Boringly postmodern and an ideological fantasy: Slavoj Žižek reviews Matrix Resurrections

The first thing that strikes the eye in the multitude of reviews of Matrix Resurrections is how easily the movie’s plot (especially its ending) has been interpreted as a metaphor for our socio-economic situation. Leftist pessimists read it as an insight into how, to put it bluntly, there is no hope for humanity: we cannot survive outside the Matrix (the network of corporate capital that controls us), freedom is impossible. Then there are social-democratic pragmatic ‘realists’ who see in the movie a vision of some kind of progressive alliance between humans and machines, sixty years after the destructive Machine Wars. In these wars ‘scarcity among the Machines led to a

Reality check: could our universe be a simulation?

Are we all living in a computer simulation? Is the world we imagine to be real simply virtual reality instead, an elaborate computer program? That sounds ridiculous, but nonetheless it’s what many clever people actually think — or at least, think possible. One of them, the philosopher David Chalmers, has just written a book on the subject, Reality +: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy. Chalmers is a serious intellect. He won a bronze medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a child and did his undergraduate studies in Pure Mathematics before turning to philosophy. Part of his argument is that we are already building simulated worlds ourselves —

Are we ready for the metaverse?

Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta and last month chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of 10,000 jobs to help build the ‘metaverse’ — a concept so radical nobody yet knows what it really is. People in the media tend to describe it as ‘a 3D version of the internet’. Facebook describes it rather vaguely as a network of ‘virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you’. Some suspect it might actually be hell. The term metaverse first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash, in which future humans distract themselves from economic collapse by submerging