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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 03-01-08, 04:55 AM   #1
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+ An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

My Theory: I do not think Desmond traveled through time. I think he traveled within his own timeline. Being 'Unstuck' means he is experiencing the frames of his life span out of order. Without a 'constant' he is never sure what the order is he is experiencing. By his own notation, Daniel is also unstuck in time

What does unstuck mean?

Short answer: It means he is experiencing different frames of his own lifespan - but out of sequence.

The long explanation: This is my understanding of time: You can equate moments in time to frames in a movie. Put all the frames, in order, together - play them - you see time passing. Time has a direction, unlike anything else in the universe (gravity, energy, ect can all be reversed) This direction is an arrow that points away from the big bang and towards the future. Time always flows that way, so all the frames of time have an order. But, in reality all the frames exist at the same time - in reality all the frames of your life could be cut out, all held together, and a powerful light could be shined through showing your entire life in one frame. Even though we perceive it flowing it actually all exists the past the present and the future. Hawkins and Greene explain this well in their books. Desmond is going back a few frames. The problem is how this affects a person. They become disorientated. The loose sight of where they came from - they need a reference.

The constant is that reference! It is a person or an object that exists in both times - it must be something that also gives the unstuck individual a reference. Penny could recognize that Desmond vistied her 8 years ago - and remembered this for him - that was his constant.


Daniel's reference in his notes proves he is also unstuck. Desmond can provide a point of reference for Daniel. (This explains his crying at the 815 crash news.)

l the arguments of paradoxes, alternate timelines, courses correcting, and every other time travel idea, I believe, were completely proved untrue by yesterdays fantastic episode. Desmond and the rat were 'Unstuck' via strong radiation/EM ray. (Don't ask me why - ask Daniel) Desmond is not doing anything different - he is simply transported back within his own timeline. That is why he goes back to his time in the Army - and he is dressed and cut as a soldier. He is not transporting back, he is simply reliving another point in his own history. Yes, because of his knowledge of the future (no matter how confusing it appears to him) he might act slightly differently - the framework of time and occurrences is still going to be the same. I think Desmond did act strangely that day in the Army. I think he did cause his troop to run in the rain and haul stuff as punishment for his little misdeeds - perhaps they are a little different because he saw the boat - but if time is set - then he always behaved that way, he just never understood why. I don't think with this type of time movement you can have a paradox - because everything has already happened this way. Desmond asked for the number either way. Daniel would have discovered the correct settings for the radiation pulse either way. Nothing fully changed.

Last edited by LostViking; 03-08-08 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

amazing post.


bravo.
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Old 03-01-08, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

I thought 1996Desmond was flashforwarding into 2004 and not the other way around.
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Old 03-01-08, 12:17 PM   #4
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

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Originally Posted by lacenaire View Post
I thought 1996Desmond was flashforwarding into 2004 and not the other way around.

I agree with that.


The flash was from past to future in The Constant.
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Old 03-01-08, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by dweisspt View Post
(Mods, feel free to move this as you may. As much as I hate to add to the number of time travel threads, I think this theory is unique and worth another thread. )

My Theory: I do not think Desmond traveled through time. I think he traveled within his own timeline. Being 'Unstuck' means he is experiencing the frames of his life span out of order. Without a 'constant' he is never sure what the order is he is experiencing. By his own notation, Daniel is also unstuck in time

What does unstuck mean?

Short answer: It means he is experiencing different frames of his own lifespan - but out of sequence.

The long explanation: This is my understanding of time: You can equate moments in time to frames in a movie. Put all the frames, in order, together - play them - you see time passing. Time has a direction, unlike anything else in the universe (gravity, energy, ect can all be reversed) This direction is an arrow that points away from the big bang and towards the future. Time always flows that way, so all the frames of time have an order. But, in reality all the frames exist at the same time - in reality all the frames of your life could be cut out, all held together, and a powerful light could be shined through showing your entire life in one frame. Even though we perceive it flowing it actually all exists the past the present and the future. Hawkins and Greene explain this well in their books. Desmond is going back a few frames. The problem is how this affects a person. They become disorientated. The loose sight of where they came from - they need a reference.

The constant is that reference! It is a person or an object that exists in both times - it must be something that also gives the unstuck individual a reference. Penny could recognize that Desmond vistied her 8 years ago - and remembered this for him - that was his constant.


Daniel's reference in his notes proves he is also unstuck. Desmond can provide a point of reference for Daniel. (This explains his crying at the 815 crash news.)

l the arguments of paradoxes, alternate timelines, courses correcting, and every other time travel idea, I believe, were completely proved untrue by yesterdays fantastic episode. Desmond and the rat were 'Unstuck' via strong radiation/EM ray. (Don't ask me why - ask Daniel) Desmond is not doing anything different - he is simply transported back within his own timeline. That is why he goes back to his time in the Army - and he is dressed and cut as a soldier. He is not transporting back, he is simply reliving another point in his own history. Yes, because of his knowledge of the future (no matter how confusing it appears to him) he might act slightly differently - the framework of time and occurrences is still going to be the same. I think Desmond did act strangely that day in the Army. I think he did cause his troop to run in the rain and haul stuff as punishment for his little misdeeds - perhaps they are a little different because he saw the boat - but if time is set - then he always behaved that way, he just never understood why. I don't think with this type of time movement you can have a paradox - because everything has already happened this way. Desmond asked for the number either way. Daniel would have discovered the correct settings for the radiation pulse either way. Nothing fully changed.

very interesting dweisspt............

How do you rationalize this with Ms. Hawking's explanation to Desmond.
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Old 03-01-08, 03:22 PM   #6
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by dweisspt View Post
l the arguments of paradoxes, alternate timelines, courses correcting, and every other time travel idea, I believe, were completely proved untrue by yesterdays fantastic episode. Desmond and the rat were 'Unstuck' via strong radiation/EM ray. (Don't ask me why - ask Daniel) Desmond is not doing anything different - he is simply transported back within his own timeline. That is why he goes back to his time in the Army - and he is dressed and cut as a soldier. He is not transporting back, he is simply reliving another point in his own history. Yes, because of his knowledge of the future (no matter how confusing it appears to him) he might act slightly differently - the framework of time and occurrences is still going to be the same. I think Desmond did act strangely that day in the Army. I think he did cause his troop to run in the rain and haul stuff as punishment for his little misdeeds - perhaps they are a little different because he saw the boat - but if time is set - then he always behaved that way, he just never understood why. I don't think with this type of time movement you can have a paradox - because everything has already happened this way. Desmond asked for the number either way. Daniel would have discovered the correct settings for the radiation pulse either way. Nothing fully changed.
This is an interesting theory. Issues relating to it have been discussed before, for instance, in this thread:

http://www.losttv-forum.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=43753

This seems to involve a theory of tenseless time, which is accepted by quite a few scientists and philosophers. My problem with the idea is that it implies determinism, which rules out free will. I go into that claim in detail in the above thread.

But right now I want to talk about your claim that there are no alternate timelines in Lost, that they have been ruled out by the last episode. I don't see how this can be true. You say, regarding Desmond going back to that day he was in the army: "because of his knowledge of the future (no matter how confusing it appears to him) he might act slightly differently ." Well if he acts differently than he did before, then there are two different timelines. Then you say that he always acted strangely that day, but just didn't know why. But then you still have two different timelines. In one he acted strangely and didn't know why (which is a little hard to imagine) and in one he did know why, because he had just bounced back from the future. Your consciousness is a part of your timeline, right? I mean if in one timeline I am totally freaked out because I bounced back from the past, and in one I am just a little puzzled, those are two different chains of events.

Also, think of what happens in the Flashes episode. Desmond remembers one past where the bartender gets hit by a bat. In this second timeline he is the one who gets hit by the bat. Here you have two different actual events, so there must be two timelines.

Now I might accept that even though there are different timelines they lead to the same future, or the same future in all important ways. But if there is this type of time travel by consciousness back into your own life, there has to be alternate timelines.
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Old 03-01-08, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

Quote:
You can equate moments in time to frames in a movie.
I loved your explanation.
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Old 03-01-08, 03:58 PM   #8
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

That's how I try to see it: events of 1996 happened for 1996 Des as he saw it, including flashing to some boat near Fiji in the Pacific and be with strangers who claimed to know him and doing stuff in 1996 as he's told in the for-him future. It's as if he's having Charlie-type flashes, only this time we're experiencing it as viewers with us thinking it's 2004. And yes that creates for an uncomfortable set-in-stone destiny... but if the present is the present, then the past must have happened. No way around it.

I like the film analogy and jumping from one scene to the other, just not in chronological order. Something David Lynch likes to do on purpose I think: having a story, then wrip the chronology apart and reshuffle everything so that it doesn't make sense to viewers anymore.
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Old 03-01-08, 04:05 PM   #9
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by see you in the next life View Post
very interesting dweisspt............

How do you rationalize this with Ms. Hawking's explanation to Desmond.
SYITNL ,

She was telling him the truth, to a point. I think his awareness to his being unstuck is the key. Just like the difference between dreaming and being aware that you are dreaming. If Desmond knows he is repeating a timeline, then it is possible for him to change thing, I think, but there would be dire and horrific results. And, I think, time itself would try and prevent it. I think things always follow the laws of entropy. It is harder for alternatives to happen, because they offer more resistance. So Desmond going back and changing anything might be very very difficult, because what did hapen was the path of least resistance.


TIAR.

I have been discussing this idea for a really long time as well, and I do remember you tenseless time thoughts.

you posted them here: http://www.losttv-forum.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=35235

Don't get me wrong, I love movies and shows with alternate timelines. I just am making an observation that Desmond has only stuck to his own timeline. I think TPTB are going this route to avoid confusion for the viewers. I could handle and love that kind of show along with you. But the other millions of people are not going to appreciate that as much. I think we have just witnessed the extent of time travel on Lost. In fact, any time travel movie I have ever seen, only includes one type of time travel. There is a type that includes alternate time lines. This almost always involves a time gate or time travel device. Anything that then happens in the past by the time TRAVELER causes a alternate timeline. Desmond did not travel anywhere. He simply went back to his own timeline - which a vauge awareness he had seen the freighter. Up until the call with Penny, he did not even know he was time traveling. He just thought he was crazy. Only the constant repetition of being aware of both times in his life led him to follow Daniel's advice to go to Oxford.

Quote:
Also, think of what happens in the Flashes episode. Desmond remembers one past where the bartender gets hit by a bat. In this second timeline he is the one who gets hit by the bat. Here you have two different actual events, so there must be two timelines.
Again, I am with you on this. I think the writers have two choices with this situation. They either decide that there are now two timelines or they say there is still one that is the same ultimately but just slightly altered due to the loop.

On a physics and real world level, I think it would prove you right. But on a science fiction level - I think both can be true. And, based on this episode, I think TPTB have played their card.

Last edited by LostViking; 03-01-08 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 03-01-08, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: An Explanation of Desmond's Unstuck in Time

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Originally Posted by lacenaire View Post
I thought 1996Desmond was flashforwarding into 2004 and not the other way around.

He wasn't flashing forward or back - he was unglued. He had no idea which direction he was going in, because his arrow was lost, which is not suppose to happen.

This theory of time states that all sequential events - all time - happens at the same instant. We only perceive time as sequential and in a single direction.

For a person to suddenly see time out of order would be confusing and disorienting to say the least. I would drive you insane.
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