Lost ARG 2008 - Part 13

Firstly, let me say a quick thanks to whoever amongst you faceless, silent readers out there that went and did my Dharma Test as mentioned in the previous ARG post. I know it must have been some of you out there since I didn’t mention the test to anyone anywhere else and my score has increased. So, you know, thanks. Glad you took the trouble. Now, to business.

Everyone that’s been following this knows the drill by now. An e-mail pops up, informing people involved that there’s another test available. . . Here’s the latest:




I am pleased to announce the release of the fifth assessment in the Dharma Initiative's Volunteer Recruitment Program is now available at www.dharmawantsyou.com.

The latest test in the program is a Numeric Projection Evaluation. It will assess a recruit's ability to recognize a variety of patterns in numeric series.

In response to the impressive progress of a number of recruits I have devised a number of particularly challenging questions in this latest evaluation.


Please be aware that the Volunteer Recruitment Program will officially close at 12:00PM PDT on October 7, 2008.

All testing procedures, including Recruit Created Assessments, will be inaccessible after this date.

All recruits are advised to complete their assessments by this time.

Following the completion of the program, the Recruit Evaluation Panel will collect all assessment data for processing and analysis in order to determine final volunteer roles and group allocations within the Dharma Initiative's latest research project. This information will be collated in a personalized Volunteer Assessment Dossier for each recruit.

Having supervised the recruitment program thus far, I am extremely optimistic that the ranks of the Dharma Initiative will soon be greatly enhanced by the new recruits.


Hans Van Eeghen

Head of Recruiting

The Dharma Initiative

Interesting that we have now, finally, been given a date when this whole thing – or at least this phase of it – ends. It needs to. Interesting though it was at the start it has begun to become something of a treadmill that needs to advance to retain interest. Let’s hope the ‘Volunteer Assessment Dossier’ heralds exciting things.

By the way, I went and checked the source code on the site version of the e-mail. For once there was something there to be seen. . .

“!-- 13237438573 - say Hi from BS --”

So this is a message from “BS”, a.k.a Black Swan (who appears to have taken over subterfuge duties from ‘Ruckus Guy’, though probably they are supposed to be the same purpose). The meaning of the message is actually simple: the number is a phone number. You call it, and you ring Hans Van Eeghen’s phone! I haven’t called it (since I’m not interested in lining the profit pockets of these people setting up the game!) but I have learned that you get to hear an answer machine recording and then a beep to leave your message. Quite what the purpose of that is, if any, I don’t know. The answer machine message is:

“Namaste. You have reached the voicemail of Hans Van Eeghen, the Dharma Initiative's head of recruiting. Unfortunately I am unable to take your call right now, but I do hope you leave a message so that I may address your inquiry at a later time. Thank you and Namaste.”

For those hankering after a bit of Hans the Man, here’s the latest video from him where he bangs on about how the Black Swan guy is a cheat within their midst and threatens to de-value the nature of the testing. Whilst you’re watching, may I draw your attention to the bottom right corner of the screen. . .

Test 5 - Numeric Project Evaluation

Ostensibly this was a good old fashioned number sequence set of puzzles to rattle through within the five minute time frame. I’m not particularly great with numbers, if truth be told, so this wasn’t going to be one of my finest moments.

I did the test fair and square first time, and rattled through the first six questions with relative, pleasing ease. And then the number sequences started throwing minuses into the mix, and jumps that my poor brain could not understand and that was me done for. My official score was 60%. But, as with all the Dharma tests, as Hans is only too aware, there’s always a cheat. . .

From the video above the little flashing thing in the bottom right of the screen was something called a Conway Sequence. Whatever that is. But what it relates to is question 7 on the test – one that looks particularly bastard hard the first time you hit it. Now I went and looked at the cheat explanation, and even had a go at making the thing work. Maybe I was on a particularly stupid day but I couldn’t work out what the hell it was talking about. Something about clicking Button0 to ‘click’ out the question to get 100%. I didn’t have a clue.

If you want a go at the cheat, the explanation for it is (apparently) here:
Knock yourself out. If I'm too dumb to even get the cheat to work that I evidently don't deserve to get the 100% score it rewards.

So as a result of my efforts I landed in the group Hemera. I could have ended up in one of the following groups that all kind of relate to space:

Aether – Mist/Upper Sky
Chaos – Dark Space
Chronos – Time
Oranos – Uranus, the “Father Sky”
Hemera – Goddess of the daytime
Nyx – Goddess of the night

I’ve ceased being interested in what deep connotations these names and references may hold, but as of Test 5 my current grouping category is as follows:


If there’s anyone else out there that happens to belong to the exact same sorting criteria I’d love to hear from you. Maybe when we eventually get into the Dharma Inititative we’ll be roomies!

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