This question has been closed using the “Too Localized” basis: In The Matrix, why did humans scorch the sky to block sunshine?

I want to know how it is too localized. It doesn't look to me like "Was Neo a male?".

Is it too localized because it has got tremendous amount of downvotes? (Which I guess was happened through sympathy after my rude-looking comment on Kristof's answer. That answer has got 33 upvotes despite it being the silliest one to revolve around the "scorched" word.)

Or was the “Too Localized” reason designed as a fallback reason when all other things fail?

2 Answers 2


The arguments you raise (machines being "less dependent on nature" and that they could discover new power sources) don't in any way alter the answer given by the movie. They're basically accusations of it being a plot hole.

If you read the answers to the meta discussion on plot holes I just linked, you'll see that the discussion is primarily about answers. The consensus seems to be that "plot holes" as an answer is okay, provided the answer sufficiently explores in-universe answers first and foremost (i.e. they either show effort to find suitable in-universe answers that don't seem to be present, or present in-universe answers and mention as an addendum that they in-universe answers have some flaws).

However, between the phrasing you used in the question, and your subsequent rejection of the technically-correct answer, you seem to be basing your entire question on the premise that this is a plot hole, and you are dismissing the obvious in-universe explanation out of hand. This indicates you aren't looking for an answer (since you disagree with the one given in-universe); you're looking for discussion.

Quite frankly, I think it was a toss-up as to what close reason should be selected:

NARQ: It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

It is difficult to tell what is being asked in your question because you clearly indicated that the simple and obvious answer is not what you were looking for. It seems somewhat rhetorical, since it seems like you are more interested in discussion than in the question your phrased.

Not Constructive: As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

You asked "Why did x happen?". You got the answer "x happened because y". Yet you are taking the stance of "I don't like y as a reason because of a, b, and c... your answer should take into account my arguments". Which is basically soliciting debate and or discussion.

Too Localized: This question is unlikely to help any future visitors.

Of the three, I have to say Too Localized is probably my least favorite, but I think it is still valid. The chances of someone saying "I know they scorched the sky to cut off power to the machines, but that doesn't make sense to me... perhaps stackexchange can help!" are almost nil. Its just too specific, and providing commentary and discussion to go beyond plot holes with clear (if not terribly convincing) in-universe explanations is just not what we're about.

Now, looking at the accepted answer, it seems there is more useful information than the obvious answer. However, the way you phrased your question doesn't indicate that that was what you were looking for.

Which is, I think, the fundamental problem. Your question is pretty clear as to what it is asking, but I don't think, from your subsequent comments, that it really indicates what you want.

Perhaps if the question were something along the lines of:

Why did the humans think scorching the sky would be an effective solution?

Knocking out the machines' primary power supply doesn't seem like it would be worth the cost, since the damage to the environment would hurt humans more in some ways (climate change, food supplies, etc.), and the machines are smart enough to eventually come up with alternative power sources. Was there a good in-universe explanation given as to why scorching the sky was deemed a workable strategy?

  • Nice one.. May I borrow your edit suggestion?
    – user931
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 15:10
  • @SachinShekhar Feel free :)
    – Beofett
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 15:11
  • 4
    Fantastic answer. My reasoning was largely the fact that the reason for humans scorching the sky was pretty explicitly laid out. If you know that humans scorched the sky, you also know why, since Morpheus clearly laid out both facts together. Most people aren't going to then ask why, since it's clearly stated. Ergo, Too Localized.
    – user1027
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 15:40
  • I disagree somewhat with your reasoning for Localized (well, I hate Localized on principle), but as usual, you have outdone yourself in extra-constructive edit suggestion! Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:47
  • @Keen - many of the things Morpheus believed ended up not quite accurate. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:48
  • @DVK Indeed, except the Animatrix backs up Morpheus' description of events. If we're to believe that his description is inaccurate, then why believe that humans scorched the sky to begin with (i.e. this would undermine the closed question's purpose at an even more fundamental level)?
    – user1027
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:58
  • @Keen - my objection is not to that particular fact cited by Morpheus, but by your implication that just because "since Morpheus clearly laid out both facts together", it necessarily means "you also know why". Closing the question about "why" on the basis "Morpheus said so" is Just Wrong imho. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 23:30
  • @SachinShekhar I haven't raised it on any of your recent questions but you do seem to be looking for an argument rather than asking questions. A lot of your comments come across as argumentative.
    – user11295
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 12:34

It's Too Localized because you would know the answer if you know enough to ask the question. If you know nothing about The Matrix then you shouldn't ask questions about it. From the FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face

Picking one fact out of a movie (the humans scorched the sky) and ignoring other facts from the movie (why they did, mentioned in exactly the same part as the previous fact) so that you can create a fake question is not a good idea.

  • If you can see two bulleted points in the question, the question isn't fake at all (Mind it, it has not been closed on Not Real Question basis). And, if you don't know the answer, how can you say its answerable or not? I am unable to understand your points..
    – user931
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 3:24
  • 1
    It's unfortunate that you don't consider yourself able to understand the FAQ, but that's a core principle of the SE platform. Your question is, at best, "Why do plot holes exist?" which is neither sensible nor on-topic. It's Too Localized because other people are unlikely to watch a movie that says "People did X because Y" and then wonder why people did X. The answer is Y and you already know it. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 3:33
  • I am able to understand the FAQ, but the problem is: you are not applying it correctly. The question is answerable.. that's why I have got the answer.
    – user931
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 3:55
  • 2
    @MatthewRead - It is my understanding that not having read/watched the source material -- The Matrix in this case -- absolutely does not preclude a user from asking a question about it. SachinShekar has every right to ask a question about The Matrix as someone who's seen it 1000 times. The question may still be Too Localized and appropriate for closure, but Sachin has the right to ask it. The portion of the FAQ that you quote doesn't even remotely imply that one is required to have viewed the source material in order to ask a question. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 5:09
  • 4
    @aSlytherin: He has a right to ask questions whether he's seen it or not, but asking a question that is directly, clearly, and specifically answered in the movie is a problem. Granted, there are times when a particular fact given may be obscured because it's glossed over, but in this case the question is clearly answered, which shows the questioner had not done the most basic bit of research before asking it.
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 5:28
  • 2
    @MatthewRead, I'm not a particular fan of this viewpoint, but the consensus on meta was that it is NOT required to have watched/read the source material to ask a question
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 13:39
  • @Tango You've just reminded me this: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/2139/…
    – user931
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:50
  • @Tango If a question is poorly researched, it deserves downvotes, but is it appropriate to close it?
    – user931
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:51
  • 1
    @aSlytherin While it's unlikely that he found out they scorched the sky without also finding out the reason if he didn't watch the movie, that's not what I meant. This question is more or less equivalent in my mind to "Is Harry Potter a girl?". You don't have to have watched the movie or read the books but you do have to know what you're talking about. You can't ask a nonsense question and then claim ignorance. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:41
  • @phantom42 See my reply to a Slytherin. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:41
  • 1
    @MatthewRead That's a big part of why I don't really like the stance taken. But, for better or worse, saying that they don't need to have any knowledge of the source material leaves remembering one line of dialogue but not the next as a valid reason for a question.
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:45
  • @phantom42 Hmm, well I do agree with you. You'll have to forgive me for not giving Sachin the benefit of the doubt though, given his history. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:54
  • 2
    I answered that in my original comment. If a question asks something that is clearly stated (and not obfuscated) in a movie, then it should never have been asked and it should be closed. Now if it's a series of 7 movies and it's one line, that's different. But this info is clearly given in the exposition in The Matrix. Honestly, I can't see how anyone who has seen the movie would even ask it.
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 18:52
  • @Tango - I seem to recall Slytherin asking a question about Harry Potter that was pretty unequivocally answered right in the books. So did I about both HP and SW. We both have Gold Badges for those tags. Neither of our questions were closed or DVed. Do you really intend to require that of a mere mortal user who's NOT able to quote a book by heart like Slytherin usually can? Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 22:50
  • 3
    @DVK: No, not quote it by heart, but, as one person pointed out, in the very same scene where they say they scorched the sky (using that wording), they also give the answer - which puts the answer and the source of the question right next to each other.
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 3:33

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