Monday, March 30, 2009

LT236: Billie, Birds and Burning


What an odd thing to fine out in the woods next to Oldham’s tent.

The song playing is by Billie Holliday and is entitled, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”.

The phonograph was available in the late 1890’s and survived until the 1960’s. It should be noted that RCA was a major player in the market and used the phrase, “His Master’s Voice”, in its marketing campaign. The logo is of a dog listening to a phonograph and mistaking it as his owner’s voice.

The oldest recorded human voice is a piece of a song named, “Au Clair de la Luna” which means “under the moonlight”. It reminds me of the “Moonlight Serenade” heard by Sayid and Hurley one evening – both in timeframe and the term moonlight.

On a complete side note: Is it just me but when you hear Claire’s name do you also think of clairvoyant?


The person playing the phonograph is the actor from the Newhart TV show. It is interesting to note that this show’s finale made the entire series a dream by Bob Hartley when he woke up with his first sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show, wife in bed saying he had a bad nightmare. The second series then ended by playing the theme song from the original series.

Beside being Larry on the second Newhart sitcom (and thus only a figment of a dream), the actor was in the movie “Blade Runner”. This gives a tip of the hat to the author, Phillip K. Dick, whose books have been referenced in LOST. The movie also deals with if anyone can really know who they are or if they are even human or just replicants.


While reading up on Carlos Castaneda’s works the term “nagual” came up. This word is used by Castaneda to describe a dimension of reality. He claims some people are special and have the ability to view this other dimension. Such a person is called a “nagual”. He describes the process of seeing this other reality as being “imprinted” with it.

In Mesoamerican culture, nagual is associated with harmful magic. These practitioners are able to transform into the shape of an animal…like Hurley’s bird. It might explain how Richard and his followers are able to move around the island in a blink of the eye. Researchers have found evidence that the folklore of Naguals was often used to avoid modernization within a tribe. Nothing like the hatred of technology to keep a group of followers within one’s control!

Oh, and this ability would sure come in handy if one needed to find a way to circumvent a sonic security fence.


Someone asked if they had Tasers back in 1977?

Did some digging and found they were invented in 1969. Plenty of time to reach the market, find their way to the South Pacific and then be used to shock the snot out of Sayid.

Besides the stress of time jumping, in the past 24 hours or so, Sayid has gone from Hurley’s couch, to a hospital room fight, to shock treatment and a little sugar cube medicine. Did you know that in Europe history it was common practice to hold a sugar cube with your teeth while drinking a bitter beverage like coffee? It is amazing how much LOST has made me learn. Why can’t college be this fun?


Soon after the crash, Jack gets the idea to find the cockpit and retrieve the transmitter. As Jack, Kate and Charlie head out to find the cockpit, it begins to pour.

We have all noticed the rain on this island. It seems almost manufactured and happens at key points in the plot. What has not been discovered is any definitive pattern to the rain.

This challenges the current hypothesis that the island is some sort of supercomputer. The one thing to be aware of is that computers hate water. This could lead us to conclude that rain scenes are when the computer is upset, senses trouble or when something goes wrong. In the cockpit scene we have not only water but Smokey running about.

However, we also have Smokey operating outside the rain as with Mr. Eko. So we have to break connection between Smokey and rain.

A more plausible idea is simply that the computer program being ran by our Island 2004 Computer “knows” that tropical islands get sudden downpours. The supercomputer may simply be executing a virtual reality based on the “rules” it was provided.


When Jack, Kate and Charlie arrive at the cockpit, they climb inside and find the transmitter…just like a plane offers. Let’s backup a minute. Recall that almost everything NEEDED is found from a sewing kit to pregnancy tests. As one character pointed out, “Who travels with a pregnancy test?” Exactly. Yet, not one hairbrush can be found.

Let’s ponder these observations. We have a sewing kit for Jack’s wounds but no hairbrush? There are over 300 passengers on board and not one suitcase produces a hairbrush? Sawer can find a cigarette lighter (did you remember he smoked?), but we can’t get a comb?

This is why I lean towards a virtual reality program. These things are only as good as the programmer and what they can remember to include in the scenario. In reality, there should be over 100 hairbrushes, but in a computer “bug”, we don’t get any.


While on the topic of rain, let’s jump ahead in our review to Walt speaking to Shannon. In reality, people that are kidnap victims on a boat just don’t appear at your tent or in the middle of the jungle. And if they did appear, they sure don’t appear dripping wet.

Of all the water and oddities, this scene has always mesmerized me. A hologram of sorts can easily produce an image, but why did the computer think to show Walt dripping wet? This must be a clue of some sort. One thing that comes to mind is that at the time Walt appears to Shannon he could still be on the water – either a raft or Tom’s speed boat. Walt never was in the water. Again, this leads to a fairly understandable conclusion that a program could easily mistake Walt’s location as “on water” to mean he should be all wet.

I’ve programmed for several years and you would be surprised at the outcome of the simplest oversights. The computer, bless its heart, merely gives you exactly what you ask for.

Consider as well that Walt spoke to Shannon in reverse. Reality teaches us that people do not do this. To an innocent collection of bits and bytes, it has no clue how silly it would be to have Walt speak backwards.



You might sense that the water, Walt and reverse speech are considered vital clues to the overall theory and theme of LOST. It is possible to explain these oddities by hypothesizing that a computer is running its best effort program and that there are bugs in the code.

On a final note, you should be aware that there is a programming language called Water. It was introduced for release in…you guessed it, 2004. Further all programming languages need basic functionality and one of the base functions of any language is the ability to LOOP.


The plan is return Wednesday evening for the Initial Thoughts post. If there is any breaking information between now and then, I might find time to get a post out on Tuesday. But the plan is Wednesday evening so here is your “somewhat interesting, yet non-spoilerish” picture for the next episode, “Whatever Happened, Happened.”

It looks like Kate walking away from some abandoned Dharma building. She is out of jumpsuit, but behind her appears to be someone in a Dharma outfit. And we see the Dharma van. It sure seems to be the burned Building 15, but that pine tree is making me scratch my head. I’ve been to Hawaii and there was grove of pine trees but they were brought over and specially planted to line a road to some mansion property. Hmmm…


If you like this post, please click the ad when you are done reading. If not, the supercomputer on the island is going to track your IP address and make it rain down on you! HA!

Thanks for reading.



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