1.The whatever happened, happened mantra applies to everyone EXCEPT Desmond.
We know this because he is "special" and that we know either he can change through time, our time can change through him (Farraday's interaction with Desmond at the hatch before Desmond knew him).
2. The reason Ben has always had so much information, and the reason he has grown into the complex, near-monster of a man that we all know and love, is BECAUSE of his involvement with the 70s losties.
I think this has pretty much been proven. I dont see how they can stray away from that at this point. It all lines up too well. I really dont understand the people who cannot comprehend or accept this.
It may look as if the losties are "changing" the future (the new-look dharma camp in 2007 that Sun and Frank see), but I think that things are still going as they are supposed to be.
The Losties will tell ben everything, or he will observe and learn it for himself, but the fact remains that it seems that Ben is more than likely going to end up being a good guy because it looks as if Sawyer (who is def a good guy) is going to be protecting young Ben from Saiid next episode. (the Sawyer we have seen already in 1977 has probably already been having interactions with young Ben, how could he not?)
3. What WILL change.
The reason for the new looking 2007 camp will end up being a direct consequence of something that Desmond does at some point, maybe even at some point not until next season. We know he is "the game changer".
The real point is, the losties are right where they should be in 1977, doing exactly what they did to create the Lost we came to know in the beginning. Nothing will be changed until Desmonds arrival.
Things that I am not as sure about but still think are real possibilities:
Juliet will become a mother figure to the young ben that we know is without one. This will explain his desire for her in "future ben" as it was not romantic, but maternal, which makes his "because shes mine" line a lot more complex, and a lot less monstrous, thus continuing (maybe starting) the arc in the Lost time line that will explain how Ben is a GOOD guy.
The reason Desmond is "special" is because of the energy released into him when he pulled the lever in the hatch. The energy of the island (remember the limitless energy residing in the island?) radiated onto Des from very close range, and it was soon after that he began his time skip in (the constant). This "specialness" gives him a unique ability to exclude himself from the islands "time correcting" and allows him to influence events.
Here is a major stretch, as far as this post goes, but-
Desmond may have been killed by Ben instead of Penny in self defense. What if Desmonds dead body was brought back to the island as well? What would happen to him? Would he ressurrect like Locke, or would his specialness entitle him to something entirely different....like being stuck in a space time anomoly and being referred to as Jacob......?
That one was just a spur of the moment idea, I actually think Sawyer is Jacob anyway. (by the way, did anyone see the way the shadows were over his face in Namaste when talking to Juliet near the beginning? reminded me of Jacobs eye from the cabin).
God so much more to say but I will leave it for another post. Theory by AbsoluteTruth