Trying to be a bird
That was part of my assumption, too - being told flat-out what the Matrix is, to someone still hooked up, probably sets off some alarms in the system. You have to free the person before you can really make it clear.I would think the machines would have adjusted the Matrix to make the idea of the Matrix less plausible to its residents - censoring similar stories and theories, limiting virtual reality technology, etc. The Matrix would be far less intelligible to someone inside the Matrix than someone who had grown up outside it. I doubt that was an intended reading though.