Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Solution

Of all the posts I've written for this blog, the most popular with Google is a little thing I did about the mystery numbers for the American TV show Lost, back in March.

4 8 15 16 23 42

So much for literary criticism, South Asian literature, Bollywood, Bhangra, or the politics of multiculturalism. Apparently more people would rather read about TV.

Not that I'm complaining too loudly. Successive waves of web-surfers come to visit every Wednesday night and Thursday after the show airs, trying (I suppose) to see if anyone has cracked the code. Last Thursday, the spike was about 500 additional visitors (and that's on top of the 100-200 people who visit the site looking for those numbers every single day).

Lost stubbornly refuses to reveal the meaning of the six numbers on the hatch, or how they might be connected to "Hurley's" lottery experience, or the mysterious radio beacon, or the "Others," or the evil black smoke, or the "Black Rock," or virtually anything at all on the island (ad infinitum). Last night, though much was promised, nothing much was delivered: the crazy "Desmond" simply showed us that the numbers add up to 108 on his computer -- woohoo.

Many people have commented on my Lost post over the past few months, but today I think someone might actually have solved it (or at least one aspect of it), with a creative longtitude/latitude reading: 4.815 X 162.342. It points to a spot in the middle of the open ocean near Papua New Guinea (see the Mapquest location here.

Now, as to why those particular numbers have a magical quality associated with them, who knows? The same could be asked about the French chick, or the crazy guy holed up in an underground quarantine for 15 years, listening to the same Mama Cass record again and again ("Make Your Own Kind Of Music").

Can Lost offer a coherent explanation that will satisfy the 20 million or so people who have been waiting for one for more than a year? I doubt it, but I have to admit I'm enjoying being teased thus far.


Chuck said...

My most popular post is a link to someone else's Pineapple Salsa recipe, so we're in similar company.

At least your most poular post is about interpretation. I can't even say that.

2:29 PM  
Boston Bala said...

Not that I am complaining... But, this post will increase that page's rank and will stand more prominent in Google's results :-))

4:11 PM  
Abi said...

I guess you are yet another victim of Luc, the law of unintended consequences.

I have a question though: just how do you get Google to tell you the most popular post in your blog?

Sitemeter ( -- which I installed on my blog recently) gives a rank ordered list of the entry and exit pages. But what you have is somewhat different, and you have used Google! I am impressed ...

1:58 AM  
Amardeep said...

Boston Bala, Actually, I don't think it helps your Google PageRank if you refer to individual posts under a single domain name (it would be too easy to create 'Rank Spam' that way).

And Abi, I'm just going by the large spike last week (and the smaller one this week), and my sense from the "Referrals" button that the main cause of it is 4 8 15 16 23 42. The free version of Sitemeter gives very limited information, so my statement about that is based just on the hourly referrals.

1:25 PM  
Anand said...

My most popular post is the one about Sudoku. On the average, around 40 hits a day, with Google contributing 30 of those.

And that was one of the silliest posts on my blog. I had nothing my own to say about it.

8:27 AM  
Chuck said...

In my case, one of my stats counters tracks the most popular search strings leading to my site. A few months ago, my top search string was "Broken Flowers," which made me very happy.

12:19 AM  

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