This is one of those subtle ironies that you normally miss in movies because in many cases video images like movies don’t necessarily spark reflection and thoughtfulness (conversation for another post).
If you’re like me you really enjoyed thinking about the philosophical implications in The Matrix. But one piece of irony that I just can’t let go of is in this scene in particular. Neo has a buyer of some kind of illegal thing at his door. In order to get to his secret stash Neo pulls a book from the shelves. This is where the irony comes in. The book that he pulls from the shelves is none other than Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation. What is so funny is he opens the book and its empty.
Baudrillard-or sometimes referred to as the “pimp of postmodernism”-explains that sign and symbol has has replaced reality and meaning so much so that reality has been obliterated. Hence the empty book.