Talking in Code

On March 4, 2005 by Christy

The ‘Lost’ TV series is currently airing in the US and here in Oz. In the US it has a website on the channel’s webpages: US. What is interesting is that in the series there are numbers repeatedly being displayed or referred to. For example 4 is

– # of years Locke was in his wheelchair
– # of guns in Marshall’s case
– # of aces on Boone’s t-shirt
– years ago that Hurley’s grandfather got his pacemaker
– years ago that Sam Toome died
– years ago that Sawyer made a birthday wish to be tackled in the jungle by a woman
– Leonard playing the game Connect Four
– Charlie shoots Ethan 4 times

To summarise, these seem to be the numbers of contention: 4, 8,15,16,23,42. Now there is a website with those numbers: http://4815162342.com/. The website was apparently setup by the Lost team, but this is not confirmed. There are plently of websites referred to in the forum so go exploring.

This is obviously an example of a cross-media work. The website and the activity on it and others is an example of participation. What I find interesting is that there are many viewers who watch the show and have no idea that there are these other parallel activites that go with the show. For me, I assume that I’ll be given some clue as to cross-media nature of the work but I’m wrong. The clue that is left is some pattern or activity that is not addressed. This implies that there is something more that is being addressed elsewhere. It takes a certain type of person to recognise this obviously. Do these cross-media ‘operators’ or ‘additive comprehenders’ all suffer from/or are blessed with apophenia?

Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. The term was coined by K. Conrad in 1958 (Brugger).

Or am I drawing a comparison that isn’t there?…