Author Topic: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)  (Read 7223 times)

Offline Holland34

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Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« on: February 10, 2010, 03:58:19 AM »
Okay... time travel is once again hurting my head.  Let me ramble for a moment and see if I make sense.  If I make no sense, please simply put me back on my drugs so I can fall back into my stupor... however, if you can understand this and agree or disagree, please help me understand!

First time around: Oceanic 815 crashes.  Things happen.  5 survivors (and Aaron) get off the island.  All 5 (minus Aaron) try to come back.  4 of the 5 (sort of like dentists) go back in time.  While back in time, they detonate a nuclear bomb that will conceptually stop the plane from ever crashing in the first place.

Second time around: Oceanic 815 flies safely over what was the island (except it is underwater).  They live happily ever after.  More importantly, they don't go back in time.  Since they don't go back in time, they aren't there to blow up a bomb to keep them from crashing in the first place.

Ergo, they have to crash to prevent themselves from crashing.

Ummmm... mama said what?  What am I missing here?

Offline Holland34

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Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 04:02:12 AM »
Okay... I posted the following thread at the base Season 6 folder, but thought it might not get the eyes / brains that I need to help get my arms around this, so I am copying it here:

http://lost.cubit.net/forum/index.php/topic,10251.0.html

Would love to know if anyone has some thoughts.

Offline CaseyMac

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 04:13:42 AM »
Very good point.

I think it goes back to that line by Desmond back in season 3. "No matter what I try to do...you're gonna die, Charlie."

The universe is going to course correct.

Offline Astriastar

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 04:14:45 AM »
Whoa.  Maybe.  Yikes, that's so crazy it just might be true.

Offline Astriastar

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2010, 04:17:28 AM »
Whoa, maybe.  Just maybe.  My mind feels weird trying to think about that, kind of like when you exercise muscles that you never use.  Did Faraday explain that in that episode where he had the epiphany about them detonating the bomb?  Like which timeline they were on, and if it would affect their past/new future since it was 1977? 

Offline Barringer

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 04:49:09 AM »
From what I can tell, this won't be necessary. There are two parallel universes that we see now: the one where Oceanic 815 crashed, and one where it did not crash.

The Oceanic passengers that were in 1977 and detonated the bomb will not have to go back in time to set it off for their reality to exist, because those same people already did it in the other timeline.

I guess another way to describe it is that the Jack that crashed on the island is JackA, while the Jack that does not crash on the island is JackB. JackB does not need to go back in time to set off the bomb, because JackA from the other reality does this for him. The only reason JackB would have to go back and set the bomb off himself is if JackA and his reality was erased entirely, but we see this is not the case because it shows both realities on the show.

It's possible, however, that there's something going on with the way the alternate realities work that we aren't seeing, because Sun saw the photo of Jack, Kate, et al. that was taken in 1977 back in season 5. I suspect, however, that this is either an oversight, or that because they hadn't set the bomb off "yet," their present was still Sun's past (whereas now it's not, because it's JackB's past). That's pretty much still an oversight, though, because it's not as if Jack et al. were experiencing events at the same time as Sun was; it was just the way the narrative was structured.

Umm, here's my attempt at a diagram:

Reality A (Oceanic 815 Crashes, no bomb) 1977___________________2007
                                                                                            /
                                                            ----------------------
Realtiy B (Oceanic 815 lands, bomb)    1977/_____________________2003

When Jack from reality A traveled back in time and set off the bomb, he created an entirely new reality, so that he wasn't just traveling back in time, but also to a different, parallel reality. Regardless what Jack from reality B does, Jack from reality A is always going to appear in 1977 and set off the bomb.

Offline Gar O Mac

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 04:51:38 AM »
I think because it's a whole new timeline that don't have to crash for it to of worked, as long as the people in the first timeline blew up the bomb, the plane in timeline two will never crash. Does that make any since?

Offline lostfromthestart

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 08:41:13 AM »
I didn't see two docks in the episode, just one.

Offline Angus

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 10:30:59 AM »
From what I can tell, this won't be necessary. There are two parallel universes that we see now: the one where Oceanic 815 crashed, and one where it did not crash.

The Oceanic passengers that were in 1977 and detonated the bomb will not have to go back in time to set it off for their reality to exist, because those same people already did it in the other timeline.

I guess another way to describe it is that the Jack that crashed on the island is JackA, while the Jack that does not crash on the island is JackB. JackB does not need to go back in time to set off the bomb, because JackA from the other reality does this for him. The only reason JackB would have to go back and set the bomb off himself is if JackA and his reality was erased entirely, but we see this is not the case because it shows both realities on the show.

It's possible, however, that there's something going on with the way the alternate realities work that we aren't seeing, because Sun saw the photo of Jack, Kate, et al. that was taken in 1977 back in season 5. I suspect, however, that this is either an oversight, or that because they hadn't set the bomb off "yet," their present was still Sun's past (whereas now it's not, because it's JackB's past). That's pretty much still an oversight, though, because it's not as if Jack et al. were experiencing events at the same time as Sun was; it was just the way the narrative was structured.

Umm, here's my attempt at a diagram:

Reality A (Oceanic 815 Crashes, no bomb) 1977___________________2007
                                                                                            /
                                                            ----------------------
Realtiy B (Oceanic 815 lands, bomb)    1977/_____________________2003

When Jack from reality A traveled back in time and set off the bomb, he created an entirely new reality, so that he wasn't just traveling back in time, but also to a different, parallel reality. Regardless what Jack from reality B does, Jack from reality A is always going to appear in 1977 and set off the bomb.

Yeah, I agree.  That's why the episode is called "LA X".  It plays on the fact you described of multiple parrallel universes. The other reality could be referred to as "LA Y" to show they are both realities, but on different axis'.

Offline E.S.B.

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 10:37:27 AM »
Think of it like in Back to the Future -- as of 1977, there was a tangent universe that split off from the original universe as our characters knew it.  Barringer explains it pretty good.  Fortunately for Hurley, who was concerned about his hand disappearing, none of the changes prevented him from being born.

Offline Holland34

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 03:36:20 PM »
From what I can tell, this won't be necessary. There are two parallel universes that we see now: the one where Oceanic 815 crashed, and one where it did not crash.

The Oceanic passengers that were in 1977 and detonated the bomb will not have to go back in time to set it off for their reality to exist, because those same people already did it in the other timeline.

I guess another way to describe it is that the Jack that crashed on the island is JackA, while the Jack that does not crash on the island is JackB. JackB does not need to go back in time to set off the bomb, because JackA from the other reality does this for him. The only reason JackB would have to go back and set the bomb off himself is if JackA and his reality was erased entirely, but we see this is not the case because it shows both realities on the show.

It's possible, however, that there's something going on with the way the alternate realities work that we aren't seeing, because Sun saw the photo of Jack, Kate, et al. that was taken in 1977 back in season 5. I suspect, however, that this is either an oversight, or that because they hadn't set the bomb off "yet," their present was still Sun's past (whereas now it's not, because it's JackB's past). That's pretty much still an oversight, though, because it's not as if Jack et al. were experiencing events at the same time as Sun was; it was just the way the narrative was structured.

Umm, here's my attempt at a diagram:

Reality A (Oceanic 815 Crashes, no bomb) 1977___________________2007
                                                                                            /
                                                            ----------------------
Realtiy B (Oceanic 815 lands, bomb)    1977/_____________________2003

When Jack from reality A traveled back in time and set off the bomb, he created an entirely new reality, so that he wasn't just traveling back in time, but also to a different, parallel reality. Regardless what Jack from reality B does, Jack from reality A is always going to appear in 1977 and set off the bomb.

Yeah, I agree.  That's why the episode is called "LA X".  It plays on the fact you described of multiple parrallel universes. The other reality could be referred to as "LA Y" to show they are both realities, but on different axis'.
But here's my issue with that... each timeline has to be self-sufficient.  In your "reality B" example, the people we see in 2004 (the alt timeline people) will have a history that extends before 1977.  The assumption is that the reason they don't crash on the island is because the bomb was detonated... by the same people.  If we assume the history for our Losties prior to 1977 is the same in both timelines, then there has to be cause and effect within the given timeline to make things happen.  Possibly a better way (at least a different way) to say this is...

Most timeline theories I've seen (either from a fictional sci-fi perspective or from a scientific perspective) are based on events diverging as a result of making one choice or another (eg, I choose to go right or I choose to go left... everything that follows is a result of that choice.)  Where I am challenged (and maybe it is just a story-telling device) is someone going back in time to create a new timeline for themselves because to do that requires them to have made the choices and experienced the experiences (deep, huh!?!?) that they did.

Ultimately, maybe I just have to buy in or not, but I am hoping that someone has some other logic that I am missing (and I like the initial try here... maybe there's something I am missing within your logic that will help).

Sorry... the post above is a bit convoluted... hopefully it makes a little sense.

Offline CaseyMac

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 05:52:39 PM »
From what I can tell, this won't be necessary. There are two parallel universes that we see now: the one where Oceanic 815 crashed, and one where it did not crash.

The Oceanic passengers that were in 1977 and detonated the bomb will not have to go back in time to set it off for their reality to exist, because those same people already did it in the other timeline.

I guess another way to describe it is that the Jack that crashed on the island is JackA, while the Jack that does not crash on the island is JackB. JackB does not need to go back in time to set off the bomb, because JackA from the other reality does this for him. The only reason JackB would have to go back and set the bomb off himself is if JackA and his reality was erased entirely, but we see this is not the case because it shows both realities on the show.

It's possible, however, that there's something going on with the way the alternate realities work that we aren't seeing, because Sun saw the photo of Jack, Kate, et al. that was taken in 1977 back in season 5. I suspect, however, that this is either an oversight, or that because they hadn't set the bomb off "yet," their present was still Sun's past (whereas now it's not, because it's JackB's past). That's pretty much still an oversight, though, because it's not as if Jack et al. were experiencing events at the same time as Sun was; it was just the way the narrative was structured.

Umm, here's my attempt at a diagram:

Reality A (Oceanic 815 Crashes, no bomb) 1977___________________2007
                                                                                            /
                                                            ----------------------
Realtiy B (Oceanic 815 lands, bomb)    1977/_____________________2003

When Jack from reality A traveled back in time and set off the bomb, he created an entirely new reality, so that he wasn't just traveling back in time, but also to a different, parallel reality. Regardless what Jack from reality B does, Jack from reality A is always going to appear in 1977 and set off the bomb.

Yeah, I agree.  That's why the episode is called "LA X".  It plays on the fact you described of multiple parrallel universes. The other reality could be referred to as "LA Y" to show they are both realities, but on different axis'.
But here's my issue with that... each timeline has to be self-sufficient. 

However, it's starting to look like the 2 timelines are connected, hence the deja vu moments our characters are starting to have. It's why the Season 3 episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes" is looking more and more important. Desmond wakes up in an alternate timeline, but starts to remember things from the original timeline. (The numbers, 108, Charlie, etc.)

Offline lostfromthestart

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 10:07:24 AM »
I didn't see two docks in the episode, just one.

Come on, get it?  A paradox.  A pair of docks?  (rim shot)




though room

Offline Holland34

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 11:55:13 AM »
I didn't see two docks in the episode, just one.

Come on, get it?  A paradox.  A pair of docks?  (rim shot)




though room

Alright, the sad part is I actually thought about the old joke when I posted the title in the first place, but I thought about it in the context of Doctors (Docs)... I thought... there's Jack... who else?  (Apparently Ethan, now.)  Sadly, my mind wasn't able to make the transition to docks... I just thought you were pulling something out of what someone else wrote.  Yep.... just a bit slow in here on a Wednesday!

Offline LouE68

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Re: Could it be... a Paradox? (There's that word again)
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2010, 11:13:33 PM »
I just want to see the writers timeline board, that is gotta be like IMAX size LOL