Author Topic: Take me down to paradox city  (Read 9073 times)

Offline puff6962

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Take me down to paradox city
« on: April 19, 2007, 01:41:01 AM »
Sorry, I'm not always crazy about the little bugga. 

But, Desmond's attempts to make the sequence of events fit his vision had already changed the reality thread.  For one thing, Desmond did not forsee the backpack and sat phone.  This stop caused a delay in their trek and the dialogue between Hurley and Charlie is altered.

Finally, when Charlie steps on the trip wire, he completes his sentence....Might as well fit Superman with kryptonite ballerina slippers.

The Hawthorne effect....Observation is Intervention.  Desmond, by simply having some knowledge of the future, alters the future.  Furthermore, since some of the losties have recognized this talent....they change their behaviors and the future is again divergent. 

(It's kinda like when Warren Buffet invests in a company.  Just that vote of confidence changes the nature of the business.  Buy railroad stock in about 3 months).

The question I have is whether Desmond's gift can EVER be useful in making long term predictions?  Also, is Desmond's knowledge of his powers, his altered behavior due to what he has seen, and his intervention factored into the vision in the first place? 


Offline this is some crazy stuff

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 01:47:38 AM »
You think to much sometimes.

He said before that he sees flashes like a puzzle he doesnt know where they go and he doesnt see the whole story.

So at the beginning of the show we saw one of his puzzle pieces and just didnt see all of it.

Offline puff6962

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 01:57:16 AM »
Ya, I know.  I guess the point of the post, before I got sidetracked, was that Desmond's fear was of altering the course of events that led to the desired outcome.  Now we presume that this issue will center upon Charlie's death.  Not so.  The simple awareness of the possible future alters Desmond's actions and therefore the final result.  Desmond continually trying to make reality fit his vision had already altered the course of events before the crossbow fired. 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 02:19:43 AM by puff6962 »

Offline this is some crazy stuff

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 02:04:41 AM »
yea I kind of thought the same thing too.

Like if he saw all that in his vision why wouldnt he just sit back and let it all happen the way it supposed to happen.  Except save Charlie of course

Offline xrayeck

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 08:12:00 AM »
Several people have touched on this in other threads, but is this the episode's real Catch-22:

If he hadn't seen the flashes, Desmond never would have trekked into the jungle to find the parachutist, but if he'd never trekked into the jungle to find the parachutist, then where did the flashes come from?

If you subscribe to the time manipulation theory (and I know many of you do not), I think this provides a giant clue because it's only a paradox if you think of time in linear terms. Puffy pointed out elsewhere that the dialogue between Hurley and Charlie is slightly different between Desmond's "flash" and the "reality" we saw later. This has to be intentional (otherwise they'd have just shot the scene once and used it twice). I think Desmond's situation is sort of similar to Scrooge's in "A Christmas Carol." By witnessing one possible future, his actions in the present can change it.

Offline eelpie62

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 08:46:14 AM »
He did manage to keep the pub tender from getting whacked with the cricket bat, so he can obviously have some effect.
That's some catch, that catch 22.

Offline MaxsDad

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 09:53:40 AM »
I wish I had read this earlier!  Good point xrayeck, I brought this up on another thread! But you said it better! Our future is not written in stone. Its what we make of it!

Offline JBRam

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 10:58:48 AM »
The conversation is identical up to a point where it gets longer. Des only saw a part of the conversation...

The question still stands, tho... how would Des ever have gotten out there? I can understand him seeing the beacon from the Losties Beach (possibly) and heading out from there, but not from where the cable is.

Offline kkehoe5

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 11:48:00 AM »

If he hadn't seen the flashes, Desmond never would have trekked into the jungle to find the parachutist, but if he'd never trekked into the jungle to find the parachutist, then where did the flashes come from?

I had the same problem with Minority Report. If he never saw the murder, there would be no murder, so there would be no murder to see.

Offline WG?JIFFY

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 12:30:51 PM »
That is probably part of the "catch 22."  I'm not sure but how does visions of the future work?  Isn't this how you would think that seeing the future would work?  You see it then it happens, right?  Not, you see it then make it happen and it turns out different.  Then you didn't see the future you saw something happen the way you wanted it to happen!  They aren't always the same.  My mother used to say want in one hand and .....  Well you know what I mean.
They just aren't always the same.

Offline Creflo

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2007, 02:14:18 PM »
Quote
Also, is Desmond's knowledge of his powers, his altered behavior due to what he has seen, and his intervention factored into the vision in the first place?

This is the key question.


My feeling is that in the real world where no one truly sees the future, predictions are essentially guesses made based on most likely outcomes.  On the island, those who have a connection with its power are able to tap into information that is above and beyond these guesses.

What would've happened regardless of Desmond's "flash-forwards" (for lack of a better term) are:

- the beacon
- the crash
- the hanging pilot

What could've been changed by his actions:

- who goes camping (needed enough people to catch her with the chute, carry her back)
- what time of day they come upon certain areas
- Charlie gets a laryngectomy
- other pointless details such as the Flash vs Superman convo
- the pilot could've hung around undiscovered and died


I see no paradox if The Island is causing Desmond to see the events in order to ensure that the pilot is discovered in time.

Offline T Mack

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 02:54:37 PM »
That is probably part of the "catch 22."  I'm not sure but how does visions of the future work?  Isn't this how you would think that seeing the future would work?  You see it then it happens, right?  Not, you see it then make it happen and it turns out different.  Then you didn't see the future you saw something happen the way you wanted it to happen!  They aren't always the same.  My mother used to say want in one hand and .....  Well you know what I mean.They just aren't always the same.

But it isn't just Desmond affecting the future.  Charlie caused the future to happen as Des 'saw' it- by not agreeing to go search for the parachutist that night.  Charlie demanded to wait until the morning to go, thereby ensuring his own death if the same events had been followed and Desmond had not intervened and tackled him at the last second.

Desmond tried to change events by suggesting they go look for the parachutist that same night, thereby ensuring that the whole sequence of events- from the trek through the jungle, to the superman conversation, to the tripping of the guy wire for the snare- would never happen.  Charlie's own persistence at 'waiting until first light' before heading out caused the future flash that Desmond saw.

So Desmond can intervene, and even multiple times, in a sequence of events to keep it from happening the way that he saw it.  I think the "Catch-22" is simple, to intervene or not intervene.  It can't be more complicatd than that.   

I think Desmond is torn between intervening when certain events may hold a desirable outcome for him or the Losties, even at the expense of Charlie dying.  For instance, the parachutist ("someone's coming? rescue? Penny?) holds the promise of being rescued and him seeing Penny but at the same time if they don't find the parachutist (satellite phone and all), they don't go on the jungle trek and therefore Charlie doesn't get skewered.  So Desmond struggles to find a way to let the parachutist event happen- and all the hope that that brings with it- and saving Charlie at the last second.  He gets to have his cake and eat it too.

So when people ask why didn't he just not form the campout group and not go on the jungle trek so that Charlies life would never be in danger in the first place, the answer is because if he didn't, then the parachutist event would not have happend (or they woudn't have seen it), the parachutist would die or never be seen, and their chance at rescue would be eliminated.

One thing I'm not so sure about is that if by intervening does it really affect the overall outcome- the parachutist landing on the island? I'm not convinced it was ever supposed to be Penny in that flight suit.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 02:57:09 PM by T Mack »

Offline puff6962

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2007, 04:57:07 PM »
The clear division in the two threads of realities occurred when Desmond saves Charlie instead of watching him die.  This delay in their search for the parachutist would have probably spelled her death or allowed the Others to find her first.  In any event, it may be this outcome (in addition to what Charlie may now do or what the other survivors would have done as a result of his death) that will alter the "picture on the box" that Demond foresaw.

Offline T Mack

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2007, 05:09:03 PM »
The clear division in the two threads of realities occurred when Desmond saves Charlie instead of watching him die.  This delay in their search for the parachutist would have probably spelled her death or allowed the Others to find her first.  In any event, it may be this outcome (in addition to what Charlie may now do or what the other survivors would have done as a result of his death) that will alter the "picture on the box" that Demond foresaw.

True but even prior to that, Charlie had to postpone the trip until the next morning.  If they had gone that night at Des's instistence, that would have altered the timeline sufficiently such that Charlie's life would never have been in danger and the parachutist was promptly rescued.

Offline puff6962

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Re: Take me down to paradox city
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2007, 05:23:32 PM »
Maybe the parachutist was not supposed to be rescued....