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

ata comments on Dissolving the Question - Less Wrong

44 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 March 2008 03:17AM

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

Comments (105)

Sort By: Old

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

Comment author: ata 20 May 2010 10:02:22AM *  3 points [-]

That's awesome.

It is indeed. I can't take credit for it, though; don't remember where I learned it, but it was from some preexisting lucid dreaming literature. I think it's an underappreciated technique. They usually recommend things like seeing if light switches work normally, or looking at text and seeing if it changes as you're looking at it, but this is something that you can do immediately, with no external props, and it seems to be quite reliable.

I never devised anything as cool as that, but I did discover a pretty reliable heuristic: If I ever find myself with any genuine doubt about whether this is a dream, then it definitely is a dream.

Or in other words not feeling like you "just know" you're awake is very strong evidence that you're not.

That's similar to what I originally did, but it doesn't always work — false awakenings (when you dream that you're waking up in bed and everything's normal) are especially challenging to it. In those cases I usually feel pretty confident I'm awake. Still, that heuristic probably works well for most dreams that are actually dreamlike.

Comment author: hannahelisabeth 17 November 2012 10:39:43PM 0 points [-]

They usually recommend things like seeing if light switches work normally

Do other people have the same problem I do, then? When I'm dreaming, I often find that it's dark and that light switches don't work. I'm always thinking that the light bulbs are burnt out. It's so frustrating, 'cause I just want to turn on the light and it's like I never can in a dream.