April 2011


Dreams Controller 2.1.7 for iOS – Influence Dreams, Remain Lucid Asleep

Good grief.  A “Dream Controller?”

In a consumer driven competitive,  creative  capitalist market, ( which I call the 4C’s market) it is always amazing what a person is willing to sell,  what another person is willing to buy and what the government under the cloak of pluralism is willing to allow.  Ethics?  Throw them overboard, ethics be damned- this is fun- this is  the new art- this the future!  And besides- it’s already a law that you can’t regulate art, or free speech or the future.  So now, for a pittance of a price of  adding an ap on your phone, you can have your thoughts manipulated by an absolute stranger. Not just anybody, or a friend, or a government official, but an absolute total stranger, no less,  an entire business of elves  conjuring up thoughts to control us.  Willingly.   Hmmmm….

Surely, we are in a pivotal time of ethics:  what is AI and what is not? (Define artificial, define intelligence, and who gets to do the defining

What is authentic and what is not? (define authentic, and who gets to make that judgment)

What is ethical and  what is not?

If we can’t define artificial, intelligence and authentic how can we define the ethics of a “dream controller 21.7 ” ap for an i-phone?

But would it change anything anyways? I don’t think so; this little “dream controller” will only effect a person in NREM sleep and stage one, two or three of NREM is not the source of the epic dream- the ones that change your way of thinking about something and maybe change your life. Research shows that the frontal cortex of the brain, the logical thinking part, is cut off and not active in dreams during REM sleep. What this means is that the dreams during  NREM are already self-filtering and remain part and parcel within the character of the dreamer; it  is during REM sleep that the mind is no longer self-filtering and the doors to the greater unconscious just might be opened. Jung calls it the collective unconscious, some call it the astral plane; whatever you chose to call it, It is from this state that the most important dreams occur, so despite whatever programming the dream controller inputs, it will  not be heard. We sleep through thunder storms and babies crying, so it stands to reason we’d sleep through the dream controller too.

The purpose of lucid dreaming is to attain a balance within your life,to accept who you are as a human being; that balance and gestalt kind of happiness comes from within yourself- it can’t be found in liquor or pills or a dream controller.  We are the accumulation of our memories and culture; If you want to change what you dream,make your own dream controller: the first step might be to read new books, like the old fashioned days when we read or talked to other people to expand our life and expand our horizons. 😀

From the press release:

Independent developer Taha Bebek today is pleased to announce Dreams Controller 2.1.7 for iOS, an update to his app that allows the user to influence the theme of their dreams and achieve a state of lucid dreaming. Inspired by the popular, mind-bending film Inception, and employing techniques based on scientific research, the app provides audio cues and suggestions at preset periods while the dreamer is sleeping. The conscious mind does not hear these sounds and the subject continues sleeping, undisturbed. However, the subconscious mind, active during some phases of sleep, hears and reacts to the various pre-programmed cues and suggestions. The update adds the capability to create customized audio dream cues. Dreams Controller includes in-app Facebook connectivity to share tips, experiences, and dreamscapes with other users.

It is a common experience for an individual to incorporate actual, external sounds into the ongoing story being lived in their dream. For example, the sound of a far off police siren may not be jarring enough to awaken the dreamer, but the sound of that siren may be incorporated into the dream, changing its direction as it unfolds. Beginning in the 1970’s, researchers began experiments into the phenomena of lucid dreaming, maintaining conscious awareness while dreaming. There followed many fascinating studies into the nature of REM sleep, lucid dreaming, and the ability of some individuals to control the theme and direction of their dreams. For the full story open link here.

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I read Mark’s first book years ago- I don’t recall details about it except by the story’s  end I was in full throttle rooting for the underdog to make it; and he did. It wasn’t funny. This memoir, however, is filled with light-hearted humor- the kind that comes with age or wisdom- and simple aphorisms- the kind you can live your life by.

I like the memoir, Only More So,  for three reasons. One, he and the topic are interesting which adds up to a story I’d like to hear. Two, I’m a big fan of his Dad’s work and Mark’s stories about his parents, scattered throughout the book, add to the layers that make the book a good read.  I must say that it’s good therapy to  understand an important topic, like insanity and how it effects the  greater family, when the story telling is sprinkled with humor. I came to a deeper understanding of what’s possible and what isn’t for  a family with a history of mental illness. Three, I’m interested in the fine line between insanity  and genius, sanity and insanity:  visions (good)  and visions (bad); voices (good) voices  (bad.) How do we know which is which?

The best advice comes early in the book. When the young Mark  confessed he wanted to kill himself, his mother informed him that was too bad because she was depending on him getting together with the other suicidal ten year olds so they could go about saving the world. Thankfully, the young Vonnegut took his mother’s advice to heart and is making the world better, one person at a time.

Hopefully someone with an eye for relevance is pulling out Vonnegut’s aphorisms, the quotables and the paradoxes and binding them together under  a title of Words to Live By.

The BBC has a story that the letters Kafka wrote to his sister and saved by her daughters will be on display at Oxford, and in doing so, apparently will be part of the effort to sure up their German credentials.    From the story: ” the proposed partnership with Marbach, the University of Oxford will strengthen its position as an important centre for studies of German and Jewish literature and culture.”  I would hope that the letters would be displayed because of the historical context, regardless of the  diversity goalpost. But….no doubt this academic moment will be added to the long list of   ‘The Uses of Kafka.”

It occurred to me while reading this little news story, that if all the banned works of all the banned writers, artists, musicians, scientists, journalists, and so on -( and- it’s a very long list- ) were brought together under one roof, there would be no roof on the planet big enough to house them.

That says something very important and not to be forgotten, yet we seem on the verge of forgetting.  We are already on the downward slide watching the rise of anti-Semitism,  especially in the U.K.  Give it a new name with new attributes to disguise it, but even with its 21st century garb and modifiers, it is the same old problem.  The cold reality is, we aren’t born with these prejudices, it has to be taught.  I feel like asking is  it the drinking water? Surely, it must be!  Pathetic really.  The answer is this: there is no building big enough to house this mess caused by intolerance, furthermore, no such building would ever be built, no matter how much it should be built, because to do so would we would have to admit the problem existed beyond the German borders and beyond the war.  God forbid we should have to look at that. I need to look no further than the U.N. to realize that we are absolutely unlearning  everything we should have learned.