Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

DavidAgain comments on List of potential cognitive enhancement methods - Less Wrong

16 Post author: lukeprog 13 November 2011 12:57AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (38)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: DavidAgain 15 November 2011 10:18:05PM 0 points [-]

The 'what you believe works' thing definitely has something going for it. There's a certain logic that can apply, though. Obviously having more than five fingers or lights flickering sound like just ways of asking yourself 'is this lucid'. But I've had somewhat lucid dreams* since I was a kid, and one of my earliest 'checks' was reading a book: my dreaming mind simply did not or could not make up text that way, so I'd pay attention to whether I was actually reading or thinking 'I am now reading a book' without any actual words being involved. Any very close attention to detailed works: my dreams, and indeed my usual observations, tend to run as a narrative about what's happening rather than a close inspection of circumstances.

On the 'what you believe works', what appeals to your imagination is obviously relevant. I used to be able to get out of lucid dreams by shutting my eyes, which as I was 8 or something is probably a pretty classic response. When that stopped working I found I could shut my eyes and tip myself forward, giving the sensation of tumbling over into some sort of endless abyss (honestly) and that would get me out of the dream. One time I got out by grabbing the surface of the dream and ripping it to reveal the purple static behind, and stepping into that got me out. I had been reading His Dark Materials, though.

  • precisely, I tend to go in and out of being aware I'm in a dream, control what I do to a significant extent and the surroundings/rules to a varied extent, never remain stable long enough to do anything massively fun/productive. I think this may be related to the fact that my earliest/main lucid dreams have been nightmares, or at least very creepy. Also to the fact that I rarely have particularly detailed/involved dreams anyway.
Comment author: dlthomas 15 November 2011 10:26:06PM 0 points [-]

When I'm reading in dreams, there appears to be text, and I feel like I'm recognizing little bits of ideas in it, but it's very unstable. It's an odd sensation.

Comment author: DavidAgain 15 November 2011 10:29:46PM 0 points [-]

I occasionally get tiny amounts: but it's not just reading. I'm fairly sure that when I have conversations in dreams this often works by me accepting that 'I said X they said Y' rather than bothering with noise. I wasn't sure if I dreamt in sound or colour at all until I had a couple of dreams where those two things were particularly vivid.

Lucid dreaming is fascinating, but I do sometimes wonder about how UNlucid dreams tend to be. How much we construct the bare minimum. Although IIRC we also lack real colour vision in bits of our peripheral vision and similar weirdnesses without noticing, and we don't really notice colour loss in bad lighting.