The dream has become their reality

Inception Mombasa

Imran posted a link to me from Wired magazine around Lucid Dreaming.

I had a good old read and found it very interesting and similar to how I’ve understood the current state of lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming has been slowly gaining prominence in recent years. The release of Christopher Nolan’s 2010 science-fiction blockbuster Inception— in which corporate spies sneak into their marks’ dreams to steal their secrets and implant bad ideas — was a landmark moment. (The spies use a top as a tool for reality tests; if it spins indefinitely, then they know they are in the dream state; if it falls, they are awake.) Nolan said that the film was inspired by his own experience of lucid dreaming and that its ambiguous ending—the camera lingers on a spinning top, leaving viewers to wonder whether or not it will fall—should be taken to mean that “perhaps all levels of reality are valid.” Google searches for “lucid dreaming” spiked around the movie’s release and have never returned to pre-2010 levels. And the internet, of course, has helped. A constantly updated Lucid Dreaming forum on Reddit has accumulated more than 190,000 subscribers.

Later in the piece there is some rough and ready double blind experiments with Galantamine in the equivalent Inception’s Mombasa dream den.

The workshops have also provided him with a way to move his own research ahead. They have given him access to a group of people who are willing to participate in his studies, even if they aren’t certified by a lab.

Eames: They come here every day to sleep?

Elderly Bald Man: [towards Cobb] No. They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise?

Extending REM has been a dream (pun intended) for many and Galantamine might be a step towards this. Its been mentioned on a few blogs and forums I’ve seen but never really looked into it. Any notion of a drug to extend this is worrying for me personally but like microdosing each to their own I guess.

Galantamine is not a magic bullet, though; it can trigger nasty side effects like headaches, nausea, and insomnia. And it can work too well—cautionary tales of galantamine-induced nightmares can be found alongside success stories. “It felt like my brain was being drawn and quartered,” one lucid dreamer wrote. “I kept falling back asleep into these bizarre dreams that I can only describe as my head being scraped against the bottom of a submerged iceberg.” “It felt like I was falling through my bed and all these loud screeching sounds and vibrations started happening,” testified another. “It was so scary and I felt paralyzed.”

The wired piece centres around Galantamine and the study of it on Lucid dreaming. The study to date is questionable, but like the quantified self community, its good to see someone trying something. Although I personally would have declared something under competing interests, as Stephen LaBerge did setup the Lucidity Institute.

Regardless its all very interesting and thanks to Imran for the post…

Dreamboard starts a trend

What people dreamabout

Dreamboard I have wrote about a few times before and I have been using the application on my tablet to remember my dreams. But recently people like Simon have been contacting me about shadow which to be fair sounds a lot more like a cross between Dreamboard and Lucidpedia.

Building a community of dreamers sounds cool but very difficult to do. I don’t know if a kickstarter project is the best way, specially when you have the likes of the same information on lucidpedia and many other places across the web. Nope I would suggest something like OKTrends is the way to go. Data like I suggested for mydreamscape would be super valuable to many people including advertisers.

But of course dreamboard are already two steps down that road

Dreamboard, the largest database of dreams in the world – obtained by a patented system for data collection – has officially entered the second stage of its development: the analysis of the great amount of data collected with a scientific and multidisciplinary approach in order to identify patterns of different nature.

Our scientific team has grown, and is now guided by Professor Patrick McNamara, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Dissertation Chair at Northcentral University. He has been active studying sleep and dreams for two decades and is a winner of NIH awards to study sleep and dreams, before becoming Chief Scientific Advisor of Dreamboard. He will work with our first Scientific Advisor, Prof. Bruno Bara, M.D., Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Director of the Center for Cognitive Science, Director of the Center for Neuroimaging, Director of the Schools of Cognitive Psychotherapy of Como and Torino.

Impressive stuff, I look forward to some serious findings to come from our aggregated data.

It was also good to clarify the Facebook link, which is just to do a login and not share private data.

Lucidipedia, mydreamscape done correctly

All is a dream

For many years I had wonder when someone was going to create a place for dreams which is tasteful and about the culture of dreaming.

There was Remcloud.com which opened with much fanfare. Although still running, feels spammy and pretty crappy. All the other places I’ve seen have been more about dream dictionaries or forums about dreams. Mydreamscape was meant to be a tasteful, cleverly crafted and a social network about the culture of dreams.

Well I think someone has finally done it… lucidipedia.com feels like a serious site and seems to have some very good tutorials and tips to help you dream and remember them. There’s even an online dream diary section which seems to tick all the right boxes with dataportability and sharing features.

So I guess there is only one way to discover how good it is, yes dive in and try it out…

Peering into the science of dreams with inception

Found on twitter via @girlonetrack and ultimately @rowanNS, the science of dreams.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a dream snatcher. He’s an industrial spy, who steals secrets when his victims are at their most defenceless: when they are asleep, and dreaming. But he has an even rarer ability, that of inception. He can plant an idea in someone’s sleeping mind, and watch it grow and take root in reality. "The most resilient parasite is an idea," he says.

Inception is a complex sci-fi thriller that lies somewhere between a James Bond film and The Matrix. Many of the film’s themes are often covered in New Scientist, so we have assembled a spoiler-free guide to the science of the movie, and all you need to know about dreams and the unconscious mind.

I can’t really get enough of inception(currently number 3 in imdb’s top 250 films of all time.) Its such a great film, not only because of the great action sequences but because of the whole premise. I love the idea of entering the dream state of someone else.

The film somewhat reminds me of the Cell but its a lot more clever than the cell. It also has a lot of notions which make sense, such as the memetics stance.

What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.

or even

The seed that we planted in this man’s mind, may come to define him, may come to become him.

Anyway I still find the dream world fascinating and i’m surprised how many people can’t direct there dreams. Things like changing there dreams or continue there dreams the next night can be learned an come in very useful.

I’m considering writing a story or even a script about dreams based on inception.