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Past Theories Past theories based on things that HAVE happened on the actual eps of the show. No spoiler info is to be posted here.

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Old 03-14-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
Details of the War
On The Tarmac

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Join Date: July 3, 2006
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Quantum Mechanics and Michael Crichton's "Timeline"

I've searched the board and seen some threads on various aspects of quantum mechanics, but none in reference to Michael Crichton's novel "Timeline." Apologies if this was covered earlier.

I grabbed a used copy of this book before getting on a plane yesterday and read it on the flight home. The book's plot revolves around various aspects of quantum mechanics and teleportation, which don't necessarily have anything to do with Lost on the surface. However, a couple of things jumped out at me. The mysterious corporation that develops and uses a quantum computer, ITC Corporation, is based in Black Rock, New Mexico. Also, there are a few references to the "foot of a giant" or something to that effect. I'm not finished with the book yet, but the idea is basically that a corporation has developed the technology to access various points on what they call the "multiverse" (i.e. parallel dimensions). People in the book don't go "back in time," because time is actually a single plane, so "time travel" is not possible. However, accessing an earlier point in the multiverse is what we might consider time travel.

IF quantum mechanics/teleportation are important elements of the show (and there is some evidence that they are), consider the following: We know that the purpose of DHARMA was to alter one or more of the numbers (thus altering the Valenzetti Equation) to change the course of mankind. But what if DHARMA failed? Let's suppose that the equation tells us that the world will end in 2050. In 2049, DHARMA still has not succeeded. Things look grim, except for one thing: scientists HAVE made advances in quantum physics and have developed the ability to travel along various points of the multiverse. Therefore, a decision is made: TPTB in 2049 decide to send a scientific team to roughly 2000 (maybe earlier, maybe later) to tell DHARMA that their methods, approach, etc. were not successful, and to take a new approach to their work.

However, DHARMA's not buying it. Their scientists are the best and the brightest, and they won't have a team of scientists from the "future" directing their efforts. Tensions escalate. There is obviously a lot at stake. DHARMA labels the new team of scientists (Ben's team) the Hostiles. Eventually, conflict erupts and the Hostiles purge DHARMA. Now, Ben's team is trying to correct the mistakes made by DHARMA to change the numbers successfully this time. Thus they're the "good guys." [Note: If there is another group of Others, I'm not sure where they came from or how they fit].

The quantum angle would also help to explain the crash survivors [electromagnetic pulse ruptures the multiverse, 815ers enter a different universe and therefore are somehow unharmed] and possibly the whispers [could be people on one plane of the multiverse, say 2049, observing and commenting on (directing?) events on another plane, say 2004, where the two planes are so close that people on each plane can hear each other].

I know there's some overlap here with other quantum threads, but thought the Crichton connection was interesting.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:24 PM   #2
On The Tarmac

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Join Date: November 24, 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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Re: Quantum Mechanics and Michael Crichton's "Timeline"

The Crichton influence is definitely possible, especially when you consider the parallels between Smokey and the swarm intelligence in another of his books, Prey, and the strange Sphere-like manifestations on the Island. I don't want to spoil Timeline for you, but there is a major plot hole that has a direct bearing on this debate. Basically...
...time travel in Timeline supposedly involves hopping into a parallel earth in the multiverse. That possibility is appealing because it precludes changing your timeline, thereby avoiding the possibility of causal paradox (e.g., killing your grandfather before you're born). Brian Green suggested something similar as a premise for the film Frequency. Anyway, Crichton blows it by having his characters do things in the past that end up affecting the timeline. The professor leaves a note and his eyeglasses, which are found by his students. One character stays in the past, and his friends find his tombstone in the future. Both things should be impossible if they're simply traveling to a parallel earth.

I honestly think Desmond's trip into the past changed the timeline. If so, the TPTB either aren't using the multiverse possibility, or they're making the same major error as Crichton.
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