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The sequel to ?The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real?, this book continues the work of the first, by mediating on the nature of existence, using the film The Matrix, and the simulation of total reality as a frame of reference.

As before, the book comprises a series of essays by different authors, exploring different philosophical ramifications of simulated worlds. However, unlike the first book, this one does not stand up in its own right, and feels more like an addendum of the first book than a separate book in its own right.

Whilst any essay collection has both good and bad essays within it, this collection seems more bad than good. That said, the good ones more than make up for the bad, and as stated, it is best considered as an addition to the first book, which should definitely be purchased first, than as a stand-alone book in its own right.

Full of deep, meaningful analysis of life in simulated environments, and interthreaded with the Simulation Argument as postulated by Nick Bostrom. This is an argument backed by its own scientific proof that we may in fact be living in a simulated environment right now.

Fundamentally, this book takes ideas presented in The Matrix, compares them with philosophical writings from throughout history, and attempts to explain the latter in the context of the former. The central theme throughout the entire book is a drive to answer a single, burning question: Is a simulacrum like the Matrix actually possible?

Alongside the simulation argument, this tome covers many topics, including a detailed attempt to explain why the sequel films failed to deliver a powerful philosophical message anything like the strength of the first, looking for God in the Matrix, and a detailed discussion of faith, and perhaps most profoundly, a detailed look at the research on the relationship between violence in entertainment and violent behaviour. In this latter case, it mentions cases in which it seems as though The Matrix may have had a profound influence on certain killers.

Ignoring the problems with a couple of the essays, the final one in particular, this book makes a worthy addition to any library, although only if you also have its partner, ?The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real?.


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