Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

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Wossname
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Wossname » March 25th, 2020, 6:07 pm

There are distinct stages to sleep. These are cyclic, and one stage, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is associated with dreaming (because people often report they were dreaming when woken from it). During this stage the brain is active. Parts of the brain that would normally be active when awake and which are linked to movement, hearing and seeing are active at this time. The cortex pulls all this different brain activity together and gives you the experience of THIS, NOW. Psychologists have suggested that the cortex tries to make sense of this internally generated random electrical activity in the same way as it does when you are awake (activation-synthesis theory). Since the electrical activity is random, the brain struggles to make sense of things, so dreams can be very weird. It is this attempt to impose meaning that creates the dream. Incidentally, the part of the brain associated with taste is not normally active during REM sleep, so most people, apparently, do not dream tastes.

Freud believed dreams expressed unconscious thought processes. His psychodynamic theory is less fashionable nowadays. But if dreams are an attempt to impose meaning, the meanings we impose must reflect the meanings and thought processes we utilise in our everyday lives. So perhaps we can learn something about ourselves from our dreams, even if not quite in the way Freud suggested.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 26th, 2020, 5:23 am

"There are distinct stages to sleep. These are cyclic, and one stage, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is associated with dreaming ". -Wossname

The neuroscience of sleep is indeed fascinating.


"Psychologists have suggested that the cortex tries to make sense of this internally generated random electrical activity in the same way as it does when you are awake (activation-synthesis theory)". -Wossname

There's certainly a lot of randomness and electrical activity during sleep. Perspective in dreams appears to have a first person point of view; the main dream character is invariably ourselves. So there might still be method to the madness of dreams. Dreaming is an almost solipsistic endeavour as you are the only conscious character in a dream.


"But if dreams are an attempt to impose meaning, the meanings we impose must reflect the meanings and thought processes we utilise in our everyday lives". -Wossname

After we wake up from sleep we can of course retroactively try to impose meaning on our dreams. But the way we just lose control and follow the dream narrative while we're sleeping resembles hypnosis and the reduction of free will.

Wossname
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Wossname » March 26th, 2020, 6:48 am

Michael McMahon wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 5:23 am
by Michael McMahon » Today, 9:23 am


After we wake up from sleep we can of course retroactively try to impose meaning on our dreams. But the way we just lose control and follow the dream narrative while we're sleeping resembles hypnosis and the reduction of free will.


Yes, control can be hard to achieve in dreams. The fun of lucid dreams (i.e. when you know it is a dream), is you can sometimes exert some control and have fun. I think that sometimes dreams may be about people you know or reflect things you have experienced. Unpleasant dreams may reflect unpleasantness or worries in your everyday life perhaps? This is for analysts.

Incidentally, external sources of stimulation can be picked up by the brain and be incorporated into dreams. I have heard of one therapy that is linked with lucid dreaming. If lights flash on the eyelids of someone in REM this can manifest in a dream. With repeated exposure, in time the dreamer becomes clued in to the fact that they are dreaming by these light flashes, and they can then try and exert control over the dream. It has been used to try and help some people suffering depression. A feeling of powerlessness can be associated with depression. Sufferers will sometimes be reluctant to take active steps to improve their situation because they believe efforts are doomed to failure and they can’t see the point. So - the thinking was that, if people can manage to take control sometimes over this aspect of their lives, (dreams), and influence things for the better there, maybe they will be encouraged to try and take control of other aspects of their lives. An interesting idea. I do not know if it proved successful.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 26th, 2020, 8:54 am

The dreaming self is like a cloning of our mental thoughts.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 27th, 2020, 9:29 pm

I get the impression that a few of the questions posed by philosophy are interdependent and might have some overlap. They may be variations on the theme of the mechanism of consciousness. For instance, if one knows how the mind relates to the body then they'd have a good idea of what might happen after death. Consciousness exists within the dimension of time and space so if we knew how consciousness worked we'd inevitably have an improved framework to assess Zeno's paradoxes of motion. So maybe in the far future when people solve one of the problems, the others might fall like dominoes!

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Mlw
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Mlw » March 28th, 2020, 7:19 am

Dream stories, it seems, are created to put our emotions into an archive, so that they won’t have a damaging influence: The Science Behind Dreaming | Sci. Am.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 28th, 2020, 8:01 am

If free will is just an illusion then one would need to elaborate on the mechanism of the illusion. Why would the brain deceive us and give us a false sense of agency? What would happen if the illusion really stopped and we felt we had no actual control of our thoughts? If we don't control our thoughts then couldn't our thoughts work independently of our waking conscious perception? By this I mean why can't our thoughts operate completely in the background; solving problems and coming to complex conclusions while the mind is actually inattentive or focused on something else. We could just zone out as it were and be updated intermittently on what our automated thoughts and subconscious thinking patterns have derived for us. We'd never need to expend any mental energy.

Wossname
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Wossname » March 28th, 2020, 2:18 pm

Mlw wrote:
March 28th, 2020, 7:19 am
Mlw » Today, 11:19 am

Dream stories, it seems, are created to put our emotions into an archive, so that they won’t have a damaging influence: The Science Behind Dreaming | Sci. Am.


Interesting stuff. Thanks for the link.
I think psychologists believe sleep serves at least two main functions:

Dream sleep might help restore the brain (increased neural activity results in increased blood flow, more oxygen or nutrients are delivered, there is an opportunity to replenish neurotransmitters used in the day etc.), and this is supported by studies of sleep deprivation showing impaired cognitive processing.

Deep or slow wave sleep (SWS) may help restore the body. This is supported by findings that people spend longer in SWS after periods of intense exercise, and more growth hormone is released in SWS which may help cell repair. The elderly, apparently, spend less time in SWS and so some have speculated that this may contribute to the physical decline associated with ageing (only speculation as far as I know).

The link with emotional processing is interesting and something which Freud would probably be unsurprised by.

Sleep probably serves a multitude of functions, since most of us spend so long doing it. It is linked with circadian rhythms (the 24 hour body clock), probably because we don’t see well in the dark (unlike some predators). The hormone melatonin usually increases at night making us sleepy (historically there was no point blundering around in the dark, and it was likely dangerous to do so).

Incidentally Michael many psychologists would agree with you that the brain does a lot of work subconsciously. Arguably conscious awareness occurs after this work has been done. Consider, if you can remember your mother’s maiden name (try it now), you don’t really know how you did it. It just pops out. You get the result of the process but the process itself is hidden from you.

I read somewhere that a chemist named Kekule was puzzling over the structure of benzene and daydreamed a snake eating its own tail, which helped him realise that the structure was circular. Whatever the truth of that, it is the case that brains are horribly complex things, and while scientists have made great strides in understanding them, I think here is still a long way to go.

Consciousness? Free-will? Two deep questions and I fear philosophers may be little wiser for all their years of wrangling. But that is part of the fun no?

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detail
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by detail » March 29th, 2020, 12:26 pm

I think , that dreaming is some sort of data reorganization of already perceived information. Dreaming after freud is just the processing of subconscious brain information that somehow swithes to the consciousness during sleep. This data reorganization gives sometimes actual
perceived states a different viewpoint and alters the aspects and perspectives of problems an encryption of data is certainly not contained
in dreaming more the processing of not consciously percieved information, that sometimes containes even lots of useless trash.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 29th, 2020, 1:59 pm

It’s sometimes speculated that the brain could be a sort of receiver of consciousness. So the brain would actually function to limit and reduce our conscious experience. I was just wondering what would happen if one applied this same logic to free will. Our rational thoughts would then serve to limit and guide our free will rather than being the source of free will itself. When one thinks about the anarchy of dreams, the essence of consciousness might be inherently free, random and boundless. So there may be a non-rational component to free will in the sense that we improvise and don’t analyse every decision we make.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 29th, 2020, 7:39 pm

Could an awareness of our own mortality help confer free will? The inevitability of death can perhaps instil in us an appreciation of the present moment. This might make us more unpredictable from a free will standpoint.

Wossname
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Wossname » March 30th, 2020, 6:10 am

detail wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:26 pm
detail » Yesterday, 5:26 pm

I think , that dreaming is some sort of data reorganization of already perceived information. Dreaming after freud is just the processing of subconscious brain information that somehow swithes to the consciousness during sleep. This data reorganization gives sometimes actual
perceived states a different viewpoint and alters the aspects and perspectives of problems an encryption of data is certainly not contained
in dreaming more the processing of not consciously percieved information, that sometimes containes even lots of useless trash.


There is support for your view of processing information in sleep. See:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articl ... xperiments


Michael, I agree we don’t always act rationally. I think that can be good sometimes and bad sometimes. I wouldn’t choose to be a Vulcan Spock. There is a thread on free will on the general philosophy section. “How can one rationally argue against free will?”

It is a tough one.

You are a product of your genes and environment. The combination of the two makes you who you are and affects the choices you make. So these things, arguably, cause you to behave in the ways that you do.

The problem is, how can something be free yet caused?

Yet this is what we want. Otherwise our behaviour is just random. I do what I do because of who I am.

It always seems to me that I make choices and could choose differently. If that is so, then I exercise my will. That is all it needs to be I think. At any rate, it is the best sense I can make of it. Some argue this sense of making a choice is an illusion. If it is it is a damn good one. The thread is quite a long and interesting one. I recommend a visit.

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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Actioninmind23 » March 30th, 2020, 12:08 pm

detail wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:26 pm
I think , that dreaming is some sort of data reorganization of already perceived information. Dreaming after freud is just the processing of subconscious brain information that somehow swithes to the consciousness during sleep. This data reorganization gives sometimes actual
perceived states a different viewpoint and alters the aspects and perspectives of problems an encryption of data is certainly not contained
in dreaming more the processing of not consciously percieved information, that sometimes containes even lots of useless trash.
That useless trash you refer to, I think is basically the information the brain contains upon the unrelated thought with abstract look that we perceived as unconsciousness, therefore the encryption or meaning of dreaming-thought is translated into a new reality, when we dream, normally we transform the reality that we live into the non-existent solved action, It is the fighting of the brain to solve the reality that we perceive awake,...that is what I think.

Michael McMahon
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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » March 30th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Panpsychism views consciousness as if it were a fundamental force of nature. In the same way that our visual sense of light travels at a higher speed than our auditory sense of sound, could consciousness itself operate at a yet higher speed of causality? I'm not implying the existence of tachyons as it wouldn't be photons or particles but a qualitatively different nonsensuous awareness. In a way our visual and tactile sense is merely a subset of our subjective consciousness and may not actually be equivalent to it.

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