Are 'Glitches in the Matrix' a new kind of neurological disease?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Neurostudent, Nov 17, 2021.

  1. Neurostudent Registered Member

    Hi everyone!

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    I'm a medical student who is interested in neuroscience, and it was only recently I discovered what people are calling 'Glitches in the Matrix'. To put it simply, these are witnessed events that are physically impossible, but are increasingly being reported by different people. There is what seems to be a popular subreddit on Reddit documenting these 'Glitches in the Matrix'. Here is a sample of the types of posts made on that site:

    I noticed that the subreddit has a rule that says it has zero tolerance for fiction, or 'stories that sound fake'. But most of the stories posted there are things like multiple witnesses seeing physically impossible events happen. The one I just gave a link to, I remember well. The poster was saying he saw time stopping for twelve seconds and that him, his mom, and his brother experienced it also, and they were the only people who weren't affected by the time freeze. The poster saw that everyone outside a busy HEB store was frozen mid step, even a hawk in the sky was frozen in the air. Then after twelve seconds had passed, time started up again, with the poster's mother screaming ''what the h-ll happened?''

    Other stories posted include things like seeing people teleport from one end of the room to the other, again with multiple witnesses seeing it. There's also stories such as miraculously being able to breathe underwater, as if the water was air, and seeing a person walking right in front of them just pop out of existence. Pretty much every ''Glitch in the Matrix'' story violates several laws of physics at once and is not possible to have actually occurred.

    There's no way any of these stories actually happened as they are told, but the people who claim to have experienced them seem adamant that they did. I am interested in what is actually happening here. This subreddit isn't the only place I've heard of ''glitches in the matrix'' in reference to supposedly true events, but I've heard about it from YouTubers who narrate 'true stories' that people send them, as well. It's quite a recent thing, I never heard of 'glitches in the matrix' pre 2010's.

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    This is just a quick hypothesis I thought of, so please take it with a pinch of salt. I'm open to any other theories people may post here, as well!

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    Could it even be some kind of novel, but mostly harmless virus that is causing people to have these delusions? Notice how in the first case I mention, it wasn't just the poster who said he experienced time stop, but also his mother and brother. They all had the same delusion at the exact same time. I'm wondering if a contagious pathogen could potentially do that, since it is well known that other pathogens such as Toxoplasmosis can cause differences in behaviour, at the same time if the infection took place at around the same time, as well. I'm not saying that Toxoplasmosis could cause people to perceive ''Glitches in the Matrix'', my reference to Toxoplasmosis was just an example of how pathogens can alter behaviour. I find it strange that this ''Glitch in the Matrix'' phenomenon only seemed to have become a ''thing'' around 2012-2013.

    A lot of people say, ''if glitches in the Matrix are happening, why haven't they been caught on camera or made the news?'' - the answer is simple! Because cameras aren't brains capable of developing neurological alterations! - while this case did not have multiple witnesses, it highlights how ''Glitches in the Matrix'' are only a product of our own brains. The patient in this case had bleeding on his brain that resulted in him seeing time ''freeze''.

    While I'm interested in correspondence here, I'm especially interested to know what neurologists and people studying neuroscience feel about this matter. (I'm just a medical student)!

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
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  3. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    My hypothesis are that many people on this earth are rather stupid.
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Somewhere between medicine and the "Matrix", the idea of what is popular on a noisechamber website might not be the most reliable basis for neuroscientific discourse.

    The first thing to notice is that the stories, as conveyed to us, do not preclude the mundane. For instance, as told to us, even the question, "What the hell happened?" does not validate the alleged account.

    The other stories similarly do not preclude the far more mundane possibility of glitches in perception. That is, if, "Pretty much every 'Glitch in the Matrix' story violates several laws of physics at once and is not possible to have actually occurred", there is also the point that somone perceived teleportation, or remembers being able to breathe underwater, or perceives spontaneous nonexistence.

    Here is an interesting sentence: "There's no way any of these stories actually happened as they are told, but the people who claim to have experienced them seem adamant that they did." The "them" carries through, so there isn't really any wordplay available on the "they", but that is essentially the difference: The people are adamant the stories happened as told; it is, however, true that these people did experience, that is, perceive and remember the events as told.

    And what is conveyed here is reads even more strangely than the telling at the other website. The nearest thing to verifiable within the original telling is that they might have seen a flash of light; everything else the reader fills in for themselves.

    It's not just that this sort of vague retelling is common in these ranges, but that the method really has become more simplistic over time; people are even more anxious to believe than, say, a quarter-century ago, when it was tacked to Mulder's wall.

    And toward that, no, we don't need speculation about a novel but mostly harmless virus. A medical student with interest in neuroscience already knows this would be extraneous and extraordinary. The thing about glitches in the Matrix being a product of our own brains is that we don't need a virus, or even brain bleeds, to explain the basic idea of glitches in perception.

    If, for instance, the difference in the twelve-second example is that we don't actually need common experience in order to remember common perception, then remember this sort of erroneous memory occurs every day, and about things far less spectacular than one person's recollection of time stopping or how everyone acted right after an episode described in a manner that does not rule out lucid sleep paralysis.

    The prospect of a virus or other pathogen that affects people so extraordinarily particularly is unlikely, and—compared to what we already know of human perception, memory, and behavior—unnecessary.

    I keep thinking the preceding paragraph, all on its own, ought to be enough, but in the range of things that just don't sound right, there is something about your narrative: "Glitches in the Matrix" is a pop-culture extrapolation of a twentieth-century science-fiction film about being transgender. That is, the Wachovski sisters borrowed an old philosophical bit, called The Cave, and created a commercial monster. If you're hearing about it only more recently¹, it's because a new episode just arrived, and you're experiencing a market effect. It would be like someone saying they only recently heard of flying saucers, and if we tried to figure out how that works, it turns out they knew of ufos in general, but thought they were all triangular, or something. Post-cinematic parlor philosophy built around The Matrix enterprise was always pretty weak, but I also find myself recalling what a "meme" was supposed to be, once upon a time, compared to its sordid, post-chezburger installation as an international lowest common denominator in a pop-art race to the bottom. Comparatively, it is ironic, but also worth noting in its own context, that the most persistent legacy of the Matrix philosophical implication turns out to be manpilling, the comparative bickering between masculinists who have taken their figurative blue, red, or black pill.

    In the past, these "glitches" have been attributed to divinity, extraterrestrials, communications satellites, and even a form of lucid dreaming a person could actively invoke and control. The question of "glitches in the Matrix" is, to the one, nothing more than what Barker reminds, that each age will tell the tale as if of their own making. To the other, though, is a subtlety having to with infliction by an apparently sinister cause; it's kind of like observing that neither Jews nor atheists speak so poorly of God.

    The bigger story of such "glitches in the Matrix" is probably found in critical analysis of its mythopoeic narrative. The neuroscience can easily find its way to pathogens, but does not require them. Still, comprehending a particular mechanism to explicitly explain at least some of these phenomenal experiences would a benchmark achievement. In that sense, no, culling the web is not a bad place to start, but we're a long way from neuroscience at that point. If we're looking to mine gold, the ground is probably a good place to start; we can look for trace in water, but it's still leading us back to the ground. And if we happen to find a microorganism that excretes gold, well, wouldn't that just be something. But we're nowhere near even a whiff of a basis for a reason to think about maybe considering the possibility of looking for Flagellus aubiscuitus.

    For instance, I'm not a neuroscientist; I'm actually not a trained scientist of any sort. So, no, I am not any sort of expert on the epigenetics of memory, but neither do I need to be in order to recognize the magnitude of implications, nor have a joke about stoners, memory, and the epigenetics of protein that is old enough to be forgotten because the science makes it too complicated to persist.

    It is true that you will find evidence linking pathogens to apparent brain "glitches", but, like protozoa and schizophrenia, the relationships will not be clear. And, more particularly, a novel virus is utterly extraneous.

    There is what our brains do to us; there is what we do to our brains; and, yes, nature adds to that toll in its ways, just ask Covid-19. But brain chemistry is brain chemistry, and what one experiences is what one experiences; to say it feels like reality is to understate the experience.

    We don't need anything new to explain those phenomena; questions of common experience have at least two manners of mundane pathology, that individuals compensate for each other to create a shared experience, or that an external audience might compensate to further reconcile and validate someone else's experience. That is, people experience what they experience, perceive and remember what they perceive and remember; there is plenty already available to point a neuroscientist in the right direction. More social behavior, including shared experience and subsequent communication of the experience to others, will be found in behavioral studies.

    But, sure, for neuroscience start with the chemistry of memory. People will perceive what they perceive, but what they subsequently communicate is memory.


    ¹ Moreover, here is a question that is utterly speculative: If we consider the specified range, 2012-2013, we might wonder if it is at all significant that children who might have come up hearing their parents talk about The Matrix would have been around thirteen, old enough not only to be dosed up with the glitchiest of attention meds, but also to properly register for websites and talk about it. It would be an incredibly difficult statistic to determine, and can be easily overstated in colloquial speculation. But neither is it a unique notion; we can ask something similar about American anti-government rhetoric and elections in 1992 and 2010, and probaby even find scraps of suggestive evidence, but what it means or how significantly influential the phenomenon might be are utter mysteries.
  8. LaurieAG Registered Senior Member

    I remember when the original Matrix movie came out it was showing in a local theater that was part of a shopping complex with a 5 story car park and a 10 story office tower. Next door was an 11 story accommodation tower separated by a narrow alleyway.

    I was going to see a client on the 10th floor of the office block one morning and I noticed 6 police cars blocking off the alleyway so I parked in the car park and walked up to the next level via an attached stairway at the back. I had a look at the alley from there and noticed a bloody white sheet on the ground around a foot away from the residential tower. Unlike the other levels the 5th level of the car park did not have a barrier on the front for 10 meters as the floors of the office block were staggered back to the tower from there and there was no roof.

    While drugs and alcohol were probably involved the most disturbing thing was that there was no mention of the incident in any media.
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    exchemist likes this.
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Seems very similar. But has gone quiet so hard to be conclusive about it.
  11. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    And that -2 F/ -17 C somehow constitutes "extreme cold." Christ.

    In the spirit of that thread, and as this one seems to be going nowhere, here's one for the "files":

    I, apparently, do not require footwear in any earthly climate. How and why I have extensive experience to serve as "evidence" in this area I'd rather not go into. Rather, I'll simply state that I can and do regularly go barefoot for hours on end in temperatures ranging from -20 C/-4 F to -30 C/-22 F--even -40 C/-40 F, on occasion; conversely, I can and do walk barefoot on the asphalt in cities like, say, Phoenix, Az, when it's like 48 C/ 118 F. I've been doing this for decades and, by all indications, I haven't got any nerve damage.

    That said, my feet--according to some University of Toronto-affiliated sports medicine-types--are, apparently, "weird." The specifics, as I recall, are that my metatarsals are significantly splayed and the epidermis of my feet is unusually... coarse (I guess?). Also, my feet are abnormally flexible, possibly due to mild Marfan Syndrome, but I doubt that would have significant impact upon temperature sensitivity--I note this only because I also generally hike and climb barefoot, as I'm vastly more agile this way. Oh yeah, I also can only wear footwear without any sort of arch support or rigidity--basically, I can only wear shoes that one can easily bend in half between one's thumb and pinkie. Unfortunately, I do not recall the other details attesting to said "weirdness."

    My face, hands, etc., on the other hand, are sensitive to extremes of temperature within ranges of "normalcy."

    Any theories as to why I've never sustained any frostbite or nerve damage to my feet? Of course, it's certainly possible that I have, but if so, it's not terribly significant as I've never experienced any pain or discomfort in the area.
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Well you're just one of the Lizard People, I imagine. Like Mark Zuckerberg.

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    Happy New Year.

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  13. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I don't even like the idea of breathing the same air as that guy--there's something awfully Eichmann-like about Zuckerberg.

    And I don't know, I'm still thinking I'm likely mammalian, at least--perhaps some sort of caniform, albeit herbivorous? Is a scenario similar to that in The Fly too far-fetched? Maybe there's a bear or a dingo somewhere out there with human feet (mine), while I've got his.
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Take photo your feet
    Post in this thread
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  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    And is Birthday of era known as PRESENT which is 72 years old

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  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    If there was truly anything "additional" contributing, beyond the classic human behavior below (and a few clinical conditions and missed meds)... Then it's just a lighter form of mass psychogenic illness -- including the new subclassification of MSI. (Example: TikTok Tics)

    But there is the usual, more common source. By their very nature, paranormal memes entice infatuated individuals to creatively fill each general category with specific instances, and websites in turn exploit those for clickbait. Unlike historic fads such as phonebooth stuffing that eventually fade, the age-old "spooky genre" does not wane in terms of participation.

    "Glitch in the Matrix" is arguably not even a new meme -- just a label refinement of purported occult events that now recruit or allude to simulation theory as an underlying provenance, rather than "supernatural" in the traditional sense. Thus, the very human "causes" are the same or similar.

  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    this looks very interesting
    i will come back & read carefully a bit later in the day
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    It's not in the least interesting

    Not to me

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