I am predictably unmoved by the release of the final -- please, great creator of the cosmos, let it be so -- instalment of the cretinous Matrix series of films. I found the first one a simple-minded parody of thoughtful science fiction, and it's been downhill from there.
Nonetheless, it's interesting that some people are willing to stand up and be counted for their involvement in the whole sorry farrago. One such is a chap called Dylan Evans, who co-authored a book about evolutionary psychology that was later absorbed by the amoeba-like entity that subsequently spewed out the Matrix. He takes to his word processor and tells The Guardian that the big problem these days is that nobody really understands their computers. What they need to do, he opines, is get down and dirty and tackle machine code, just like the heros of a previous era did when faced with the crudities of 8-bit systems.
Up to a point, Dylan, up to a point. You can't get very far with assembly these days, even if it does give you an unparalleled grasp of what actually happens at the heart of the machine. That path is there for those who want to achieve true guru status -- but then, if you're that way inclined you'll get there anyway. For the rest of the world, it might be more fun to have some sort of utility that exposes the different software components of the computer and lets you hook them up in interesting and effective ways. Programming these days is far more about handling objects and communicating between them than allocating memory and fiddling with registers: something splendid that turns a PC into a big box of brightly coloured Lego code blocks would get everyone a lot further in understanding the important stuff.
But what this has to do with the Matrix, I cannot say. Nor will I be able to say in the future, as I long since determined that the second film would be my last, and not a penny more of the Goodwins fortune would go towards the brothers Wachowski.
Alas, this weekend sees my beloved son's 18th birthday party -- I'm already wrapping the demand for rent, council tax and other expenses in some brightly coloured paper -- and he's decided to take his pals to the movies. On my credit card. Six tickets please, Dad, so that's thirty-five quid. Thanks. And to see what?
I think he's going to grow up to be a consultant, you know.