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March 11, 2009


"You should still probably pay attention when, say, your romantic partner tells you about a dream in which you were caught in bed with your partner’s friend."

This could fit in a larger class of nontransparent semiotics. For example, when a romantic partner plays or sings a song with a particular set of lyrics. When they bring up a news story with a particular set of facts.

"You want me to do your friend? Oh, all right."

That probably won't end well, but it will be funny for about two and a half seconds.

Wait. So let me try to formulate this: if the murky and ambiguous realm of dreams is biased, and "tells" us what we want to hear, then Jungian therapists, Freudian shrinks, shamans, and psychics are simply the social proof to validate what we already intend to do?

frelkins, it's more that dreams are random blobs of mental noise, but the ones that seem to tell us what we want to hear are "obviously" more meaningful than the ones that don't. The dreams themselves aren't biased--they don't typically make enough sense for that to be the case. It's not clear that, objectively, dreams ever have any real meaning.

Sounds mostly like confirmation bias to me, with a side order of finding meaningful patterns where none exist.

Dreams are sometime far beyond reality. Or it may be a twist of information stored in you brain. Dreams also comes from the past or at the future. And sometimes, what we wanted to dream is not what we dream when we close our eyes to sleep.


"it's more that dreams are random blobs of mental noise"

All 3 of my serious brain scientist friends tell me this isn't true. The calcium ions are flipping and the hippocampus does its thing - the sound and light in your dreams aren't random - your brain is probably encoding and re-optimizing your memory-space for long-term laydown. We just don't know the algorithm it's using to optimize the wet-ware while it updates.

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