Saturday, February 28, 2015


One of the compelling plot points was the concept that the island had a mysterious "infection." People had to be given shots to ward off death.

Claire was told that she had to take shots in order to save her baby.

Desmond was told outside the Hatch was a hazmat zone, but he still had to take shots to ward off the infection.

The Others pregnant women continually died while in their third trimester, which some blamed on the island/infection.

Without a clear understanding of "what" the island really was, many people believe the "infection" story line was merely a ruse to control people.

But Juliet, who appeared at first to be an ethical doctor, gave Claire injections - - - if false, would violate her duty and oath as a physician ("do no harm to a patient.") Even a placebo that causes mental anguish as an intended result would violate that oath.

Perhaps, at one time, the infection plague was true. It was just passed down as a story, a myth, by the island natives and Others as a means of making visitors leave their island.

An infection is defined as the process of infecting or the state of being infected by a disease.
It is also defined as  the presence of a virus in, or its introduction into, a computer system.

The origin of the word is late Middle English: from late Latin infectio(n-), from Latin inficere ‘dip in, taint.'

The dictionary definition raises two points. The island infection could be a metaphor for people becoming "tainted" or infected by something, such as evil, if this was a place of the underworld, or judgment. The events on the island were merely tests of character and morality.

Another possibility is that the infection was actually a computer virus. Computer avatars would see a computer virus as a disease that could kill (delete) them (their program).  If you buy into the theory that LOST was merely a large MMOG, then the infection was one of those booby-trap hurdles one had to pass in order to level up to the next mission.

In any event, the infection angle showed a great deal of dramatic promise. But it quickly faded away without resolution.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Even when you sleep, you mind can get you.

If you've ever woken up unable to move or talk, you know the feeling can be absolutely terrifying. It is so alarming that it has become the subject of folklore across the world and is often associated with the supernatural. The good news is you're not being attacked by the unknown, what you're experiencing is a medical condition called sleep paralysis.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of, recently received an email from a viewer about this phenomenon:

Q: There have been times when I wake up out of a dream and am not able to move. I am fully conscious and aware of my surroundings but I am completely paralyzed. Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening?

Sleep paralysis is a jarring occurrence that leaves you temporarily paralyzed while being fully conscious. It is often seen in people who have sleep apnea or narcolepsy and can also be found in those who suffer from bipolar disorder and are taking certain medications for conditions like ADHD and substance abuse.

In addition to the helpless feeling that one may have while being cognizant and unable to move, the fear surrounding sleep paralysis is heightened by the fact that it's usually coupled with a feeling of pressure or choking and troubling hallucinations. Visions ranging from home intruders to demons have plagued those who suffer from sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis usually occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a phase where your "brain is active but your muscles are turned off,” Dr. Shelby Harris, a sleep specialist at Montefiore Medical Center, told It occurs when you mentally awaken before the REM cycle is finished, but your muscles remain turned off.

According to Harris, as long as there is no known underlying cause for sleep paralysis, there is no need for concern. She recommends maintaining healthy sleep habits and managing stress to reduce the frequency of the condition. She adds that if you are still bothered by it, you can consult a sleep specialist who can prescribe certain medications and treatments.

As an aside to the recent LOST posts, the concepts of sleep paralysis, including  temporary paralysis while being fully conscious, fear  heightened by the fact that it's usually coupled with a feeling of pressure or choking and troubling hallucinations ranging from home intruders (the Others?) to demons (such as smoke monsters?)

The one aspect of LOST which is still open to interpretation is the "awakening" clue. The characters had to "awaken" their island memories in order "to move on."  If the characters are patients in some deep REM experiments (gone wrong), waking up from the dream state is the only way to save them from the mental anguish of sleep paralysis. People do not realize that vivid REM sleep only lasts seconds to minutes even though dreamers perceive those dreams as lasting for hours. The entire series of island events, adventure, misadventure, danger and chaos could have actually been imagined in one long night of a dream patient.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Adding another post on the science of the mind. recently reported that several studies indicate that the old notion that a person "controls" their conscious mind (while some psychologists propose that we don't have full control over our subconscious) is wrong.

We feel that we are in control when our brains figure out puzzles or read words, says Tom Stafford, but a new experiment shows just how much work is going on underneath the surface of our conscious minds.

There's an under-mind, all psychologists agree – an unconscious which does a lot of the heavy lifting in the process of thinking. If you ask yourself what is the capital of France the answer just comes to mind – Paris! If you decide to wiggle your fingers, they move back and forth in a complex pattern that  you didn't consciously prepare, but which was delivered for my use by the unconscious.

The big debate in psychology is exactly what is done by the unconscious, and what requires conscious thought. Or to use the title of a notable paper on the topic, 'Is the unconscious smart or dumb?' One popular view is that the unconscious can prepare simple stimulus-response actions, deliver basic facts, recognise objects and carry out practiced movements. Complex cognition involving planning, logical reasoning and combining ideas, on the other hand, requires conscious thought.

A recent experiment by an Israeli research team scores points against this position. They used a neat visual trick called Continuous Flash Suppression to put information into participants’ minds without them becoming consciously aware of it. It might sound painful, but in reality it’s actually quite simple. The technique takes advantage of the fact that we have two eyes and our brain usually attempts to fuse the two resulting images into a single coherent view of the world. Continuous Flash Suppression uses light-bending glasses to show people different images in each eye. One eye gets a rapid succession of brightly colored squares which are so distracting that when genuine information is presented to the other eye, the person is not immediately consciously aware of it. In fact, it can take several seconds for something that is in theory perfectly visible to reach awareness (unless you close one eye to cut out the flashing squares, then you can see the 'suppressed' image immediately).

The  key experiment involved presenting arithmetic questions unconsciously. The questions would be things like "9 - 3 - 4 = " and they would be followed by the presentation, fully visible, of a target number that the participants were asked to read aloud as quickly as possible. The target number could either be the right answer to the arithmetic question (so, in this case, "2") or a wrong answer (for instance, "1"). The amazing result is that participants were significantly quicker to read the target number if it was the right answer rather than a wrong one. This shows that the equation had been processed and solved by their minds – even though they had no conscious awareness of it – meaning they were primed to read the right answer quicker than the wrong one.

The result suggests that the unconscious mind has more sophisticated capacities than many have thought. Unlike other tests of non-conscious processing, this wasn’t an automatic response to a stimulus – it required a precise answer following the rules of arithmetic, which you might have assumed would only come with deliberation. The report calls the technique used "a game changer in the study of the unconscious", arguing that "unconscious processes can perform every fundamental, basic-level function that conscious processes can perform."

These are strong claims, and the authors acknowledge that there is much work to do as we start to explore the power and reach of our unconscious minds. Like icebergs, most of the operation of our minds remains out of sight. Experiments like this give a glimpse below the surface.

This adds some context to the LOST use of Room 23. It may have been twisted into a mind control room by Ben and his minions. But originally, we don't know if the "light" experiments were similar to these recent studies on consciousness and behavior. If what can find the "unconscious" between the subconscious and conscious, and that is really the control center of a person, there are great ramifications to this finding. Our human beings just organic animals or is there an energy being using the bodies like space ships or robots to chemical process the world around it?

Monday, February 23, 2015


In the last post, we discussed certain dream theories.  One thing about the brain that is fascinating is that it is the most complex organ in the human body, and the least understood.

For example, did you know certain brain activities can be turned on and off like a light switch?

It has to do with stimulating or deactivating certain areas of the brain associated with a certain aspect of life.

Researchers know the control center for thirst is somewhere in the hypothalamus,  an almond-sized section of the human brain that regulates a number of our basic functions (hunger, sex drive, temperature). But recently, neuroscientists identified two specific populations of neurons in the hypothalamus of mice that control the impulse to hydrate, and they wanted to know what happens when they’re activated. By using a process called optogenetics,  they manipulated these cells to make them sensitive to certain wavelengths of light. Then, fiber-optic cables were implanted in the brains of mice that when illuminated, turned the corresponding neurons on or off. They found that one group of thirst neurons “evokes intense drinking behavior” when activated. How intense? Mice drank up to eight percent of their body weight in water when these neurons were switched on. That’s the equivalent of a human drinking a gallon and a half of water in ten minutes. The second group of neurons reduces the desire to drink, even when the animal is deprived of water.

Using the same optogenetics technique, scientists found the brain cells  that control hunger. When these cells are activated in mice, the rodents are compelled to stuff themselves well beyond the point of being full. But when they’re shut down, the mice ignore food, even when they should be hungry.
Consciousness and self-awareness are defining characteristics of human life. But these traits can be turned off and on like a light switch in a lab setting. At George Washington University, researchers accidentally flipped the switch while using electrodes to stimulate different parts of the brain in an epileptic woman.  When they stimulated a section called the claustrum,  the patient lost consciousness, but she didn’t pass out. Instead she sat motionless with a blank stare and showed no response to cues around her. She snapped out of her trance when the stimulation stopped, and had no memory of the lapse.

Other studies have shown the human brain may switch off self-awareness when we’re stressed, without any help from researchers. In 2006, neurobiologists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel observed that when humans are forced to focus on a difficult task (particularly under a strict deadline), the area of our brains associated with introspection, the cortex, becomes quiet, and we go into a sort of robotic mode until the task is done. This ability could have evolved for purposes of self-defense.

Pain can be eased with certain drugs, but many treatments come with side effects like dependency and tolerance. Saint Louis University researchers found a way to treat chronic pain caused by nerve damage, including the physical agony caused by chemotherapy and bone cancer. By turning on the “A3 adenosine receptor” in the brain and spinal cord, they were able to block pain caused by nerve damage in rodents, without any of the side effects associated with drug treatments.

Beyond just physical traits, researchers have looked into emotional components to brain activity. What if we could reduce the human urge to fight? New York University researchers  zoomed in on the hypothalamus, the previously-mentioned hub of bodily functions, to look at the specific neurons that fire during acts of physical violence. By stimulating those neurons using optogenetics, they were able to turn male mice into vicious fighters that attacked anything in their vicinity—including inanimate objects, and both male and female mice. But then the team could also calm them, quelling their violent urges by silencing these neurons. 

These vast different research projects tend to lend some real world perspective on the fictional forays into science with the DHARMA compounds. Turning on and off brain switches have vast potential and power to those who control it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Some new recent fan posts follow an old theory, that the premise of LOST was all inside the head of a character. In this latest versions, it was Jack's mind.

This theory infuses Jack's background. We first met Jack in season one, he was a doctor with an alcoholic father and some "daddy issues."  As we learned more about his background, we started to learn about his relationship and commitment issues, along with suicidal tendencies and deep regret for mistakes made, often made in the operating room. The question is whether these dark emotions and mental illness are first and foremost, or secondary to the pressures of being the son of a famous doctor. If it was the former, Jack may never have been a physician; the "miracles" of his skills were all fantasy.

As another flavor on this theory, the entire island experience was Jack trying to work out his personality issues by his subconscious creating characters to "work things through."  Many scientists believe that humans dream for a reason; it is the down time that frees up the brain to run a series of calculations and scenarios of real life issues so the waking person has some idea how to handle them.

Each series character represents a different part of Jack's  personality. For example Kate could have been the part of him that wanted to be strong and kind, but couldn't let go of his past. John Locke could have been the part of him that wanted to stop being told what or how to do things, and was just downright angry. Shannon could have been the part of him that wanted to be taken care of, and so on. 

As he worked through different issues and overcame challenges on the island, the "parts of him" started to die. When he realized that his father was kind of at the center of everything, the island Jack (subconscious) died, because he had finished what needed to be done, and alternate Jack (reality) met up at the church with everybody else.  Jack being "dead" in the sideways church was "awakening," or leaving the dream state. For one last time, his subconscious memories joined together since Jack's brain had figured out how to cope with his problems. The island was his dream state making sense of what was happening, and the other places and adventures were a way of working through his problems. At the end when it was between MIB and Jacob (Good/Bad) He had a hard decision and realized that he needed to choose to be the guardian of the island, which represents real Jack taking control of his own life.  When he did even though he would lose everybody close to him (even though they were parts of him) he was ready to move on. So in conclusion, each character was a part of him. When he worked through the problems represented by that person, they would die. As it narrowed down to the harder stuff ( Oceanic 6) he had harder decisions. When he made the right choices and worked through his problems, he was alone, but that meant he had figured out that aspect of his problems.

A different take on the psychological aspect of Jack's dream series is that the method of his unconsciousness could have been from an actual plane crash. Under this theory, the whole series of events on LOST happened inside Jack’s head. He was in a plane crash, got rescued, taken to a hospital where he spent some time in a coma. The Island was his coma dream.

When the show used  terms like "constant" and "projection" it was a clue to describe how Jack’s mind formed the surrounding imaginary environment. A projection is something that Jack experienced in his life, some strong emotion for example, and then it appeared/usually reiterated in his dream, while a constant is some part of the physical environment that imposed itself into the dream world. Like for example, the phone starts ringing while you are asleep, and this appears in your dream in some abrupt occurrence. It is similar to a constant in LOST, in a sense that it is something that exists in both worlds - inside and outside of the dream. A link. Both are just different instances of something called “dream incorporation.”

Dreams objectify that which is subjective, they visualize that which is invisible, they transform the abstract into the concrete, and they make conscious that which is unconscious. They come from the most archaic alcoves of the mind as well as from the peripheral levels of waking consciousness. Dreams are the kaleidoscope of the mind.

Further, there were clear clues that the show was about "illusions."  There was a boat in the O6 marina by that name, when Jack had to make (and convince the desperate elements of his own personality) to go back deep into his subconscious ("go back to the island) in order find his final answers. Remember, it never made any sense that they were going back to "save" the people they left behind, because by their own experience, the island disappeared and everyone was dead. People represented as dream characters can always come back to life, inside one's head. That is what happened when Jack "returned" to the island. 

The dream theory (no matter whose character is the center piece) is one of the lasting fan theories of LOST. It helps explain a lot of the inconsistent mysteries and odd tangents of the show, including the Ending.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Part of the evolution of man was the innate fear of the dark.  Man was not the alpha predator. There were various wild animals that could kill man. Many current top predators feed at night, when their prey are resting and cannot see properly.

One of the aspects of man's assent to the top of the food chain was the ability to gather in groups. Groups allowed for more eyes, ears and senses. There is truly safety in numbers. The more people who looked out for each other, the better. Once families merged with other families to create communities, tribes and later settlements, the fear of wild animal attacks subsided. But the fear did not go away, because in nature the competition for food and resources is always present. Fear of animals may have turned into fear of other tribes attacking for their resources.

One of the earliest safe guards to attack was the domestication of the wolf. Less aggressive wolves came to be trained by early man as canine protection devices. Dogs have more than 10 times the smell perception of humans. They also have keen eye tracking abilities. With the taming of dogs, man brought into his shelter the first "alarm" system. The dog would forewarn his master of trouble before the master could recognize it. It was a beneficial relationship, since the dog was fed and cared after by the tribe. Dogs would help man in hunts. This man-dog bond lasts to the present day.

Everyone knows dogs are man's best friends.

But in LOST, we are not so sure.

For some, Vincent, Walt's dog, was the only animal associated with the survivors. Yet, Vincent rarely did anything to protect Walt or the castaways. In reality, Vincent was briefly used as a conduit for the viewers to find the early characters, such as awakening Jack in the bamboo jungle, or to lead a character into the jungle (to be surprised by something like an Other or smoke creature). In all of the dangerous missions, including foraging for wild boar, Vincent was not part of any of those sojourns.

This is very "non-dog" like behavior.

Vincent really was not that close to Walt.  Once Walt left, Shannon took it upon herself to watch over him, but she was not very good at anything. And then Shannon died. He would eventually walk away to live with Rose and Bernard, who left the group to isolate themselves from the politics, danger and mistrust of the remaining beach castaways. In that regard, Vincent was pretty smart to find a new traditional "home" setting with Rose and Bernard.

But even Bernard scolded Vincent for not being a good guard dog.

In a few fan theories, Vincent is not really Walt's dog, but the smoke monster reflection of memories of Walt's dog. It would be a classic spy inside the enemy camp. No one would suspect a dog as a supernatural creature. It would explain why Ben had so much information on each castaway (not withstanding the reference to a large communication center that Patchy used to run). Information seemed to be the premium currency on the island, as both Jacob and MIB needed it to manipulate their followers.

If the island was truly a dark place, where lost souls had to shudder at the thought that their personal demons were in the shadows, then the only light of purity was Vincent. He seemed to be above all of the fray. He never attacked, nor was he attacked. He had the most freedom of any character. When he wandered off, no one seemed to mind (except Walt). But once Walt was gone, no one seemed to take a vested role in Vincent. Perhaps, it was symbolic that the people on the island were resigned to their fate that their freedom (and going home) was lost.  Only Vincent's actions kept alive even the impression of hope.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


If the romantics in the viewership had anything to say, LOST had its moments.

But not in the conventional sense.

Yes, there was a deep, true bond between Rose and Bernard, the only happily married couple throughout the series. But they did not show over-emotion or PDA around their beach castaways. In fact, because of their maturity, pulled away from the nonsense of the younger generation's school yard behaviors.

But even throughout the entire time line, there was no Valentine's Day episode.

The closest special event we had was Hurley's planned picnic with Libby. But when Libby went to the hatch to get a blanket, she was murdered by Michael.

Kate and Sawyer's relationship was one of impending doom, carnal lust.  It was a selfish compact, especially in the polar bear cages.

Sayid and Shannon's short lived affair was meaningless in the context of everyone else's relationships. Unless the lesson was opposites do attract, it was still unbelievable.

For most of the hook-ups were matters of convenience, ways to gain an advantage, an edge or some fleeting security on the dangers of island life.

Monday, February 16, 2015


One aspect of LOST that has had a lasting effect is the digital component to viewing a show. The early internet fan communities that raged, raved, dissected and postulated about their favorite show has spawned the nexus between network broadcasting and digital consumption of entertainment.

When LOST first aired on ABC, it was still "appointment" television. You had to be in front of your television set to see that week's show. There was no on-demand or web streaming the telecast. You could time shift it with your DVR.

Today, unless it is a live event like a sports contest, people are consuming their television programs in various forms, including on demand, streaming or box binge viewing.

And many non-network players are getting into the serial show act.

For example, Amazon has a new digital show called BOSCH. Based on Michael Connelly's best-selling novels, Harry Bosch (LOST's Titus Welliver), an LAPD homicide detective, stands trial for the fatal shooting of a serial murder suspect. A cold case involving the remains of a missing boy forces Bosch to confront his past. As daring recruit Julia Brasher (Annie Wersching) catches his eye, and departmental politics heat up, Bosch will pursue justice at all costs. 

The Amazon series is a digital download. This one features a LOST alum, MIB. Whether his role on LOST will help snag a few of the fractured viewing public is probably unknown.

Keifer Sutherland made an interesting observation while on the British television show. He said when he started, there were 15 studios making 50 movies a year, including small budget ($5-10 million) dramas. But today, there are basically 3 studios making 15 movies a year, all in the big budget, action hero mode. As an actor, he knew the writing was on the wall. So he went into television (which was unusual for film actors to do) in order to play Jack Bauer on Fox's 24. Since then, many film actors have gravitated toward cable channels like HBO and Showtime which began producing their own award winning television series. It would seem with the rise of independent YouTube programs and streaming services looking for new content, event the current cable distribution model will probably be outdated in a decade.

With the fractured audience and more distribution channels, it is more unlikely that any series will last six seasons in production.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


"I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours." - - - Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat.

In the 1957 novel, author Ayn Rand depicts a dystopian  United States, wherein many of society's most prominent and successful industrialists abandon their fortunes and the nation itself, in response to aggressive new regulations, whereupon most vital industries collapse. The title is a reference to Atlas, a Titan, "the giant who holds the world on his shoulders". The significance of this reference appears in a conversation between the characters  in which one asks another what advice he would give Atlas upon seeing that "the greater [the titan's] effort, the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders". His own response: "To shrug."

The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence". The book explores a number of philosophical themes from which Rand would subsequently develop Objectivism.[ In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism and the failures of governmental coercion.

The story of Atlas Shrugged dramatically expresses Rand's  advocacy of "rational selfishness,"  whereby all of the principal virtues and vices are applications of the role of reason as man's basic tool of survival (or a failure to apply it): rationality, honesty, justice, independence, integrity, productiveness, and pride. Rand's characters often personify her view of the archetypes of various schools of philosophy for living and working in the world. A reviewer wrote, "Rand rejected the literary convention that depth and plausibility demand characters who are naturalistic replicas of the kinds of people we meet in everyday life, uttering everyday dialogue and pursuing everyday values. But she also rejected the notion that characters should be symbolic rather than realistic."

Rand herself stated, "My characters are never symbols, they are merely men in sharper focus than the audience can see with unaided sight. . . .  My characters are persons in whom certain human attributes are focused more sharply and consistently than in average human beings."

In addition to the plot's more obvious statements about the significance of industrialists to society, and the sharp contrast to Marxism's value of labor theory to the explicit conflict is used by Rand to draw wider philosophical conclusions, both implicit in the plot and via the characters' own statements to caricature fascism, socialism, communism  and any state intervention in society, as allowing poor people to "leech" the hard-earned wealth of the rich; and Rand contends that the outcome of any individual's life is purely a function of its ability, and that any individual could overcome adverse circumstances, given ability and intelligence.

The concept "sanction of the victim" is defined as "the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the "sin" of creating values". Accordingly, throughout Atlas Shrugged, numerous characters are frustrated by this sanction, as when one appears duty-bound to support his family, despite their hostility toward him; later, the principle is that somebody's got to be sacrificed. Characters note "If it turned out to be me, I have no right to complain;" "Evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us;" and, "I saw that evil was impotent ... and the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it."

Is the island's own reality akin to a Cheshire Cat mash up with Rand's concepts? The permeation of evil, the lawlessness against control and structure, and the selfishness of the main characters as a means of survival are all deep roots in the LOST plot lines. The theme of a "sacrificial" victim, such as Charlie and his warning to Desmond, or Jack's final breath in the bamboo grove, is a homage to the forces of evil and not a heroic conduit to paradise. For the weight of the series was not carried on the shoulders of one titan character, but shoved through the meat grinder of selfish evil intent.

Friday, February 13, 2015


As today is Friday, the 13th, a superstitious day of bad luck, we focus on the one character who could have answered all the LOST questions, Daniel Faraday.

Poor Daniel. He was doomed from the start.

His back story was as hazy as his science.

Daniel was born on the mainland (as there is a birth certificate for him) and was the son of Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore,  although he did not know the identity of his father (that was left blank on the birth certificate). This is the first unsolved mystery of this character: who was Daniel's real father?

We know that young Eloise and Widmore were co-leaders of a small Others fraction on the Island. Widmore wanted control of "his" island against any outsider, and Eloise seemed to be more focused on survival. How they both got to the island was unknown. But it seems they were both quite protective of it.

During their early adulthood, the time traveling Daniel appears on the island. Eloise shoots and kills "her son" then realizes her mistake. This sets off one of the most important background characters into action.

We know that both Eloise and Widmore left the island before the Purge. Widmore was banished by Ben because Widmore "violated the rules" by having a child (Penny) with an off-islander. Eloise's departure was not told. (She could have been part of the evacuation, or she may have left after killing her son in the time travel arc.)

It would seem that Eloise's sole goal in the series was to protect Daniel. After Eloise and Widmore's relationship soured, Eloise also changed Daniel's last name to Faraday so Charles could not find him. But we know how powerful Widmore was; he knew and found Daniel.

One could speculate that the falling out between Eloise and Widmore was about Daniel and his special abilities. Daniel had "time traveled" to the island. Widmore wanted to get back to the island and seize it as his own. What better means to do so than "time travel." Likewise, Eloise would want to save the time traveling Daniel from her own actions of killing him. As a result, Eloise may have needed to find a man who was a scientific genius. (Clue to last name: Stephen Hawking.)

Eloise needed to unlock the elements of space-time in order to correct Daniel's destiny. So she forced Daniel to give up music to study extreme theoretical science. So Daniel studied at Oxford, earning his doctorate at the youngest age on record. At that time, his girlfriend Teresa Spencer, was deemed to be a distraction. Soon after, Daniel started unauthorized experiments (funded by Widmore) involving time travel. He created a machine in 1996 that allowed a living creature's consciousness to travel through time. He tested it on a lab rat he named Eloise, which signifies an open hostility toward his mother and her constant pressure on him to succeed in this science.

During that same year, Daniel was visited by a stranger named Desmond Hume. Desmond claimed to know about the machine, Daniel initially believed that a colleague was playing a practical joke on him, but when Desmond mentioned "Eloise,"  Daniel's lab rat, he believed Desmond. In his lab, Daniel tested "the Numbers" Desmond supplied to him. He used the machine on Eloise, enabling her to unerringly complete a maze that she would not be taught how to run for another hour. Daniel's blackboard revealed his interest in the Kerr metric as part of his theory of time-transported consciousness. According to Daniel's theory, a being that undergoes time-transported consciousness must identify a "constant,"  something existing in both periods of time travel that can serve as an anchor for the being's consciousness; failure to find a constant results in instability of consciousness, and the resulting stress can lead to brain aneurysm and eventual death. 

Daniel's success led him to ramp up his experiments.  The experiment apparently resulted in Theresa becoming permanently mentally 'unstuck' in time, with her condition deteriorating to the point that she became permanently bedridden, in a coma-like state as a result of his experiments. (Widmore funded her care for her parents silence.) Soon after this accident, Daniel went to America. Daniel began to study at  DHARMA. It seemed that Daniel started to experiment on himself, which wrecked his ability to connect with his own memory. He constantly wrote notes in his leather journal to remember. 

But while in the United States, Daniel's mental state deteriorated to the point in 2004 where he is under the care of a woman (caretaker or some initially assumed a girlfriend or wife). When the news of Flight 815's crash, with film footage of the wreckage shown on the television, Daniel had a mental breakdown which he could not explain. When Widmore arrived, he told him that the wreckage was a fake. He told Daniel that the real Flight 815 had crashed on a "miraculous island," and offered him the chance to go there, promising that it would "cure" him. Several days later, Daniel was playing piano at his home, trying to remember the Chopin piece he was playing when he was ten, when he was visited by his mother. She persuaded him to accept Widmore's offer and go to the Island, assuring him that she would be proud of him if he did so. Daniel agreed to accept the offer.

Daniel brought several critical (we thought) elements to the LOST mythology. First, he brought with him science explanations for the island's mysteries. Second, he brought with him a window to the people pulling the strings behind the curtain (Eloise and Widmore, shadow villains). Third, he brought in intellectually naive character in the mix of amateur action heroes.

But Daniel's story is really messed up.

First, there are the paradoxes that cannot be put in their places. Young Eloise "kills" her adult yet unborn son on the island. This is a classic time travel problem that should have had radical results. Since Eloise has a son in the future, but kills him in the past, why would she "re-live" this pain by actually conceiving him in the future? Some could argue that an adult traveling back into time to meet their death is not a conventional paradox since Daniel was destined to die "someday," and this was the means of his own demise. But a secondary issue is that if Eloise knew Daniel was going to die on the island, why did she do everything in power after killing him to get him to study time travel and go on the trip to the island?

It would seem that Eloise "needed" Daniel to become a brilliant scientist in order to kill him on the island so her own fantasy sideways world dream family situation would come true. In Daniel's death on the island, Eloise could lead a normal, but rich life in the after life. It sounds insane, but that seems to be the whole motivation for the Eloise manipulation of both Daniel and Widmore.

So Daniel had a bounty on his head before he was even born. He was never going to have a real, normal, human life.

Second, if Daniel's theory of mental consciousness time travel is to be believed, was his research adopted by DHARMA to create the full transformation of physical time travel as demonstrated by the turning of the frozen donkey wheel? When Ben turned it, the island began "time skipping" but only with a few individuals. The idea of someone having a "constant" in real and skip times seems to be moot because people have connections in those worlds (i.e. parents, close friends, spouses, children, etc.). If the salvation key is consciously putting a mental image of a person in both time periods in your mind before you time jump, then that seems superficially a magic chant or spell and not science. (The ancient Egyptians Book of the Dead contained various chants and spells to help souls travel through the dangers of the underworld; perhaps Daniel's theory is like these spells.)

If Daniel was already mentally time tripping in the U.S., then why did he need to go to the island? The only explanation was that he needed to "die" on the island in order for his consciousness (some would call it his soul) to reach Eloise in the after life, so she could repress his memories and not "move on" through the next level of existence. This would presuppose that the island is actually an inter-dimensional gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead. For some unknown reason, people dying on the island have their memories repressed when their souls reach the after life. It is sort of a dream state in the sideways world where people, like in dreams, try to subconsciously work out real world problems through various fantasies. 

If the island allowed full body and mind time travel, then there should be no "mental" only time travel side effects, such as the nose bleeds and death that happened to Charlotte. Daniel was nose bleeding before he was shot, so he was going to also die even though his "constant," Desmond, was on the island and in his original time period. So, since there are two sets of rules at play in one time travel sequence, no clear conclusion could be made on what is truly happening on the island. If Daniel's theory is the control, then everyone on the island was time tripping, in a dream like state, in a forehell to the sideways world. If DHARMA and the island's FDW full time travel machine was the control, then only when you met yourself in both time frames could you be paradoxically removed from existence. But that did not happen to Charlotte or Daniel. In face, some time trippers were reincarnated. 

So it gets back to the big mystery of why, throughout all the trauma and manipulation of Daniel's life, did Eloise want, need, desire or demand Daniel to be on the freighter, come ashore, and be killed by her younger self? The only viable answer was that guilt was making Eloise dream up these actions.

For the symbolism of a young woman killing her "adult" child could represent a psychological trauma of Eloise's young life, such as an abortion. If she aborted "Daniel" or lost him during pregnancy on the island, then the series could evolve around a troubled young woman's lost mental state of delusions and fantasies of having the perfect life with her dead fetus. Eloise could have been haunted by her actions so that she could have been institutionalized as a mental patient. As creepy as that may seem, it allows for the fact that science, sci-fi and any other rational explanations for series events be immaterial and irrelevant. The sole factor was keeping her dead child from realizing that his own mother killed him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


A really great man is known by three signs: generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in the success. - - - Otto von Bismarck

Three elements:  

1. Generosity
2. Humanity
3. Moderation in success.

A person who is generous is usually found to be compassionate, caring, loyal and comforting.

A person with humanity cares and thinks about other people above themselves.

A person who moderates in success is a humble individual with less grand personal ambitions for fame or fortune than the average celebrity wannabee.

If these elements comprise the definition of a "great man" (or woman), LOST failed us.

For example, viewers would scream that Jack was the greatest character on the series. He fits the definition of a great man.

Was Jack generous? We don't know about his own charitable principles. He was caring and comforting to his patients, but he also imposed his own ego in their diagnosis by promising "miracle" cures.  False hope is not compassion, but a form a cruelty.

Did Jack have humanitarian qualities? A humanitarian is concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare. Jack tried to get the original survivors on the same page, to work together in order to live on the island (especially when rescue was a lost cause). But over time, a dark side of Jack appeared; instead of trying to find "diplomatic" solutions with the Others, he was an advocate of ambush. And once his leadership was questioned, he withdrew.

Was Jack humble in his successes? In fierce arguments with people like Locke, not really. In order to be the alpha male, he had to back down and belittle his opponents. When Ben was captured on the hike to the tower, Jack snapped and beat him senseless even though Ben was in no position to undo Jack's successful mission. As the series went on, Jack did want to get more and more acknowledgement from the people around him. As such, he became more reckless in his actions.

Under this definition of greatness, not even Jack can pass the test.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It has been said that every person born is given a death sentence.

We are immortal.

We all die.

There is no way around the final fate.

Since the dawn of understanding, mankind has grappled with this end fate. The reason why people have finite lives is unclear, considering the world around them has longer lives (and the cosmos, the heavens, infinite).

When intelligence grows, so does one's propensity to find answers to questions that have no proven answers. What is death? What happens at death? Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? Do you remember this life in the next one? Is there a next life?

Literature, religion, introspection, culture, community and ritual all have tried to comfort the unknown reality that death is the life cycle end of our current state of being.

So what if, at the end point of life on Earth, a person must "fight" for his or her next life?

If life on earth was a random joining of an egg and sperm to create a human baby, what if the next evolutionary stage of human consciousness is a connection to a higher plane of existence, a different energy level, a higher consciousness.

The elements of a secondary struggle for life manifested itself on the island. It contained strange electromagnetic properties. It defied the natural laws of physics by being able to move and disappear. It contained ghosts from the past, and strange smoke monsters. People lived, died, born and reborn on the island. And some lost souls were trapped as whispers, unable to move on.

It would seem that the souls of the main characters were trapped in a struggle for their lives, beyond just their human ones. The characters had to create new, lasting bonds with their fellow lost souls in order to fuse a connection of spirit in order to find a place in the after life. Without those strong connections, a soul like Michael, would be trapped in the purgatory sense of nothingness of an island whisper. Those who learned to trust, love and form deep friendships that they could not in their past had the opportunity to live on in the sideways realm, with those deep connections securing their passage into the great white light (symbolic of many near death experiences patients have told their doctors after being revived.)

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Knowledge is a treasure but practice is the key to it. - - - Thomas Fuller

I have always said that knowledge was power on LOST. Those characters who knew things could control things.

Eloise was probably the one person who knew the most since she had actual working knowledge of both worlds (island and sideways). It seems that she was able to connect to both worlds (and their seemingly same but different lives) as if the island was a gateway or portal to two dimensions. When Eloise conversed with Desmond in the clock shop, the essence of what she told him was that time was predetermined; that Desmond's life was predetermined; that Desmond's destiny was not to marry Penny but to sail off to his own demise. It was this erasure of a possibility of romance in the real world kept Desmond from awakening other characters, such as Daniel, for whom Eloise tried to shelter (in the after life).

Knowledge that the sideways world was a purgatory time line where people could continue to live out their imaginary dream lives is a powerful tool especially when one can communicate back to the living world to manipulate people to keep the fantasy world's status quo.

As most religions teach, what one does in the world of the living has consequences in judgment in the next world. By manipulating the actions of living human beings in the island world, Eloise could construct an elaborate alternative fantasy world where the characters would not need to rejoin and "remember" their old lives which would destroy the egg shell dream family situation Eloise created in her sideways vision.

But how can Eloise be a puppet master in two worlds. She somehow mentally connected herself with Daniel, her son, in both worlds. This theme of having a "constant" may have actually meant the mental connection between the living and the dead. Eloise was a medium who could actually affect events.

She forced her son to give up music in order to study and master highly theoretical physics, including the manipulation of time. Why? Perhaps so Eloise could go back in time herself to stop her young self from killing her own time traveling son. If Daniel "remembered" that his own mother killed him, that would destroy the happy family sideways dream world Eloise had created for herself. That shattered dream would mean that her "heaven" would be gone, and she would either go to hell or worse, just fade away from all conscious existence.

So the stakes for Eloise would be extremely high. It was her manipulation of Daniel in order to control the island which led to the unintended consequences of her shooting her own son. A lifetime of guilt both in the living world and sideways realm had a mother trying to do anything to make things better. In order to protect her vision of her happy family, she would communicate to her living self - - - which led to Widmore's anger and revenge motivations to destroy everyone on the island. By doing so, those souls would not remember or awaken Daniel from his dream state.

One could say Eloise was trying to maintain a complex dream support system for a critically mentally unstable patient, Daniel.  If this was the unstated premise of the series, I think most fans would have accepted it as a reasonable explanation for Season 6 and tie back the previous five years.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


The Super Bowl ended on a controversial play. The Seahawks were ripped for throwing a slant pass at the one yard line. The Patriots rookie defensive back made a stellar play by reading it, reacting, and intercepting the pass to see New England's victory.

Once a person knows the rules of a game, then that person can create a strategy on how to win the game. One needs a strategy in order to coordinate his moves toward the path of victory.

But if one believes LOST was really a game engine where the main characters were pawns in some elaborate contest, does that hold up to scrutiny like the last Super Bowl play?

There are several possibilities of the game theory of LOST.

First, that LOST was merely the representation of a massive on-line first person adventure game. As such, the characters were not real but avatars on a computer screen. Each character would have had a real live person controlling their movements and actions (which we could assume mirror the players).  The nice aspect of this theory is that the series characters were constantly playing games, some outright and some coy manipulations. There were elements of extreme first person shooter violence. There were some adventure-danger elements like attacks and kidnaps. There were torturous means of finding information to lead characters on quests for answers. The initial premise was that the castaways wanted to find a means of rescue. And like a linear platformer, they had to move along on missions to find the means to get off the island (such as finding the radio tower, or the Hatch).

Second, that LOST was some sort of Westworld live-action danger theme park. In the movie, the mechanical robots go haywire, putting the guests in real danger. Likewise, the island could be considered a theme park that pits various "teams" against each other for the "control" of the island. It is like capture-the-flag with live ammo.

Third, that LOST was really a supernatural game of chess or Senet played by immortals Jacob and MIB. In Greek mythology, the gods would look down upon human beings as inferior play things. The gods would mess with their lives at will. By substituting real human beings for chess pieces, and manipulating their own "free" will into action, Jacob and MIB could have a formed an amusing but cruel chess match filled with chaotic outcomes.  And this could be the reason why Jacob continually brought more humans to their island to play game after game with MIB, who certainly was bored up to the point that the 815ers arrived on the island. A supernatural chess match makes the main characters human, alive but in a different level of existence which looks real, has real outcomes including death.

One of the supposed tenets of the show was that the island "had rules." Widmore and Ben claimed to each other that there was a rule violation (such as the killing of Alex by Widmore). However, technically the non-killing of family members did not apply to Alex, since Ben was not her real father. So when Ben was going to go after Penny, Widmore's daughter, it would have been Ben who was breaking the rules.

But we would later learn that the rules were whatever the island guardian decided them to be. So the rules were no rules. The only clear rule was that Crazy Mother decreed that Jacob and his brother could never kill each other. It was one god scolding and casting a spell on two lesser gods. But what happened? Jacob's brother killed Crazy Mother, and Jacob in turn set off the events to kill his own brother. So that rule was broken. Both Crazy Mother and brother were buried in the caves, with the smoke monster assuming the form of MIB to haunt Jacob for an eternity.

The game theory would work if there was an actual end game. One could still assume that the end game was rescue or leaving the island. Those few people who got on the Ajira plane may have been "the winners" of the game, but really what did they win? A future life of pain in the real world? If the ability to leave the island was a player's victory, then why did the O6 return to the island? Did they get a second life, a second chance to "level up" in strength and importance? No, Jack and Kate were subservient to Sawyer in the Others camp. Sayid was merely a shell crazy man. Sun was lost in another time.

And this is a basic problem with the plot of the show. There was no clear path to a defined conclusion of the island action. The sideways world resolution confused everyone because it marked "death" for every character as the "reward."  When is death the best option for a game player?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


There was one curious plot point which makes little sense.

The desire to escape the island. It was first and foremost in the survivalists minds after the plane crash. Rescue was the goal.

When Michael built his raft (twice), it was clear that some of the castaways were determined to help themselves get back home. And Michael's raft did work - - - they left the island in search of a rescue boat. But what happened next makes no sense.

The raft was attacked by the Others. Sawyer was shot; Jin and Michael were left for dead in the water.

So the survivalists would learn of their fate. The Others were dangerous. The island was dangerous. There should have been a GREATER urgency to leave the island. Build another raft. Go to the Barracks and steal a boat or submarine.

Instead, the castaways turned into sheep.

Why give up?
Why give up hope?
Why give up the chance to see your loved ones?

Even when Bernard tried to get the beach organized with signal fires, no one wanted to help him. It was no use. They were resigned to their fate of being island sheep. They were resigned that they would probably be killed off, one by one. That is not living, by anyone's definition. That is slow dying.

And when the castaways found canoes, and Desmond's boat - - - why not make a run for it? Instead, there were lame attempts to "rescue" their friends, for whom they did not know whether they were dead or alive. There was no effort to leave until the freighter arrived, but even then Jack refused rescue for all. Again, that was a curious out-of-character course for a man whose sole mission in life was to "save" other people.

Yes, the freighter was a death trap, but Jack did not know that when he made his call. He was basically playing god at that point: who would live (on the boat) and who would die (on the island).

It should have made those left behind mad. Mad enough to start their own rescue plans. But they did nothing but wait for their fate. It makes no sense.

Monday, February 2, 2015

BORN EVIL has an interesting post this morning in regard to the study of evil. Are people born evil?

One issue is that people make quick and simplistic judgments about these people. “We have a tendency to use the halo or devil framing of individuals we meet – we want to simplify our world into good or bad people,” says Paulhus, who is based at the University of British Columbia in Canada. But while Paulhus doesn’t excuse cruelty, his approach has been more detached, like a zoologist studying poisonous insects – allowing him to build a “taxonomy”, as he calls it, of the different flavors of everyday evil.

Paulhus’s interest began with narcissists – the incredibly selfish and vain, who may lash out to protect their own sense of self-worth.  These self-absorbed tendencies are linked to two other unpleasant characteristics – Machiavellianism (the coolly manipulative) and psychopathy (callous insensitivity and immunity to the feelings of others). Together, they found that the three traits were largely independent, though they sometimes coincide, forming a “Dark Triad” – a triple whammy of nastiness. This seems to fit the Ben, Widmore, Eloise personalities in LOST.
Is there a thing called  "everyday evil?" Cruel behavior in seemingly normal people rather than criminal or psychiatric cases. ” People who score particularly high on narcissism, for instance, quickly display their tendency to "over claim"  – one of the strategies that helps them boost their own egos. In some experiments, Paulhus presented them with a made up subject and they quickly confabulated to try to appear like they knew it all – only to get angry when he challenged them about it. “It strikes you that yes, this fits into a package that allows them to live with a distorted positive view of themselves.” This seems to fit Locke's personality in LOST.
Are people born nasty, for instance? Studies comparing identical and non-identical twins suggest a relatively large genetic component for narcissism and psychopathy, but environment plays are larger role in Machiavellianism tendencies. 

If one writes a report on LOST, one could consider it a case study on evil and its sub-groups of anti-social behavior. The entire spectrum of good and evil behavior was on display during the course of six seasons, with some of the characters actually starting off good but turning to evil. One could claim that Ben started off as a normal kid, but the environment of his alcoholic father caused Ben to change into a sociopath. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015