Discussion in 'Lost' started by Agent Richard07, Jan 20, 2009.
I gave both a grade of Excellent. Man, time travel is really going to jack with the brain now
That seems like a likely differentiator between him and everyone else - he turned the key. But why should turning the key unstick him in time? I'd like a bit more logic to it than that - such as my suggestion that that Desmond died and another Desmond was sucked in from another timeline - not being "native," he isn't bound by predestination rules and can change whatever he likes - he can kill "his grandfather" without creating a paradox because that's not really his grandfather anyway. Doesn't have to be that exact explanation, but something that makes you go "oh yeah, makes sense."
(How did I miss seeing your post before? I just realized I posted after you once before this. Frakkin time anomalies!)
And that was a two-hour movie. Having characters be helpless for two seasons is going to be a lot more frustrating. I thought that premise worked fine at a movie length, btw.
But the writers didn't think to have you be a billionaire from the start, because that was four years ago and who plans TV shows out in that kind of detail? so they can't retcon it in now if they're adhering strictly to the one-immutable-timeline philosophy.
They were?!? (The photo you posted looks like you might be right!)
Hey remember the Big Band music Hurley and Sayid picked up on their radio (the first solid clue that there might be something frakked with the timeline?) Now we know where that came from!
As for the Four-Toed Foot, I'm going on record now: it's Vincent!
Somebody else probably thought of that before now...
I may not have explained my point very well. I was responding to your suggestion that time travel within a self-consistent timeline means that the time traveler is "helpless". The time traveler is anything but helpless. You can still have a massive impact on the timeline without actually "changing" it.
With the example I was offering, the scenario was: "OK, I'm not already a billionaire. I don't have a billion dollars now. I didn't have a billion dollars four years ago, or ever. But I have a time machine, so I can go back in time 100 years, set up these secret investment accounts, then return to the present to access the secret accounts and collect my money. The accounts were always there. It was already part of the timeline. I just didn't know about them until I thought up the idea of creating them."
Or how about this one?: "I want to save the life of a friend of mine, who died on a plane crash a few years ago. I have a time machine, but I know I can't change history, so there's nothing that can be done to save him, as it's already happened. But wait, I can go back in time, prevent the plane from crashing, and then set up a fake plane crash with fake bodies which the media will report as that plane crashing and everyone aboard dying. Nothing was ever actually 'changed'. The fake crash and the coverup were always part of history, I just didn't know about it until I thought of the idea."
Or if you want to get really crazy: "I pick up my newspaper in the morning, and read about a couple of stories that I don't like. I want to get in my time machine and go back and prevent these events that were reported on from happening. But the timeline is immutable, so how do I do that? Well, I can go back in time and mess up as much of the previous day's events as I want. I just have to make sure that when I'm done, I make sure to print out a fake newspaper, with news stories on all the things that I wanted to change, then drop that newspaper off on my front porch so that the me from the past is fooled."
So there you go. There are tons of things you can do to get around the prohibition on changing history, as long as you're creative.
Incidentally, if the writers are actually smart enough to use the Novikov self-consistency principle properly (which I'm not assuming, but let's just go with this for a minute), then that could provide an explanation for the various times when seemingly improbable events occurred because (according to various characters) it was "the Island's will", or some other mystical-sounding nonsense. For example, Michael tries to kill himself in "Meet Kevin Johnson", but the gun won't fire, and Tom tells him that he couldn't kill himself even if he wanted to. This would actually make perfect sense if there's a time traveler from the future manipulating events. The time traveler has evidence that Michael lived long enough to pose as Kevin Johnson on the freighter, so when he manipulates events in the past, he knows that, whatever happens, Michael can't die before serving on the freighter's crew.
Similarly, you could have Claire being saved by a time traveler before supposedly being "killed" by her house blowing up. The time traveler takes her into the future, giver her the downlow on what's going on, and sends her back to the present, where, rather than being a ghost, she's actually just someone who's now been given all the secrets about the island and time travel.
Not sure if all of that tracks. I'm just thinking out loud here.
My new theory is that the whispers we hear could possibly be our characters running into their former selves...?
Paradoxes are impossible. That's why they're paradoxes. Altering the past is impossible because, if the past was altered, who is there to go back in time, not to mention they would have no motive to do so. The only legitimate way to finesse the existence of paradoxes would require really wild interpretations of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Stephen Baxter's Exultant made a stab at it, unsuccessfully in my opinion. Lost hasn't a prayer of a chance.
Making Desmond an exception of any sort has the same problem. I also would dislike lame "reasons" like surviving the destruction of the hatch. The storyline about the numbers preventing the end of the world has been detonated already. It was a dud. Revisiting it would just compound the error.
Genuinely plausible time travel without paradoxes would require intense planning. Which in my opinion is why Lost and Heroes are doomed to overall plots with no sense. And worse, no real dramatic validity. Slovenly time travel plots with paradoxes only work in my opinion in short form. Internally consistent time travel stories could work in long form, except for the practical difficulty of actually planning to make a long term story, and then actually getting someone to pay for filming it. Babylon 5 will likely remain unique.
Speaking of which---how many others have ever wondered where did the Chrysalis device orginally come from? (I imagined a story line where the warrior caste wanted to create their competitive hybrids and built the original, which Ivanova then sent back in time, when she was head of the Rangers.)
Finally got to watch my tape, voted both above average.
Well yes, it makes no sense if Desmond is an "exception" in the sense that he can create alternate timelines. The writers can't have it both ways. Either there's only one timeline or there isn't.
But there's no logical contradiction if, as I suggested earlier, Desmond is only "special" in the sense that his memory is swiss cheesed. In that case, there isn't necessarily a problem. It would mean that, for example, Desmond's meeting with Faraday at the Hatch was always part of the timeline, but Desmond simply forgot about it because his memory's messed up, and then remembered at a convenient time years later.
That would mean that Desmond represents a highly convenient escape clause for the writers, but it wouldn't violate the laws of physics.
Daniel is only assuming you cant change the past, look at all the times Desmond saved Charlie from dying, I know in the end eventually he did die, but the future is the past of the far future, and Desmond changed that a lot.
Correct, there's no logical contradiction in that case. I was thinking of Desmond as the special one who could change the past. Or future, as the above poster points out, which is not a physically meaningful distinction.
Given the long term use of flashbacks, though, wouldn't calling their validity (if for one character, why not all?) into question sort of undermine the whole series?
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