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LOST Theories So you think you know some secrets of the island? Maybe you can explain everything. If it's original and you can back it up, we'd love to hear it.

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Old 05-16-06, 06:09 PM   #1
bigmouth
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+ Catastrophe

Two of my favorite threads are Andrew Smith's Ultimate and Anti-Ultimate Theories. One posits that the world has ended, the other that someone wants to fool our losties into thinking that it has. This thread explores the related possibility that Hanso and the DeGroots feared that planetary catastrophe was imminent. First, a bit of background.

Malthusian Catastrophe
If you did high-school debate in the U.S., you're probably already familiar with the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus.



Malthus was the father of a simple theory of resource scarcity with terrifying implications. His claim was that populations, if unchecked, tend to grow exponentially (i.e., 1, 2, 4, 8, 16) while agricultural production tends toward arithmetic growth (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) over time. Population increases faster than the food supply, until famine, war, disease, etc. ends the fun.



Malthus influenced thinkers as diverse as Darwin, Marx, and Keynes. His characterization of agricultural productivity took a hit during the "green revolution" of the 1960s when the food supply exploded thanks to technological progress. But by the 1970s, neo-Malthusians were again preaching resource scarcity and prophesying imminent disaster.

Among the most prominent of these doomsayers was Paul Ehrlich, who predicted that a "population bomb" would cause catastrophic ecological collapse within decades unless radical changes were made. Ehrlich, who recommended that countries be embargoed if they refused to adopt mandatory birth control measures, famously warned:
Quote:
The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance for survival.
Note the similarity between Ehrlich's comment and the latin line from the Blast Door (i.e, aegrescit medendo) that translates to "the remedy is worse than the disease." Ehrlich's critics would say that assessment fits his "cure" too.



The 1970s were also a time when nuclear power, once a symbol of military supremacy and clean energy, became synonymous with fear and destruction. Carl Sagan famously pondered if the Drake equation (predicting many advanced alien civilizations) and Fermi paradox (noting their absence) meant that technologically-advanced species tended toward self-annihilation.



The Dharma Initiative
Against this backdrop, Hanso partnered with the DeGroots to construct the Dharma Initiative, a scientific community devoted to studying the possibility of planetary catastrophe. Test subjects were secured in underground bunkers, and observed as they performed various tasks on faith. The plan may have been to include the best among them in a Platonic community of the future.



The print log Eko and Locke discovered in Pearl Hatch suggests a preoccupation with catastrophe. Some say that the print-log numbers imply a time range of close to 5,000 years. Clearly the countdown hasn't been running that long but the period itself may be significant. Many believe that global catastrophes tend to occur cyclically about every 5,000 years.

So what happened to Dharma? It's possible they, like Malthus and Ehrlich, got it wrong using static analysis to predict an inherently chaotic result like humanity's fate. The rate of population growth worldwide has actually slowed dramaticaly, while food production has increased exponentially. The cold war ended, minimizing the threat of mutual assured destruction.

The Next Generation
Nevertheless, since 9/11 there seems to be renewed interest in catastrophic predictions. Some fear environmental collapse, e.g., by global warming. Others warn of conflicts over finite energy resources like oil. Then there's the "doomsday curve," attorney and pornographer Greg Piccionelli's musical chart of the exponential growth in technology's destructive potential.

Such dire warnings often accompany conspiracy theories involving private groups of VIPs like the Club of Rome. The Club publishes the Limits of Growth, an influential text on overpopulation and resource scarcity that first came out in the '70s. Interesting how Jack and his father were visited by a rich Italian and his daughter before coming to the Island.

And that has me wondering: what if Hanso (or someone) believes global crisis is again imminent? Perhaps he tried to reassemble surviving Dharma members such as Locke and Jack's daddies, who are like the original Flash and Green Lantern in Walt's comic. Maybe they proved too weak or unwilling, so he turned to the next generation, forcing Jack and Locke to become Faster Friends...




Want to read more threads dealing with similar ideas? CLICK HERE
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Last edited by Zenodotus; 11-04-06 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 05-16-06, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Catastrophe

Hi BigM

This "cataclismic scenario" is one of the few things that in my mind would make all the weird things Dharma claims to be doing acceptable and possible; I tend to agree with LIW and think this is all a hoax (+sadistic torture aka experiment) but if there's some cosmological threat like this I would understand as logical what Dharma has allegedly been doing.
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Old 05-16-06, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Catastrophe

I like it. Good job. Makes me have faith in the story and it's plotline if it reigns true.
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Old 05-17-06, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: Catastrophe

GenCobra: Thanks!

lace: I'm really glad you replied, because I know you've floated various catastrophic scenarios previously. You also were the first to point out to me that the dates on the print log might conceivably imply a time span of close to 5,000 years.

As a fan of Watchmen, I find the hoax angle appealing myself. I'm curious, though: do you think the DeGroots were the perpetrators or victims of the hoax? For example, one possibility that has occurred to me is that Hanso convinced them the world was ending, but they eventually discovered it was a lie. Heck, maybe they even discovered that Hanso himself is planning to CAUSE whatever calamity he warned them about.

I still, however, think that some kind of catastrophe, whether natural or man made, is coming. And I think the dispute is over how to prepare humanity and pick up the pieces. Dharma sees this as a chance to guide our evolution. Hanso views it as an opportunity to forge the master race.
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Old 05-17-06, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Catastrophe

oops, see below.
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Old 05-17-06, 02:54 PM   #6
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Re: Catastrophe

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmouth
Carl Sagan wondered if self-annihilation was the fate of most technologically advanced species.

.... Many believe that planetary catastrophes tend to occur cyclically about every 5,000 years.



One popular catastrophic scenario involves cometary bombardment.
I can't help but make comparisons to 1997 "hail-bob" comet fatalists. That cult group was named Heavens Gate, their leaders were called Bo and Peep. And as little bo peep and Jack Shephard, they are leaders of their flock. My memory is a little rough, but didn't the hail bob followers die in a bunkbed?

One wonders what tragic seeds of culture have been planted in TPTB psyche. JJ was in his last year of college in 1997. How old was he when Jim Jones passed the kool-aid (I mean the dharm-aid).

I sort of differ with Carl Sagan. I agree that any purist movement is doomed to self annihilate. Our differing opinion is on how one defines advanced.

The dharma distraction does seemed doomed to self annihilate, starting with their pre-requesite of only the good ones can obtain a membership, whatever good is to them. The implication, is one has to earn their way into the realm. Thank god for the reject crew, the little tarzans balancing out their dogma. Any system extreme, that has climaxed to it's maximum potential in idealism is surely to fall on its face as fast as Icarus crashed to the lowly levels of earth. When will the pod people, the brain washed membots of dharma self explode? I'm hoping that Fenry, is a symptom of dharmaid's catastrophic ending.
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Old 05-17-06, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Catastrophe

SHBL: I love it! "He" is Bob, and the Hanso Foundation is a front for the Church of the Subgenius! Meanwhile, Bo and Peep run the Dharma Initiative. Their followers committed mass suicide a few years back and now haunt the Island in nikes as black as their souls. Light vs. dark -- it all makes sense...

In all seriousness, the connection to apocalyptic cults like Heaven's Gate and Aum Shinrikyo is partly what I had in mind. For a really freaky take on the latter, check out this Wired piece from some time back. I could definitely see these guys kidnapping people for a catastrophist experiment on a deserted Island...
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Old 05-17-06, 09:56 PM   #8
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Re: Catastrophe

I have been reading posts on here for awhile and just started to talk recently. Trust me nobody on any website has put this way exactly. Everybody thinks there is some metaphysical theme or some other super deep meaning that were supposed to translate directly into the show. Nobody is considering the fact that maybe the overall plot is supposed to make us THINK about this stuff because of what happens on the show, but in the show it's just easily explained science fiction being slowly revealed to us in an agonizingly great way.
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Old 05-17-06, 10:01 PM   #9
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Re: Catastrophe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick james
I have been reading posts on here for awhile and just started to talk recently. Trust me nobody on any website has put this way exactly. Everybody thinks there is some metaphysical theme or some other super deep meaning that were supposed to translate directly into the show. Nobody is considering the fact that maybe the overall plot is supposed to make us THINK about this stuff because of what happens on the show, but in the show it's just easily explained science fiction being slowly revealed to us in an agonizingly great way.
Rick: Welcome to the China Club! I think you're right on target with that comment, though I suspect maybe you meant to reply to a different thread? Regardless, I agree -- I know I've learned a TON about ideas I never would have explored or though about but for the show. Also, as I noted on lacenaire's Corporate Control Thread I find it interesting how we the audience have become a collective consciousness of sorts via our dissection of the show.
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Old 05-17-06, 10:40 PM   #10
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Re: Catastrophe

and this is where the helium 3 comes in.

the dinosaurs existinction was speculated to have been from a H3 based comet. I have been exploring it all recently.

it makes sense.

the comet was H3 based, and the island Magnetite..
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