The Sunday Chicago Tribune (18 May) has an article by Mark Caro, one of the regular film critics, on The Matrix and modern anxiety that somewhat parallels David Weinberger's discussion at Seabury-Western this past Thursday. (The Trib site requires "free" registration to get to their stories.)
But it's no coincidence that audiences have responded so strongly to the suggestion put forth by "The Matrix" and now "The Matrix Reloaded" that the lives we are living may be more virtual than real.
"I think it's a popular theme because it's so deeply embedded in the national consciousness," said Neal Gabler, author of the 1998 book "Life The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality."
"This idea that you can live essentially a virtual life is a very powerful idea, and we are the first generation that has the capability to do that in a whole host of ways."
David connected The Matrix storyline more with modern alienation, rather than modern anxiety. The idea was that we, as a people, have separated ourselves so much from real life that it has become quite easy to believe that this life is just a game that someone else is playing. David also connected this back to his main theme about knowledge and our general disassociation from "ownership" of knowledge.