Lost: Orientation


Not exactly the episode I wanted or expected, but very good nonetheless. Again, I’ve got a list of takeaways:

  1. Gotta love that Dharma Initiative, brought to you by the Hanso Foundation – look below the last link and you’ll find the hidden link.
  2. The fact that Jack and Desmond both remember one another, despite the brief nature of their encounter.
  3. Are all the “others” merely survivors from the back of the plane like Ana Lucia, or has she made some kind of an alliance?
  4. In season one when Locke is on the phone with “Helen” was it Katey Segal’s voice on the other end? Did they break up? Did he replace her with some phone-sex operator with the same name? Somebody with the DVDs please look into this issue!
  5. Can Jin really speak English, or is this a case of someone else speaking Korean and we’re privy to the translation? See oceanicflight815.com, type ‘theislandiswaiting’ into the barcode prompt and see the new script page for more details.
  6. My wife reminded me tonight that Jack is a nickname for John. Is it more than a coincidence that both Johns (Locke and Jack) are now apparently the tandem in charge of inputting the code every 108 minutes?
  7. Anybody come up with any good anagrams for Alvar Hanso or Dharma Initiative?

That’s it. If you’ve got other theories, wild speculation or you just want to chat, leave a comment.

Until next week, buy a Lost Dharma Initiative T-shirt from me.

UPDATE: Additional notes –

  1. The two polar bears from the orientation film
  2. Could Adam & Eve on the island be the two progenitors of the Dharma Initiative?

UPDATE II: how now, brown pau? has some cool theories about the Dharma Initiative, the ba gua, the numbers and the island. Check it out.

UPDATE III: If you’re interested, I also blogged this week’s episode of Lost, Everybody Hates Hugo.

UPDATE IV: If you’re looking for information on one of the many Dharma Initiative websites or a username/login/password, go here.

79 thoughts on “Lost: Orientation

  1. Dan says:

    A couple more interesting points I noticed: the Orientation film is 3 of 6, and this is station 3, “The Swan”. Does this mean there are 5 more stations on the island, with different animal symbols?

    I had another good look at the Dharma symbol on the shark, and the figure in the center doesn’t look like a swan on that one. Looks a little more like a shark.

    Also, a quick web search on B.F. Skinner (seemingly the only real person mentioned on the video, as the inspiration for the Center), notes that he was a behavioral psychologist who came up with the “Skinner Box”, a little rat cage with a lever and a food dispenser, which the rat quickly learns to push every so often in order to get a food pellet. In fact the rat learns to time the frequency of his lever-pushes. Sound familiar? Take a look at http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/skinner.html

    Searches on DeGroot and Alvar Hanso turned up nothing interesting, so I think they’re all fictional.

  2. No really good anagrams for Alvar Hanson. Dharma Initiative yields “radiative thiamin”, but what the hell would that mean? They’ve radiated the B1 tablets? ~sigh~ We must keep guessing!

  3. Josh says:

    We’re finally caught up on Lost (after summer reruns – we missed it the first go around). Love the hatch furishings, it’s like being in a Bond villan’s lair from the 70s like in Moonraker or Live and Let Die.

    I wonder what happened during the gap betwen 1970 and 1980 (date mentioned in the film and the copywrite date at the end)?

    I also enjoyed the authentically bad filmstrip quality of the Dharma film. Just like something we’d see on The Simpsons.

    “Hi I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such orientation films…”

  4. lurker says:

    To further the B.F. Skinner,
    He also wrote a little ditty called Walden II, basically about an attempt to create a utopian society on par with the ideals of transcendentalism. He was also a fan of Descartes’ philosophies, specifically that of the Evil Genius.

  5. some random says:

    Hanso is a synonym for Hamsa, a god or something (not actually a Buddhist over here; I was researching the Dharma logo) which takes the form of a swan in Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Alvar, on the other hand, is a really funny name.

  6. I’ve been told both the words “alvar” and “hanso” have significance in a foreign language, but I can’t remember and will have to go find the link.

    Here’s an angram that jumped out at me –

    Jack married “Sarah”, and that is easily pulled out of the name “Alvar Hanso”. What is left is “Volcano” minus CO. (Company? Commanding Officer? Chief Officer?) Of course that is a bit of a reach, I’m just saying look sharp in future for a connection.
    After all, they are on a volcanic island in the pacific, and there IS a large crater located on a peak in one of Rousseau’s maps.

    Also, on a different track, note that the initials of Alvar Hanso have a connection to another figure active during World War II.

    “Still running his vast network of companies, Hanso has set new standards for philanthropy and the support of pure scientific research for the betterment of the entire race.”

    I wonder if they have anything in common.

  7. Below is lifted from EZboard:

    Hanso/Hansa/Hamsa are all variations on the word “Swan” in Sanskrit. It refers to an ancient time when there was only one caste in India, and that caste was Hamsa.

    “Alvar” is Tamil (South Indian) for “He who is master of the World through the worship of God.” Alvar is another word for a specific kind of Hindu saint.

    Heh. Maybe the Dharma logo is a “Swanstika”.

  8. buffalojoe says:

    Anagrams; at the Hanso Foundation site, under active projects if you select any of the other projects where access is denied, they are all signed ‘ThankYou.Namaste. Good Luck”. Namaste anagrams to “Me Satan”.

  9. Pixiestyx013 says:

    I looked up Alvar Hanso and one of the things I found is:
    I then did a google search on that and found this site http://www.radpro.com/clients.html

    Looking through some of the clients they have shows some things that are very close to the Dharma Initiative.

    As for Dharma Initiative, and RADIATIVE THIAMIN

    What if they found a way to change neural activity
    ( thiamin is used for keeping it normal ) by sending out a hidden sound or something in the air or water everytime they hit the button?

  10. pd says:

    Um, do a google define seach on Namaste buffalojoe. I think your streching too far.

    Namaste: Gesture of greeting with spiritual and symbolic significance. See Namaste: The Significance of a Yogic Greeting.

  11. Maybe Dharma’s just an inside corporate joke.
    If the central mystery revolves around the island volcano (noted on Rousseau’s map), the name “Dharma” would naturally pop up.
    ABC’s (seemingly only) other hit, “Dharma and Greg,” stars Jenna Elfman, a big ol’ scientologist, as Dharma.

    AS you probably already know, Scientologists have some very weird-ass ideas about volcanoes.

    That show, FWIW, has gotten recent press about how it’s become scientology central of late, with most of the guest shots done by fellow scientologists.

    It would be a natural joke to poke a little joke if the central mysteries of the show revolve around a volcano on the island.

  12. di9fftr731

    what is that? i’m thinking about ways of how to log into the dharma website, tis difficult. maybe that has something to do with it.

  13. Madman says:

    Checking in a flash decompiler there isn’t a frame showing all of the IP fields being correct (green) and no scripts leading off elswhere. Seems to be a windup to me. Also the domain isn’t owned by ABC

  14. Pete says:

    I was thinking of anagrams, when i remembered it said NAMASTE. so i got to thinking of indian last names, since i am indian, and i thought of shravan… i googled it, found some doctor called dr. shravan vasisth, who did studies at U of M, in pyshcology, electromagnetism, what not, although im pretty sure that vasisth is a real guy and it’s just a coincidence

  15. Flavia says:

    Hey guys,
    Just a comment, in “Adrift” when Kate climbs into a box, inside the hatch, in the room with all the food, the box says “Legumes”- vegetables in portuguese. I dont know if thats also a word in english, but i just taught it was weird.

  16. The website for the Dharma Industry,

    Leads to the link to the initiative,

    Which looks like its scanning your IP. Its subterfuge. Its actually a combination lock. Before you get the red “ACCESS DENIED” message, hover your mouse over the bottom left corner of the symbol (where 7/8 o’clock would be on a clock face). The first block goes green, and you are offered 8 seconds to turn the second block green. I have successfully turned three of them green before I ran out of time. I cannot reproduce my results at the moment, but I imagine I’ll be spending plenty of time trying.

    Viral marketing at its best.

  17. Matt says:

    Anyone think anything about the symbols around the swan in the dharma image? All those solid and broken bars. I’ve seen something like that before, but I can’t place it. On some country’s flag or something? Morse maybe? Just thinking out loud…

  18. Charlie's NA Sponsor says:

    Not really that important, but just letting everyone know: At the end of every yoga class that I have the teacher bows with hands together & says Namaste which we all then repeat to her. I believe she said it more or less means ‘be your divine self’ in the yoga philosophy which is something like be the best you possible. It is sanscrit (sp?) & comes from India like all yoga principles (as far as I know). She says the greatest & most famous yogi at the moment is a man called Iyengar (again sp?) so I suppose if u run out of options that may bare some looking into.

  19. Tony says:

    In case anyone is interested, and I apologize if this has already been posted, but there was a website associated with LOST called bigspaceship1.com. Well I have read elsewhere that the site keeps changing. It now has something about ipodnews.com. But if you right click on the page and select properties, the general tab reads iPod News updated every 108 minutes. Kinda interesting, huh?!? I wonder if its a site put up by ABC or the producers that changes to something different every 108 minutes giving a new lost clue.

  20. Fee1962 says:

    New topic – Remote Viewing. Hint: Look up “Remote Viewing” at Wikipedia One of Hanso Foundations experiments deals with that. Brief quote from Wikipedia: “Remote Viewing allegedly allows a viewer to use his or her clairvoyant abilities to “view”, i.e. gather information on a target consisting of an object, place, person, etc., which is hidden from physical view of the viewer and typically separated from the viewer in space by some distance, and sometimes separated in time (future or past) as well.”

  21. Pamer says:

    on the bigship1 site the header is all in morse code

    I translated it to say “Chocolate Asclepius”

    Asclepius was the Greek God of Healing

    I apologize if this has already been revealed somewhere

  22. Alan Eggleston says:

    This a.m. (3:00 am ET) on bigspaceship1.com it shows two polar bear graphics (dot-matrix looking) cross each other on screen. As they pass right in front of each other, a red dot appears where their centers intersect. By right clicking on the screen, then selecting I think “Forward”, at the moment the red dot appears, it will freeze the frame. If I then right click on the screen and choose Zoom In, I see the red dot contains “2FENO6” in text. I tried it in the code field on Lost site but it didn’t do anything. Also in the freeze frame, you can almost make out in the polar bear dot graphics graphic figurines, almost like Mayan or Aztec figures. It may just be a coincidence, but then isn’t everything on Lost?

  23. connieflash says:

    take a look at this research (Building a better brain)http://www.rpi.edu/research/magazine/winter04/cogsci_1.html (sorry this is the site) Could the passengers be test subjects for artificial intelligence. Read page one and two.

  24. connieflash says:

    take a look at this research (Building a better brain)http://www.rpi.edu/research/magazine/winter04/cogsci_1.html (sorry this is the site)

  25. Dennis says:

    (Sorry if someone has already touched on this)
    I was looking at the dharma symbol and notice it had some of the same symbols as the Korean Flag. Here’s what the symbols on the Korean Flag represent:
    Top Left: Heaven
    Bottom Right: Earth
    (Heaven above Earth and opposite of eachother)
    Top Right: Water
    Bottom Left: Fire
    (Water above Fire and opposite of eachother)

    Ba Gua:
    Top: Fire
    Bottom: Water
    (Fire above Water and opposite of eachoter)
    Top Right: Earth
    Bottom Right: Heaven
    (Earth above Heaven but NOT opposite of eachother)

    I don’t know if this is significant but I think it’s odd that both symbols are opposite of eachother in some form. As we know, there are 2 Koreans on the island.

  26. Joel says:

    Jay, I’ve been trying out your combination lock. I haven’t got past one green block. Any suggestions on how to move forward?

  27. Robert says:

    I just started watching the 1st season. On the comment about Locke being on the phone w/ Helen. It does sound like Kate. Couple more tidbits. He was called the Col. Remember the phone call he recieved when he was at work. Also he called Kate, Helen once at the beginning of the first season. Plus Kate said her father was an Army Ranger. That was how she learned to track.

  28. Robert says:

    also do yall think Finding Nemo has anything to do with it. Because there was an episode where they talk about it. They just dont say the name of the movie.

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