Oh my goodness I've just learned a thing about The Matrix that causes it to make a lot more sense: In the original script the humans were used as neural network compute clusters by the Machines and as a crucial component of The Matrix itself.

Which is why humans who were aware of the simulation could control aspects of The Matrix - their minds were part of its foundation.

Unfortunately the test audiences had trouble understanding this concept so the studio changed the human role to "batteries".

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@polychrome

Ugh, I hate that. I hate when studio execs complain that a concept is "too cerebral".

It's okay to have a TV show or movie where the audience has to think.

For people who absolutely refuse to use their brain well there's an Adam Sandler movie every few years for them so they aren't left out.

@Tau_Leonis some adam sandler movies have given me much food for thought, so the exec meddlers who want to destroy human intellect are failing anyway

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