If a dream takes one-third the time as the actual experience, does this mean our minds can move in "fast-forward?" Do we just slow down the speed of our minds to the usually leisurely pace of the physical world? I suppose this is possible - how many times during the course of a day does a person really have to "think fast?" In our dreams the physical world is not constrained by natural laws, so we don't have to wait for it.
The more interesting question to me, though, is what dreams are created from. In Dennett's Consciousness Explained, he ridicules the idea of a Freudian Playwright who composes dreams and layers them with symbolism and subtlety to sneak them by an internal censor. I can agree with this. If there really is a part of my brain that is good at such abstract things as writing stories with detail and symbolism, then why would it stay hidden in the dream world? I can understand why my consciousness doesn't bother with nuts and bolts things like firing speed to pick up my fingers when typing, but dream-writing seems too abstract and useful in consciousness to be banished to dream life.
Its possible that a dream is created from snippets of memory. A lot of dreams take place in familiar locations, and with familiar people. Unfamiliar people and places might just be long-lost memories that are not conscsiously recognizable. In this framework, a dream is essentially a loosely knit fabric of random memories. They don't always fit together at the edges, which sometimes leads to the non sequiters that are so common in dreams. I don't know, in writing this doesn't seem solid enough to have even been worth the trouble of writing, but I thought I'd get it down.
Posted by mill1991 at August 5, 2004 4:44 PM