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dharma, the button and the time machine

after a brief discussion with a fellow losty yesterday over the show around the button, dharma and the “time machine”, i had to shore up some of my thoughts around the time machine and the 108 minute loop. i’m still not sure who hooked the button (computer) into a time machine to reset the loop, i don’t believe it was dharma’s original intention as it could have been a simple social experiment, but at some point the button was used to reset the island back 108 minutes into a continual loop. than why would such an important task be left to human error? wouldn’t it make sense to just let the computer do the talking?

there was one possible reasons which is part of the timelooptheory posted on the net. sending the computer back in time would mean that the computer code would not exist in the past (from the timelooptheory).

this obviously makes no sense as you could code the computer 109 minutes before you start the loop and have the loop reset every 108 minutes, so the code would be written before the reset.

i believe i have figured out a possible reason and it’s based on what they call a scheduled job (cron job) in the computer world. if you wanted to rely on a computer to fire off an event automatically you would need to set it up as a scheduled job. well, then why didn’t they just do that?

through some research, i discovered that early versions of DOS did not contain this functionality. so if it was a DOS based system, no chance in doing it. well, maybe it’s a unix bases system on a mainframe? i looked into when unix first demonstrated cron capabilities, and from wiki it mentioned with version Version 7 Unix which was released in 1979 and for mass use in 1980.

we know the computers on the island were likely brought there prior to that date and were used in the building of the swan. so there you have, not a great theory, but a way of explaining why humans had to push the button 🙂

for anyone that wants to read up on cron – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cron

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14 thoughts on “dharma, the button and the time machine

  1. I agree with some of this, and found it interesting. One possibility though, considering the number of scientists, they developed their own operating system. I mean heck, they built a time machine, I think an OS would be a piece of cake.

    Regardless of which OS, without being able to test it in real life, we truly do not know what effect it would have on a computer to send it back in time. 🙂

  2. hi th,
    it’s possible that they would have created their own operating system, but probably unlikely as it would provide little advantage over what was available. operating systems were simply a means to allow computer hardware to communicate with software. for sure they would write their own software, but the operating system would help facilitate that not hinder it.

    now if they wanted to come up with a way to develop a scheduler, i’m sure they could have, as it’s really just a loop program, but what i found interesting through my research was that it was really not something a lot of end users thought they would need until it became available.

    i’d like to hear more of your thoughts on this?

  3. I have questioned the button scenario before. I always thought it was too important for a computer to handle in case of error. That would be why there is a person, or better off persons, in there pushing away.
    I have been pondering away now on the button, the swan, and Radzinski since last epeisode. From the info we know now. Kelvin replaced Radzinski, Desmond replaced Kelvin. And from the looks of it, Locke was Desmonds replacement in a way. Not a DI, but regardless that is not my point.
    My point being, why and when did Radzinski get put there to begin with?
    I wonder how much trouble he will stir up about Sayid. I wonder if Sayer’s “thinking” is going to end with Radzinski being stuck in a hatch for the rest of his life.
    At the moment he is free, but we all know, sometime soon, he will be going down there for good, and I think MR Security Lafleur, may have a hand in this happening.

  4. But, it definitely could be something else. I first thought the whole 108 min had something to do with keeping the island invisible and undetected from satellites. I’ve never had enough for a full-blown theory, but it would make sense.
    It would also make sense that a computer is used to control time travel or prevent build up of electromagnetic energy

  5. username, great thoughts on the computer operating systems!

    I have a thought which AES has touched upon. We know Kelvin doesn’t arrive to man the Swan station until after the Gulf War, in 1990.

    The fact Radzinsky knows about Sayid places him in a very tenuous position with Sawyer and friends. I doubt Sawyer will allow him to spill the beans. Radzinsky appears to be quite headstrong and not easily manipulated.

    Without further ado, I believe Radzinsky gets killed at some point, and Daniel Faraday takes his place in the Swan. I believe the man who Kelvin thinks is Radzinksy is actually Faraday, who eventually commits suicide.

    Faraday is slowly going mad, and is a liability to Sawyer and company, and that won’t change.

    This scenario is perfect, IMO. It covers all of the angles, and gets the people who need to be tucked away nicely, with NO questions asked!

    PS: Computers are also subject to error, usually human, but you get my point….lol

  6. willis, i would love to hear the theory around the satellite orbit of 108 minutes. it’s very interesting.

    a.e.s, dabs, i really like what you both wrote about the sequence of events for the button pusher. that would be really cool if faraday takes radzinsky’s place. also the idea that lafleur could have influence on radzinsky being down there in the first place. i wonder what else lafleur has been influencing.

    i’ve read some interesting ideas on why they wear gas masks/suits when leaving the hatch, where this started after the purge and somehow the swan occupants were spared and got wind of some kind of air born killer so they started wearing the suits on the outside.

  7. Willis – I remember hearing a theory that involved moving the island every 108 minutes so that the island could not be found by a particular satellite looking for it- namely, Widmore’s satellite. When 815 went down, it was only 100 days until a boat got there…Widmore’s boat.

    I think this has alot of promise!

  8. Radzinski’s suicide.
    We only have Kelvin’s word that this ever happened.
    If Faraday takes over for Radzinski (I love this idea) and he is considered mad but brilliant, he could get into mischief. Hence the need to keep a watch on him. And so a partner like Kelvin who has possibly done missile silo duty in Kansas. And so the Pearl station as a backup.
    After the Pearl is abandonned ‘Radzinski’ deserts his post and disapears. Kelvin is pissed but stays put. He tells Desmond Radzinski killed himself.

    The show gets a series of aha! moments: First when we see the real Radzinski get killed. Second when we see Daniel has taken his place in the bunker. Third when Daniel re-surfaces in 2007 very much alive.

  9. sorry to burst ya bubble dude but im pretty sure in the last episode of lost sawyer tells jack that faraday is no longa there….i think he managed to skip thru time agen sumhow and hes gona sum how get the rest back….probably with the help of desmond.

  10. Wesley, I think that the “he’s no longer here” comment was more a statement about his mental state than actually about him being on the island because, I hate to burst your bubble, in two episodes he’s there telling everything he knows..so there you have it (maybe?)

  11. yeah, it’s hard to interpret what that means, no longer here could mean anything – dead, time shifted again, joined the hostiles, went awol or crazy, took the sub back to the real world.

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