fight choreography the Yuen Woo-ping. Let’s forget around the brilliant manufacturing design and also slick cinematography. Let’s look at The Matrix’s MacGuffin: the Matrix itself.

According to Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne):

“This is the civilization that girlfriend know: the human being as it to be at the end of the 20th century. It exists currently only as a part of a neural-interactive simulation the we contact the Matrix…

We have actually only bits and also pieces of information, yet what we recognize for particular is that at some suggest in the early 21st century, all of mankind was united in celebration. Us marveled in ~ our very own magnificence together we gave birth to AI: a singular consciousness that spawned whole race of machines. We don’t know who win first, us or them, however we recognize that it was united state that scorched the sky. At the time, they were dependent top top solar power, and it was thought that they would be can not to survive without one energy source as plentiful as the sun. Throughout person history, we have been dependency on makers to survive. Fate, it seems, is no without a feeling of irony.

The person body generates an ext bioelectricity 보다 a 120-volt battery and also over 25,000 BTUs of body heat. Merged with a form of fusion, the equipments had discovered all the power they would ever need. There are fields, Neo, limitless fields where people are no longer born. We are grown. Because that the longest time, ns wouldn’t think it, and also then I experienced the areas with my own eyes. Watched castle liquefy the dead for this reason they might be fed intravenously to the living. And also standing there, dealing with the pure, horrifying precision, I concerned realize the obviousness that the truth.

What is the Matrix? Control. The matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to save us under manage in bespeak to adjust a human being being into this.”


In short, the human race has been preserved asleep because that centuries in bespeak to exploit its an individual bioelectrical power and also body heat so the machines have the right to run their huge empire of machineness.

But how much power was this?

The 120-volt battery Morpheus is introduce to is your an easy car battery, i m sorry does offer off a the majority of power compared to the puny C-sized Duracell he holds up in ~ the finish of his explanation. A car battery has sufficient power to begin up a auto consistently and even run the entire electric system for around an hour top top its own. However, it’s not something that deserve to run hefty machinery very long. It can’t also run a car. You require gasoline for the to take place (or at the very least one that those new-fangled electrical cars through a much more facility battery device than simply a typical Sears vehicle battery).

The bioelectrical power output from a human being no huge, even though Morpheus renders it sound that way. However, that does talk about “endless fields” of human being in stasis chambers. Multiply the by billions, and also you’ve got quite a resource of electric energy.

In regards to BTUs, it’s a tiny less clear. A BTU, or British thermal unit, procedures energy. The can additionally be supplied to define power, which is power over time, do a BTU of power really median how plenty of BTUs per hour.

Morpheus says that the person body generates 25,000 BTUs, which as a unit of strength is approximately 10 horsepower or about 7.3 kilowatts. In reality, the human being body produces between 250 and 400 BTUs that power, depending upon its state of consciousness. In other words, when the human body is asleep, that produces less. To placed it in real-world terms, this is about enough strength to keep a 75-watt light bulb burning (or four of the energy-efficient pigtail light bulbs).

Over the course of a day, a single human body generates between 6000 and also 10,000 BTUs, i beg your pardon doesn’t even come close to Morpheus’s 25,000 BTU number. (Even if a single body can produce this much warmth over the course of a day, it would still take 3 or 4 people-batteries to warmth an average-sized home.)

Who says makers are efficient?

According to the second law the thermodynamics, likewise known as the regulation of entropy, nothing operates in ~ 100% efficiency. In fact, when it comes to generating electricity, nothing even approaches 100%. Some electric generators can operate in ~ 60% to 80% efficiency, but those are purely mechanical devices. The human body operates at only around 25% efficiency, when energy output is measured against energy input.

In various other words, to acquire that 25,000 BTU the end of a human being, the machines would need to pump in 100,000 BTUs precious of fuel. V a skies scorched and also no photosynthesis available, whereby does the food because that these bodies come from? Sure, the machines liquefies the dead to feed ago to the living, however with a ns of 75% or an ext of potential energy, the food supply would certainly burn itself out at an exponential rate. And also that no even begin to consider how much energy is expended because that the surely expensive computer strength of the Matrix itself.

Of course, the Wachowskis patched this plot hole through the line “Combined with a type of fusion, the makers had uncovered all the energy they would certainly ever need.”

Still, that raises the question regarding why they makers didn’t merely use this “form that fusion”to strength themselves in the first place.

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The answer to the is simple: there is no the Matrix, The Matrix would never exist. Simply take the blue pill and forget about it.