In the first Matrix movie there’s a very interesting character called Cypher. If you go along with the theory that the Matrix series is a rough retelling of the story of Christ, Cypher is the closest analog to Judas Iscariot, who is one of the earliest very-interesting-characters.
Unfortunately I personally found that the actor kind of got in the way of the character sometimes.
For example, in his scene with Neo, Cypher has this line
The image translators work for the construct program – but there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix.
The actor delivers this line in such a way (the image translators work for the construct program) as to imply that there are these thingies called “image translators”, and this other thingy called a “construct program”. Furthermore, these “image translator” thingies are currently in the employ of the “construct program”. The “construct program” is apparently a very nasty beast with close ties to the machine Gestapo. Therefore, if we were so foolish as to attempt to recruit the talents of the “image translators”, the “construct program” would find out, and then we’d be in big trouble.
It follows then, as the night the day, that we are thrown on our own, limited, resources… and what with piloting the ship and arranging the menu and what-not, decoding the matrix (being a substantial task) is rather low on the priority list.
This would be an interesting reading, filled with wonderful foreshadowings of the inevitable discovery of Zion by the machines, except for one thing.
It is already firmly established that the “construct program” is the Holodeck-like-thing that the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar use to equip themselves with simulated equipment (and simulated skills) for use in the simulated reality of the Matrix. So the above reading is, of course, nonsense. The correct implication of the line is:
There are these thingies called “image translators.” We throw bits of code at them and they translate them into electrical stimuluses that our brain interprets as images. They can handle such-and-such amount of code.
The construct program is under our control, and we scale back the amount of code it generates to what our image translators can handle. That is why when you enter the construct program you can “see” your residual self-image and whatnot.
However, the Matrix is not under our control, so we can’t scale the amount of code it generates. It so happens that the Matrix generates an awful lot of code, which overpowers our image translators… which is why these monitors just show a bunch of greenish symbols instead of pretty girls with hair of various colors.
A delivery that gets this across would be more like
The image translators work – for the construct program – but there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix.