Late Night Thoughts About Whiterose, Counterfactuals, and #MrRobot

Mr. Robot and Logic Bombs

One of the fun things about Mr. Robot is that you can have so much fun speculating about its possible futures. Two quick caveats:

1. Unlike with Lost, the attention to every little detail on this show gives me a great deal of confidence that it will ultimately all make sense at the end. Or leave us in a place where theories can be logically grounded.

2. I know I don't know anything. I enjoy thinking about the show. I have no special sauce, I make mistakes, I am probably more wrong than I am right.

As usual, if you are not caught up to eps 2.3 of Mr. Robot, stop reading now *Spoiler Alert * 

If Kangaroos Have No Tails + Counterfactuals

This is the first paragraph in the David Lewis book Counterfactuals which I read many years ago:

If kangaroos had no tails they would topple over’ seems to me to mean in any possible state of affairs in which kangaroos have no tails, and which resembles our actual world as much as kangaroos having no tails permits it, the kangaroo topples over.” The rest of the book is dedicated to defining logically what “counterfactuals” mean and how best to reason with them.

A counterfactual is a special type of IF-THEN statement, where we know the IF part is false. It’s obviously true that “kangaroos have no tails” is false, so how do we evaluate the claim that if they did have tails, they’d topple over?”

His theory of the best plan for thinking out counterfactual propositions is not the point here. My point in explaining counterfactuals is that I may have made a mistake in my reading of what whiterose said to Dom about alternate realities.

Minister Zhang (whiterose as a man) was talking explicitly about counterfactuals in the Logic Bomb episode when he said: 

Let me ask, Miss DiPierro, have you ever wondered how the world would look if the Five/Nine hack never happened? How the world would look right now? In fact, some believe there are alternate realities playing out that very scenario, with other lives that we’re leading... Other people that we’ve become. The contemplation moves me very deeply.

Perhaps you remember that whiterose once said that he had hacked time. What if we put the two statements together and whiterose hacks time, which he is obsessed with, by living alternate timelines for the same reality. 

To make this clearer, what if whiterose lives the timeline where Kangaroos have tails and when that timeline ends he lives the timeline where Kangaroos have no tails. The contemplation moves me very deeply.

Filling Out The Kangaroo Theory

I made a joke about Time Bandits last week, but that movie was about a group of little people and a young boy who used a stolen map exposing the holes that maintenance people use to repair the universe to travel through time. It might be the case that Mr. Zhang (whiterose) is obsessed about time because he can use precise moments in time as "holes" between timelines.

What if he had to leave when the clock chimed because he has to follow particular rules and be in particular places at different times?

What is he is a man "out" of time instead of, like the rest of us, a man who will eventually be out of time (mortal)?

Yes, this is probably batshit crazy, but I will make five quick arguments for this theory:

1. A logic bomb, like a counterfactual, is also an if-then statement which seems a bit too coincidental to be an accident. Time could be a logic bomb for whiterose in much the same way Elliot's program is a logic bomb for the FBI as long as the fuse in not tripped the world doesn't explode.

Of course, one cautionary note here, whiterose also seems to be closeted from the Chinese government which means he is living out a different kind of logic bomb. I have theorized (I think correctly) that he let himself get too close to Dom which explains the hit by the Dark Army in the lobby of her hotel.

2. Ray (Craig Robinson) gave a big speech about people who are "conflicted" about reality having magical powers that make them "divine." Again, I don't believe that was a throw-away line. Everything means something.

3. In season 1, whiterose talked about having hacked time.

4. whiterose quotes Hamlet saying, "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more." is his reason for being so obsessed with time. But, this could also be one of the reasons he has to take Dom out. He could be saying NOT that he is obsessed with time because of the inevitability of existential crisis. He could be saying (instead) that he is obsessed with time so that he is no longer a walking shadow or poor player. 

He could be saying that he is obsessed with time because time has allowed him to escape the existential crisis (this mortal coil). It has allowed him to no longer be bound by the rules that make it all seem like much sound and fury signifying nothing in the end.

5. What if the dialog between Dom and Zhang/Whiterose about the K-Mart clock meant something totally different than it seemed to mean? Here is that dialog:

I know it seems a little uncanny, but my parents had the same clock in our family room growing up. I found this in Germany. The town of Rothenburg. Cost me a fortune. The seller told me that it was one of a kind. (SCOFFS) So much for the honest salesman. (CHUCKLES) My parents bought theirs at a Kmart in Teaneck.

What is in a different timeline where Zhang/whiterose visits, that clock in Rothenburg is worth a fortune, but in the timeline that Dom and Zhang/whiterose share it is just a common KMart clock?

Anyway, that is all I have right now. Just thinking out loud.

What do you think of my theory (be nice)? Let me know, leave a comment.

Counterfactuals
By David K. Lewis