Sunday, February 22, 2009

LT210: Loose Ends

Today's posting is in response to the feedback received on the Black and White Theory...



THE BLACK AND WHITE THEORY - ORGANIZATION

This theory sure generated some feedback that I didn’t see coming any more than we can tell what twist or turn LOST will take each week. So let me tie-up a few loose ends.

Organization

The structure of the theory was to track the history of science as it relates to religion. It became clear that this was going to take too long and it came across as a report for history class. Actually that was my intent since half the challenge of a blog is finding material. My hope was that by showing a correlation between each science excerpt and LOST it would generate interest for readers of TIDBITS.

For example, the original belief in science was that the world was a flat island. So is there an island on LOST. Sir Isaac Newton then comes along and expands theories on gravity and magnetism. Newton has over a dozen tie-ins to the show. And so on.

It seems as if the organization of the theory was less then best since it was viewed more as a history lesson rather than a cool theory. The flaw in this organization was that the theory’s end game was never shared up front. So here goes…

My theory is that LOST is about science and religion, how the two schools of thought interact with each other, and what happens when the two reconcile in the end. If you consider this possible, then you will agree there really is nothing new here. We already know the show leans heavily on science theories and incorporates religious themes. The twist comes in that we now attempt to look past the present and into the future and predict what will happen on the show based on what science and religion predicts. And that’s why we call it a theory, right?

I’m not sure that this summary is much better than what was already offered, but let’s explore this further. And this time we will do so on fast forward.


THE BLACK AND WHITE THEORY – TITLE

Using hindsight again, the title was probably not the best selection. One reader posted that we can find all the black and white stuff on Lostpedia and that is very true. However, keep in mind that even that site is not offering a forward-looking theory but a collection of observations regarding color themes from the past. It is a fine collection of facts, but it does not use that information to formulate a theory.

Perhaps the better name would have been the Religion and Science Theory. Oh well, too late now. Or maybe this was the way things were suppose to happen!

The reason for the Black and White title for this theory was because it is most recognizable theme on LOST. We have witnesses maybe 50 or more scenes that involve a mirror. A mirror correlates with the black and white theme in obvious ways. In similar ways, the black and white theme mirrors light versus darkness theme. LOST continues to reinforce this line of thinking with yin and yang symbols found on Rachel’s lamp and other devices. We could write several blogs strengthening this point (and that was the original plan) but this should be enough to hopefully illustrate the thinking behind the title.


THE BLACK AND WHITE THEORY – RELIGION

A reader recently posted this comment, “First, while your post on the Black/White as a broader metaphor for the conflict between science and religion was historically illuminating, it did strike me as very biased towards western science and western religions. It fails to consider Hinduism, Thaoism, Buddhism...whatever the heck aboriginal Austrailians worship etc. I think the references to these religions on the show are much more profound than the references to christianity are much more profound. That's just my take.”

I told you this theory generated a lot of feedback! You should see my emails I’ve received!

**

This reader makes a very good observation. I really liked the line about “whatever the heck aboriginal Australians worship”. Well worded. This is a good point made and my intent was not to slight any religion. The reasons for presenting most of the religious aspects from the Christianity perspective in the previous posts are because 1) it is what I am most familiar with and 2) during the history of science that was discussed in earlier posts, the Catholic Church really WAS the science community at that time.

I am more than willing to acknowledge that the version of history is usually presented only from the perspective of the winners. And while I’m sure Eastern religions were involved in their fair share of scientific studies, the only historical record offered tends to associate science discoveries mainly with the Christian church. Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo and most of the other early scientists were influenced by the prevailing church at that time, not the aboriginal Australians.

With that said, the reader’s observations are helpful in strengthening the Black and White Theory actually. Why? Because the way the show uses multiple devices to strengthen the black and white theme of science, the show uses several religious denominations to strengthen the black and white theory of religion. We don’t have to look hard at all to see all sorts of religious doctrines on LOST.


THE BLACK AND WHITE THEORY – SCIENCE

As I edit this post, there is a feeling that up to this point it reads like one big disclaimer. Maybe I’m taking the feedback from readers to literal or personal? But let’s get back on point, OK?
The source of my theory on the science side is a book entitled, “A Brief History of Time”. This book was being read by an Other who was guarding the building where Karl was being indoctrinated (with religious themed messages by the way).





The book was written by Mr. Hawking. Is this a coincidence?

The Black and White Theory makes this claim: the history of science is being played out on LOST. One of the earliest claims in the history of natural science was that the world was flat like an island covered by a dome. LOST mirrors this piece of scientific history by setting the story on an island. In the first Orientation film we see, a geodesic dome is shown.

The history of science that I was laboriously documenting leads us eventually to the study of the stars. Early on in LOST the constellations played a significant role. Can you say “Apollo” candy bars?

The history of science as found in “A Brief History of Time” takes us through various discoveries that were utilized on the show in a consistent pattern: magnetism, electromagnetism, the telescope, gravity, light, theory of relativity, no absolute space, and no absolute time.

The original plan to slowly reinforce this claim in several postings is out the window, so I hope it is sufficient to offer these brief examples:

Magnetism = the key on Jack’s necklace being attracted to the wall
Electromagnetism = specifically referenced throughout the dialog
Telescope = Desmond uses one to defend the Swan Hatch
Gravity = the plane crash, the hot air balloon crash
Light = Daniel’s observation that the light someone looks “different”
Theory of Relativity = literary correlations and in notations in Daniel’s notebook
No Absolute Space = “God can’t even see this island”
No Absolute Time = the flashes
Nuclear = Jughead atomic bomb

Mr. Hawking then takes the reader through the reasoning behind black holes, wormholes and other LOST-related correlations to science.


IS LOST JUST A SCIENCE COURSE?

It does not seem that LOST is only a science course. Just as we have witnessed the interaction in history between the science community and the religious community, the Black and White Theory suggests LOST is doing the same thing.

We find one of the strongest examples of this in the exchange between Jack and John.

“Why do you find it so easy to believe, John?”
“Why do you find it so hard?”

That dialog happens to be form the episode entitled, “Man of Faith, Man of Science”.

I do admit to interjecting my own views on religion and science into this theory. But I tried to limit it only to the observation that while the early history finds the two closely co-mingled, recent times finds the two trying to separate themselves from each other. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched claim to suggest that instead of church versus science, we now have politics versus science. We have to look no further than the Global Warming debate to see this. Now watch LOST to introduce governments in play next week!


SO WHERE IS LOST HEADING?

The Black and White Theory makes the claim that we are heading towards a reconciliation of religion and science. History reveals how each group would take turns in the lead of discovery of truth, and eventually the two schools of thought would always reconcile. I propose LOST is mirroring this same thing.

Here is my supporting evidence. Hawking claims that by discovering the future of our universe it proves one point: life is a circle. I find it interesting that the original name of the show was “The Circle”.

If we consider this possibility further, the claim then is that the universe will end one day. Hawking states that the universe is in the growing stage which all living organism display. By the same reasons, the universe will die. But it also then means that the universe was born. This leads us back to religion who offers creationism as the explanation for the beginning.

Creationism is not a claim held only by Christianity. Nearly every world religion offers some version of divine intervention. Hawking suggests that science allows for this possibility although it escapes our comprehension. Until proven one way or the other, we are left with a nasty contradiction.


THE CONTRADICTION

The science community offers a solution to apparent deal with this apparent contradiction. It has been proposed that black holes exist because all matter (and light) will collapse to a single point of nothingness. This is called a singularity. This also contradicts the laws of physics that states “matter cannot be created nor destroy, but can only change forms”.

Hawking then proposes a radical thought based upon quantum theory. Instead of all the matter within an event horizon collapsing into nothingness, perhaps it changes forms to something we don’t recognize or yet observe. Hmmm…

This theory is what leads to the terms DARK energy, BLACK holes, DARK matter, and ANTI-particles.

Black and white.

The idea is that our universe is currently in the White stage. When it finally collapses it then cycles through but in a Black stage. In essence, a mirror image of itself until the next loop.

Now we go back and revisit the religious community who point out that Christianity mentions in its writings that there will be a New Heaven and New Earth. Perhaps this is the next cycle of the universe and scientists and theologians will again agree.

We then are able to remove creationism from consideration because if the world cycles forward, then it could have been cycling prior. A period we can perhaps call “The Age of Time” (at least time in the sense that we perceive it to be). Surely we can find plenty of examples in LOST about the perception of time being something other than we traditionally viewed it as.


THE END GAME

The Black and White Theory then posits that the end game will be the end of the world as we know it. This could be the Doomsday calculated by Enzo Valenzetti. I wonder if the “end” won’t quite be as we currently perceive it. Instead of death, we simply enter a new cycle. Since it is the future that the show will need to project, we can only guess what their explanation will be. But if the patterns shared here with the Black and White Theory are consistently followed, then LOST is going to reconcile the man of science with the man of faith with an explanation that convinces both to agree with each other.

A common term for predicting the future is “science fiction”. The producers have stated that the show is now fully a science fiction show. I propose that their explanation of the future will follow the patterns outlined by Stephen Hawking and the Black and White theme.

Oh, did I mention Stephen Hawking is in a wheelchair?

What might that look like? That’s still anybody’s guess, but we should examine how various religions project the future and how science predicts the future. That’s really all the Black and White theory is saying.

In most religions the theme is good versus evil, yin and yang, light and darkness, black and white. It seems the show has been telling us this for five seasons. The simple use of water could merely be another device pointing out its reflective properties. The eye processes images in reverse. A mirror shows what is over our shoulder.

Consider the terminology that has cropped up in the show. It has been bantered around that person A or person B is good or evil. We see Danielle’s nice husband perhaps be transformed by some demonic influence. The leader of one side is named Christian for goodness sake! We have sacrifice; which most religions offer as the ultimate act of love. Whether it is Charlie taking one for the team or Sawyer jumping out of a helicopter, we see the message of sacrifice quite clearly on LOST.

What is my guess? The Black and White theory suggests we examine religious and science proposals to find that answer. Christianity offers a Rapture, Hinduism offers reincarnation, and science offers an alternate universe. At this point we can only watch carefully for clues to determine which way the writers of LOST are heading. Whatever the end game may be I propose it will satisfy the religious and the scientific scholars.

If a contest was held to offer recommendations to the writers, my proposal would involve revealing something greater and bigger then humanity but also was verifiable as “probably” by science. Some sort of way to finally get everyone on earth back on the Road to Shambala. My guess is the end game will be XXXXXX. Sorry, but that revelation will have to wait for another post!

Hey, this is why we call it a theory!


CONCLUSION

As I edit this post, I’m left with the feeling of “Wow, how did we get off on this track?” Maybe the interactive format of forums and blogs has led me to take a somewhat defensive stance and the last thing I want LOST TIDBITS to become is an argument forum. So after this post, TIDBITS will return to its regular programming!

I hope this helped clarify some points and like Ben said, “I just needed to tie up some loose ends.”


**

If you enjoyed this post, then please consider clicking on an ad when you have finished reading.

Thanks for reading.

KC

2 comments:

Adrian McDonald said...

Hi KC,

"Anonymous" here. Thanks for the shout out and glad my feedback fed into your developing theory. Also, I am agnostic. You have not, and cannot offend my religion. I beleive in a higher power, but just have not subscribed to any one...explains my love of the show in a way.

Your response to Ben not valuing human life. I see what you mean. He knows the stakes and that if he fails, then everyone dies...game over. Is that what you meant?

But if we go back to season 3, when the others see the plane break up, I still assert that Ben is more evil than Charles. I assume that, at that point, Ben did not not know the entire end game (ie--"innocents" will not die, Ben/Others only kill for cause).

Thus, Ben knowingly put Goodwin (GOODwin) in harms way and arguably knew he would die, and did so over jealousy--or at least motivated. He is complicit in kidnapping and the murder of Anna Lucia and Libby. That's for starters.

No comparable evidence for Widmore. Yes, he is a dick to Desmond, but not much more. It's also about that time that he is paying for medical bills of Daniels botched human experiment.

I'm not even sold that he staged the fake crash. We only "know" this because Ben told us it was true, based on a remarkably thin file of "proof" collected by him and/or Tom.

Ben doesnt want anyone to leave the island and he certainly does not want anyone, especially Widmore, to find it. Doesn't that give Ben a greater motivation to fake the wreck? Throws Widmore way off the trail, since we knew he was looking...and that's probably not where he was looking. Ben/Other/Alpert's Mittelos Bioscience have substantial resources, perhaps enough to rival Widmore industries.

Speaking of Widmore's company, they have ties to the Hanso Foundation--the original funders of DHARMA. The foundation also has offices housed by Widmore Industries in New York. This came from the book "Bad Twin," which is semi-cannonical according to Lostpedia.

The Paik company also has similar connections to Widmore.

Also, Ben asked if he remembered Widmore, the man who crashed the other plane and tried to convince the world it was real. Huh. He did not try, he did (if you think he did, which I do not). The O6 use the fake as part of their cover.

Widmore ethics...two more things to add. First, the young Widmore in Jugghead was Ben-like when he acted to snap his companions neck for giving away too much info and 2. we did see the video of him killing/beating someone. But that is it. Ben is way colder.

I think, further, that the young woman in Jugghead with the others, named Elle is Ms. Hawking. Same basic hair, matching accent. Widmore had her name and addreess in his personal address book, which I thought was a little too personal. She is Daniels mother, we are told, but we don't know who the father is. If Jugghead Elle and Ms. Hawking are the same, did she leave the island because she was knocked up? If she and Widmore left the island together, or with a larger group, he may be Daniels father.

Widmore also was angry that Alpert scolded him for running from Locke and co., saying...you think he knows this island better than I do? Implying he has a special connection to the island, or has been there a very long time. If Widmore was on the Black Rock, he would have been on the island 70-100 years by 1954. Long enough to know it well? Probably.

The company that owned the Black Rock was eventually purchased by the Hanso Foundation, original Dharma backers and now, as mentioned, heavily tied to Widmore. Then there is the Maxwell Group, which on Lostpedia had a plan to recover the actual Black Rock. Perhaps this was the cover story, but in reality Maxwell was searching for the Island.

The airport terminal Juliet met Alpert and Ethan belonged to Hearat Air. Maybe the Others control this company? Who owns Ajira or Oceanic? Because the artwork in Widmores office, that Thomas painted, has a prominent symbol that is very similar to Oceanic's logo. Or it could be a spiral akin to the Orchid logo. The latter is tantalizing since, according to lostpedia, the painting appears in Widmore's office four years before it shows up in Thomas's apartment. Meaning? Time travel implications or Thomas didn't paint it and just owned a copy. Like a poster of Starry Night. If you lean on the it looks like the Oceanic logo side, then figure this nugget in...Widmore had major connections at the airport, whose security officers will "only do exactly as he says." Does he have powers, or just major sway at the airport because he, I don't know, owns an airline?

Other ideas....

I dont think the wheel room Locke was in is a mirroe opposite of the Ben wheel room. Watch again, Lockes room has icicles on the walls. Further, the scan the Dharma builders did in episode 1 of this season clearly shows the wheel chamber, and there was only the one side.

Charlotte says she grew up on island with Dharma. She also knew about the well. Did Dharma? Because Dr. Chang is adament that breaching the wheel room would be very bad. But is Dharma found the well, then they would know the room had already been reached.

I think the Black Rock folks may have built the well, perhaps with the natives, which some of them may have become a part of. It helps explain the presense of lanterns down there. Also, did you catch the small holes in the walls that Dharma was using jack hammers on before Chang stops them? I dont think they did that. But isnt that how one would use dynamite to blast through rock?

Dharma is able to get a substantial foothold on the Island, but before they did, might we assume Alpert's group would have destroyed it to prevent discovery? Head spinning.

Who is Penny's mom?

Coming full circle, back to religion. As I said, agnostic I am. If I have to explain the nature of my beleif, I tell people it's like the Force, from Star Wars...which Lucas based on a mix of Chinese beliefs. I submit that the "Force" is the writers religion of choice as well.

There love of the OT is without any dispute....it's overt, and they admit it because they love it. Upcoming episode this season is called "Some like it Hoth."

The Dharma logo is similar, though not in shape, to the Imperial Empire's logo, perhaps more like the blast door map. Blast doors are very star wars themselves. stormtroopers are black and white. The other big color in the show, red, is the color of the Emperors royal guards.

Dark Jedi vs. Light Jedi. Duh.

But clearly the black white theme, mixed together in the Dharma logo, to me suggest the yin and yang philospohy. The actual ying yang symbol is adopted by the current Hanso logo on their website. Other may know it as the T&C Surf logo. Any ways, they basic idea with it is that the black dot in the white represents evil in good. The white dot in the black...good in evil. Piont? There is always a little bit of evil in good and always dome good is evil. Again, see the Jedi. Ben has, we know been good and Widmore bad.

Last last thing.....

When Juliet gets her OJ from alpert to go to the island, he dumps a small amount of tranq. in it from a tiny plastic bag. I remembered this when we saw the episode with Miles before he went to the island. He goes to that Black ladies house, communes with her grandson and finds the money. The latent racism in was automatic and I figured he was a former drug dealer, because Miles finds that one small, but empty bag. Same size and type of the one Richard used. we know Dharma/Others had large cash reserves. Could this guy have come back, probably on the sub, used the powder aka Juliet and taken or was given the cash?

I say this because all the other flash backs in that episode had meaning beyond just showing the character...Char found the polar bear remains. Daniel was crying for what could be a million pertinent reasons, Frank was supposed to be the pilot, we learn. And Naomi was hired by Abbadon. And why Naomi to protect them, but not Keamy?

What about the idea that Abbadon is Walt from the future?

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