Lately we've been wondering how TPTB are going to bring together all the elements that we are gathering concerning the Wishbox, the Casimir effect, time travel, the Island properties, etc. Consider the puzzle pieces that we have to work with so far (mostly in order of appearance):
- castaways with possible ESP abilities
- large amounts of contained magnetism
- catastrophic forces of some sort
- exotic experimentation
- the Island's special properties (including, or not, the magnetism)
- time or parallel reality travel (possible wormhole activity)
- a "wish box" that can somehow "materialize" one's thoughts
- the Casimir effect and quantum activities
- the possibility of duplicating material objects
I am not even going to touch the quantum physics of this bunch of bananas. Many blogs are talking about that more knowledgeably than I ever could. What I'm thinking about is how these elements are related and might work together toward the end result. Do the magnetism, the Casimir-like properties, and the ESP abilities, etc., have to all be at specific "settings" like a prescribed set of variables where all these peculiar components have to be in place for it to work properly? And can anyone "man" the controls of the apparatus in the Orchid video, or does someone with special powers like Walt have to be plugged into it as a part of the variable equipment settings?
Another question is, if you want something to "appear" via the Box, does the operator just need to think of what he wants to materialize, or does the apparatus allow him to travel through space to retrieve it? That is, does the thought-command activate the retrieval, or does the object wished for have to be physically gone after? From what we've seen since landing on the island, it looks like mere thought might activate some kind of spontaneous mechanism. Jack saw his dad, Kate saw her black horse, etc., and even Charlie's guitar might have been a part of that kind of materialization factor (thanks Memphish for that theory!). Ben also said that they had nothing to do with Locke's father appearing on the island and that Locke's mental obsessiveness brought Cooper there.
In the Orchid video, they talked about setting controls on the equipment for a desired result, but they didn't get what they expected. We've guessed that was the problem with the Dharma-built apparatus -- the function that it was supposed to perform hadn't quite been perfected into producing an exact result, causing the Incident. In this case, experimentation with a scientific prototype would be very dangerous. They built this great machine to harness and increase the random effects of the Island, but they weren't able to control it after all, so is it now a wormhole run amok (like a Water-Wiggle at the end of a garden hose)? Similar to the movie "The Cube" where the tesseract rooms shuffle every so often, the Island machine could be like an inter-dimensional Rubik's cube. Did Dr.Candlewickwax lose his arm during one of the Island's spontaneous cosmic shuffles?