Tag Archives: The Matrix

There is No Spoon: The Future of TV

I don’t watch much TV and part of this is precipitated by the fact that I don’t currently own a TV. The TV that I do watch, however, is, for the most part, online. [Except in cases where I’m visiting someone who has TV and we’re watching something together.] Shows that I started watching years ago (when I had a TV) like Grey’s Anatomy or The Big Bang Theory often post the full episode online the next day. This is very convenient as I’m not required to be in front of my TV on a Thursday night to watch these shows.

I always find it disappointing when a show that I might be interested in does not have an online version. This got me thinking about what the future of TV might be. I remember seeing a PPT from Business Insider at the turn of the new year (to 2013) that analyzed the way people use technology. That is, it took into account mobile devices, TV, computers, etc. The trend, as you might guess, is to mobile. More and more people are using their phones for things. As a result, there’s certainly money to be made in advertising in the mobile arena.

Then I thought, why haven’t TV shows made the leap to mobile? Or, why is this leap taking so long? If more and more people are using their phone to interact with the world, then wouldn’t it behoove TV networks to start making their content more accessible on a mobile device?

As I’m moving back to Canada in the next few weeks, I’ve been looking at cell phone plans. [Note: it is outrageously more expensive for mobile plans in Canada than in the US!] One thing I noticed was that Bell (one of the telecommunications companies in Canada) has an option just like I was thinking. You can watch live TV on your cell phone. After seeing this, I thought I’d look at some of the US companies to see if they had it and sure enough, they have this, too.

As it turns out, companies have already made the leap to mobile and it’s moved faster than I thought (I guess that’s what you get when you don’t have a cell phone for 4+ years).

My next thoughts move to the internet. There must be lots of people like me who like to watch the shows online the next, otherwise they wouldn’t be available like they are. So, I wonder if there’s rumblings of moving to live TV internet. That is, instead of posting the video the next day, why not broadcast the show online at the same time you do on network TV?

I’m sure there’s probably lots of red tape with this kind of an option as advertisers have paid to target certain demographics at certain time and so on and so forth. But wouldn’t this open up a whole new market for TV networks — people who’d prefer to watch online?

I came across a Kevin Spacey speech a few days ago that talks about this very fact.

[Note: The first half of the title is a famous line from the movie, The Matrix.]

Love it or Hate it: Cloud Atlas is Worth Seeing

Cloud AtlasA little while ago, I mentioned that I’d seen a bunch of movies recently. One of those movies: Cloud Atlas. I rather liked the movie and think that you should most definitely consider seeing it. I tend to like the kinds of movies that Tom Hanks is in and I thoroughly enjoyed The Matrix trilogy. Yes, Tom Hanks was not in the The Matrix, but two of the directors (there were three) and producers  (there were five), also directed/produced The Matrix.

I really like movies that make you think and The Matrix certainly did that. In fact, from Wikipedia:

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including BuddhismVedantaAdvaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Judaism, GnosticismExistentialismNihilism. The film’s premise resembles Plato’s Allegory of the caveRené Descartes‘s evil demonKant‘s reflections on the Phenomenon versus theDing an sichZhuangzi‘s “Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly“, Marx’s social theory and thebrain in a vat thought experiment. Many references to Jean Baudrillard‘s Simulacra and Simulation appear in the film, although Baudrillard himself considered this a misrepresentation.

A movie that invokes that much has to make you think. In fact, if you get the chance, I’d read the interview between one of the directors of the Matrix (Larry Wachowski) and Ken Wilber, who has done a great deal to forwarding the integral movement.

Anyway, back to Cloud Atlas. The movie weaves together a bunch of different stories and some of the actors overlap between the stories (paying homage to the idea of reincarnation). Some of the stories are quite powerful and address issues that society has struggled with or is still struggling with. There are two quotes that I came across from one of the directors (Lana Wachowski) that I think are worth keeping in mind when reading reviews of this film (or The Matrix, for that matter). Here’s the first:

As soon as they encounter a piece of art they don’t fully understand the first time going through it, they think it’s the fault of the movie or the work of art. They think, [dramatic voice] “It’s a mess.”

“This doesn’t make any sense.” And they reject it, just out of an almost knee-jerk response to some ambiguity or some gulf between what they expect they should be able to understand, and what they understand.

And the second:

There’s really complex ideas in the [Matrix] trilogy. [Laughs.] We think in some ways, it’s the most experimental, complicated trilogy ever made. And it’s frustrating to see people try to will that to not be true. But we know it’s true. And in the same way, people will try to will Cloud Atlas to be rejected. They will call it messy, or complicated, or undecided whether it’s trying to say something New Agey-profound or not. And we’re wrestling with the same things that Dickens and Hugo and David Mitchell and Herman Melville were wrestling with. We’re wrestling with those same ideas, and we’re just trying to do it in a more exciting context than conventionally you are allowed to.