David H. “Davar” Lindelof, who was
someone I met via a chance encounter with a Velikovskian study group
Raspil) I became very friendly with, played a lot of games with me.
I got to know his son Damon as a young teenager who was starting to
study and work in all forms of show business, and we played too. As
you probably know, Damon grew up and managed to take a much straighter
career path in his chosen field than I have found in my much more
glamorous field of applied science.
After Lost was a short way into its run, it occurred to me that it was not only entertainment for the general audience, but also another of the sort of games Damon played with his friends and acquaintances. I thought it likely that the idea would have occurred independently to others of his acquaintance, so I brought it a little formality. “We” were “all” (though it might be only me) to try to solve as quickly as possible the puzzles the show presented, figuring out what everything meant, even if only to a small circle of friends, i.e. to “get” it. I proposed to mail my guesses at intervals, dated and sealed and to be opened after there was nothing left to figure out, to Damon for safekeeping, to be judged eventually by whomever we thought was a fair judge against any other entries he might receive. He said OK.
I encouraged our mutual friend and gamer John to participate, so he piggybacked entries onto some of my mailings with me doing the keyboarding. After a while I decided that for convenience, if Damon wanted to peek, I would put copies on the Internet in a public HTML folder that was unpublicized and unlinked, and which I used otherwise as a work folder for teaching purposes. If you're looking for the only file I have left here for teaching, the one with tips for writing term papers, it's here.
Damon then invited me onto The Fuselage Web board, and over time the sealed envelopes stopped, the Internet copies became the only ones, and the links became publicized. Certain personal identifiers were redacted, although since then Damon has publicized even his mother's name. I continued my discussions with John (who doesn't have a computer) and others who knew Damon as a friend if not necessarily as gamers, plus other fans of the show, as well as online via Usenet newsgroup alt.tv.lost and The Fuselage. My entries and John's up to Lost's final season are linked here; read them in their order to follow as the show and our thinking about it progressed:
John's critique of #9
#14 in MS Word format
#14 in OpenOffice Writer format
We were nearly unanimous at the conclusion of Lost that we'd been had. A couple of friends who weren't that much into the show as a mystery were satisfied, but the rest of us expected a plot that made sense. I was esthetically pleased at the production and got a lot of enjoyment at the clever allusions the show made to items not essential to the overall mystery, but the apparent promise it and its makers had made of a mystery that could be solved appeared to have either been a swindle from the start, or as I thought, a goal from which the makers of its show were mysteriously deflected before the end. I was dissuaded from writing a final entry.
And so things stood for 21 months. Then I read something that reopened my thinking. I think Damon's built up something unprecedented AFAIK in serial fiction: a story with a false conclusion, to be corrected later. So “Get” Lost has resumed:
#15 in MS Word format
#15 in OpenOffice Writer format