domenica 22 novembre 2009

Theory 4:nested flashforwards - Flashforward and time travel theories

This post is part of a series about flashforward and time travel theories. Might contain spoiler. Please start reading here.

Theory 4: external interventions

In theory 3 we were considering specific interventions of "the people behind the blackout", but it was hard to explain how these interventions could happen and change the predetermined time-line.
This interpretation considers a particular intervention from those people: a second blackout (even in some way it happens "before" the actual one).
This theory starts from the "time flow" stated in theory one. When a flashforward occurs, people see what their future would have been without the flashforward. They have therefore the possibility to act and change this future. Let's look at Figure 5 for a clearer explanation.

Figure 5: double flashforward scenario

In this scenario we have a first flashforward event, somewhere between October 6th and April 29th.
In this flashforward people saw their "old" future, like in theory 1: a future that they will be able to change.
A new flashforward was then introduced, before flashforward "1". In this flashforward, people saw the future that they would have experienced in timeline 2: a word where a different flashforward happened.
Therefore, they will be able to change their future according to what they see.
Good points:
This theory seems to explain many of the problem encountered in previous theories. The future seen in the flashforward is based on a word where a flashforward existed; this would explain Mark's investigation, and many of the "coincidences" found.
The future is not pre-determined, explaining Al's death and all possible changes on future events.
I did not find any strong objection on this theory. There are however many open question.
How does the theory addresses the "strange behaviours at flashforward time"? How can a second flashforward be created? Can it be created before the first flashforward? The "first" flashforward will happen in this reality too?
Addressing the problems:
Many of these question will possibly be addressed by future episodes. This theory leaves the future of the series open to different possibilities, and I think this is very intriguing.
The fact that people are behaving in a strange way at flashforward time might be explained by the fact that in timeline 2, flashforward is showing a different timespan (or even a different day). People would not expect a flashforward to happen at that time, and are therefore acting normally.

This ends my theories series for the moment, I hope to get some feedback from you!

domenica 15 novembre 2009

Theory 3: external interventions - Flashforward and time travel theories

This post is part of a series about flashforward and time travel theories. Might contain spoiler. Please start reading here.

Theory 3: external interventions
Ok, theory 2 seems to go along with Mark investigation and some events in the flashforward, but has been invalidated by Al's death. In particular this goes against assumption 2:
  • A specific "possible world" setting, without any external intervention (par example people causing flash forwards), the future is fixed: starting from the same exact variables events will always evolve in the same way.
What if we theorize a world as depicted in theory 2 (the flashforward shows a future where the flashforward itself is taken into account) and add an "external intervention" ?

Figure 4: a new timeline "manipulated" by a further external intervention.

But what could cause such an external intervention? Who? Here we can start with a lot more theories, but let's start with a simple one: there is a group of people "behind" the global blackout and the flashforward. They have instruments (or powers) that caused this event, and maybe can interfere with the normal time flow in other ways. For example they could cause flashforwards to a controlled number of people (maybe themself?) and act according to the future they see.
One of their intervention could be the attack against the fbi agents.

Good points:
This theory would explain both the fact that the flashforward is "implied" in people vision and the fact that some events (Al's death) made some vision "impossible".  It is also possible to find a specific event explaining two changes in the future: the attack against Janis. Janis ends up wounded and it will probably be impossible for her to have a child (invalidating what she saw in her flashforward). By the attack the "Blue hand" investigation starts, Al knows about ghosts and their dispair, and decides to kill himself (invalidating his and Fiona's flashforward).
The problem of how people are acting at flahsforward time remains unsolved.
A new problem is introduced: how can those people "intervene" and change the future? Why their intervention is not considered in the blackout vision?
Addressing the problems:
We know very few of how the blackout was caused but we can assume that people that caused the blackout have the power to "change the future".  However this theory does not add any clue on the reason for the "strange" actions at flashforward time.

Theory 2: pre-determined future - Flashforward and time travel theories

This post is part of a series about flashforward and time travel theories. Might contain spoiler. Please start reading here.

Theory 2: pre-determined future
In this theory the future seen in the flashforward is the "real" future, what will really happen on April 29th.

Figure 3: flashforward coming form "flashforward" time flow itself

All events are predetermined, people are moving towards their future, "written" and seen in their own flashforward.  In Figure 3 you can see a full line, since there is no space for "changes" in this scenario. There is no relation beetween "flashforward time" and "normal" time.
Good points:
This vision is also simple: the flashforward is a real sight of how the future will be. In this future there are references to the flashforward (Mark investigation) and events where the flashforward is probably involved (Lloyd meeting Olivia, since his child got injured during the blackout).
People behaviours during the 2 minutes and 17 seconds do not seem to go along well with this theory. They act normally, as if they did not "lived" that moment before: imagine you saw what you would possibly be doing at a certain time in the future; when that time comes, you would expect what is going to happen, prepare yourself for it and maybe nod if everything would happen according to the flashforward. Instead, people are suprised by what they see (Janis is really moved when she's told about the daughter. But she's been knowing that for months!) and seem to behave without considering what they have seen (what is Mark doing in the office, drinking, with his gun unloaded if he know that masked man are coming to kill him)?
All flashforward should be true, but what happens to Al in Episode 7 invalidates both his and Fiona flashforwards.
Addressing the problems:
While people behavior might somehow be accepted, Al's problem invalidates this theory.

Flashforward and time travel theories - Theory 1: a different future

The last episode I saw of Flashforward (n° 7, "the gift") caused some discussion and thinking about the possibles "time shifts" scenario in the series.
This serie of post contains SPOILERS on the Flashforward series and on episode 7 in particular. So, if you haven't watched any episode, please start by the pilot. If you've not seen "the gift" yet, stop here and come back after ;).

There are different theories on time travel and related paradoxes. I will try to apply some of them to the "flash forward universe" and see which one match it best.
I'm starting from 2 basic assumptions:
  1. The flashforward shows something "true", something that would happen in a precise "possible word". The flashforward is not just a dream, created ad-hoc with no reference to a possible future.
  2. A specific "possible world" setting, without any external intervention (par example people causing flash forwards), the future is fixed: starting from the same exact variables events will always evolve in the same way. 
Theory 1: a different future
Let's start with the simplest theory. In figure 1, there is the "normal" timeline. This is the timeline of events in case no flashforward occours. All the timeline is drawn in a full line, assuming that the future is pre-determined by the starting situation.

Figure 1: normal time flow (no flashforward involved)

Obviously, one flashforward must occour, on October 6. On this date everyone has a flashforward of april 29th.
What happens to our timeline (Figure 2)? The first timeline becomes a possible world, where no flashforward was involved. Our world is rapresented in the second timeline. We have now the flash flashforward on October 6. What is shown in this flashforward? In this hypothesis, people see what would have happened on the world WITHOUT the flashforward. In their 2 minutes and 17 seconds they see what would have happened on april 29th in timeline 1.

Figure 2: Flashforward coming from "natural" time flow

This is therefore a future that can be changed: a new variable is introduced in the world, people have seen their future and can act in different ways in order to change it. What will happen in the "real" world on april 29th is no more pre-determined (dotted line) but can change according to people choices.

Good points:
This vision is quite simple and easy to understand, there are no (let say less) temporal paradoxes. Time "restarts" from the flashforward and the world history is rebuilt according to people actions. Anything can happen, both "now" and on april 29th.

It is rellly hard to fit this vision with the flashforwards seen until now: why is mark investigating on the flash forward? How did Olivia meet Lloyd, if in the first timeline the accident that caused Dylan hospitalization would not have happened? How do all other clues rely? How could "blue hand" groups exist?

Addressing the problems:
It is a bit hard to believe, but all the Mosaic investigation in the first timeline, might be based on something else, might not be involving the blackout. In that possible world, Mark might be investigating on a different case, or maybe on the group of people that will cause the blackout in timeline 2. Olivia might meet Lloyd any other possible way, and any other coincidence might be explained. Blue hand might be something different in this world, maybe (still?) connected with people behind the flash forward.

Further Theories are presented in the following posts:

Flash Forward Wiki Wikia (Spoiler Alert: this wiki is up to date with the last episode broadcasted in USA)

Thanks to Came, Bond and jjescalante for discussions ;)

Comments Welcome!

sabato 14 novembre 2009

Google wave in blog post.

I received an invite to google wave, but I didn't find a relevant use yet. Let's try to embed it in a blog post.

I'm following the rules listed here:

And here (I hope) there is the wave!

First impression? It's very very slow, and well.. ugly :D
I see post as anonymous on Safari..and changes to the wave are not updated.
And, most of all.. see what happens if the user is not logged in into waves.
Maybe I should work on personalizing it..maybe this is not worth the effort?
Do anyone know if there is a better way to use wave to publish content? Sugges sites with a good use of wave embed, if you have any!

By the way, if U need invites I have some available..

giovedì 12 novembre 2009

Strange Anonymous comments - "good start" ?

Lately on this and other blogspot blogs I'm receiving strange comments from anonymous users like:

"good start"
“quello che stavo cercando, grazie”
“leggere l'intero blog, pretty good”

and similar phrases. Spam? Sure, but why? No link attached, just the short "appreciation" phrase.
Maybe links were removed by blogspot? Should I remove such comments?

By the way, to subscribe to a Blogspot blog comment feed, the url is:


martedì 10 novembre 2009

New release:

Last "release" from wellD Sagl, in collaboration with PfenningerSolutions:
The slide-out menu (made with mootools and CSS sprites) took me a bit, maybe I should write some kind of tutorial on it!

site by  wellD, web-communication, Lugano