Sunday, October 29, 2017


In the past weeks, Hollywood's dirty open secret of sexual harassment by powerful men has led to a landslide of resignations and terminations. The casting couch mentality is still prevalent in the entertainment industry. It is not exclusive to the United States as many stories are surfacing in South Korea about directors abusing actresses with non-agreed sex scenes in productions.

Sexism is a prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. This happens frequently in the choices producers make in casting and developing series.

In LOST, the character of Kate Austen was supposed to be the main focal point. She was the one with the troubled background who would become the leader of the 815 survivors. It would have been interesting to see her use her charms to manipulate the male characters to do her bidding (like she did in her flashback crime sprees). In some ways, her character could have been on a parallel track with that of Ben.

But after shooting the pilot, the producers dramatically changed direction. Jack Shephard, the good looking, caring doctor was supposed to be killed to show the "reality" and danger that the island posed to the survivors. But since Matthew Fox had a previous network series with some fan following, the producers decided to make him the lead character instead of newcomer Evangeline Lilly.

It is not that a female character could not lead a network series. For seven seasons, an actress led the crew of Star Trek Voyager on a dangerous quest to return home from the Delta Quadrant. Kate Mulgrew, a stage actress, could command the center stage of the bridge. She could be tough, decisive and kind or introspective during an episode. No viewer questioned her competency as captain because she was a woman.

The leader of a star ship or band of castaways on a remote island controls how a series can unfold its stories. It can show more growth from an underdog character such as a small town woman in Kate who has to learn on the job, balance the inequities and fight the demons of prior prejudices against her. Jack's character had already garnered respect as a talented surgeon from his colleagues and patients. He was used to being in charge of a group in the operating room. His growth as an island leader would not be as great as it would have with Kate.

LOST could have been a totally different series if the original plan of Kate was the 815 leader instead of her secondary role as being a supporter of whatever man she needed to use to continue her own personal survival.

Friday, October 20, 2017


There is a haunting story from the UK Sun.

A UK study on what happens to cardiac arrest patients (where the heart stops) that "come back to life" indicates that brain activity continues after death. Specifically, a person's consciousness continues to work after the person has died. In other words, your brain knows you are dead when you die.

Dr. Sam Parnia and her team from New York University Langone School of Medicine  set out to find the answer in a much less dangerous fashion, looking at studies in Europe and the US on people who experienced "out of body" death experiences.

“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working and they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” Parnia said.  Their recollections were also verified by medical staff who reported their patients could remember the details.

Death, in a medical sense, is when the heart stops beating and cuts off blood to the brain.
This means the brain’s functions also stop and can no longer keep the body alive.

Parnia explained that the brain’s cerebral cortex — the so-called “thinking part” of the brain — also slows down instantly, and flatlines, meaning that no brainwaves are visible on an electric monitor, within 2 to 20 seconds.

This study adds a factual context to several LOST theories. For those who believe that the series premise was contained inside the mind(s) of a character, then the after death experiences (which could seem to last for a long time like short REM dreams) could explain LOST's mysteries and inconsistent parts. For those who believe that LOST was staged in the after life underworld, the vivid life and death dreamscapes could be from the moments right after death - - - the brain pulling memories, fantasies and information from a still-active brain after the body has died.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


The New York Post reports:

If you’ve ever tried out a virtual reality headset, you will understand the disarming sensation of pulling the headset from your eyes once it’s game over.

It’s incredibly easy to trick your mind into feeling sensations like fear, panic or even total calm and now — according to scientists in London — dreaming.

Scientists are beavering away at methods that can coax the brain into changing its perception of what’s real.

A group of scientists in London are putting volunteers into a dream state even though they are awake.
Carl Smith, director of the Learning Technology Research Center (LTRC) in London  that they have been successful in the process, called “context engineering.”

They can do this using a method called binaural beats, where a tone of a particular frequency is played into one ear and a different tone of another frequency is played into the other.

The brain tries to regulate the sound and creates a third tone that balances the two by creating an equal frequency.

Focusing on this third tone, a method called “delta entrainment,” allows people to drop into a dream state – without going to sleep.

Smith said:”When people want to go into a dream state they can do a 15-minute delta entrainment so their brain actually goes into the delta state, a sleep state, even though they’re not sleeping – and that’s just through listening to binaural sounds.”

It’s not just for inducing different levels of consciousness, these methods can help us regulate sleep patterns, calm us down and help us focus, they claim.

There are a variety of exercises you can perform to train your brain into focusing on senses we typically ignore.

This includes concentrating on your peripheral vision to gain a sense of calm, something athletes are adopting to focus their mind.

It’s part of a subculture called biohacking, which has gained notoriety among amateur scientists. 

The implications of this new process engineering the mind are intense. Tricking your mind to feel intense emotions such as fear and panic could be weaponized against an enemy. A soldier in a panic attack state is not concentrating on his training. He is vulnerable. A weak link.

The use of sound, a tone to stimulate delta sleep patterns, to force a waking person to go into a dream state seems like a plausible Dharma experiment. Viewers often questioned why the main characters were oblivious to their surroundings, the lack of questions to get answers, and a general malaise from the beach campers.

When Faraday remarked that the light on the island was "different," he was seeing it as being diffused or interrupted in its normal pattern. Like light, sound is also a wave form. It is possible that the island light refraction was a byproduct of tonal "context engineering" of the island inhabitants. In the last season, there was a strong hint that the characters had to "awaken" in order to be saved. Saved from what? An island experiment into mind control? The re-training of one's human brain to change into an altered state of consciousness to pass on to another dimension (as the ancient Egyptians believed in their burial texts)?

You can put all the characters missteps, misinformation, misguided missions and missed opportunities on the fact that they were sleepwalking through the series. Literally. Sleep deprivation by putting their minds into delta wave patterns mimicking sleep when they were not at rest. You could then "suggest" patterns of behavior like programming a computer to run simulations. For example, when Hurley's imaginary friend came to him in the island and convinced him it was all a dream - - - in his head - - - and the only way to "wake up" was to jump off a cliff, Hurley was going to do it until Libby showed up out of nowhere. And to keep Hurley grounded, Libby then became his unlikely girlfriend. This dramatic shift in Hurley's thought processes could be an example of how he was programmed to change course. And to keep him on the right path, Libby was constructed to give him a new purpose.

Is there a state of consciousness between being awake and being asleep? Does daydreaming create the bridge between those mental states. And can one scramble their defined positions to change a person's personality, thoughts, morals, goals and fears?

LOST was a series of manipulations. Powerful personalities were always looking to manipulate behavior in others. Some did it by intelligence. Some did it by force. Some did it by instilling fear. But the manipulation was to create order, obedience and leadership.

If these manipulations were a series of experimental biohacks, that puts the series in a new light. None of the characters were dead or truly alive. You could think you were immortal (like Jacob and Patchy) if those images were planted in your mind. They were lab rats in an open experiment.

But what was the end game of the experiment? If it was to get the characters to merge their collective thoughts to find the same finish line in the church, then they succeeded in that task. But what was the church? Was it the afterlife or was it merely the end of an elaborate video game? And the idea of the characters walking out into the bright white light (the symbolism of out-of-body death experience) could be the means of bulk erasing their memories by the scientists conducting the experiment.

Or it could have been a crazy military experiment to try to "expand" the territory of mankind by trying to find a way to "jump" into parallel universes or alternative realities (such as heaven after one dies and their spirit is released). One could have a great military advantage is one could control another world embedded in the present reality. People like Widmore saw the power in controlling the island (and its mind altering possibilities).

This news story sheds some more credence on a biohack premise to the show. The character(s) may have been mere test subjects outside the realm of Earth's physics and cultural common sense.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


When one looks fondly back at events during a lifetime, what stands out sometimes is the hardest thing to understand.

LOST. It was a show that ended the era of "must watch TV." There were no "binge viewing" services. There were no dark web pirated shows. Fans had to arrange their schedule to watch each weekly episode. You could record it for playback - - - to investigate the nuisances, hints, Easter eggs and theories.

LOST was an academic show. Fans went into chat rooms to discuss each episode. They began to post their own answers to the mysteries. The interaction between people after each show became more important than the show itself.

LOST was about building a community on a dangerous island. LOST fans built their own communities outside of the show because it was confusing, contradictory, fun, reckless, nerdy, nail biting and strange. The search for meaning when the show runners sought to do end runs around the truth was part of the show's charm (and down fall).

People researched to explain quantum physics to other fans. People investigated ancient Egyptian culture to translate the messages on the set props. People found meaning in the soundtrack song lyrics. The compelling back stories helped fuel speculation on what the characters would do on the island.

As weirder the story lines got, the more involved the fans got in the show. It was an addictive cycle of story, action, reaction and analysis. As one person's theory seemed to be vindicated, another tangent would make people's heads spin.

It was a roller coaster ride without rails.

Now, years after the last episode. Years after all the emotional autopsies. Years after the cast and writers said their final words. LOST continues to sit fondly in the memory banks of most viewers.

It is the legacy of the last grand network drama shows. Cable giants like HBO and start up streamers like Netflix have become the critic's darling content producers. But LOST would not be able to live in today's fractured digital landscape. Personal consumption of entertainment has become too personal. There is no longer a need to have a group watch and after-show discussion.  Most programs, including reality shows, are spoon-fed dribble lacking complex story telling.

LOST was a unique show with highs and lows, a rabid fan base, intelligent discussion and the atmosphere of college bull sessions in search of answers that really did not matter.