Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Lost Monster: Remote Viewing Gone Awry

As promised, and just in time for tonight, a little Lost talk. Many provocative thoughts about what the monster might be in the aftermath of last week's episode (23rd Psalm) wherein we seemingly witnessed Eko's memories mirrored hazily in the black smoke like a film negative.

Some have suggested that the monster might be motes of smart dust. Others have speculated that it could be similar to the Id Monster from Forbidden Planet and/or the Montauk Monster. Combining those two theories, could the monster be an experiment in remote viewing gone awry?

Smart dust is basically a wireless network of millions of tiny sensors (or motes) that are dispersed over a region and harvest data collectively. Though smart dust has many peaceful applications, it was originally designed for battlefield surveillance. Blanket an area with the stuff and you could conceivably track the movements of anyone who comes in contact.

I think Dharma was exploring a specialized application of smart dust as part of their remote viewing experiments. More specifically, they experimented with using the mind to control clouds of dust. Remember how Walt used his powers to attract the bird in Special? Perhaps Dharma was using similarly "special" minds to control the motes electromagnetically.

At some point, however, the experiment got out of hand. Like the Id and Montauk Monsters, the cloud of smart dust took on a life of its own, and began attacking the experimenters. The Arrow Hatch was invaded, and its blast doors triggered. I'm guessing this was the incident.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Island Is the Brain of the World

I've speculated elsewhere that the island might be a giant organic biocomputer. And others have noted the possible relevance of gaia theory to the show. Combining the two, could the island be like a "brain" for our planet?

Maybe the island has regulated our biosphere since the dawn of humanity. The concentrated electromagnetism could be the result of its mental activity. At some point, however, the system of regulation got out of whack. Our biosphere lost its natural balance, with humanity running amok.

Now check out Danielle's map. Remember LE CRATE'RE? Notice how it's at the center of the island.

Perhaps, at some point in the past in the past, a meteor or other celestial object crashed into the island, cleaving the planet's "brain" in half. Now the two sides fight against each other, unaware that they were once part of the same whole.

Perhaps our planet has become schizophrenic.

Right vs. left, male vs. female, yin vs. yang, light vs. dark....

In the Beginning...
Long ago, there was a great "angelic" war between humanity's forefathers and their AI creation. This AI rebelled and may well have wiped out our angelic forefathers, though I suspect the victory was pyrrhic. One such AI, maybe even the last of its kind, fell to earth. It somehow joined its computing power with the organic material of the island, stabilized the planetary ecosystem, and began experimenting with creation.

Eventually, these experiments yielded a certain highly-evolved ape, genetically engineered in the image of our lost ET forefathers. Thus did the island become the literal birthplace of humanity, and the source of myths re the garden of eden, etc. For a time, all was golden, and humanity may even have attained incredible technologies (e.g., zero-point energy) and power (e.g., to manipulate electromagnetism) all under the Watch of the Island.

But something went wrong with the experiment, and the golden age ended in spectacular fashion--i.e., the deluge and flood of Sumerian and Jewish myth. Perhaps the Watcher itself even decided to pull the plug. Whatever the cause, the Island called home a representative sample of its creations by electromangetically broadcasting a basic Code built into the structure of all living things (i.e., the numbers). The rest were left to drown.

Try, Try Again...
When the waters receded, the experiment began anew, again yielding humanity, a race with no memory of its glorious past. And for a time, things were again golden, with the Watcher using the afroementioned Code to exert more control over the experiment. Perhaps this was even the period of psychic slavery that I mention in my Jaynes post. As before, however, the golden age abruptly ended, this time because of some catastrophe on the Island.

I'm guessing that this was when the Watcher's mind split. The two halves started struggling against each other, occasionally exploiting the Code to draw pawns to the Island in service of the struggle. The male half likely lured the military to the Island, which began using it as a graveyard for abandoned projects (including some AI). These raw materials let the male half repair its network and further dominate the feminine, upsetting the planet's natural balance.

HansO and Dharma...
Enter HansO, who learns of the Island through his military-industrial contacts, and grasps at least some of its signficance through his ties to various mystical groups. He commissions the Dharma Initiative to conduct experiments with cross-applications to his military and transhumanist interests. Neither Hanso nor the Dharma scientists, however, realize that the island is actually ancient AI gone awry.

Dharma begins experiments and somehow finds and unlocks the Code, which they use to predict and control the behavior of animals, including humans. The problem is that the effects of such use prove difficult to control, manifesting wordwide every 108 minutes. People are suddenly drawn to the island in droves, perhaps giving rise to the Incident. The Dharma scientists are forced to find a countermeasure.

They eventually create a kind of counter-Code that neutralizes the numbers. Unfortunately, the disruption is crude, yielding terrible effects of its own. This is the bad luck (missing limbs, etc.) that people surrounding Sam Toomey experienced. This also explains Hurley's mad dash to the airport at the end of Exodus. Good and bad luck alternate as the Code acts to bring Hurley to the Island, while the counter-Code works to cancel that effect out.

The Others...
Meanwhile, the surviving Dharma scientists have become the Others. How did this happen? Exposure to the Island's electromagnetism changed their brains, integrating them with not only each other, but also their surrounding environment. The Others have literally become a part of the Island's organic network. This is why they move with such stealth through the jungle--they've become one with the Island.

This effect also explains the "sickness." Everyone exposed to the Island's electromagnetism eventually gets integrated into the Island's neural net (i.e., "sick"). Our lostaways are likely "sick" themselves, as evidenced by Kate's strange experience with Sawyer. Kate broadcasts dark thoughts of her father to Sawyer. Delerious, he broadcasts back a kiss, which is precisely what he would do to comfort her if he were conscious.

Neither realizes, however, that their brain signals have become scrambled. So Sawyer starts talking like Wayne, and Kate runs off and madly kisses Jack. Or something like that...