That is, they think that humans participate in a computer simulation of reality when, in actuality, our bodies are somewhere else — perhaps providing energy to power robotic overlords who are fighting real humans to the death, as in the movie. Some billionaires who subscribe to that view are funding an effort to break us out of the simulation.
Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that you thought we might live in a real-life matrix. Wouldn’t this year’s presidential election cause you to conclude that we couldn’t possibly be living in a matrix? After all, the whole idea of The Matrix was that the world the computers created was so plausible that humans never suspected it was a sham — and you’ll recall that the early versions of the matrix were too happy and carefree to be accepted by human beings as real. Wouldn’t this year’s ludicrous presidential election cause people to question whether what we have previously accepted as reality is just a really bad dream? C’mon — who’s going to accept a presidential election in which Donald Trump is one of the major party candidates?
But wait . . . maybe The Matrix believers think that’s all part of the plan. Maybe they think Agent Smith and his fellow rogue elements are out there, messing with the seamless perfection of The Matrix, as part of an effort to tear it all down so they can escape. Maybe that’s why we’ve got this appalling electoral choice, and why we’re seeing these weird reports of random clown sightings and attacks. Maybe it’s all part of a crazed plan to cause our perception of reality to crumble and leave us gasping for air in our energy pods.
It’s as good an explanation as any.