Given how much you have learned of the techniques of rationality, of Bayesian updates and standard of evidence, of curiosity being the first virtue and being willing to update your beliefs… have any of your dreams been affected by them?


The reason I ask; I’m reading the entirely of the Sequences, and am about an eighth of the way through. And I’ve just woken from a dream whose plot was somewhat unusual. I had noticed some mildly strange animals and/or people, and upon trying to find out what was going on, discovered a small riverside camp of people who fell well outside what I understood to be the realm of human variation. The person I had started investigating with then claimed to be a god, or if I preferred, a vastly powerful and intelligent alien entity, and offered to do something to prove it to me. I remembered that I had once established for myself a standard of evidence for exactly this sort of question – the growth of a new, perfectly functional limb, in a way outside of present medical understanding… and in a few moments, my dream-self was the possesser of a nice, long tail. I had not been expecting that to happen, and noticed I was extremely confused, and deliberately raised my estimate of the probability that I really was talking to a god-like figure by some number of decibans. At the end of the dream, said deity-figure said that he would offer to split us off from his ‘main project’, on a few conditions – one of which was ‘no more clues’, since he had given us ‘more than enough to figure out what’s going on’… … whereupon I questioned a few things, and immediately woke up.

I don’t recall having a dream of anything like that sort before – and I dream in understandable narrative plots so often that I sometimes dream sequels. So I’m curious; is this a normal sort of thing that happens to LessWrongians?

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