successful lucid dream!

I won't bore you with the details, but rather the interesting insights:

0. I felt the transition into dream-land. That is, I recall being awake, though very relaxed, and my conscious perception shifted into the dream world, and I recall my limbs flailing around, as if I had been trying to move my limbs, and suddenly I could, except they were my dream limbs.

1. I saw some monsters roaming around and I was concerned about what scarier things my mind might conjure up, but I decided not to worry about it, and my mind did not conjure up any more scary monsters — so, not worrying about it worked, I think.

2. I decided that I wanted a room to appear, and that I would access it through a door that would appear around a bend in my path. I went around the bend, and there was no door, but I stood there patiently willing a door to appear, and I saw some shifting in some wooden panels to reveal a handle, which I opened, and there was the room.

3. I was concerned at one point that I might be causing physical damage to myself — along the lines of sleep walking, since I felt like I was really moving my limbs — and I willed myself awake, and I "woke" to discover that I had caused physical damage to myself. And then I realized that I was still dreaming, and I woke for real to discover that I hadn't moved at all.


I took a nap this afternoon and almost had a lucid dream..
I started to notice some strange things in my dream,
like the ability to control the water level,
and when it finally occurred to me that I was in a dream,
and I could feel lucidity coming on,
it also occurred to me that my body was in trouble,
it was very cold,
because I was sleeping on top of my blanket,
and I had to decide whether to experience lucidity in my dream,
or save my body,
and I decided to save my body..

somehow my dream world promised to be pretty.. um.. bad.. if my body was in trouble.


I was recently in one of those meetings where academics decide what papers to include in a conference

this usually triggers thoughts of: how can we do this better?

my usual thought is: have people review more papers, but instead of writing reviews, just rank order them.. I feel like this would take less time/effort, and do a better job of deciding which papers to include

but I was talking to someone who suggested that the problem with peer review is peer review itself..

which I thought about..

the purpose of peer review, I think, is to determine who to give academic jobs to,
since the fruits of academia are typically not marketable in themselves,

so we're giving money to people to do "worthless" stuff,
but so many people claim to be good at doing "worthless" stuff,
that we need to decide which of them are right..

so I usually think — peer review may be bad, but how else would we decide which researchers are good?

but a couple recent thoughts:

1. the actual fruits of research — the best stuff — the stuff that actually makes an impact — is super super rare. like needles in a giant haystack.

but even a good researcher — even an excellent researcher — may never find a true needle — ever

but we still want the people with the best hope of finding a needle, so we require them to submit papers to conferences and journals that describe stuff that's needle-like.. the thought is that if people find lots of needle-like stuff, then the odds of them finding a true needle is higher.

but, the process of finding needle-like stuff takes away from the pursuit of finding needles, and ultimately selects for people who are good at finding needle-like stuff. The true needle seekers can't compete, because they spend too much time ignoring needle-like stuff in their pursuit of finding a true needle..

2. what, then, is the right way to finance research? one possibility — perhaps researchers can earn their keep doing something that is marketable, and then have no restrictions or expectations on their research time (which is their own time, using their own money). But don't we want researchers to be able to focus on their research full time? probably. But that's not what we have right now anyway. We have researchers focussing on finding needle-like things, to "earn" their keep by having their peers approve it.

I am this great
mass of blood and foam
and no emotion that's worth having
could call my heart it's home
my heart's an autoclave

~the mountain goats

thought: I want to post a file of encrypted passwords publicly accessible on the web, so that if something happens.. I can recover my passwords..

but I worry about people decrypting it..
even if I have a large password..
not sure why..

one thought about how to make it more secure is to encrypt the passwords themselves separately, since they have high entropy anyway, so it would presumably more difficult to decrypt them, since it would be difficult to detect whether they were successfully decrypted without actually trying the passwords in the relevant systems..

just now I had the thought.. there is some system for creating hashes where it takes a long time to create the hashes.. and I wonder if this done in encryption  where it takes a long time to decrypt (even if you know the password), as a preventative measure against brute force decryption..

driving home I saw a wall
of a building
that was blank
and fairly large

but there was NO advertisement on it

and that made me happy

trying to lucid dream..
by staying conscious from wakefulness into sleep..
read suggestion to count and say "I'm dreaming"..
is boring,
and feels repetitive..

tried focussing on my consciousness itself,
hard to know if I'm succeeding..

tried imaging an image — a box — to represent my consciousness,
and keep it with me as I descend into sleep,
but it requires too much energy to maintain the image of the box..

tried just being conscious,
but letting my mind wonder,
but it tends to wander in directions that are somehow "stressful" to my consciousness..

tried wielding only a little control on my flow of thoughts,
to keep them smooth,
while descending into sleep,
but my thoughts tend to lure me into stories,
and distract me from maintaining consciousness..

tried being aware of where my thoughts are headed,
anticipating them,
and this seemed to hold some promise,
but then my alarm went off

I'm at a coffee shop that closes at 5pm on Monday.. they just turned up the music up.. I think it is meant to be annoying enough that people will leave..
I find Seattle relaxing, partly because of the pine trees, which I find to be relaxing trees.
I saw a sign for "Sing pore Airlines". The "a" had burnt out.

I read a bit in a graphic novel called Marbles, sitting in a friend's house.

It was good.

I like graphic novels.