Red pill, blue pill

Matthew Evans

“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)

In the Matrix, Morpheus offers Neo the choice of a red pill or a blue pill. The blue pill allows Neo to return to  his fake reality (essentially the world we know). The red pill offers the chance to escape this virtual reality and live in the actual world; a grim reality where humans are kept as mere energy sources for a web of computer intelligence.

The metaphor of the red pill, or similar, is a recurring one in philosophy and literature; from Descartes’ allegory of the cave, to films such as Total Recall, not forgetting the red vial which Alice is offered as an escape…

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