Philip K Dick Predicts The Matrix In 1977

Posted 8 years ago

Back before The Matrix, back before Simulacra and Simulation, and even back before Star Wars, Philip K Dick predicted that we are living in a computer simulation, and he cited his knowledge of this as the source of his novels. He even went so far as to describe a girl in black hair who shows up at his door and tells him his world is a delusion. While we may not want to believe PKD, we cannot deny his absolute prolificness, and that even today his work shows up all over our media. And the scary thing is, the closer we get to the future, the more accurate his predictions appear.

Here's the video where he made the speech, and full transcription beneath it.


The subject of this speech is a topic which has been discovered recently and which may not exist at all. I may be talking about something that does not exist, therefore I am free to say everything or nothing.

I, in my stories and novels, often write about counterfeit worlds. Some are real worlds, as well as deranged private worlds, inhabited often by just one person. While mean time, the other characters either remain in their own worlds throughout, or are somehow drawn into one of the peculiar ones.

This theme occurs in the corpus of my 27 years of writing. At no time did I have a theoretical or conscious explanation for my preoccupation with these pluriform pseudo worlds. But now I think I understand.

What I was sensing was the manifold of partially actualized realities, lying tangent to what evidently is the most actualized one. The one which the majority of us, by consensus gentium, agree on.

Later that day, back home again, but still deeply under the influence of the sodium pentathol, I had a short acute flash of recovered memory. Then in mid march, month later, the total body of memories, in tact, and entire, began to return. 

You are free to believe me, or to disbelieve, but please take my word on it that I am not joking, this is very serious, a matter of importance. At that time I had no idea what I was seeing. It resembled nothing that I had ever heard described. It resembled plasmic energy, it had colors, it moved fast, it collected and then dispersed. But what it was, what he was, I am not sure even now.

In other words, it's a common theme in my writing that a dark haired girl shows up at the door of the protagonist, and tells him that his world is delusional, that there is something false about it. Well, this did finally happen to me. I even knew that her hair would be black. I had an actual, complete sense of what she would look like, and what she would say. She did appear, she was a total stranger, and she did inform me of this fact. That some of my fictional works were, in a literal sense, true.

I wrote out these dreams in novel after novel, story after story. To name two in which this prior ugly present obtained most clearly I cite: The Man in the High Castle, and my 1974 novel about the US as a police state called Flow My Tears the Police Man Said.

I'm going to be very candid with you, I wrote both novels based on fragmentary residual memories of such a horrid slave state world. People claim to remember past lives, I claim to remember a different, very different present life. I know of no one who has ever made this claim before, but I rather suspect that my experience is not unique. What perhaps is unique is that I am willing to talk about.

We are living in a computer programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed and some alteration in our reality occurs. We would have the overwhelming impression that we are reliving the present, deja vu. Perhaps in precisely the same way, hearing the same words, saying the same words; I submit that these impressions are valid and significant. And I will even say this, such an impression is a clue that at some past time point a variable was changed, reprogrammed as it were, and that because of this an alternative world branched off.

About the author

Dev/Code/Hack is a technology and business blog by me, Par Trivedi. I'm a software engineer and I've been writing code and managing teams for over a decade. This blog serves as a way to share thoughts and ideas about the tech/startup community, and also to educate newcomers to software development.


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  • You should hire a copywriter. What does "He even went so far as to describe" mean? Did you feel compelled to add just anything to the intro besides a phrase about computer simulation? If your die-roll placed the scrubber at another sentence, would you have used that? The girl is the least important accessory to the story.

    Karras 5 years ago   Reply

  • Awesome video, thanks for the post.

    Fanatic 8 years ago   Reply