Friday, December 30, 2016


In 1961, meteorologist Edward Lorenz entered a microscopically different value into his computer model -- .506 rather than .506127 -- and discovered that it had drastically altered the results of his weather prediction. His subsequent paper titled, "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?", officially coined the term "the butterfly effect." It is the theory that small events can have significant consequences.

What were the butterfly effects in LOST?  What little change(s) had dramatic effect(s) on the series.

1. The rework of the pilot episode. It was the most expensive pilot produced at the time. The network was going through management changes. It decided to fire the original writer to put the project in the hands of new Hollywood golden boy, J.J. Abrams, whose show runners made a few changes to the script and filmed the first show.

If the regular production company was in charge of the series, the emphasis would have changed from being a Jack leadership role back to Kate being the lead character. It would have been more a show about survival than a supernatural/mystery series.

2. The two-show story arc of Ben's character. Ben was only supposed to be a guest character for a two episode arc. It was to show how the island would change the 815 survivors into dark killers. It was thought that after Sayid went to find the balloon crash site, and learned that Ben was not Henry Gale, Ben would have died at the hands of the castaways. It would have been a commentary on the nature of normal human beings in pressure situations. But since Ben's evil character was so good, he was written into the rest of the series as the villain.

If Ben's character was killed off, the Others series arc would have less meaning and would have probably ceased in a short time. It probably would have truncated the Widmore involvement in the story as his main rival was Ben.

3. The use of flashbacks to tell the back stories. One complaint during the series was that the characters would not ask each other basic questions or want to learn information about missions, etc. If the production team let the characters converse with each other to pull out information, secrets, motivations, etc., the series would have had a different feel and story progression. It would have been more one to one dialog driven shows than the action adventure sequences.

Many believe the flashback technique was used as "filler" to keep the series main story line from collapsing or it was a means to save production costs by using more interior sets.  But when the reliance of flashbacks ran its course, the show runners did something significant to keep the format alive: invented "flash forwards" which led to the slippery slope of the illogical sideways universe story arc.

4. Locke being able to walk on the island. If Locke remained handicapped and in his wheel chair, his character would have never been able to be the fantasy outback survivalist. If Locke remained physically unable to run around the island on missions, his character would have quickly fallen to that of a beach extra.

But the action of giving Locke a "miracle" recovery on the island (as well as a cure for Rose's terminal cancer), it set off a series of theories about the special properties of the island. But it also led to the growing complaints that the writers were not explaining the miracles or supernatural elements. This led to fans breaking into their own story camps and heated arguments on the premise of the show (whether it was real; characters in purgatory; or just all a dream).

Friday, December 23, 2016


Another plane crash survival television series is about to hit the airwaves. But this time, it is in South Korea.

The Korean web entertainment site, dramabeans, reports that network MBC’s new mystery drama Missing 9,is about to take off by introducing audiences to the nine plane crash survivors who must fend for themselves on a remote island.

Sound familiar?

The teaser opens with a plane suddenly plunging into its descent. Inside the luxurious private plane, oxygen masks dangle from the ceiling and passengers hang on for dear life as water surges into the cabin. Viewers will then meet the first passenger, “leader" Jung Kyung-ho (One More Happy Ending), who plays a has-been pop star who used to lead an idol band, but is now barely hanging onto his celebrity status. Though he’s hit rock bottom in his career, he finds the strength and determination to lead the other stranded victims in their fight for survival.

Sounds like the Jack character in LOST.

Next,  Kim Sang-ho (Bring It On, Ghost) plays the President of talent agency Legend Entertainment, and Oh Jung-se (Beautiful Mind) as the loyal Manager to Jung Kyung-ho.  

Sounds like one of the LOST couples, maybe Sun and Jin.

Chanyeol (To the Beautiful You) plays the handsome “superstar,” a renowned artist/composer who used to be in the same band as Jung Kyung-ho, but found greater success as a solo musician.

Sounds like the jealousy character, like the anti-Charlie.

Choi Tae-joon (Flower in Prison) assumes the mantle of the Troublemaker and plays the former bandmate of Jung Kyung-ho and Chanyeol, who ventured into acting following the band’s fallout and was enjoying his second career boom.

Sounds like the Sawyer character.

Lee Sun-bin (Police Unit 38) plays the top celebrity of Legend Entertainment. She’s the "Princess" character, who doesn’t mince words, but hides a dark secret.

Sounds like Shannon.

Tae Hang-ho (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds) plays the Head Secretary of Legend Entertainment, and Ryu Won (Uncontrollably Fond) is the mature and accountable billboard model and Hallyu star, and also the group’s “Outsider.”

There were plenty of outsider characters in LOST, but mature and accountable fits LOST's Rose.

Lastly, Baek Jin-hee (My Daughter Geum Sa-wol) taking on the role of Jung Kyung-ho’s rookie stylist and eventual love interest who becomes the sole remaining survivor of the nine, ergo the only “Eyewitness” to the devastating plane crash and its aftermath. The country will turn to her for answers, but how much of the harrowing truth she’ll reveal is uncertain because there’s something holding her back.

Sounds like the Kate character.

The show's teaser copy reads, “Top Star x Private Plane x Emergency Landing,” ending with “9 survivors, a mysterious corpse, and just one eyewitness.”

Local critics don't think the series will get much attention when it airs. There were alleged casting and script problems prior to launch.  Korean dramas often use large casts to push several different story lines forward. So it not unusual to cast 9 main actors.

But the premise is very similar to LOST with the exception that the Missing 9 characters actually know each other prior to the plane crash. That may be the only real story twist as the celebrity back stabbing and secrets get unraveled on the island.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


IN the Wizard of Oz, the main characters were seeking something important in their lives: a heart, courage or a brain. The journey to resolve a character deficits was part of the LOST process.

What was the one thing lacking in each of the main character's make-up? What was the one thing that they were desperately looking for?

Locke: family.
Hurley: courage.
Kate: responsibility.
Ben: control.
Jack: true love.
Sayid: purpose.
Shannon: acceptance.
Charlie: sacrifice.
Michael: direction.
Walt: parental love.
Sun: acknowledgement.
Jin: wealth.
Claire: understanding.
Boone:  protector role.
Sawyer: accountability.

Did the series give the main characters opportunities to find what they were looking for? Yes.

Did all of the main characters achieve what they were looking for? No.

Character motivations are powerful tools in story telling. But they mirror the motivations of real people in real life. Series like LOST should give the viewer pause to ask the powerful questions:

What was the one thing lacking in each of your make-up? What was the one thing are you desperately looking for? What is your wish?

Saturday, December 10, 2016


More than a decade after its debut, LOST still has not been successfully copied into a new series.

It had a large ensemble cast. It has a deep, twisted and confusing story lines. It was filmed mostly on location in Hawaii. It was expensive to produce.

There are critical favorite shows with large casts like the Walking Dead, but part of the show premise is to have enough "red shirts" to keep the killing drama moving forward. A game of zombie brain musical chairs can only last so long. There are newer shows like Westworld which attempt to sprinkle mysteries and fan theories in the first season, then hurry to try to answer all of them in the finale. It seemed rushed and pushed to hold fan interest.

One of LOST's own rewards was that the viewer had to figure out what the writers refused to answer in their stories. For example, why would the U.S. Military or Dharma "give up" the island with infinite power to the Others, the natives? But we learned that there are no "native" people on the island. Everyone was brought to it by the island guardian, Jacob. And was Jacob a god, an alien, or a monster? Like an abandoned child, a viewer had to come to their own terms on why the show forced a "happy ending" for the characters in lieu of solving the deepest mysteries of the island, like why some much time and attention was placed on ancient Egyptian mythology.

In one respect, the characters personalities and back stories were fully developed by the use of the flash back story technique. However, the back stories were created to be "filler" to slow down the original island story which was a very simple premise of the plane crash survivors creating a new Robinson Crusoe (ironically rhymes with Rousseau) community on a dangerous island. But once the producers ran out of back filler, it jumped its own production shark with the "flash forward" idea and then to the fantasy aspects of illogical time travel and an alternative character universe.

If you have a deck of a dozen main characters, a dozen secondary characters and a hand full of evil characters, you can deal many different conflicts with ease. So the producers rolled the dice with the idea that you build up conflict through mysteries then quickly shift gears without resolution to the next mystery or conflict. The treadmill story telling became is own genre.

One of the reasons LOST has not been copied is that viewers today have shorter attention spans. There are more competitive forms of entertainment literally at people's finger tips: social media, YouTube, Netflix, etc. Network television's "must see" nightly viewing is a fossilized media dinosaur. The burn rate for new shows is high because advertisers only want to support hit shows. So complex dramas with large casts are not in favor because it is felt such a show is too much of a burden on the viewer to digest and cling to for more than a season. Just look at Vine, the six-second video site that drew millions of pre-teen followers, recently bit the dust.

And consumption of television has changed. A segment of the population enjoys "binge" viewing shows. LOST is not the type of show that lends itself to binge viewing. During its original run, the week between shows was a welcome time to try to figure out what the hell was going on between the characters. The search for easter eggs, arguments for/against fan theories, and the interaction in chat rooms is what made LOST special. To try to binge view LOST today for a first time viewer would be cruel and most likely turn into a train wreck. Most would bail on the program before Ben arrives on the scene.

It is really hard to write something "new."  Many people are looking to find different shows to break the entertainment rut. With the internet and U.S. cable operators expanding to international shows from Mexico, Korea and Europe, viewers can get something different in the dramas that are based on unknown cultures or unknown foreign folktales. For example, a very popular Korean drama series, The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop, airs on KBC World in the U.S. It is a light K-drama that has a large cast of characters but it focuses in on the dynamics of seven different relationships and how they interact between traditional and modern Korean values. For American viewers unfamiliar with traditional Korean culture, it is something beyond the traditional American drama formula. To get something different in your entertainment palette, you have to expand your notion of what you should view (and get over the possibility of watching a program while reading English subtitles).

There were times that subtitles would have been beneficial in LOST. There was a marginal attempt to annotate episodes in an attempt to draw in new viewers when the show began to wobble, but it was mostly an annoying attempt to generically back fill answers to unimportant questions. LOST will continue to fade into history because it is not suitable for syndication or reruns. It will probably go down in television history as one of those "one hit wonders" like in the music industry.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Author Victor Hugo wrote, "There is nothing like a dream to create the future."

In Dream Theory, your subconscious mind recreates worlds in which to run simulations, fantasies and comparisons with data collected by your conscious mind. This duality or mirror image of information is used by humans to frame future references, categorize experiences and hard wire memories.

The signals get crossed when the  subconscious mind escapes from the darkness of the dream state and into the light of reality.

Escape, such as the release of the huge "purple wave" when the Numbers were not put into the computer in time. The Numbers, a sequence of digits to be imputed by rote into the operator's mind. It is symbolic of counting numbers backward in order to fall under anesthesia or like counting sheep in order to achieve slumber.

Once the subconscious mind bleeds over into the real cognitive operations of the mind, one may become unstable, delusional, paranoid, extremely introverted, isolated or angry at the harsh inconsistencies between what should be (as found in the dream state) and what is (reality).

There were many fan theories about LOST which centered on the fact that Hurley was the key character who was always around the action, but never got hurt. Why? Because in the dream state, the person's build in primal safety mechanisms of instinct and reaction will not allow you to get hurt. And if you live in the dream state long enough, you can begin to control it - - - and its perceived outcome. Once you believe you can control your own destiny, you can stand by the sidelines and watch the action knowing that since you created it, you cannot get hurt.

Not getting hurt is another basic human defense system. No one outwardly goes forward in life wanting to hurt themselves, either physically or emotionally. People try to connect at deep, interpersonal levels, to help to cope with the pressures, struggles and pain of normal life activities and relationships. Families are the first and foremost bonds of safety and companionship. But if that bond is weakened or broken early in life, a child may rush to the safety of his own dream state in order to cope with a terrible loss.

Hurley did so when his father left him. His abandonment issues were never resolved in the pre-island world of reality. One could speculate that the island, with a broad base of strange people, was created by Hurley's dream state in order to find permanent replacement friends to fill the void of his lost father since as a child he decided he did not have a future without a father figure to guide him.

Hurley was the one character that got along with everyone on the island, which is a statistical improbability unless Hurley predetermined he would get along with everyone on the island. It is the self-fulfilling prophecy which in itself is a self-directed con, or cheat. He created great, lively, charismatic imaginary friends in order to create a fun, adventurous future for himself (a loser with no ambition or prospects in real life).

In this context, LOST is really a sad, sad story of a young man escaping his own reality in order to hide in his subconscious dream state.

Friday, November 18, 2016


A Japanese proverb states, "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

Modern people are caught in a cruel dilemma. Cultures impose upon individuals a sense of what is expected of them during their lifetime. Families also impose certain structures, values and goals upon their children which may or may not be realistic. Early experiences shape future actions more than people realize, especially the psychological underpinnings of self-esteem, self-worth, shyness, openness or personal anxieties.

The biggest governor in a person's life is the hard wired defense mechanism that a person does not want to get hurt. Hurt, being physical or emotional. As we grow older, the emotional buffer grows stronger because the mental pain of rejection hits deeper.

This post will not get into whether LOST was a daydream or nightmare premise of some character(s).

It is interesting to look deeper into the proverb's claim.

The hardest thing a person has do mentally is set forth action to overcome a difficult thought.

The classic example of this is a young man getting the courage and inner strength to ask his crush for a date.  The ramifications for him are huge. If she says yes, then the weight of the world melts from his shoulders. She likes him. OK. That is the start he was looking for (nervous success to follow). But if she says no, then the young man is crushed. He let himself be venerable by asking the question with the high expectation of a "yes" answer. This experience of pain can haunt him, especially the next time a similar situation happens in his life.

Everyone's mind is a set of dominoes of these types of experiences. One may set off a chain reaction of withdrawal from society. One may set off a relief valve of wayward expectations being corralled into common sense. It is how people work out and balance the fear factor to the potential reward is how one can live a meaningful and happy life.

A happy life is not necessarily what other people give you. A happy life is what you make of yourself.

But if you are leading an unfulfilled  life, one may get more and more caught up in the daydream of a better life. In your mind, the perfect world can be created to insulate yourself from the pain, fear and pressures of interacting with real people. When a daydream takes over a person's focus and bleeds into their daily routine, the person becomes their own anti-social island. Within the confines of their dream island, nothing can go wrong or hurt them because they control the outcome.

But in real life, you don't control the outcome of events. It may be random chance, hard work or a factor of opportunity over latent skill that leads to variable results. You can do the same thing over and over again to get variable results. There are infinite possibilities even in finite situations.

But if the insulated daydream takes over you to the point of not being able to cope in normal, real world situations (which makes your work suffer, your family estranged, or become a shut-in without friends), you create your own island prison of self-contempt.

It is tough to reverse that course because a person builds up layers of defenses to keep from feeling any bad memory pain. The more the defenses, the more difficult it is to open up your mind to gauge reality from fiction.

Hurley is probably the best example of this daydream-nightmare dynamic. His parental abandonment led to deep seated pain and anxiety about his self-worth. He was depressed to the point of changing his appearance to keep people away. He became secretive. He became a wall flower. When he had the courage to ask the record store girl to go out with him, he was on top of the world until his one best friend turned on him - - - after he kept his lottery winnings to himself. Hurley lost the girl and his friend. He retreated more into his fantasy world (creating imaginary friend, Dave, to take the place of everyone who had hurt him).  But it was actually Dave's last appearance on the island that was the path for Hurley to break free of his daydream nightmare. He had to leap off the cliff of self-delusion in order to "wake up" to the reality that he is a good, nice person who had a place in the real world. People would like him. He could find new friends. He could find a good job. He could find a girl and be happy.

But Libby, his dream girl, stopped Hurley from making that great mental leap. And that is the pull of the dream world - - - it keeps one in a safe illusion of happiness even though you are hurting your chances to find real happiness.

Hurley is symbolic of the average person caught between the expectations of others and their own personal issues or demons. You want to be accepted by your peers. You want to make your parents proud. You want to enjoy what you do. But the voice in your head keeps telling you that if you take that action, you will be sorry.

The greatest regrets in life are those "what if" moments of inaction. If you act and fail, then chalk it up to experience. If you don't act (and don't get a positive or negative result), then you are stuck in personal quicksand and that opportunity is lost.

As you can tell, many LOST themes are woven into this situation, including illusion, island, regret, depression, mental issues, and friendship. The idea of self-growth being self-directed is the base line coda of human life. You cannot wait for someone to come by to make you instantly happy. It never happens that way - - - even in the movies.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


In the television re-boot of Westworld, one of the characters recently explained the theory behind the level of "consciousness" in the robotic hosts.  He explained a theory that had been kicked around since the mid-1970s. (Again, when sci-fi shows base their own mythology on actual theories, the premise of the show is enhanced in viewers.)

Bicameralism (the philosophy of "two-chamberedness") is a hypothesis in psychology  that argues that the human mind once assumed a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind. The term was coined by Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3000 years ago.

According to Wikipedia, Jaynes uses governmental bicameralism as a metaphor to describe a mental state in which the experiences and memories of the right hemisphere of the brain are transmitted to the left hemisphere via auditory hallucinations. The metaphor is based on the idea of lateralization of brain function although each half of a normal human brain is constantly communicating with the other through the corpus callosum. The metaphor is not meant to imply that the two halves of the bicameral brain were "cut off" from each other but that the bicameral mind was experienced as a different, non-conscious mental schema wherein volition in the face of novel stimuli was mediated through a linguistic control mechanism and experienced as auditory verbal hallucination.

The bicameral mentality would be non-conscious in its inability to reason and articulate about mental contents through meta-reflection, reacting without explicitly realizing and without the meta-reflective ability to give an account of why one did so. The bicameral mind would thus lack metaconsciousness, autobiographical memory and the capacity for executive "ego functions" such as deliberate mind-wandering and conscious introspection of mental content. When bicamerality as a method of social control was no longer adaptive in complex civilizations, this mental model was replaced by the conscious mode of thought which, Jaynes argued, is grounded in the acquisition of metaphorical language learned by exposure to narrative practice.

According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a schizophrenic. Rather than making conscious evaluations in novel or unexpected situations, the person would hallucinate a voice or "god" giving admonitory advice or commands and obey without question: one would not be at all conscious of one's own thought processes per se. Research into "command hallucinations" that often direct the behavior of those labeled schizophrenic, as well as other voice hearers, supports Jaynes's predictions.

There is application to this theory to LOST. Several fans once remarked that many characters, mostly secondary ones like the Others, were more rote in their thinking and actions than a normal human being. Some tied the work of the Dharma scientists (including mind control) with the possibility that people were brought to the island to supplement, interact and experiment with "conscious androids."

 It is not out of the realm of possibility. LOST's world collides with many random scientific disciplines. Ben was a master of mental manipulation in order to seize and retain his power. Likewise, the idea of reversing the brain's mental polarity back to the ancient way of processing thoughts (3000 + years ago) would back track to the world of ancient Egyptians, another major theme.

As in Westworld, one really does not know who is real and not real on the island. How did some people survive the plane crash, while others did not? Why did the characters have constant "flash backs?" Was it that their "mind" was being reprogrammed with virtual memories? And if these firmware updates tried to over write existing memories, is that why some characters lashed out, had mental breakdowns or began to have nose bleeds?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


"It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory."- - - Paulo Coelho

People are often filled with regrets. Regrets are the lingering pain from experience. A bad break-up can haunt a person for years. The memories and "what I did wrong" without answers can led to life long fears and depression.  It takes a conscious effort to erase the past in order to move on into the future.

Some LOST characters were paralyzed by their pasts.  Many were haunted by abandonment issues. Many were haunted by "daddy" or parent issues. Many believed they were abused. Many believed that they were chosen by fate to have lousy lives. Many believed they were be punished for no apparent reason.

Many characters wanted to escape their present circumstances. Many dreamed of grand adventures. Many believed that they had godlike skills. Many thought they could turn back the clock and change their past.

But in the end, none of them could change their pasts. The only thing they could do was to wake up and acknowledge their past life . . .  and accept it. Accept the consequences of their own actions. Release their regrets and anger against others. To purge themselves of guilt. Free themselves of their own self-pity.

Otherwise, they will continue to rot from the inside to become soul less loners who would contribute nothing to society. They would be crippled by their own memories of a past that was re-written to make them more and more the victim. Victimization can lead to withdrawal and paranoia. It can lead to anti-social behavior. It can lead to a life of perpetual misery.

That is why so many people rely on therapists to help them through their issues. They need to talk their way out of their plight. They need someone to throw them a life preserver. They need someone who believes in them.

LOST's island life was not the true life preserver for the main characters. It was more an amplifier of their fears, anxieties, emotional darkness and loss of life. The island experiences did not set the characters "free" of their memories. No, it reinforced them in a negative way. In some people, like Ben, it emboldened them to act in a more negative manner. Their internal monster's thoughts became a raging real life monster. That is not personal growth but personal destruction because they could not free themselves of the negative memories of their past.

You need to realize that the past is hurting you in the present in order to stop painful memories from stopping you from becoming a better person. We don't think any of the main characters got past their past when they reunited in the church. It seemed like an awkward  25th year high school reunion of long lost strangers than a pivotal change in their lives.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Science wants to have unified answers to the Big Questions. So did LOST viewers.

A new physics model of the universe, formulated by Guillermo Ballestros at the University of Paris-Saclay in France and his colleagues, may be the answer to  explain dark matter, neutrino oscillations, baryogenesis, inflation and the strong CP problem.

Dubbed SMASH, the model is based on the standard model of particle physics, but has a few bits tacked on. The standard model is a collection of particles and forces that describes the building blocks of the universe. Although it has passed every test thrown at it, it can’t explain some phenomena.

For example,  science does not understand dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 84 per cent of the universe’s mass. Nor why there is more matter than antimatter. Nor why the universe grew so rapidly in its youth during a period known as "inflation."  

Something is still fundamentally missing from the standard model. Scientists think they new "new" particles to help balance or explain the formulas.

Some models, like supersymmetry,  add hundreds of particles – none of which have been spotted at colliders like the LHC. But SMASH adds only six: three neutrinos, a fermion and a field that includes two particles.

SMASH is several theories smashed together. It builds on Shaposhnikov’s model from 2005, which added three neutrinos to the three already known in order to solve four fundamental problems in physics: dark matter, inflation, some questions about the nature of neutrinos, and the origins of matter.
SMASH adds a new field to explain some of those problems a little differently. This field includes two particles: the axion, a dark horse candidate for dark matter, and the inflaton, the particle behind inflation.

As a final flourish, SMASH uses the field to introduce the solution to a fifth puzzle: the strong CP problem, which helps explain why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

Why is this important? Curiosity about the heavens has been the main focal point of humanity from the very beginning. Our first ancestors looked up to the sky and wondered what it was. The sun and the moon orbits fascinated people. They used the sky to help organize their lives to correspond to the seasons. Some sociologists believe that the questions about nature helped develop mankind's brain function to be the planet's alpha species. 

To unlock the building blocks of the universe may be the key to understanding everything: what causes cancer, why humans have a limited life span, what elements of the universe are or are not on Earth?

As these questions continue to puzzle science, they are also used by writers to speculate on how the lack of knowledge can be captured into dramatic prose. The "what if" premise of film and television shows stokes the curiosity of the viewer. If there is a real sci-fi backbone in the stories, it can mentor people to find scientific careers (as many NASA employees admit Star Trek did for them.)

LOST had an opportunity to inspire a new generation to science if it captured the essence of any new theory about the universe in its mythological story foundation. But it did not. It still remains a disappointing lapse by the show runners. These new scientific theories could have helped explain the time/space tangents, the strange EM radiation and the Numbers used in the Hatch.

Friday, October 28, 2016


"A day without laughter is a day wasted.” - - - Charlie Chaplin

Friday, October 21, 2016


As October creeps toward Halloween, with scores of creepy clowns popping up along the roadsides of America, the season gets us back to one element of LOST - - - dream theories.

But in this holiday season, nightmares.

One can broadly classify dreamers into two categories:

1. The upbeat, positive daydreamer who fantasizes about a better life for him or her self.

2. The depressed, anxiety ridden, negative sleeper who tosses and turns at night with ghastly visions of danger and horror.

Many scientists believe that dreams during sleep have major conscious contributions to a person's life. They believe that dreams are the mind's computer running simulations of potential events to gauge how the person (sleeper) will react if the simulation comes true. This is part of a probable ancient self-protection mechanism to teach instinct and survival skills.

The human mind is a complex thing which probably has hard wired in itself self-preservation.

So, one could presume that people who have happy dreams are living happy waking lives.

The counter part to that presumption is that people who have nightmares are living unhappy lives.

There is probably a gray area of people who lead mixed waking lives (people who are caught in a rut, dream of better things, or at times fear the worst.)

When you look at the scope of LOST's story lines, most center upon what would consider a negative path. The drama that incorporates danger, death and violence is easier to comprehend and compel viewership.

Each of the main characters on the show had deep seeded concerns about their lives. There were more negative emotions driving character actions than happy-go-lucky personalities.

Many characters had deep, unresolved emotional issues such as abandonment, abuse, social anxiety disorders and irrational fears. Many characters were heading down the road to nervous breakdowns, anti-social behavior or addiction/retreat from society.

So it is no wonder that these characters "wound up" together in the same place.

The place (and what it represents) is a matter for another discussion. But the series may have been an attempt to work through the characters underlying secrets, unresolved conflicts and personal angsts in the form of living island nightmares (real and imagined).

Monday, October 3, 2016


In 1973, a movie called Westworld captured the sci-fi world with its realistic but imaginative look at an artificial intelligence based theme resort. The concept has rebooted itself in an HBO series.

In the original movie, guests could chose to live out their sexual pleasures in either a Wild West town (filled with brothels, prostitutes, drunks and gunslingers) or at a Roman orgy (with its own backstabbing senators, harlots and slaves).

The sci-fi foundation for the movie (adapted from Michael Crichton’s popular book) was that advanced robotics would come to recreate the human body to almost flawless perfection. The skin, eyes, pores, hair and features would look and feel real. The artificial brain would be almost as fast as a human brain. The last leap would be whether the androids would find a consciousness in their programs.

The drama unfolds when the robots malfunction. The gunslinger goes on a killing rampage when its "do not harm guests" governor malfunctions.

It is a classic trope of machines taking their program intelligence into conscious rage against their human creators.

This does go back to one theory of LOST. A few viewers believed that the island itself was a Westworld-type creation. It contained human robots interacting with "guests" in an adventure theme park setting. The theme was a cross between Survivor and Robinson Caruso. Two teams, the 815ers and the Others, battled to control the island. Each team was filled with robots to churn the game activity.

One example was Patchy, the Other who apparently died several times during the series. Yet, he continued to pop up to turn a story line gruesome. He was like the gunslinger in Westworld who continually got gunned down by a guest, only to return after repairs.

There is no clear distinction between who were the "guests" and who were the android game players. One could assume flight attendant Cindy was an android as an Other she mixed with both groups. One could think Jacob was also robotic. Even though his body was burned to cinders, he appeared again to the 815ers in human form to guide them on their island decisions. Even Desmond, who was jolted in the EM machine, and had program glitches (his visions) could be considered an android prop in the storylines. Even Locke would be considered a hapless robot since his form was found dead in the Ajira hold at the same time he was walking the island (with new character program of Flocke).

If you put LOST into the context of a Westworld sci-fi world, it does add some unique "what ifs" in the mythology of the series.

Monday, September 19, 2016


According to Stephen Hawking, there are plausible explanations for no paradox in time travel:
“A possible way to reconcile time travel, with the fact that we don't seem to have had any visitors from the future, would be to say that it can occur only in the future. In this view, one would say space-time in our past was fixed, because we have observed it, and seen that it is not warped enough, to allow travel into the past.”
Carl Sagan made a similar argument during a NOVA interview in the 1990s: “Maybe backward time travel is possible, but only up to the moment that time travel is invented. We haven't invented it yet, so they can't come to us. They can come to as far back as whatever it would be, say A.D. 2300, but not further back in time.”

So, time travel may indeed be possible, but you can’t go back any further than the point at which the time machine was first invented in the space-time line.

This line of reasoning would mean that there would be little chance of a time traveling paradox - - - i.e. going back in time to kill Hitler before World War II. But it also stops future paradoxes since the time traveler would not not what the future holds when he arrives in the future so he cannot change it. But perhaps, his mere presence in the future would cause changes that could alter the future - - - but then, is his arrival already part of that future time line?

The Hawking-Sagan reasoning was not applied in LOST. The characters quickly time skipped to the past (1970s) and to the future-present. There was no logical or systemic way the island took only a few characters along for the time ride, while leaving others in different time periods in the same place. In LOST's time travel loops, it is more likely that there were not truly time-space jumps but hallucinations, simulations, vivid dreams or laboratory rat experiments to challenge and change the main characters behaviors.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


The Guardian (UK) reports that the old stories from ancient Egypt will get a modern translation.

Toby Wilkinson said he had decided to begin work on the anthology because there was a missing dimension in how ancient Egypt was viewed: “The life of the mind, as expressed in the written word.”

The written tradition lasted nearly 3,500 years and writing is found on almost every tomb and temple wall. Yet there had been a temptation to see it as “mere decoration”, he said, with museums often displaying papyri as artefacts rather than texts.

The public were missing out on a rich literary tradition, Wilkinson said. “What will surprise people are the insights behind the well-known facade of ancient Egypt, behind the image that everyone has of the pharaohs, Tutankhamun’s mask and the pyramids.”
Hieroglyphs were pictures but they conveyed concepts in as sophisticated a manner as Greek or Latin script, he said. Filled with metaphor and symbolism, they reveal life through the eyes of the ancient Egyptians. Tales of shipwreck and wonder, first-hand descriptions of battles and natural disasters, songs and satires make up the anthology, titled Writings from Ancient Egypt.

Penguin Classics, which is releasing the book on Wednesday, described it as a groundbreaking publication because “these writings have never before been published together in an accessible collection."

Wilkinson, a fellow of Clare College and author of other books on ancient Egypt, said some of the texts had not been translated for the best part of 100 years. “The English in which they are rendered – assuming they are in English – is very old-fashioned and impenetrable, and actually makes ancient Egypt seem an even more remote society,” he said.

There was a heavy ancient Egyptian theme in LOST. I spent many days trying to translate the set hieroglyphs to determine meaning of the show's plots and basic premise. I always thought there had to be a reason for such difficult detail of set design with the hieroglyphs to NOT mean something important in the show mythology.

The Book of the Dead was the text that stated the ancient belief system of what happened to a person when they died (their body and soul would separate and reunite after a journey through the underworld). But this new book will translate everyday life of the Egyptians: from stories, songs and writings of average farmers to give us a view of what this society was thinking and doing thousands of years ago. I suspect it will be a fascinating read.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Monday, August 29, 2016


A recent article in suggests that some researchers have found evidence for an alternative possibility: that dreams are a form of threat simulation, readying your brain in the rare event that you do find yourself confronted (pantsless or otherwise) with a dangerous situation.

According to this theory, outlined by cognitive researcher Jim Davies, dreams act as a dress rehearsal for dangerous scenarios in real life. Support for the idea comes in several forms, beginning with the fact that our most vivid and memorable dreams tend to be more like archetypal nightmares.

"They have a tendency to feature negative emotions—fearful, angry, and anxious dreams are more common than happy ones," Davies writes. "And the things we dream about tend to be biased in the direction of ancient dangers rather than more modern ones. We dream about being chased by animals and monsters more than having our credit card defrauded, even though most of us have very little real-life experience of being chased by animals (or monsters)."

Additionally, there are clues to the purpose of dreaming in the way the human subconscious responds to real-world events. In 2008, researchers at Tufts discovered a shift in the way people dreamed immediately after 9/11, as dreams about being attacked increased in intensity and frequency. But while people were having more and worse nightmares, they weren't about plane crashes or terrorism; the central imagery of their dreams remained unchanged, suggesting that their brains were reaching for an ancient script about being under threat —and rehearsing for the possibility of a future catastrophe—rather than reliving the memory of the recent tragedy. Per the researchers, the evidence pointed to dreams being an "emotionally guided construction or creation, not a replay of waking experience."

Another curious link between dreaming and disaster-preparedness: the phenomenon of prescient dreams. Though not formally researched, anecdotes abound from people who've dreamed of a frightening experience only to then live through it in real life. For instance, in 1983, 20-year-old painter James Murphy III survived a terrifying fall from his job site atop the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in upstate New York, plummeting more than 150 feet into five feet of marshy water on the coast of the Hudson River. In an interesting wrinkle, Murphy's mother reported that he had dreamed about falling the previous night, and that in the dream, he took a tuck position upon entering the water, protecting his head and neck—a move he repeated the next day when he plunged into the Hudson. Did dreaming his way through the fall beforehand contribute to Murphy's quick thinking, and subsequent survival, in that critical moment? The theory of dreams as threat simulation suggests that the answer is yes.

There's a lot to learn yet about why and how we dream, and per Davies, the most likely explanation is that dreaming is a multi-faceted and multi-functional process. But in the meantime, everything we know about the usefulness of mental "practice" supports the idea that dreams help prepare you to navigate the waking world. Studies show that visualizing yourself performing a skill makes you substantially better at it. And for the minority of people who are capable of lucid dreaming—the practice of recognizing when you're in a dream and taking control of the narrative—there's no end to the things you can learn to do while you're asleep.

"You can rehearse any skill in a lucid dream," Daniel Erlacher, a researcher at the University of Bern, Switzerland who led a study in which lucid dreaming led to improved performance in a coin toss game, told the Harvard Business Review.  "It has been well established that athletes who mentally rehearse an activity can improve their performance, and it makes sense that dreams can achieve the same effect."

And much like the reports of prescient dreaming, anecdotal evidence certainly supports the concept of rehearsing for real life in your dreams (be they lucid or not). German researcher Paul Tholey, who founded the scientific study of dreams (oneirology), for one, used himself as a guinea pig.
"He claimed that by practicing in his dreams, he’d learned to snowboard so well that he could do it without bindings, which is almost impossible," said Erlacher. "I’ve spoken with people who went snowboarding with him, and they watched him do it. So there has been some validation."

Thursday, August 25, 2016


In Dying to Wake Up, Dr. Rajiv Parti, the Chief of Anesthesiology at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital in California, writes in his new book that an experience from "the Divine" changed him forever. 

Following this experience Parti gave away his mansion, quit his career, and opened a wellness clinic.
Parti claims to provide "rare details of heaven, hell, the afterlife, and angels." According to Parti, during his near-death experience he encountered "archangels" and his deceased father who showed him "through the tortures of hell."

Parti purports that to this day he still converses with angels and "spreads their wisdom to the living."
While there have been many books published by people that have experienced something similar to Parti, the book genre isn't without its critics.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of the book, Hallucinations,  wrote these "life-altering religious experiences" are "hallucinations," and that "whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience."

What strikes me from this summary account of Parti's experience is that mirrors the basic premise of LOST.  Jack was guided through the tortures of the island hell by his deceased father, Christian. And once Jack survived his initial island test in the underworld, he gave up everything to return to save his friends.

The title invokes another theme of the show, "waking up."  In the after life, the characters had to "wake up" to the realization that they were dead. So what was their experiences prior to that revelation? 

Could each of the characters be going through separate near death experiences that funnel into this island hell gateway? As we speculated in the past, each of the main characters had a back story element where they could have died in real life. 

The idea of Jack's deceased father shepherding him through the stages of death, preparing him for the after life, is an appealing notion. It reinforces major religious symbolism. It also reinforces the bonds of friendship can cross barriers, including death.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


A black hole is a region of space in which gravity exerts such an enormous pull that nothing—not even light—can escape. That’s the simple definition of a black hole. But if you talk to a physicist, they’ll also describe a black hole as a region of very severely curved space-time—so sharply curved, in fact, that it’s “pinched off,” so to speak, from the rest of the universe.

This idea of curved space-time goes back to the work of Einstein. It was Einstein who put forward his theory of gravity, known as the general theory of relativity. According to the theory, matter curves, or distorts, the very fabric of space. A small object like Earth causes only a small amount of distortion; a star like our Sun causes more warping. And what about a very heavy, dense object? According to Einstein’s theory, if you squeeze enough mass into a small enough space, it will undergo a collapse, forming a black hole; the amount of warping will become infinite.

The boundary of the black hole is known as the “event horizon”—the point of no return. Matter that crosses the event horizon can never return to the outside. In this sense, the inside of a black hole is not even a part of our universe: Whatever might be happening there, we can never know about, since no signal from the inside can ever reach the outside. According to general relativity, the center of a black hole will contain a “singularity”—a point of infinite density and of infinitely curved space-time.

But what is "infinite density" and "infinite curved space time?" 

A personal theory is that it death.

The human body is made up of twisted molecules that produce cells that harness and retain energy. In one respect, each of us is their own universe. It is a self-contained complex system of checks, balances, functions and movements. Science thinks it knows how the human body works - - - but cannot produce it artificially by combining chemicals and energy in a test tube.

The spark of life is unique. So should be the amber of death.

In major religions, when a person dies they are "reborn" in the afterlife, whether it be heaven with the spirits of one's ancestors and loved ones, to be reincarnated as another life form on Earth. In some ways, this is a comfort to the living that death itself has a purpose. A continuation of life is a noble goal.

But if at the end, all energy in a person's body combines and pools itself in one last gasp to breathe life in the organic host, with such density as to leave the body - - -  one could say that a person's soul has left on another journey. If the soul is an encoded energy source, it could carry a person's thoughts, memories, stories, loves, hates, emotions, and dreams to the vastness of eternity. It could replay those life stories forever, or combine them with new souls to create new memories.

The latter seems to fall into the pattern of the final season of LOST, with the souls in the sideways world recombining to make new memories.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


The Washington Post recently had a story about a question that humans have pondered forever: where are the other intelligent beings in the universe?

Italian physicist Enrico Fermi once famously exclaimed "Where is everybody!" “Scientists have been trying to answer his question with this logic: we exist, so aliens should exist too.

According to one new solution, we have not seen or heard from any galactic neighbors because we are still waiting for them to be born. And it will, according to the calculations, be a long time before we can throw other solar systems a baby shower. If you grade earthlings on a cosmic curve, as recently hashed out by Harvard and Oxford University astrophysicists, we’re at the head of the class.

And this done make some common sense. In school, we learned the basics about our universe. And we were told about the Big Bang Theory, that the center of the known universe exploded outward to form all the mineral, chemical and cosmic properties (galaxies, stars, comets, etc.) Earth sits at the outer edge of the center of the universe. When science has been trying to find other life, they direct their telescopes and listening devices towards the center. But should not they be pointing them at the sides of the Earth's outer edge - - - to systems as old as our solar system?

A new study published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics calculated the probability that life as we know it should exist at any given point in the universe. Based on their assumptions, Earthly life is quite likely premature.

By the standards of the universe, humans are some of the earliest intelligent life around. You may have heard of ancient aliens on basic cable television. But, according to cosmic probability, the ancient aliens are us.
For life as we know it to arise, organisms require three things: carbon-based chemistry, liquid water and an energy source. The most crucial source of all three requirements is a star. Stars  fuse protons and electrons into carbon and other elements; stars heat up water in the so-called habitable zone and stars provide a steady sunny stream of radiation. Scientists scan the solar systems to find the right combination of star, planet distance and likelihood of water to see if it possible for organic life.

Stars play such an important role in our understanding of life that they dominate the researchers’ equation. The scientists’ timeline begins about 30 million years after the Big Bang happened, which as far as we can tell was 13.8 billion years ago. Their timeline ends far in the future due to the long-lasting red dwarf stars, which have lengthy wicks that burn for roughly 10 trillion years. (A yellow dwarf, by comparison, has a only 10 billion years of fuel.

Crucially, what red dwarf stars also have going for them is strength in numbers. The Milky Way is filled with red dwarfs. About three-quarters of all the stars in the galaxy are red dwarfs.

Our sun is not a red dwarf. It is a rarer thing, a yellow dwarf, a star 10 times more massive but one that will flare out much sooner. That we exist around a yellow dwarf, per the scientists’ equation, makes us the true space oddities.

So if Earth humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, why did our ancient ancestors almost universally say that the planet was seeded by alien beings? Why do most religions believe in a creation story of extraworldly gods and angels creating mankind? 

It could be the natural curiosity hard wired into the human brain - - - ancient humans looking up at the stars in the sky may have asked the same question as Fermi. We cannot be alone in the vastness of space.

Human beings also have a sense and need to belong to a bigger group, a family and a community. At a planetary level, that need stills exists. Ancient ancestors were wandering nomads scraping by a subsistence existence. They were one with nature and nature was bigger than them. And when small bands of people found other people in their journeys, it solidified the notion that they were not alone in this world. Communication and trade of ideas and beliefs would reinforce the global notion that there has to be life in the magical stars.

Scientists are still searching for confirmation of that magic in the stars.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Friday, August 5, 2016


The London Daily Mail had a recent article describing what an Australian professor claims that our entire existence could be an elaborate illusion controlled by a genius evil scientist.

The premise is that you are not where you think you are. 

Your brain has been expertly removed from your body and is being kept alive in a vat of nutrients that sits on a laboratory bench.

The nerve endings of your brain are connected to a supercomputer that feeds you all the sensations of everyday life. 

This is why you think you're living a completely normal life.

Do you still exist? Is the world as you know it a figment of your imagination or an illusion constructed by this evil supercomputer network?

Could you prove to someone that you are not actually a brain in a vat?

As the article states, the philosopher Hilary Putnam proposed this famous version of the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment in his 1981 book, Reason, Truth and History, but it is essentially an updated version of the French philosopher René Descartes' notion of the Evil Genius from his 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy.

While such thought experiments might seem glib – and perhaps a little unsettling – they serve a useful purpose. They are used by philosophers to investigate what beliefs we can hold to be true and, as a result, what kind of knowledge we can have about ourselves and the world around us.

Descartes thought the best way to do this was to start by doubting everything, and building our knowledge from there. Using this skeptical approach, he claimed that only a core of absolute certainty will serve as a reliable foundation for knowledge. 

He said: If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

It is from Descartes that we get classical skeptical queries favored by philosophers such as: how can we be sure that we are awake right now and not asleep, dreaming?

To take this challenge to our assumed knowledge further, Descartes imagines there exists an omnipotent, malicious demon that deceives us, leading us to believe we are living our lives when, in fact, reality could be very different to how it appears to us.

This premise has been discussed as a possible explanation to the LOST mythology. 

For example, who did Patchy of the Others survive being killed by the sonic fence and the island visitors to somehow come back to kill Charlie with an underwater explosive? To have nine lives, a human has to be unrealistically lucky or be reincarnated many times over. Or in this premise, he never really died because he was never really alive. He was a computer simulation, a reusable prop, to infuse the subject jar brains with conflict, reality, drama and emotional responses.

Another explanation of the evil genius controlling everything was inferred from the huge military industrial complex that was the island. Human experiments were part of the mission of the island scientists. It is not a great leap to see how an unseen overlord could have been directing the action, just like the man behind the curtain in the series nod to the Wizard of Oz. 

And this article does touch upon the embedded theme throughout the series: philosophy. Characters like Locke and Hume were named after famous philosophers. The characters had to make philosophic decisions between right and wrong, free will or capture. LOST could be viewed as an interactive thesis of philosophic questions being run through various programs in a supercomputer.

Because of the various continuity errors and story line red herrings, many LOST fans questioned the truth of the series story lines. There was doubt that the story writers and show runners actually knew what they were doing. Many have been searching for answers to explain or cover-up the show's big flaws. So, in a way, many continue to do a philosophic autopsy on the show to glean new information and explanations to make the show better in their own minds.

The mind is a powerful but not very well understood thing. It is an intangible element incorporated in the tangible brain. Our current science studies state how we "think" the mind works, but no one has shown the ability to download, in real time, the mental images of a human being onto a monitor. It is merely speculation, educated guess, theory. But what if there were a higher being who could actually tap into the conscious and subconscious mind of human beings - - -  for entertainment or research purposes? That would put the human race on par with gold fish in an cosmic aquarium.

Sunday, July 31, 2016


In the Boston Globe recently, Linda Rodriguez McRobbie tells the story of a British man named Alpha Kabeja, who came out of a coma with clear recollection of memories of things that had never happened.

Kabeja, McRobbie writes, was biking, when he was hit by a van with enough force to knock his brain out of place inside his skull. When he came out of a medically induced coma three weeks later,
McRobbie writes, "doctors told his family he might not remember anything from before the accident, or remember them or who he was, that he might have amnesia." But Kabeja woke up full of memories.

The only problem: None of those things were true!

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Kabeja clung to his new memories, and his family and friends played along. But there was no pregnancy. There was no private plane. There was no job interview, which Kabeja realized only after he called MI6 and learned their offices had been closed the day of the accident.

But the "memories" weren't totally fantastical — related things had been happening in Kabeja's life before the accident, leading him to believe that his subconscious had twisted real pieces of information into new forms:

In that sense, McRobbie argues, Kabeja's brain was simply going a step further than ours do, every day, when we recall a piece of the past. No autobiographical memory is a fixed, literal record of what really happened; memories are malleable, morphing each time we call them forth, to accommodate new information stored elsewhere in the brain. Sometimes, this means small tweaks; other times, it means we're left with recollections that others might see as outright fabrications. Even people with extraordinary capacities for recall, research has shown, are prone to inadvertently making things up.

Kabeja's false memories then, may have been an attempt to make sense of the long gap when he was unconscious in the hospital — without any real autobiographical memories of that stretch of time, his brain may have simply pulled other memories from elsewhere to fill in the lost weeks. "When you wake up, your brain is trying to reconnect pieces because your brain is trying to recover that sense of you, that sense of memory, that sense of history," Julia Shaw, a memory researcher at London South Bank University, told the Globe. "And in that process of recovery and essentially healing, you can make connections in ways that are fantastical and impossible" — but not so far removed from memory as we might like to think.

If our brain has its own operating program where it writes, stores and re-writes information like a computer hard drive, then any interruption of this normal brain function could lead to dramatic "new false memories" being created to explain one's current situation.

Memories (or in LOST, at times, the loss of the collective memory of the characters) was an ebb and flow in the story lines. Where the flashbacks and backstories really true? Or were they the reconstruction of different bits of information and fantasy caused by brain injuries to the surviving passengers of the plane crash?

Monday, July 25, 2016


Some researchers now see popular ideas like string theory and the multiverse as highly suspect. These physicists feel our study of the cosmos has been taken too far from what data can constrain with the extra "hidden" dimensions of string theory and the unobservable other universes of the multiverse. Of course, there are many scientists who continue to see great promise in string theory and the multiverse. But, as researchers wrote in the New York Times last year, it all adds up to muddied waters and something some researchers see as a "crisis in physics."

Some scientists believe this crisis is real — and it's acute. They pull no punches in their sense that the lack of empirical data has led the field astray. As they put it:
"Science is corrupted when it abandons the discipline of empirical validation or dis-confirmation. It is also weakened when it mistakes its assumptions for facts and its ready-made philosophy for the way things are."
Fraud in academics is not new. One of the reasons that spawns concerns is that huge government education grants target specific research which may bias independent research.

For example, global warming studies have sent billions of research dollars into academia. However, critics view scientists creating their own "computer models" to study the Earth's temperature defy one of science's fundamental processes: observation, recordation, interpretation, and thesis. If you start with a pre-determined scientific thesis, you work backwards in order to create a result.

If the Earth is warming, the vast majority of funded scientists claim it is man made pollution or CO2 emissions (which have to contained, regulated and taxed by the same governments funding the studies). But these studies fail the third grade smell test. Who did not learn in elementary school that the climate of our planet is determine by the solar radiation of the sun, the orbit of the Earth and tilt of its axis? None of those factors are tested in current climate studies.

And the studies send alarm bells to the general public who are not told that the Earth has had cycles of warm periods and cold periods (including ice ages). The dinosaurs that lived in tropical climates that people visit at museums were dug up in currently chilly Montana.

Another example is the daily headline that some study has found something GOOD for your health or something is BAD for your health. You have to look to the fine print to find out who funded the study. If a manufacturing or product lobbying group funded the research with a "pro" conclusion, there may be serious bias built in the result. Or if a study claims "meat" is toxic death but it was funded by a vegan environmental group, you have to take the results with a grain of salt.

Science needs critical thinking in order to make real breakthroughs.

If big pharma companies continue to poor millions in R&D to help symptoms of disease (with numerous side effects), they are not looking for a cure for the underlying disease. There are still only a handful of actual vaccines for known diseases. It is odd that with the advancement in medical technology that more cures have not been found.

Some believe that genetic and DNA manipulation are the keys to finding breakthrough medical treatments. But none of the basic childhood vaccines needed genetic testing in order to be found and manufactured for the masses.

Many of the cures were found by scientists and physicians who were looking for a solution to solve a real life problem in their practices. They were not out to make money but to make a contribution to public health. It may be a sentimental folly to ask that today's researchers shed their green colored visors to look for the greater good when there is so much money to be made in modern medicine.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Another functioning LOST fan site had its review of Wrecked, the TBS parody of LOST. It concluded that the show was awful.

Some commentators remarked that the Wrecked show's monsters were going to be jungle zombies.

Another commentator replied:

I wonder whether the makers of this show are either insiders or figured out "Lost" themselves.
The makers of "Lost" kidded about a season 7 of zombies, and that was actually a funny clue to the plot of "Lost", because it recalls the way zombies are said to be produced: You induce brain damage in someone, then convince hir that s/he's a certain identified person risen from the dead. That's close to what some of the principal characters on "Lost" had undergone. They were knocked out, convinced they'd been in an airline wreck that in reality killed everybody aboard, and made to believe they were particular individuals known to have been on the flight. It helped that they'd been selected for their resemblance to those persons, and in some cases given plastic surgery to improve the resemblance. They were threatened with disillusionment when they found out flight 815 was found on the bottom of the ocean, but the cover story was that that had been a fake wreck populated with dug-up dead bodies. However, planted among these characters were those who knew all along what was going on, or discovered it at some point.

 I had not heard about the potential LOST tangent theory of the characters actually being zombies. But it does contain many of the plot elements of LOST.

LOST was filled with medical experiments and military-industrial complex stations. To hijack a plane or create a plane crash to re-program other individuals into believing that they are someone else falls within the Big Con aspect of the series tangents. There was really never a reason for the castaways to be told that the Flight 815 wreckage that was found was a "fake." (In previous posts on the subject, I found it an unrealistic and unbelievable plot point - - - if wreckage was found, investigators would have retrieved the black boxes and bodies for positive ID. But when the alleged black box showed up on Widmore's freighter, all sense of truth was lost in that story plot.)

Room 23 was used for mental conditioning experiments; brain washing. The Hydra island was used to implant control technology into sharks. There was a scientific foundation to explain was what really happening on the island.

Can you take a bunch of "lost" people from around the world - - - loners, unhappy folks, fugitives and the depressed - - - and crash their lives to the point where they are living the life of another person? Jack was not Jack but someone playing Jack.

Why would this be important? If a person or government could perfect this personality implant in a stranger, that stranger can be weaponized to take the place of generals, presidents or powerful people in the real world. Dopplegangers could be controlled by an elite group, such as Dharma or Widmore or the U.S. military.

The Zombie Theory to LOST seems as plausible as any other fan theory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Researchers have found a gene mutation which allows some people to sleep as little as four hours a night.

Researchers discovered a tiny mutation in a gene DEC2 that was present in those who were short-sleepers, but not in members of the family who had normal length sleep, nor in 250 unrelated volunteers.

When the team bred mice to express this same mutation, the rodents also slept less but performed just as well as regular mice when given physical and cognitive tasks.

Getting too little sleep normally has a significant impact on health, quality of life and life expectancy. It can cause depression, weight gain and put you at greater risk of stroke and diabetes. “Sleep is so important, if you sleep well you can avoid many diseases, even dementia,” said the lead researcher. “If you deprive someone of just two hours sleep a day, their cognitive functions become significantly impaired almost immediately.”
But why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery. The general consensus is that the brain needs sleep to do some housekeeping and general maintenance, since it doesn’t get much downtime during the day. While we sleep, the brain can repair cellular damage, remove toxins that accumulate during the day, boost flagging energy supplies and lay down memories.

People with the DEC2 mutation can do the same cleaning up process in a shorter period of time – they are just more efficient than the rest of us at sleeping.

Since discovering the DEC2 mutation, a lot of people have come forward claiming to only sleep a few hours a day. Most of these had insomnia. “We’re not focusing on those people who have sleeping issues that make them sleep less, we wanted to focus on people who sleep for a few hours and feel great.”
A positive outlook is common among all of the short-sleepers  studied. “Anecdotally,” the report says, “they are all very energetic, very optimistic. It’s very common for them to feel like they want to cram as much into life as they can, but we’re not sure how or whether this is related to their mutations.”

One can assume sleep deprivation can cause lingering mental issues including concentration, nightmares, lack of focus, anxiety, stress, tiredness and physical and mental mistakes. It sounds like much of the early characters coping with the island. In fact, rarely did we see any character sleeping or awaking from a deep slumber. It was non-stop action and reaction.

Is that itself a clue to the dynamics of the story? Were the fact that the LOST characters on edge, seeing smoke monsters, hallucinations and voices really caused by sleep deprivation? And if this was a giant experiment to determine who could function with less REM sleep, did anyone come close to a functioning, normal human being?

Saturday, July 16, 2016


LOST was filled with vague references and illusions to philosophers.

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains" said philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was born in Geneva in 1712.

Rousseau left home at 16 and wandered around Europe for the next 14 years. He moved to Paris when he was 30, and took up with a group of philosophers. He also took up with Thérèse Le Vasseur, a semi-literate laundry maid at his hostel; the two began a lifelong relationship that produced five children, according to Rousseau. He placed all of them into orphanages.

Rousseau was well versed in music, and wrote ballets and operas; he could easily have been successful as a composer, but the stage made his Swiss Calvinist sensibilities uneasy.

One day he was walking to visit his friend and fellow philosopher Denis Diderot, who was in jail, and he had an epiphany: modern progress had corrupted rather than improved mankind.

He became famous overnight upon publication of his essay "A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts" (1750). The essay informed nearly everything else he wrote, and eventually he would turn away completely from music and the theater to focus on literature. In "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality" (1755) he continued to explore the theme that civilization had led to most of what was wrong with people: living in a society led to envy and covetousness; owning property led to social inequality; possessions led to poverty.

Society exists to provide peace and protect those who owned property, and therefore government is unfairly weighted in favor of the rich.

In it, he wrote: "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."

His work would prove inspirational to the leaders of the French Revolution, and they adopted the slogan from The Social Contract: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

He grew increasingly paranoid in his later years, convinced that his friends were plotting against him. He spent some time in England with David Hume, but his persecution complex eventually alienated him from most of his associates.

Rousseau's character in LOST has some vague patterns to the 18th Century philosopher.
Rousseau came to the island as part of an exploration crew. She was pregnant. Her husband was an intellectual, a scientist. Their ship crashed on the island, which could only mean that Jacob brought them to it as candidates in his game with MIB. She is the second known candidate brought to the island as a pregnant woman. Jacob's own mother shipwrecked on the island centuries earlier, but she was killed by the guardian.

On the island, LOST's Rousseau lost her child to Ben's Others. In a sense, Alex was "an orphan" because Rousseau did not come back to get her bad (until it was too late). Instead, Rousseau abandoned society and lived on the island on her own. As a result, she grew increasingly paranoid in her plots to attack and counterattack against the Others. It was only after she failed to kill Sayid after capturing him did she begin to change her attitude toward her plight.

She began to work with the 815 survivors. Rousseau led the group up to the radio tower, and on the way met her daughter, Alex. She communicated with her for the first time, and Alex herself seemed curious about her. The two tied Ben up together, and headed on to the radio tower. Danielle stated earlier to Jack that she would help them find rescue, but would not be leaving herself. She said the Island is the only place she knows, and is her home.

At the native's darkest hour, when Widmore's soldiers were laying siege to the Dharma compound, did Rousseau come to terms with her motherhood. Ben was worried about Alex's safety so he begged Rousseau to take her to the safety of the Temple. On December 27, 2004, while she, Alex, and Karl were traveling from the Barracks to the Temple, they were ambushed by Keamy's mercenaries. Both Rousseau and Karl were shot dead. Alex was taken back as a hostage to be killed when Ben refused to surrender.

Rousseau was betrayed by the imposter, Ben, the faux father of Alex. She let her guard down in order to serve Ben's plan of survival. But in the end, it cost her and her daughter's lives. It was the battle of territory, the island, which philosopher Rousseau condemned as being the source of mankind's evil came to pass as Danielle and Alex's demise.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Typically, when a person’s heart stops beating, they’re pronounced dead. But don’t tell that to their genes, some of which only come to life two days after they’ve kicked the bucket.

In fact, hundreds of genes suddenly started churning out messenger RNA, which sends a signal to various cellular machines to start making the stuff of life, such as proteins. Peter Noble and Alex Pozhitkov, both at the University of Washington, discovered this life-after-death scenario in mice and zebrafish. They released their results recently on the BioRxiv, a prepublication server.

Some of our genes don't peak in activity until after we die (though not in these people—they're taking part in a disaster response simulation).
Anna Williams, reporting for New Scientist:
Hundreds of genes with different functions “woke up” immediately after death. These included fetal development genes that usually turn off after birth, as well as genes that have previously been associated with cancer. Their activity peaked about 24 hours after death.
For most genes, overall mRNA levels should decrease over time after death. However, in 548 zebrafish genes and 515 mouse genes, mRNA levels peaked after death. This meant that the decaying bodies had enough excess energy for these genes to switch on and continue functioning long after the animal died.

The big question following these findings is why these specific genes turn on after the heart has stopped beating. One hypothesis, Noble and Pozhitkov said, is that the body using the last of its energy to heal itself, similar to what happens while someone is alive.

The second hypothesis researchers have for why this may be happening has to do with how DNA unravels following death.

It takes time for the DNA to be unraveled by proteins called histones, according to Noble. As it unravels, genes that were previously silent, such as those involved in embryological development, may become active again as the genes that are used to suppress them break down.

“You’d think that when something dies, that everything would be turned off and everything would be silent, but that’s not the case,” Noble told NOVA Next. “In complex organisms, when we suddenly die, it takes awhile for the [DNA] complexes to break down, and they reach many barriers.”

Though the study focused on mice and zebrafish, the two organisms are commonly used in genetic studies as models for humans.

These findings could change the way that organ transplants are handled.

For example, liver transplant patients tend to have much higher rates of cancer, and up until now this was thought to be an immune response.

“Our results suggest it may not be [an immune response],” Noble said. “It may be just the fact that cancer genes are turned on at death as a natural phenomenon.”

With this knowledge, scientists could test an organ for active cancer genes before transplant occurs, drastically reducing the chances of cancer in the new recipient.