Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Michael McMahon
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Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » July 29th, 2020, 10:14 pm

“Yet these bizarre monologues do highlight an interesting aspect of the dream world: the creation of connections between things that didn't seem connected before. When you think about it, this isn't too unlike a description of what creative people do in their work – connecting ideas and concepts that nobody thought to connect before in a way that appears to make sense...

Making the links between pieces of information that our daytime rational minds see as separate seems to be easiest when we're offline, drifting through the dreamworld.

It is this function of sleep that might also explain why those first moments upon waking can be among our most creative. Dreams may seem weird, but just because they don’t make sense to your rational waking consciousness doesn’t make them purposeless.”
- Tom Stafford BBC

New thoughts, ideas and intentions come to us throughout the day. These may be constructed in our psyche through synthesising some of our previous concepts and experiences. It feels as though our previous conceptual viewpoints our recoded and reformulated to generate creativity and originality.

“Twain wrote that, ‘The kernel, the soul, let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances is plagiarism.” Twain believed that there was no such thing an original thought or an original idea, because every subject on Earth had been pored over, written about and analyzed. Does that mean that originality itself is a myth, and that no creative idea exists independent of another idea? The answer is yes and no. Yes, there are original ways to express thoughts, ideas, concepts and philosophies, but no, the actual subject upon which these thought, ideas, concepts and philosophies are based on, are not original...

Twain further explained his belief about plagiarism by writing that nearly every idea was recycled from another idea, whether it was done on purpose, or through some collective unconscious process. Twain writes, “For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.”

Twain brings up several good points, by citing the fact that even when artists plagiarize, they remain blissfully unaware that they have stolen thoughts and ideas, because they discount how much they are affected by external factors, even if those factors are not present when they sit down to create.”
- Unicheck

Dreams possibly assist in creating and extending these new and unforeseen associations.

Michael McMahon
Posts: 33
Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » August 3rd, 2020, 11:20 am

“Mystical psychosis is a term coined by Arthur J. Deikman in the early 1970s to characterize first-person accounts of psychotic experiences that are strikingly similar to reports of mystical experiences... Deikman thought the mystical experience was brought about through a "deautomatization" or undoing of habitual psychological structures that organize, limit, select, and interpret perceptual stimuli.”
-Wikipedia

It has sometimes been commented that dreams resemble aspects of psychosis. Maybe the brain deliberately induces the tangential thoughts we have while dreaming in order to reappraise our subconscious beliefs and intentions. The atemporality of sleep can perhaps prompt new insights and reinterpretations of past experiences.

“I think it's important to note that dreaming essentially is a time when we all become flagrantly psychotic. And before you perhaps dismiss that diagnosis, I'll give you five good reasons, because last night when you were dreaming, first you started to see things which were not there, so you were hallucinating.

Second, you believe things that couldn't possibly be true, so you were delusional. Third, you became confused about time, place, and person, so you're suffering from disorientation. Fourth, you had wildly fluctuating emotions like a pendulum, something that we call being affectively labile. And then, how wonderful? You woke up this morning and you forgot most if not all of that dream experience, so you're suffering from amnesia...

The first (benefit) is actually creativity, because it's during REM sleep and dreaming specifically when the brain starts to collide all of the information that you've recently learned together with all of this back catalog of autobiographical information that you've got stored up in the brain. And it starts to build novel connections, it's almost like group therapy for memories. And through this pattern of informational alchemy at night, we create a revised mind wide web of associations. And you can start to divine new novel insights into previously unsolved problems, so that you wake up the next morning with new novel insights into previously unsolved problems, so that you wake up the next morning with new solutions, and it's probably the reason that no one has ever told you that you should stay awake on a problem. Instead, people tell you to sleep on a problem.”
- Neuroscientist Matthew Walker

Michael McMahon
Posts: 33
Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » August 4th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Dreams don’t necessarily have to be precognitive in order to have a causal effect. Psychology informs us of how our preconceptions and intuitions can indirectly influence us.

Dreams could conceivably create self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecies. The surreal scenarios that we experience within dreams can cause us to engage in post hoc rationalisations. Our emotions are stimulated to assess how we would react if such a situation arose in real life. One can reason backward in a dream to see what must be done to avoid or seek the simulated event. Negative feedback could still be at play even if we forget our dreams. It may potentially motivate us to not do whatever had occurred in the dream by corrupting the memory of it. We can’t intend to do something if we’re unable to actually remember it in the first place! This might be reminiscent of free won’t and the need to “rebel” against our deterministic fate as Camus mentioned with absurdism.

“A self-defeating prophecy (self-destroying or self-denying in some sources) is the complementary opposite of a self-fulfilling prophecy; a prediction that prevents what it predicts from happening. This is also known as the prophet's dilemma.

A self-defeating prophecy can be the result of rebellion to the prediction. If the audience of a prediction has an interest in seeing it falsified, and its fulfillment depends on their actions or inaction, their actions upon hearing it will make the prediction less plausible. If a prediction is made with this outcome specifically in mind, it is commonly referred to as reverse psychology or warning.

... If a prediction of a negative outcome is made, but the outcome is positive because of negative feedback resulting from the rebellion, then that is a self-defeating prophecy.”
-Wikipedia

Michael McMahon
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Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » August 5th, 2020, 11:12 am

“Depersonalization can consist of a detachment within the self, regarding one's mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, lacking in significance or being outside reality while looking in... Also, a recognition of a self breaks down.”
-Wikipedia

It could be that the impersonal and holistic nature of sleep allows us to transcend any of our repetitive or redundant thinking patterns. The mind-expanding dissociative features of dreams might internally trigger a greater receptive and objective approach towards our problems. Perhaps the delayed latency of dreams helps break the cycle of endless regress that would happen with real-time cognition:

“The reason why this is a fallacy may be understood by asking how the homunculus "sees" the internal movie. The obvious answer is that there is another homunculus inside the first homunculus's "head" or "brain" looking at this "movie". But that raises the question of how this homunculus sees the "outside world". To answer that seems to require positing another homunculus inside this second homunculus's head, and so forth. In other words, a situation of infinite regress is created. The problem with the homunculus argument is that it tries to account for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain... Therefore, so the argument goes, theories of mind that imply or state explicitly that cognition is rule bound cannot be correct unless some way is found to "ground" the regress.”
-Wikipedia

Michael McMahon
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Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » August 6th, 2020, 9:06 am

“The existential crisis occurs when one recognizes that even the decision to either refrain from action or withhold assent to a particular choice is, in itself, a choice. In other words, humankind is "condemned" to freedom.”
- Wikipedia

The sensation of cognitive dissonance forces us to reconcile our actions with our thoughts. The randomness of our thoughts are counteracted by an instinctive feeling of stress and tension if we act against our true beliefs. This makes us responsible for our actions. Free choices are inherently uncertain which can lead to angst.

“Stress can be triggered by a problem that may on the surface seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find solutions to your problems will help you feel more in control thereby lowering your level of stress.”
- skillsyouneed website

Stress is an uncomfortable feeling which functions as a disincentive. It compels us to weigh up the pros and cons of a decision. The juxtaposition of harsh reality with idealised dreams and ambitions can accentuate where we are falling short. We can refocus and retry by freely brainstorming different alternatives. Stress can sometimes be the determining factor when picking a path to choose; even if it’s just the least worst option.

“The second benefit of dream sleep is essentially a form of overnight therapy. It's during dream sleep where we start to actually take the sting out of difficult, even traumatic, emotional experiences that we've been having. And sleep almost divorces that emotional, bitter rind from the memory experiences that we've had during the day. And so that we wake up the next morning feeling better about those experiences. So you can think of dream sleep as emotional first aid and it sort of offers this nocturnal soothing balm that smoothes those painful stinging edges of difficult experiences. So it's not time that heals all wounds, but it's time during dream sleep that provides you with emotional convalescence.”
- Matthew Walker neuroscientist

If dreams can affect how we perceive stress then it would heighten our feeling of freedom. Sleep has often been seen as a form of stress relief and management. I think this could contribute to free will in and of itself. Different stress levels can tip the scales when we are analysing our options. The strangeness of dreams can help increase our appreciation of the contrasting realness and orderliness of this physical world.

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Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by detail » August 6th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Dreaming can be quite surrealistic , and can exhibit large scale unlogic and ununderstandable parts. Is this not some kind of garbage collection of the brain like in the java jvm ?

Michael McMahon
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Joined: April 3rd, 2018, 9:23 am

Re: Is Dreaming an Encryption Procedure?

Post by Michael McMahon » August 6th, 2020, 1:51 pm

“The first stage is preparation, when you search out any information that might be relevant...

Once you have mulled over all the relevant pieces and pushed your rational mind to the limits, you can let the problem simmer. This is the incubation stage, when you digest all you have gathered... As the saying goes, "You sleep on it."

The unconscious mind is far more suited to creative insight than the conscious mind. Ideas are free to recombine with other ideas in novel patterns and unpredictable associations. It is also the storehouse of everything you know, including things you can't readily call into awareness. Further, the unconscious speaks to us in ways that go beyond words, including the rich feelings and deep imagery of the senses.

We are more open to insights from the unconscious mind when we are not thinking of anything in particular. That is why daydreams are so useful in the quest for creativity... With luck; immersion and daydreaming lead to illumination, when all of a sudden the answer comes to you as if from nowhere.

In creative problem-solving, a mistake is an experiment to learn from, valuable information about what to try next...

While in a flow state, people lose all self-consciousness. The Zen idea of no-mind is similar: a state of complete absorption is what one is doing... No-mindedness is not unconsciousness, some kind of vague spaciness. On the contrary, it is a precise awareness during which one is undisturbed by the mind's usual distracting inner chatter.

One ingredient of creativity is open-ended time...”
- Psychology Today

The subconscious could just test out different computations while we’re inattentive and unconscious. We can make mistakes in dreams without suffering the consequences as it’s not reality. Might dreaming be comparable to a brute force search? Our daily tasks aren’t always overly complex. Choosing what to do over the weekend is still a manifestation of your free will even though it’s not too complicated. So the sample space of our potential options can be small and therefore amenable to a brute-force attack. This would enhance our creative ability by simulating the effects of a certain course of action.

“In computer science, brute-force search or exhaustive search, also known as generate and test, is a very general problem-solving technique and algorithmic paradigm that consists of systematically enumerating all possible candidates for the solution and checking whether each candidate satisfies the problem's statement.

While a brute-force search is simple to implement, and will always find a solution if it exists, its cost is proportional to the number of candidate solutions – which in many practical problems tends to grow very quickly as the size of the problem increases (Combinatorial explosion). Therefore, brute-force search is typically used when the problem size is limited, or when there are problem-specific heuristics that can be used to reduce the set of candidate solutions to a manageable size. The method is also used when the simplicity of implementation is more important than speed.”
- Wikipedia

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