Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My University Press
July 15, 2012 7:11 AM Subscribe
What is the probability that you are dreaming right now?
posted by oneswellfoop (88 comments total)
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asks Jan Westerhoff, author of Oxford University Press' Reality: A Very Short Introduction (large excerpts at Google Books)
. Westerhoff explains that since it's accepted that about 20% of time sleeping is REM (dreaming) sleep, if you sleep 8 hours a night, then 10% of your "conscious" time is actually dream time.*
*Actually, if 1.6 hours of dream time is added to 16 hours of awake time, then 1.6/17.6 is closer to 9%, but who expects a Philosopher to be good at math?
The piece also quotes research suggesting that dream time passes at about the same rate as waking time, invalidating most fictional uses of "it was all a dream" ("The Wizard of Oz"
, the recent TV series "Awake"
and that story I 'spoiled' two years ago
It also addresses the practice of reality-testing to find out whether we are really dreaming, including looking at a piece of printed text twice to see whether the letters have changed. So it was with some dismay I discovered that Amazon.com listed Westerhoff's Reality book at 144 pages
, while Amazon UK had it at 136 pages
. Is this
a dream? Am I a butterfly dreaming I'm a Mefite?
Or is Reality just shorter in England?
But seriously, the entire Very Short Introduction series of books (currently over 300 topics) looks, as Stephen Fry would say, quite interesting...