Michael Tsen's Saga




Monday, March 01, 2010

In Search of ONE Theory for "Lost" ...

Close friends would know how obsessed I have been with Lost - a TV Show. Now that Season 6 is the last season on air, I find it as the last chance to come up with a theory before the show ends.

Although the most probable outcome is that there will NOT be a clear answer given and the best time to formulate a theory is after the show ended, ie. after collecting all the facts; but what could be more exciting than coming up with a theory to predict the future (show's ending) ?

But apparently there are already many theories around. Each theory would have gathered their own supporters and fans. When 2 different theories collide, the war is not any less than those political parties asking for votes. When such arguments arise in person, it is not uncommon that it ends with blood or lost of friendships. Non Lost fans may laugh at this silliness but all these are the reasons why Lost is not just one of those series.

How you would come up with a theory has also become important. Everyone watch the same show but everyone form their own opinions. Some classified theory as complicated formulas while others think a simple idea will do. The following would be how I think I should come up with a theory.

Observation -> Idea -> Hypothesis -> Theory

First, the show itself is used as a base. Meaning whatever shown in the show are considered as presented facts. The funny thing is that not all scenes are just pure facts. From time to time, producers of the show may purposely play tricks with the viewers and those scenes may become more than just facts, or more like a deceive. However, in this aspect, if you can't prove certain scene is a deceive, we will have to accept them as facts.
one of the weirdest pose I have ever seen

While all of us may have watched the same show but each of us may observe different things, usually that is affected by our own preference and past experience. Some may fancy more into Sci-Fi while others may remember the romance parts. Hence it is important to understand that what we observe may not be necessary facts. For example, "Ben said the Island moves in Time" could be a fact if Ben actually said that in the show while concluding the Island indeed move in Time is NOT a fact until we can prove that Ben really knows that and Ben is not lying.

With the clear understanding of 'margin of errors' stated above, you can start come up with explanation to your observations. Each of this form an idea. Sometimes it may take more than one idea to explain one phenomena while the other times one idea may be able to explain for multiple observation.

When you have a collection of ideas that do not conflict with each other, you have form a hypothesis. Usually some generalization on the group of ideas is needed to form a hypothesis. By this time, not only can you explain quite a lot of observations but the frequency of coming up with new idea should slowly decrease. A new idea will also become harder to be incorporated because it can't be conflicting with the existing hypothesis. When one hypothesis does collapse, you will need to form new hypothesis and re-exam all the observations again.

Finally when you think your hypothesis is strong enough, you would use it to explain ALL the other observations, including other people's observations. When your hypothesis can explain ALL observations, then it will become a theory if it can also predict what the outcome will be before a new observation is identified.

Evangeline Lilly stars as Kate in Lost


ChampDog said...

I watch lost and always end up lost but I still like to watch lost. Maybe I like to be lost?

I think my hypothesis is they want all of us to be lost...

Michael Tsen said...

or a conspiracy that is :)

Actually it is an interesting phenomena that Lost fans are very much like the characters played in the show; lost, unsure sometimes and yet determine to do something at other time, most of all ... Lost fans are always break into 2 extreme opposite groups when discussing/debating on a particular point ... just like the show's dualism concept that keeps on emphasizing upon.

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