Friday, August 25, 2017


With so many unanswered questions about LOST, time have given latent fans more science information to construct new theories about the show.

A new study published in eLife journal states that scientists have developed a way to remotely control your brain. By controlling the brain, scientists can send messages to your muscles that the person does not authorize. 

The experiment was done on a small scale but it has big implications.  Scientists stated that they were even able to prompt their test subject to run, freeze in place, or even completely lose control over their limbs. 

The effort, led by physics professor Arnd Pralle, PhD, of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, focused on a technique called “magneto-thermal stimulation.” It’s not exactly a simple process — it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field. When those magnetic inputs are applied, the particles heat up, causing the neurons to fire.

The study included experiments where were performed on mice. Using the new technique, the researchers were able to control the movement of the animals, causing them to freeze, lock up their limbs, turn around, or even run.

Despite only being tested on mice, the research could have far-reaching implications in the realm of brain research. This research could very well be an important step towards that future for neurological treatments and re-stabilization of movement for paraplegics.

It is interesting to note that the methods used in this research mimic some of the plot points in LOST. Dharma used human experimentation as a means of control. Surgical implants and mind control rooms were shown to have been used by Ben to control the Others and the 815 survivors. The idea of electromagnetic research to alter brain activity was a theme in series.

By piecing these elements together, one could forge a theory about the island's role in the characters development. If one can control a person's movements through DNA infusions (remember the virus plot line with Clarie?) with EM transmissions (which was the Swan station control center), the next level of experimentation would be using this system to manipulate mental processes as well as physical actions.

For example, the mad Russian Mikal happened to throw himself in the path of bullets and explosions at the whim of Ben. Perhaps, it was involuntary. Ben could have been controlling him through EM/DNA. Over time, he had to submit his free will to serve his master. 

The theme of free will and character choices were strong in the show. But certain power brokers like Ben and Widmore used mental manipulation to control people. But a scientific way to control people would be more efficient. Hacking a person's brain to manipulate their will and values would have been a powerful tool that anyone seeking power would want to possess.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Television is a sausage content factory that continues to re-boot old product.

One reason is that it is cheaper to produce if your company already owns the original content.
Second, if the original was popular, the theory is that you have a built in audience.
Third, executives love the concept of "evergreen" shows that continue to sprout spin-offs (like Star Trek).

Damon Lindelof was asked about the possibility that ABC would in the future re-boot LOST.

He understood the concept of the reboot, but he would not want to be part of it. He said his team tried their best to give closure to their characters. Any reboot of the series, he said, should not include the original characters for that reason. He said it would be interesting if another show runner took the mythology of the island and did something with it.

To be honest, a LOST re-boot would be a terrible idea.

For the two ends of the Ending spectrum, those who loved the character finale to those who hated it, those fan bases would have no compelling interest to watch a new LOST with their lasting strong feelings remain from the old LOST.

And if someone really wanted to do something different with the LOST castaway shell, well TBS tried and failed with the comedy, Wrecked.

ABC would like to try to re-mine the series "brand" for some profits. LOST was never a series that lent itself to syndication. As an hour long drama with twisting maze of plot lines, people cannot get into the series if they miss an episode or two. Half hour sitcoms like Seinfeld or MASH are syndication gold because each episode is a self-contained story.

Part of the problem with re-doing LOST is that much of the big premise foundation items are subject to open debate. A new LOST would probably have to answer those basic story elements which in some way would undermine the original series.  For example, if the reboot is about the Island, the new show runners will have to state what exactly is the Island: a UFO, a dimensional riff in time-space, a magical place, purgatory, the afterlife, hell, a military base like Area 51, virtual reality grid, the imagination of a comatose patient, the madness of a mental patient, or something else.

For example, if the new LOST states that the Island is actually an alien base used for centuries  to experiment on human beings (with the guardians as the immortal beings whose technology equates to "magic" to humans), then the themes of free will, self-determination and redemption of the original LOST characters are diminished since they were basically lab rats for superior beings. The "happy" ending may just as well have been a mental image implanted prior to extermination and autopsy.

If the new LOST was to follow the blueprint of the old series, would anyone really watch it? If another plane load of characters crash lands on the Island, what would be different? And the new show would challenge the alleged canon that the Island "was closed down" by Hurley and Ben.

It would be hard to take the DVD extra to create an entire series about Hurley and Ben closing down the island. Where is the drama in that?

Lindelof was clear he did not want his old characters or even any of the actors return to a reboot. He said the writers tried hard to complete each character's journey. Sending them back for another try on the island would lead to confusion between the stories. (In Star Trek universe, different spin offs kept their story lines apart but through the science-fiction manual of the Federation principles and technology. In LOST, there was not a deep set of iron clad rules and sci-fi principles to build a new tangent series.) So a hard reboot with the old characters would not work. And a series that focused in on the early days of the island would be fraught with open questions that were not answered in the original series, like who were Crazy Mother, Jacob and MIB?

Nostalgia for the series is fine. Continuing debates on show theories is fine. But to recast the show into something else seems to be a terrible idea.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Every major religion has a creation myth that has elements of gods creating human beings on Earth. Several religions also believe that once a person dies, their spirit will be reincarnated into another person (or form).

The ancient Egyptians had a complex view of reincarnation. Their belief system is founded on two gods coming to Earth to begat mankind. The subsequent Pharaohs were believed to be the reincarnated souls of those original gods. Since they were gods, Pharaohs ruled with impunity.

But the incarnate god was not reserved just for royalty. The Egyptians believed that when a person died, his "ba," the spirit associated with one's character and personality, leaves the body to find a new vessel in which to be reborn. The souls of the departed continue to return to new bodies for an infinite cycle.

There have been several research papers on the subject. Scientists interviewed various people from different parts of the globe who claimed to have remembered clear details of their past lives. Scientists then would take this information and try to independently verify the recalled facts. In several instances, researchers concluded that the interviewees remembered things that they could have not known (personal information, names of relatives, phone numbers, houses, etc) that were not accessible to them in the present time.

There has always been a puzzle when reproduction happens in people. When the egg and sperm fuse, historically it was said there is a "spark of life," some form of energy which gives rise to fertility to the newborn. Theorists think that spark of energy may be a soul that the fuels the rebirth of a spirit.

On the other extreme, in the realm of B-movie sci-fi, science knows of all the elements of a human body, its chemical composition and structure. In theory, what is missing from the base elements is a form of electrical current that makes the human organs (including brain) function. In Frankenstein, the mad scientist uses lightning bolts to jump start "life" in a corpse. This "re-animation" is different than reincarnation since the former tries to re-use the old vessel to bring back a person's life.

It is not as far fetched as one would assume since emergency room personnel routinely revive cardiac arrest patients with electric stimulation. But in the re-animation world, it is assumed that the brain functions as a storage device for all memories, personality, speech, etc like a turned off hard drive. Turning the brain back on would revive that person's personality.

But the Egyptian view would say no. The dead person's character and personality is not located in the brain but in the spirit (or soul) of the individual. And once the person dies, their soul leaves the body so re-animation will not work.

In the Egyptian dead scrolls, it is said that the deceased spirits have to journey through the underworld to be judged before being reborn. And since one spirit can be reborn more than once, the journey could be fraught with danger.

In LOST, the island could be a representative underworld where souls travel to begin their journey to the after life. This would explain why certain characters, Mikhail Bakunin, could apparently die over and over again on the island. It could also explain how Desmond survived the Swan station implosion to be found naked wandering around the jungle (symbolic "reborn.")

One of the story principles in the series was giving the characters "a second opportunity" in life. Reincarnation would be a means to give a person (especially a tortured soul like Locke) a new beginning, a new life.