Just a Bug in The Matrix

I’ve been thinking what, in this world, would represent a bug in The Matrix. Here’s a list of what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Miracles and other unexplainable things people attribute to religion
  • Time-travel
  • Artists, geniuses and other nonconformist people
  • Somebody being in different places at the same time
  • Dreams which happen in reality
  • Ghosts
  • Codex Seraphinianus
  • Cats that can control weather
  • Deja-vu :)

Suggestions are welcome.

2 Responses to Just a Bug in The Matrix

  1. Alex says:

    Wow, what an interesting discussion point, I often thought of it myself, but I am too lazy to recall the list of items I came up with.

    One that came to my mind right now is… hmm.. asymptotes? thresholds? For instance – if you build a device which does X, you notice that it only behaves well in certain conditions, but if you push it further, it stops working properly, or your instruments cannot measure it.

    For instance, absolute zero, or the speed of light. What if these constraints do not exist, and in reality their cause is in their implementation?

    Picture this, a part of the code of the universe:

    unsigned long long speed_of_light;
    int temperature;

    This explains why we can never have -MAXINT-delta degrees, and why the speed of light is what it is ;-)

    Absolute zero… I am not a physicist, but if I recall correctly, we cannot reach actual absolute zero, but we can get to absolute_zero+eps. In other words, it is something to which we can get arbitrarily close, but never reach this state.

    Time traveling could be handled the same way too. Once you reach MAXINT on the timeline, you get an overflow and end up in -MAXINT ;-)

    It is just like with the 4 GB limit of file-size in FAT32, because 32 bits are used for an address, thus you cannot offset the file pointer to anything beyond 2^32. For the same reason, you can’t have more than 4 GB RAM on 32-bit platforms, because your address-space won’t allow you to map each byte of the memory to an address.

    Some of your ideas should be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe we should only take into account things that really happen? This excludes ‘being in different places at the same time’ and miracles\religion :-D

    About deja-vu. I once read that the explanation is our brain’s memory addressing scheme. There is short-term and long-term memory; an event that occurs NOW is stored in some sort of a buffer before being dumped to the long-term memory. However, if by mistake the data go elsewhere (ex: in the long-term memory), we may interpret that as “the files were there all the time”.

    It can be expressed this way – memory is a file.

    fseek(mem, FSEEK_SET) – which is day zero of your life
    fseek(mem, 14543) – the 14543th minute of your life
    fseek(mem, FSEEK_END) – the latest moment of the life – NOW

    If fwrite accidentally wrote the data to offset 5454 instead of FSEEK_END, the brain will ‘think’ that the memory was stored in the 5454th minute of your life, and not in the current instance of time – therefore you react as if it happened again, while in reality it only happened once.

    Of course the brain doesn’t use fseek, but I think that my example is a great way to explain the concept If the target audiece is made of programmers.

    Now, none of these things were verified, so don’t blame me if anything goes wrong (-:

  2. Constantin says:

    Your explanation of deja vu is certainly interesting. I believe each time one has the 100% sure feeling the current event has happened in the past, it’s an illusion. It never happened. I think this idea came to me from “Dialog Intredeschis”, a psychology radio show I used to listen to.
    Of course Wikipedia knows more ;)

    About religious miracles, although I never saw one with my own eyes, I don’t think all those bleeding icons (etc.) are scams. But I don’t think they are signs from a man-like god, either.

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