Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Flatland Theory of Lost

If you're a Lost theorist, you might want to check out Doc Jensen's Flatland theory challenge over on EW.com. All you have to do is come up with a theory in 300 words or less connecting Flatland with Lost. For what it's worth, here's my submission:

In Edwin Abbott's novella, the narrator is a Square who lives in a two dimensional Flatland. There is no up and down in Flatland, only north, south, east, and west. Or so the Square believes until he's visited by a Sphere from three-dimensional Spaceland. The Sphere eventually pulls the skeptical Square out of his plane of existence, opening his mind to higher dimensions.

I believe our Losties' perception of reality pre-Island is like the Square's in Flatland. They see in 3-D but their flashbacks contain tantalizing hints of higher realities (e.g., Claire's psychic) to which we're usually blind. Perhaps some "Sphere" pulled Flight 815 into the "Spaceland" of the Island to open their minds further to such possibilities.

One clue that higher dimensions are key dates back to Sawyer's reading of A Wrinkle in Time. The title refers to a tesseract, AKA hypercube, which is the 4-D equivalent of a 3-D cube. This is a metaphor for perception of hyper-reality, which exposure to the Island stimulates, bringing me to the Numbers.

Many have noted links between the Numbers and Fibonacci Sequence. The latter appears everywhere in nature, from the spiral pattern of shells to the arrangement of seeds on a raspberry. Similarly, the the Numbers appear everywhere on the Island, and represent the structure of Island hyper-reality. They are the hypercube equivalent of the Fibonacci Sequence.

The Numbers also appear in the real world, but perceptual biases prevent most from appreciating their significance. This is the implication of Flatland, wherein the characters aren't incapable of perceiving higher dimensions, moreso limited by strict cultural norms that eventually land the narrator in jail for preaching the "heresy" of three dimensions.

Let us hope the same fate does not await our relentless dissection of the Numbers!