Wednesday, August 6, 2008

LT113: Hippity Hop

Be sure to look over the recent posts in case you missed some…we’ve accelerated the rate of posting recently!


1978: Warning video made (the Cheng Video)

1980: Swan Orientation film is made by Dr. Marvin Candle

1988: Danielle’s ship crashes on the island

Late 1992: Dharma Initiative is purged from the island by Ben and the island’s inhabitants

September 2004: Oceanic Flight 815 crashes

January 2005: Ben “teleports” to desert and ten months into the future


Dr. Cheng is seen in his video rubbing his left arm. It is obvious. So how did he come to lose that arm?

If you remember, Danielle said her crew included a man she named as Montana. Danielle said that this man lost his arm due to the sickness. Could it be? Pierre sounds awfully French to me and would fit on a crew of French scientists. Hmm…

It is worth noting that Cheng is speaking of the Purge when he looks down at his arm. One gets the feeling the two events are related, so maybe he was just a Dharma scientist and not with Danielle’s group.

The best way to reconcile this conflict is to consider the possibility that Danielle was with Dharma as well. She could have fled the Purge and has been in perpetual hiding ever since and that alone could explain her oddity. It also would mean that when she warned the Survivors of the “Others”, she meant the attacking group of Ben and Company, not DI. And we would have Dr. Cheng losing his arm somehow during the Purge.

And finally, we have been told that we would get more of the back story on Danielle. I think the two are connected somehow.


I'm sitting in the waiting room of my dentist waiting to voluntarily place myself in harm's way. Boy, do I feel like a Dharma volunteer at that point. While waiting, I check out the magazine rack and as fate would have it, there is a Discover magazine with a story about parallel universes.

The stuff gets pretty complicated for me, but the highlights were this concept of a multiverse. In level 1, the idea is that the universe is very big and constantly expanding. We know of only a portion of our universe because light has reached only a small fraction of space - yeah, it takes time even for light to get places. The conclusion is that with an infinite amount of space the odds are another planet like ours must eventually be created. Sort of like playing the lottery - eventually you have to win...eventually.

Due to the mathematics of infinity, we must have twins out there. It is pointed out that nothing discussed so far is even strange. It all follows known laws of physics which is that if you go far enough out without limit, eventually you'll find your other self.

In the second level of a multiverse, we turn to the theory of inflationary cosmology - the current most popular theory. The idea here is that the Big Bang provided the first chunk of matter that eventually became our known galaxy, so why not other chunks of matter breaking off that formed parallel universes. The laws of physics remain the same in level 1 and 2, but the history is different. Both universes exist in the same space, but are inflating at the speed of light (or faster) so communication between them would be impossible in the conventional sense.

Level 3 is where the concept of infinity demands another you and me to exist because of quantum physics. The idea behind quantum physics is that atoms spin in all directions possible until measured by an outside observer. It is described as you looking at page 4 in a book while I'm looking at page 8 in the same book. Different pages, lying next to each other, all existing, but we just aren't on the same page. Once a measurement is taken of a condition, a new universe exists. This fits nicely with some popular theories as well as avoids that nasty time travel question about running into yourself.

The fourth and final multiverse is based in mathematics. The concept here is that everything is just a mathematic structure. Plato suggested this idea and since we have shown how nature is based on math, computers, music, everything it seems. Where this gets interesting is that entities are just structures, concepts, objects. The intergers of 15, 16, and 23 are just numbers (a "class" in object oriented programming for an example). Not until we instantiate a class into an object do they actually exist...and then are bound by time. Prior to that point, structures, integers, classes, and equations are real, but not found within the dimension of time.

Obviously the topic matter is interesting, but it applies to LOST as a possible explanation of multiple universes, twins, time, and our Valenzetti Equation. More on this when my brain stops hurting.


I don't wear a watch and am thankful that I'm free from arranging my day into a neat order of minute by minute. Yet, our brain still keeps time in order to perceive what is happening around me and how to respond to it.

A study was done wear flowers are refilled with nectar after a bird or bee drains the flower. We discovered that animals learn to adapt to time and would return to the same flower sooner than what nature refills the nectar. In short, animals learn time and adjust accordingly. It didn't take long for cavement to learn that at a certain time of day is when the antelope would cross a plain.

We have all noticed how time goes slow at work and flies each evening at home. Or how time slows down in a car accident. Yet, notice how poor we are at guessing what time it is to the exact minute without a watch or clock.

So it has become clear that our brains don't measure time like the tick, tick of a clock. In fact, one study had subjects stare straight ahead with a ticking clock off to the side. When they felt one minute had passed they were told to look at the clock and measure the time. The wired up brains of the subjects actually SAW the clock FOUR one-hundredths of a second sooner with their brain before their eyes saw the clock. Woah!

Ever wake up a 4 am instead of your normal time? Yeah, we learn to adjust. But recent studies have shown that we don't adjust time, we instead use time as a tool. Our brains stretch out time or shrink time as needed for proper measurement. Better yet, the brain can take several minutes of events and compress it down to a small package for memory storage. This starts to explain why sometimes you feel like Christmas was celebrated just a week ago even though the calendar reads July.

I believe some of these concepts are being explored on LOST. And better yet, it gives a chance to explore the possibility of time not being a measurement as much as it is a method to order events as we see fit. I have often felt that the best definition of retirement would be the removal of all timing devices from my life. Work until I was tired, sleep when I needed to, eat when I was hungry...ignore the schedule of life. We've all experienced being on an extended vacation and forgetting what day of the week it is.

Yeah, society pushes us into neat little segments of time. But reality does not. And reality is really just what we perceive it to be. When we combine multiverse with the brain's method of keeping time (very flexible), we can then explore the possibility that Ben THINKS he is in October 2005 while at the very same TIME, Jack thinks it is January 2005. And both would be correct.

Well, just something to think about when you get a minute to ponder. Now go back and look at the first section of today's blog - the timeline. Think how different that timeline might really be. For the observer is really what determines time, not reality. Time is a mathematical structure that lies dormant and useless until applied. One then begins to wonder why any Survivors wear watches - which several do. Only the guy pushing the button every 108 minutes really NEEDS a watch. Now imagine for a second (wow, it is hard to explain something without using a time related term) that Dharma actually speed up the Countdown clock so each second slowly became a half-second to "outside" observers! Then even faster. In "reality", whatever that really is, Desmond was waking every 108 seconds to push the button...his 300+ days were just 300+ hours.

To use a related LOST concept, the Bible, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.

Or to use my favorite sci-fi book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, time is an illusion, doubly so at lunchtime.


Which brings this post to full circle as we began by saying we have accelerated the timing of our posts this week. Have I really accelerated the rate or does it just get measured that way? HA!

You can expect a new post about every two days. Set your watches!



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