This J.J. Abrams article in Wired ends with a story that will delight me for some time. It's a tale about the hazards of needing to solve a puzzle so badly you become willing to cheat to get to the end. You might want to read it now, and then come back to finish this post.

J. J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery:

That was kind of a test. Could you leave this post half-finished so that you could understand more of what I was talking about? Or was that too many clicks?

First, let's notice that two clicks is sometimes too many clicks. We live in a particularly impatient age.

Second, let's talk about the moral of the story. Cheating doesn't work with puzzles because the answer is not the point. The figuring it out is the point and if you cheat, you miss it.

There is another moral, I think. Whatever you do, it's not an entirely lost cause if it results in a story people will remember.

And no - that wasn't entirely a pun. Ten years from now, I think that very few of us will remember the plot of Lost - but we might have moments when we remember the characters.


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