i was trying to explain jeremy bentham’s panopticon to my 5 year-old nephew this weekend and he was like, “geesh uncle ray, i already know all about that because of lost.” and then i was like, “look here half-pint, just cuz the producers of that television programme copy-pasted philosophers’ names for their characters’ names to spice up the mystery (despite the fact that the relationship is tenuous at best) this does not mean that you know the first thing about jeremy bentham or his panopticon.” and then my 5 year-old nephew turned on the waterworks and his mom made her way over to us and gave me disparaging looks.
so i got to wondering who was more popular in 2010, lost characters or the philosophers who they were named after. and as everyone knows, in the year 2010, the true measure of popularity is web presence. i then compared the first 100 google image “face” hits for “john locke” & “jeremy bentham” a character and a corpse both played by terry o’quinn on lost and named for two great thinkers of the enlightenment. what i found was that while lost google-image owns locke, the immortal head of jeremy bentham still wins the web.