On another topic... this whole "punch the numbers in every 108 minutes" business. I'm sure nearly all of us saw this spelled out, and decided that it made _no sense whatsoever_.
We have some kind of alarm that counts down every 108 minutes. During that time, the numbers must be punched into the computer. If they aren't... well, catastrophe happens.
So _why is this?_ What is it that causes the countdown? Couldn't somebody find that causes it, and fix it so it _doesn't_ need this constant, inhuman maintenance? (For example, if it's like a valve that builds up pressure, then why not build a valve that releases pressure automatically?)
And the numbers are punched into a _computer_. So why not hitch program the computer into the alarm so the computer does the task automatically? (For example, couldn't the circuit that runs the counter be plugged into the computer, so the computer automatically enters the numbers?)
We don't need Johnny Cochrane to tell us that _it does not make sense_.
So it's _obvious_ that this whole setup can't be what Desmond claimed it to me. And assuming that Desmond's being truthful, both he and Locke are amazingly easy to convince.
The whole setup makes me think of an essay by Doug Hofstadter about nuclear war. Hofstadter described this village that's blackmailed by a madman. The madman's built a dice-rolling machine in the clock tower that'll destroy the village when it rolls seven sixes. But, if the villagers write postcards to the madman, every day, he will adjust the machine so it's less likely to roll the sixes. So the villagers start writing postcards like mad... but after a while, they start to write Not As Many, and then few, and then none, but the danger still waits...
But it also makes me think of a weird psychology game: can we con someone into staying with this dopey machine, performing this maddening task, for years on end?
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."
-- Muddy Waters