If you have ever been on the Deep Web, you already know it's a crazy place. It's notorious for it's illegal activity, Black Hat Hacking Forums, Scams, Whistle blower blogs, and pretty much anything else you could imagine.
The first link on "The Hidden Wiki" of the Deep Web is "The Matrix Metaphor" and it's labeled as a nice read. After reading it through, I ascertained that it was an interesting perspective on the state of today's society. Particularly after the recent events with NSA and the
If you want a full text on the article, it is posted it here: The Matrix, in unaltered form.
According to the Hidden Wiki, "Matrix films provide the best metaphor our society has for understanding why organized evil and oppression are allowed to exist". The article starts off by stating that it's interpretation of the movies is not concurrent with popular opinion, since it's not simply saying that we live in the matrix, or that the matrix is the internet. Rather, the machines in the Matrix are a metaphor for oppressive governments, corporations, and organizations that try to limit the freedoms of the people. Therefore, just as in the Matrix, it is the peoples duty to rise up against the machines to defeat them and reinstate a freer state of being.
This is a similar mindset that we see with groups such as the Anonymous (a group of hackivists who attack institutions they deem to be constricting the freedom of people). The "machines" to which the Deep Web are referring to are the Media Giants, the Corporations, and, of course the Governments who oppress the people. The article cites the "Military industrial complex", the Political Industrial Complex", etc.
To release oneself from the Matrix, and resist it, is through anonymity. Just like Anonymous, the decentralized group keeps members safe through anonymity, but also resists through the same way. The article urges this upon it's readers to separate themselves from corporations and realize their potential to create as an individual toward ones own goals rather than toward the goals of other people. who's intentions, the article says, are often evil. With the invention of computers came the widespread realization that this was possible, and brought it to the masses.
With computers came the internet allowing for mass anonymity of it's users. The article states that one's skill to "filter truth from lies". One can do this through the internet. Before the internet, however, it also states that this was possible through the use of Psychedelics, as shown by the 1960's Hippi revolution. During that time, a revolution of art, culture, and freedom was realized.
Certainly this seems extreme. To use Psychedelics to achieve a state of "freedom from lies" is something next to absurd. It seems the article is advocating for the use of sites like the Silkroad in order to buy drugs and "free your mind". One cannot use drugs in order to find freedom for themselves through crazed illusion.
in order for democratic society's to gain control, The Hidden Wiki says that Media "filters people's view of reality thorugh corporate-owned mass media and television." It's a form of thought control and creates illusion like that in The Matrix movies. This is because the users must "manufacture consent" or buy in to what the media tells them, in order for this illusion to be complete.
Hidden Wiki says that this is not though conspiracy, however. Rather it is the way in which mass-media is organized. It's organized through profit-maximization, and appealing to what people want. On a mass scale, people want drama, action; something that will keep their interest. So, media caters to this want.
This part makes sense. It is a known fact that Media creates skewed reality. From creating impossible female bodies, to biased news outlets, Media definitely retains an extent of control over today's populace; especially if this media is instilled in people from the very day they are born. A capitalist system allows for this: mass advertisement, corporate greed, etc.
This instills in people terror, however. It is this terror that allows people to buy in.
Take the news, for example. Imagine an average citizen watching some news outlet broadcasting about the usual: war, disease outbreaks, revolutions, mass-killings, etc. Natural instinct dictates fear. No average person with sane morals wants war, disease or murder. Then come the commercials. "Buy xXxXx, it will make you happier". That's a usual marketing technique. Advertise to the wants of people to better their lives. Most, after seeing terror killings and murder would be more inclined to purchase it, out of the pure fear of being without something that could make their life better.
That's the basic principle, at least. Obviously peoples lives are more complex than "fear! murder! must happy! buy now!". I would like to hope, at the very least.
To resist, than, one must totally disconnect from the Matrix. This is when anonymity and privacy come in. The TOR browser allows for decentralized connection to a totally anonymous internet. You can read more about what TOR is here. It recommends a slow and gradual disconnect. Starting by using TOR as sporadically, then as a primary browser, then get a VPN, work for a local business/Startup rather than corporation. Finally, it recommends that one does business n the DeepWeb itself, and disconnect itself totally from working for the "Machines", and participate in the anonymous internet economy.
Some of these steps are reasonable. Keeping connections private is becoming more of a concern as organizations such as the NSA peak more and more into lives in the name of "Stopping Terrorism". Totally participating in the anonymous internet economy, however, seems ridiculous, especially since most of it is immoral and illegal activity. If the article boasts such "mental rebellion" then why does it recommend to participate in a market where selling hacked credit cards seems to be the most profitable option?
Before going into the different uses and propagation of freedom, the article goes into Gift Culture and Information Anarchy. Gift Culture is " a social structure where your status is determined by how much you are able to give away. It cites the Open Source Initiative, Wikipedia, and the World Wide Web as examples of gift culture which society has reaped benefit from. Even achieves participate in gift culture, as they utilize the accomplishments of such things as Open Source Software for their own gain.
Gift culture is important as it engages in things that the Matrix would never initiate in because it's not profitable. Code that would never be written, or information that would not be disseminated because it would not appeal to the majority. That's why gift culture is important; because it's purely for the benefit of the individuals, rather than the majority.
This article is correct in stating that many achievements have been reaped from gift culture, and that it is imperative to continue initiatives such as Open Source Software. There is no way that everything beneficial to society is profitable, and so, gift culture counteracts this.
Gift Culture, however, does not directly challenge the Matrix. This is how it differs from Information Anarchy. The Matrix tries to attack information by instituting things such as the DMCA, or harshly criminalizing copyright infractions; infractions on media content which corporations deem are not suitable. This leads to side-effects criminalizing technology, and so reducing the freedom of people.
The article provides optimism at the future. It suggests that information anarchy, and gift culture will persevere over the organizational structure of the Matrix, creating a more free world.
I recommend giving "The Matrix" a read. Though I did not cover everything the document did in depth, as that would probably require a book, but if you find this interesting I can always create another post.
What do you think of the article? Are Matrix Machines slowly but surely crippling our freedom through deceptive tactics, or is it just some high-fantasy conspiracy theory against the government?
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