For more articles on computer dreams see: Computer
Dreams, Electric Dreams 7(3) March 2000 , Computers
in Dreams, Electric Dreams 6(8), Aug 1999, The
changing (inter)face of dream texts. Electric Dreams 7(7), July 2000
Digital Dreaming Series: Computer Dreams III :: The Digital Shift in Culture.
Dreams 7(11). November 2000.
Fill out the online survey form on computer dreams:
Code appears everywhere there is a direction or
re-direction in the flow. We live in a sea of code and codes flow as well as
directing the flow.
Consider the genetic code that makes up all of life that manifests materially.
Think of the molecular and atomic codes that determine so much of energy/matter.
Forces too are full of code and mater and energy transmutate back and forth
accordingly everywhere we look, act, feel and live. We realize this on the
cultural level and talk about social codes. Language itself is a code that
directs the flow of force. Conversations, thoughts, imaginings and feelings
shift the direction and flow of forces in our life and the life of those who
come into contact with us. To the degree that these directions and redirections
of force insist and subsist, they are codes.
We don't have to be able to read the code to recognize it as such. There are
still recovered ancient languages we can't read, but recognize as language and
codes that once directed the flows of whole cultures. And we see codes we know
are active but remain unreadable. We will be gazing at genetic and atomic codes
for sometime before we can read them.
In this sense, dreams too are codes directing the flow of images, emotions,
ideas, day residue, relationships and imagination, of memories and of other
dreams. Just what these dream codes mean and just what forces they are
channeling, what personalities and emotions and thoughts are being
territorialized, deterritorialized and re-territorializing, this is a site for
continual debate, work, re-working and dreamworking. The de-coding and re-coding
of dreams is always an intense site of conflict. Out of this conflict the
individual can be seen as emerging with his/her alignment to various political,
theoretical, philosophical and cultural stances.
What are the forces that codes are channeling? I think the Deleuze and
Guattari notion of expression and content may be useful here, slightly changed
as code and coded. Imagine a brick that is made by pouring clay into a wooden
mold. Here the mold is the code or the expression and the clay the coded or the
content. But a moment later a man picks up the wooden mold and begins to carve
out of it a leg for a table. Now the wood-carver becomes the code and the wood
his expression. Of course, the situation is more complex and malleable than
this. The woodcarver is himself an expression of the tradition of woodcarving
and infinitude of other forces, a code through which the woodcarving programs
flow and a vortex of processes intersect.
And so the code and the coded are two states of the same thing. The code is
force in a condensed state, a force that repeats itself across time in such as
way that it continues to maintain the same relationship with itself and stay
condensed, stay structured, stay organized. It is a force that blocks, channels,
shifts, divides, chops, and directs other forces, other material, other
emotions, thoughts, and energy.
What exists that escapes the code, that extracts from the flow what cannot be
coded? Deleuze and Guattari note that these programs, these little machines, can
exist in two basic states. One is like a machine in a factory that repeats
itself endlessly until it breaks down. Chop, chop, chop, push, push, push, slam,
slam, slam. These machines are connected to larger social machines and often
used create subjugated, repressive relations.
The other is like a music machine, which re-creates itself each beat as it is
in relationship with the other forces around it in a way in which its cues and
dance steps are improvised upon each re-creation. It may be better described as
a machine that really works best when it breaks down. They become
not-themselves. They attune and intone in a constant state of becoming, becoming
other than themselves. They break into the flow of rigid machines. Think of
Eros, who arrows breaks through the guarded walls to reach a target beyond.
These machines come together, do what they need to do, and disperse. Deleuze and
Guattari call these desiring-machines.
Why call them machines at all if there are machinic and not mechanic? To
avoid the old metaphors, human, self, consciousness, subjectivity. Underneath
these systems lies a cooperative realm of continually reassembling networks that
may connect at time with the human, the self, consciousness, subjectivity, but
are not centered around these systems. They make up a new phylum, a machinic
phylum, that can include organic material and being, but may at times include
computer networks and mechanic machines, geologic strata and stellar strings.
The first machine, the mechanic one, producing objects for consumption and
elimination, whether pinching off loaves in the bread factory, or pinching off
loaves in the bathroom. The second machine opens itself up in an intimate act,
which produces positive desire.
As we look at dreams about computers and code, there is then the possibility
of accessing something other than the waking, literal code that is in the dream.
In this sea of forces, there become then two kinds of code/coded relations, free
subject relations and closed subjugated relations. We can read the code of the
dreams both ways. Dream codes are constructions of desiring-machines as much as
If we assume, as Carl Jung did, that dreams are engaged in an enormously huge
enterprise that exceeds the individual psyche, we can then see computer dreams
as an attempt by this larger project to re-configure the symbolic universe and
to re-populate the imaginal realm with a new order of being. This is not just a
simple replacement of characters, but a shift in paradigms.
Just what will this new cosmos look like? We now have two extreme views
online. The first is the Digital New-Age, which sees the Internet as the first
sign of the emergence of the collective mind, an enormous soul which will launch
us all into orbit in a noosopheric virtual utopia. The other Dystopic view is
the Internet as the Sign of the Beast and the emergence of a Global Big Brother
that will strip away any individuality we have left and re-code our lives into a
meaningless Borg existence of servitude to the Beehive.
Those of us watching dreams about computer may see how this will all play out
on a more intimate level. Dreams, like desiring-machines, work best by breaking
down. They continue to play with all the themes in our lives. Nothing seems
sacred. They break into the flow of all our most secret territories and most
cherished values and create new connections. Even within a dream, one dream runs
into another dream and they both break down. Machines in dreams break down. Each
of these deterritorializations allow new code to flow.
I would like to ask you to listen to this new code as you read these dreams.
What does it mean to have trouble with your hard drive? How are object relations
and java objects different? What does needing a body port lead to? Who benefits
when your keyboard is no longer functioning? What kind of emotional circuit is
created when you e-mail yourself?
- Richard Wilkerson, December 2000
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1983. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and
Schizophrenia. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. Minneapolis: U
of Minnesota P.
----. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian
Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P.
Massumi, Brian. 1992. A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia:
Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. 174-189.
Dream: Color Coding
Date: November 3, 2000
I prefer to use 'high level' languages; I am pretty sure this dream reflected
C++ programming as I was learning the more advanced 'object oriented' aspects of
the language at the time I had the dream. The colors were not what mattered in
the dream as much as the shapes of the objects and how they fit together in 3D
space (as in many cases one object could be connected to many other objects;
when one curve of one blob fit into a groove in another object it formed the
'connection'), just like how C++ classes have to accept and return specific
types of pointers and objects in order to fit together. It truely was a dream of
Object Oriented Programming!
I think maybe 'Object Oriented Programming' or some such would be a better
name for the dream, as Color Coding bears the association of coloring in a 2D
image and this dream was extremely 3D. BlueboyX is what I like to be called.
All of the objects were movable in a specific 3D area in front of my head,
the desktop of my mind so to speak. The usable area I perceived as gray, while
the rest of reality was black- I apparently was in to place in particular.
Frequently I think of this dream as my subconscious' effort to understand and
perceive something it was totally unable to comprehend; the abstract world of
computer science being far to different from anything in real life for it to
I have had 2 'programming nightmares.' In the one I remember the most, I was
trying to piece together different pieces of code perceived as blobs of
different colors and shape. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't get the
program to come together properly and work as well as I wanted it to. The
process of continuing to piece together the code and getting increasingly
frustrated continued until I woke up.
Dream: Color Data Base
Date: November 6, 2000
Sara : When I have good dreams about computers, I am an 31337 h4x0r ch1x0r
who programs well instead of practically not at all, and who can make boxes on
any OS do anything I want. When I have prosaic dreams about computers, I am just
sitting in front of my PC (or my old Amiga that I retired only 2 years ago!)
writing (what else is new). Bad computer dreams feature the hideously-coloured
(assembled by a possibly-colourblind boss) database that I add to and maintain
at work...typing in strange place names & addresses (I work in international
education, and see a *lot* of strange place
names & addresses in a day--words like "Thepkasattri" don't
faze me anymore) which I invariably spell wrong (natural paranoia).
Sara : PS--Since I don't know your level of familiarity with the subject, be
advised that for "31337 h4x0r ch1x0r," you should read "elite
hacker chick." If you don't know the relevance of the term
"elite" to "hacker," run, don't walk, to borrow your best
friend's back issues of _2600_.
Electric Dreams : Some of your phrases did whiz by me. I'm wondering what
"making boxes on any OS" means?
Sara : "Making boxes on any OS do whatever I want" means
"making computers [boxes, the hardware] running any operating system [OS,
usually in my dreams it's Windows, Linux and UNIX] do whatever I want."
This statement implies that in my dreams I am a much more sophisticated computer
user than I really am. My sole experience with Linux was telnetting [remotely
accessing another computer], logging on to the network, and sending e-mail using
Pine [a rudimentary text-only e-mail prog]; and my only experience with UNIX was
using Sun Solaris on a network at school, and that was a letdown, because it
looked (and acted) just like Win-doze.
Sara : But in my dreams, I've done some righteous hacks. (Hacks, NOT crimes.
In general, I am a VERY scrupulous person. When I found a "back door"
into my university's network, I ONLY checked my e-mail remotely using MY account
& pswd, something which technically you weren't SUPPOSED to do without
paying, but I did NOT access anyone else's info/acc't. I also didn't tell the
sysadmin about the hole, but that's a "whole nother" kettle of ethical
Electric Dreams : I wasn't sure what kind of writing you do either, when you
said you were writing while siting in front of your pc - writing code or letters
or journal or fiction?
Sara : Well, I write e-mail (a disturbing amount), articles (2 published),
letters, "passalongs" (articles, usually kind of political op-ed for
publication/distribution by e-mail...I count among my regular passalong readers
two movie directors, a movie critic, a few writers, two actresses, one
reasonably well-known artist, a couple of musicians, and a reporter), stories,
poetry, essays, academic papers, fact-sheets, broadsides and pamphlets, white
papers, background info samplers (such as a compendium of useful facts on
Stockwell Day, who wants to be our new PM), & technical writing to explain
things (like DVDs and a program called DeCSS) to people. Also songs, although I
use a different prog for that.
Electric Dreams : About the bad computer dreams, was it the aesthetic
that you were reacting to, or did you mean it was difficult to organize (or was
there a joke there I missed?)
Sara : No joke, it's just that that DB is so bad to look at and for awhile at
work it was practically ALL I was seeing... And as with many repetitive tasks,
one can find oneself doing it in one's sleep, which I found especially annoying,
because data entry is pretty boring for me (MA, an IQ in the top 2%, multitasker
and short attention span; "distracts easily", heh heh). So I was like,
"I do this all day, I don't want to do it all night too..."
Dream: Data Diagrams
Date: November 5, 2000
I once worked for IBM. I did 12 hour shift, 7 days a week. When I tried to
sleep, I would dream I saw data diagrams on the ceiling of my bedroom...
watching icons moving around.
Needless to say... I'm no longer on that job...
Dream: Bored with dreaming
Date:November 1, 2000
I've only had one programming dream lately that I recall. I was just sitting
at my PC at work, writing nothing in particular. It was pretty boring. One of
those you wake up from and think,"...what a waste of a dream." Now if
I could have actually used the code I was writing, that would be different.
(Would that count as over-time at work?)
Dream: Frame of the Machine
Date: November 6, 2000
11-6-00 - DREAM - I was in a bright room, standing by the door. In front of
me was a machine of some kind. My husband was sitting inside the frame of the
machine, and an old white haired man was standing by the side of it.
My husband was working what seemed to be a jigsaw inside one part of the
frame, and the old man was sawing wood with a long straight saw that worked
similar to a chainsaw on the bottom edge. I thought it was a great saw that I
might be able to use to saw wood that is laying outside our house which needs to
be cut for firewood.
I was working part of this machine myself from the door by manipulating a red
handle which was attached to a cylinder which went back and forth along part of
the frame in front of my husband. I thought I was welding things together.
I moved my handle a little too far and had to back it up a little. I pressed
on the top of the red handle and the cylinder began to move backward. At that
exact moment, I saw that I was on AOL on the computer and a beautiful little
cottage was pictured in front of me. By moving the mouse handle which was the
little red handle, it automatically decorated the cottage and created the
sidewalk and the city beyond it.
I got so excited, I wanted to save the picture, so I moved the mouse up to
the File indicator where I would click to SAVE. However, when I got the mouse
pointer up to File, the picture changed to a picture of a man, a woman, and a
child and I ended up saving the picture of the people instead of the house.
I really wanted the picture of the house, but I didn't know how to get it
back and woke up. I realized after I woke up that the machine my husband and the
old man was working inside of was the frame of my computer.
End of dream
Dream: Computer Screen Invoice 'BLASTCHITITIS'
Date: October 6, 2000
This started out as a stupid dream, but when I was thinking about the dream
later, something astounding happened. see:
10-6-00 - DREAM - I was in a house somewhere that was really messy. Toys were
everywhere on the floors and things were just basically strewn around.
I decided I would clean the house inch-by-inch starting at the front door in
case visitors came.
However, I got interrupted by a phone call. A woman started a conversation
like I was a search service. She needed the phone number of two other people.
I went to the pile where the phone books were supposed to be and they weren't
there. So, I put the phone down and went looking for a phone book. I looked and
looked and couldn't find one. Finally, I gave up and went back to the phone to
tell the woman I couldn't find the phone book. The woman was gone. I didn't
blame her. I was gone quite some time.
I don't recall any other people there, but I was presented with a paper plate
which had some corn on it, cut from the cob. I was supposed to look at it and
see how the quality was. It looked pretty good to me.
On the same paper plate, where the corn was on the upper half of the plate, a
black box appeared which had the word 'BLASTCHITITIS' or something like that. I
wasn't quite certain of the word.
Below the black box was a selection of peas which were arranged in size with
the largest towards the black box and the peas were arranged with the smallest
towards the bottom edge of the plate. I was told that the peas had some kind of
disease in the shell.
I was then shown the shell which when popped open, the peas in the pod had
some kind of slimy clear substance around them. The peas themselves looked okay,
but the slimy stuff was not good for us. I looked at a bunch of these pea pods
and they were all similar with the slimy stuff inside. We were not supposed to
NOTE: At this point I woke up because the alarm went off and Joe got up to go
to work. I forgot the dream basically, but was trying to remember what the word
in the black box was and what it meant.
After Joe left the room and turned off the light, the dream started to come back
into my memory rather like a long vision. I again saw the plate with the corn
and peas on it, but the box was missing. It was the word I was trying to think
Suddenly, I was looking at a computer screen, and an invoice popped up from
below like it had been a page that was minimized and went down to the bottom of
the screen. Here again was the word, which I think was spelled 'BLASTCHITITIS'.
Then a movie screen popped up on top of the computer screen and Nancy Reagan
and Ronald Reagan were standing there. Ronald Reagan had a long pointer stick in
his hand and was pointing to a chart on the wall behind them like he was
demonstrating something for the world to look at.
Then in front of the movie screen appeared a clear portrait picture of Nancy
Reagan ... which was wider than high, like a wide movie screen picture ...
underneath her face was the word 'HUNGRIER'.
Dream: MUD Dream of 7000 Points
Date: November 15, 2000
At 05:27 AM 11/15/00 -0600, you wrote:
I had a dream today that had a very small bit of computer related content. The
only part that was computer related was that me and a group of people were flee
somewhere, and there was something in our way, and one of the people in the
group killed it, and she got 7000 experience points (I'v been playing Avatar MUD
a lot, so that's where it came from :).
Dream: Solving Problems that cannot be Understood
Date: November 10, 2000
I went to sleep after doing research on MySQL and PHP database languages....and
spent the night wading through wave after wave of confusing, mystical
acronyms...the way they combine, the way they build and multiply, acronyms for
strange and subtle languages that will never exist, acronym scripting languages
developed to solve problems that cannot be understood. All very hieroglyphic, in
the sense of the mystery a hieroglyphic contains, their gnomic nature, the
constant sense that the communication is happening on a level far above or below
the level you currently inhabit.
Dream: PPP Connection now Investigation
Date: November 15, 2000
This one 's old, and I forget when I had it. I was going to my computer room to
sign on to the web (my house uses a gateway machine, which connects the entire
house after I dial). I dial it. However, instead of telling me that it has
established a PPP connection, as it usually does, it tell me that "You are
under investigation for the use of your account, *****email@example.com, in illegal
animal pornography. If you believe this is a mix up, please enter your FBI
Uhmm....what the hell? Well, I have a prompt, so I try things. "Hoover"is
not the correct password. Nor is "Agent". "Federal"is
likewise not it.
It tells me "I am sorry, but I cannot let you online at this time."
Phone hangs up. I freak out.
Analysis of Dream 17
"Illegal animal pornography?"
First of all, I don 't have an account with the address listed. I have a tracker
friend known as the *****, but not only does he not have a yahoo account, plus
he 's clearly not a zoophile.
Second of all, I don 't recall zoophilic pictures to be illegal, (Although they
are gross, a jamacan girl thought it was funny to send me some once, I spent the
next hour cleaning up my vomit.)
And thirdly, the FBI is never that remote. They visit their subjects in person.
That kind of intererance with ppp accounts simply is not possible.
Lastly, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!
Dream: Making CPU's
Date: November 12, 2000
I was dreaming of making CPU's.
I think it may have been a "matrix" (not film) idea, one of those
'first ever' type CPU's. It was brown, many flashing buttons and was
similar to the idea that Alfred Bester had in his "the Demolished
(i.e the justice CPU)
note: stan requests his name and e be kept with the dream text.
DATE : 4 nov 2000 05:32
DREAM : advising bill gates
stan kulikowski ii <firstname.lastname@example.org>
=( last night, a friday, i tested the web site code for the macintosh club in
six resolution browser combinations. i did not get completely through the test
series, but it works in the most common cases. i had to turn off my computers
and modem during nash bridges which is my mother's favorite friday night show.
since they shut off the analog CBS satellite downlink, our local broadcast
station has really poor reception and my equipment puts out a lot of RF
interference on that channel. afterwards i could operate again while we watched
my videos. i almost decided to watch _naked lunch_ but decided instead to start
into the _battlestar galactica_ series. i burned the web site to the CD i
promised to bring for demonstration to the macintosh club meeting in the
morning. i finished reading a fantasy novel and got to sleep real early, about
01:30. i woke again an hour later and had some trouble getting back asleep. )=
stirring up someone's curiosity is one thing, satisfying it is another. most
of us are good at one or the other, usually the first, but rarely both. i am
thinking this, over and over like a mantra or like an obsession. i keep
expecting to encounter some gross but intelligent insects to discuss these
insights with, like the cockroach typewriter's in william burrough's _naked
lunch_, but they are not to be found.
instead, i find myself at an afternoon luncheon at bill gate's mansion on
puget sound. maybe fifteen other people, mostly strangers to me, standing around
in small groups of twos or threes, over dressed, trying to eat daintily with
their fingers from napkins.
i am definitely not trying to make any sort of impression. i am so tired and
sleepy that i can not really stand, so i am laying down by myself on a large
bed. this is not bill gates' bed, but one for guests who might stay in this
room. at first i lay just on top of the covers but as time goes on the covers
sort of come apart and crawl over me of their own volition. or so it seems. try
as i might, i just can not shake off this drowsy feeling.
i know that i am supposed to be here to help my boyhood friend, hugh evans,
with a deal he wants to promote with microsoft. this afternoon gathering is part
of a conference of venture capitalists. everyone here has some proposal to pitch
and this is our opportunity with mister gates. but i am unable to get my
energies going. i should probably excuse myself and leave, but instead i sink
further into the bedding, making myself useless while everyone else is busy
while bill gates is circulating, making the rounds of the small groups, and
hughie standing besides the bed where i am entrapped in lethargy, i have just
enough juice to look at the walls. mister gates apparently fancies himself a
patron of the arts now, so the polished blonde hardwood interior of his place is
adorned with various artworks. i spend sometime inspecting these from my
along the wall opposite me, i see several attempts to achieve an abstract
style theme in the wall paper. one is clearly cubist, rectangles of similar
proportions but differing scale. another nearby looks like a cabbage next to an
eyeball, round things with roots trailing in the same direction. over there is a
cluster of diagonal lines, different shades of blue and widths but sharing the
same angles. the same theme of similarities is picked up by a collection of
brass spheres on a coffee table, obviously an attempt at sculpture since they
have no utility other than that sense of detached visual worthiness.
i squint at the various devices in the wall paper. i can see the general
problem here. each on their own looks like a good idea by themselves. the cubist
thing has a pleasing geometry, as does the rondels of the melted cabbage and
eyeball. but as soon as you step back to next level of scale, nothing holds
together. the sign of a good architect is that interior design has to stay
constant on at least three layers of scale: up close, stepped back, and across
the space. frank lloyd wright could do that effortlessly across many scales it
seems. that is what is totally lacking here. up close and across the room
nothing matches in the flow. it is only stepped back that each piece
individually holds together with a pleasing effect.
it occurs to me that this is much like microsoft software. little parts may work
ok by themselves here and there, but overall they fail to cohere so the total
effect is badly achieved by just brute force. too much overhead trying to force
together the little things that were not designed properly for any other layer
well, nothing for it now. i am a teacher and a programmer, not much of an
artist. it is not my job to criticize but i can hardly help but notice
deficiencies of a room so obviously attempting to display good taste, but so
totally failing. still the attempt ought to be given some credit.
uhoh. bill gates has finally come up to hughie for his informal interview. i
try to get up and manage to make it sitting up with my feet on the floor. i
shake my head trying to wake up, but no luck. hugh is giving me the urgent look,
but i still am unable to stand yet.
seeing my distress, mister gates comes over to the bed and sits besides me.
"not feeling so well?" he asks me.
"no. i just can not shake this feeling. i should not have come." i
tell him.hughie seems to be forgotten before he got to make his pitch. too bad.
"i noticed you looking at my artwork." says mister gates.
"what do you think of it?" he seems to be just making conversation
rather than really being interested. he nods toward something behind me. there
is a large shaggy tapestry on the wall, various shades of off white in stepped
lengths and textures. like everything else, it looks good only at one distance
where it can be seen only by itself. someone has tried to use it to pick up on
the scandanavian polished blonde woodwork, but it misses by just enough to ruin
"i am afraid that i am not an art critic." cop out. i tell him this
although he does not seem to be waiting or expecting a reply. easier to cop out
than try to explain what he does not want to hear anyway.
"now, what do you think of her?" he says with a burst of interest.
he is indicating a woman sitting near a lamp at the other corner of the bed. she
also was out of my original range of view.
i look her over. clearly she is the only other person, like myself, not into the
business of high intensity socializing. she has very dark hair contrasting with
pale skin and angular bone structure, somewhat reminding me of winona ryder. she
looks in annoyance at me and bill appraising her.
"whaddya think? she for me? does she have it? might be ok?" bill
starts muttering a constant stream of rhetorical questions as he makes up his
mind. i am no longer part of the conversation, just a foil for him to hear
himself speak. i can tell that she is mismatched for him. he is all round faced
and light earth tones while she is sharp angles and dark contrasts.
i shake my head, no. "i think she is a libra."
=( i wake up several times in the morning, too early but i can not get back
to sleep. the very first part about curiosity and _naked lunch_ insects i think
was a hold over from a previous sleep state in which i was thinking about those
things before i got into the REM state of visual dreaming. i had almost put the
borrough's movie on the VCR. the curiosity part seems to resonate in bill gates
rhetorical monologue at the end of the dream, and certainly i was not satisfying
anyone at this soiree. usually my entry into REM dreaming is clean without
interacting with previous mental activity while asleep, or at least i rarely
have any memory of such associations. )=
Dream: Billing for Computer Dreamwork
Date: December 3, 2000
I live and work in Silicon Valley. I live in Palo Alto and I've worked at
several dozen computer startups for the last ten years.
I often have computer dreams when I'm working very intensely (80-100 hr
weeks, 90 days straight, etc.)
I'll be having a dream of whatever, and if I spot something wrong in the
dream, I stop the dream, open the dream's code, change the lines that control
that event, recompile, and start the dream again. All of this is a dream within
a dream, with the meta dream as a control or manipulation of the sub dream.
Several times, I'll dream a better way to do a (real world) work process, and
upon awakening, I'll make a note of it and then at the office, I'll implement
those changes in the code. Some of those dreams can be rather elaborate, with
writing and testing hundreds of lines of code in a dream (and
"viewing" the results in the dream.)
Several times, when working as a contractor, I billed for those "dream
work hours." It seemed fair: not only was work taking up my dream time, but
I was also productive in my dream.
Dream: Computer Dream Learning
Date: December 4, 2000
When I was learning java I dreamt (and thought when awake) in java...
same with learning other languages like c++, rpg, html
same with learning games like chess, go, mancala
same with learning mundane activities like typing
I also dreamt about conway's life (an artificial life algorithm) when I was
coding that, as well as other artificial life programs; Unfortunately I also
always think and dream in Microsoft Windows.
Dream: Mental Frames
Date: December 11, 2000
I am a software engineer, just capable enough to fix Visual C++ programing,
which includes knowing how Windows GUI dialogs work. I am also interesting in
parsing text, also language, metaphors, and solving the meaning of ancient
I don't remember that much of what I dream, and most relate to conditions of
failure, nakedness and embarrassment in school, etc.
But recently, I have been spending many days painting a fence, that is 6'
cedar boards nailed to about 10' top and bottom rails between 4x4 posts, thus
looking like so many rectangular panels.
I had a dream in which I was thinking about a series of "frames",
sort of like how a sequence or hierarchy of GUI dialogs cascade on the screen,
only these were in a non-spatially bounded space, as if they appeared in a
I say "frame", because they remind me of a concept of frames that may
be used to describe real world knowledge, as I read in a text on C++ for expert
They had areas resembling "controls" in a windows GUI dialog, esp.
rectangular text entry fields, like boxes printed on an invoice.
There were visible lines connecting the controls from some frames that were
generally above, left, and layered behind, to the outline of some other
Although visible, the objects and lines were ethereal, as if they were merely
mental objects, and not representing concrete objects.
This picture was not static, but frames were being removed and new frames
added, as if they were a view into a computation in process.
I remember being concerned about the "rules" governing something,
perhaps the "production" of knowledge, being concerned about the
stepwise rectitude of the rules. However, whatever the specific data was, that
was in the frames was not obvious to me.
That is after all like a programmer, to be concerned not with the doing of a
task, but the programming of the doing of a task.
> Was there any text in the text boxes?
Yes, but like "greeked" text, it was not readable or
not important to me.
> Was the program an interface for other programs,
or an ecommerce deployment, a wordprocessor, an networking
interface, a VR control...?
I think it was an attempt to represent knowledge, a so-called
"expert" system. You see from my web pages, I am very much
into solving meanings of archetypal imagery.
Dream: Transferring Files
Date: December 2, 2000
Last night I seemed to be sorting through some filing cabinets for you, or with
you, to collect information for a dream database. That is, we were collecting as
many dreams as we could from people all over the world, and
then creating a searchable data base. (Isn't someone actually doing this? And if
so, I wonder what this dream is about.)
Anyway, we hadn't gotten too far, since we were still at the point of going
through old filing cabinets (the P***** filing cabinets now that I think about
it), and pulling out notebooks full of dreams, piling them into a cart where
they could be taken to the computer and entered into the database.
Dream: Transferring Files
Date: December 3, 2000
Dreams are, of course, a primary method of determining what the brain is
Since I have been on medication I have not been an active dreamer at all... I
can't remember a single dream I've had in the last month or so. =(
Still, Dreams are the major motivation for much of my writings. The best
example for this context is the second of the two stories that are readily
accessible on my site.
> Are you dreaming of problems with your hard disk, getting connected,
>the wrong programs coming up, not being able to find the file you want?
Well, I'm a much more sophisticated user than that. I remember a dream I had
from about five years ago (I think) where I was tramping around a mysterious
floppy disk (In DOS). It seemed to be partially damaged and there was a lot of
random stuff on it. One program on it turned the screen blue but allowed me to
enter much more sophisticated commands, and just by looking at it I had a much
better understanding of the machine.. (I am reconstructing so this is not
perfectly accurate). I think I remember waking up and looking through my
collection for it with the aim of integrating the program with my system... =P
Hmm... Talking about that one jogged free the memory of another dream that I
even posted to this list about a year ago! =P In that one I was using Win 3.11
(As I am in life writing this!) but not with my mouse. Instead I was vaguely
waving my hand at it and the computer was responding to my thoughts! =) I found
the vision in that dream so compelling that I decided to open a neural interface
project on my website, to try to make the dream reality!
> Has the computer in a dream assisted you in becoming lucid?
I have had lucid dreams, though It is usually through a process of
half-waking rather than any feature of the dream...
Dream: Gerry's Transformation
Date: December 1, 2000
My only computer dreams are that I feel myself transforming into a computer.
And my dreams are within the confines of a computer screen. The imagery (usually
in color) has been replaced by words....and as I sit in front of the screen I
feel my body becoming larger and larger.
Because I spend lots of time on the computer my dreams have borders similar
to those of a computer screen.
Before I began spending lots of time on the computer, my dreams were vivid
with real people and real action. Now the vividness is in words and I don't
recall vivid dream in the past many months.
As far as saying that my body became bigger--I was referring to spread that
is happening to my derrier. Lack of movement has a detrimental effect on the
body. Need to get to the exercise club :-)
And no, I don't hear myself saying the words; I only see them in letter form
in my dream.
Dream: Real and E-Real
Date: December 2, 2000
I'm an Arab woman in my late thirties, an academic working in a small
institution in a very conservative setting somewhere in the Arab world. I'm also
married with one small child.
I met a Jewish American artist on the net, a guy with an amazing mind. Since
then we've been having kind of a virtual affair, very intense, very fulfilling
on the emotional, intellectual, artistic and even the physical levels (believe
it or not!). We've been emailing each other practically every day for almost a
I would love to hear more about your project and your angle on Baudrillard,
because, in many ways, I find that the virtual is becoming more "real"
than the real. I find myself desiring a man that I never laid eyes on, and it is
I have had this dream several times now: we're together in a car driving
somewhere; we're hugging and kissing; then suddenly, the scene changes and I see
his name and a new message from him in my inbox. Interesting juxtaposition of
the two worlds in the world of dream, eh?
Dream: Maze of Virtual Screens
Date: December 3, 2000
I'm tossing and turning in bed and I enter the virtual world of the Net where
I am inside the huge computer screens: I'm lost, I don't know where I am, I seem
to lose all control, I am part of the virtual world which is controlling me: I
stray from one site to another aimlessly in a process that is almost like
infinite regress. I'm in a dark tunnel (one would be tempted to think of a
return to the womb here). I can't even discern the languages of the sites I'm
in: I seem to be lurking in some nook or cranny, vulnerable and really lost.
It's hard to explain, but the information seems to contain me; I almost become a
feature on those sites. I struggle to regain a semblance of control: I cling to
the sites in English, but all is blurry. I find myself trying to identify the
"nationality" of each site, in vain. A distinct sense of anxiety
overtakes me. That's how it ends.
In other words, I seem to be struggling to use conventional markers and
signifiers to situate myself in a world where all frontiers and boundaries have
become meaningless. Interesting too.
Dream: Bryce Life
I am arranging my life as if the various parts of my life (work, home, play)
are Bryce wireframe objects. I am making the "work" terrain more in
perspective, not looming so large, so that the eventual render will be in
balance. I wake up before I render it, though.
Dream: Macintosh Coding Dreams
Date: June 2000
In waking reality, I was learning to program the Macintosh to do a fairly
complex project. Several times when I felt stuck on a particular problem, I
would dream right before waking that I was working on a particular solution, or
I would be turning over the name of a function in my mind in the dream. It was
always pertinent, though never anything I'd been considering while awake.
Dream: Bodging the Mainframe
I am reading mainframe (MVS) assembler code by someone who worked before me
in a job. I'm impressed by it as it is a clever way using a custom supervisor
call to do a useful function. In the next dream in sequence, I dream how to do
the same function in a different environment (VM).
Dream: "Cassandra" Hacks My Terminal
Date: 1979 or 1980
I'm working at a terminal when suddenly a stream of characters fills the
screen and rapidly scrolls by! I'm surprised at this and ask one of my
co-workers what's going on - I'm told "That's Cassandra - she always does
that". I'm instantly jealous and want to know how to make that happen.
(This dream eventually led me to learn assembler and be able to do some tricks
that were fairly close to the dream).
Date: December 6, 2000
My computer talks to me and helps me with my problems then turns psycho and
tries to kill me!
Dream: Living in Digital
Date: December 2000
I dreamed of once being some type of computer genius/hacker. I know it had to
have been in the future because of equipment I was using. Anyway I dreamed that
for some reason I was dying of an illness I knew I didnt have much time to live
so I spent nights and days on the computer researching finally figuring a way to
insert my brain into a computer or rather the net to live on for ever. I know it
sounds like a movie but that is what I dreamed.
Dream: Computer Virus
Date: Mid November 2000
I had basically the same dream within a weeks time. My computer had some kind
of virus, but it was actually possessed by some kind of evil. In the dream I was
shutting down the computer, but it wouldn't shutdown and flashed to a screen
that looked like a game. Some how my dog got involved and the computer almost
killed him. No one would believe me that the computer was possessed until I
showed them when it started talking and flashing strange words on the screen. It
was a strange dream!
Dream: Channel overtake
Date: Early December 2000
I often dream about IRC, since I spend a lot of time online there.
In one particular recent dream, I dreamt that my regular channel was overtaken
by irc hackers, and I was the only one of the regular crowd still having ops. I
tried to deop the overtakers, and they all started slagging me on the channel,
but seemed to be unable to stop me otherwise. I was very angry with them, but
managed to kick them all out. After that the regulars returned and I felt like a
heroine, but very embarrassed at the same time, as they all congratulated me on
getting rid of the overtakers.
I often dream of playing the Minesweeper, too, since I do it a lot anyway.
The colours and details are very vivid, but there is no emotion attached. It is
Dream: The unconnection
Date: Early December 2000
Not disconnecting from the internet overnight. I have a Approx. 10 minute
Limit to check emails
Please send in computer dreams and keep the digital dreaming research project
OR use the survey form:
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1999 August). Research Request:
Computer's in Dreams : Pre and Post Internet Perceptions. Electric Dreams &
Part I Pre-Net Electric Dreams 6(8). Retrieved October 30, 2000 from Electric
Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_1999_aug_computers_in_dreams.htm
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2000 March). Digital Dreams: The
changing (inter)face of dreams in the twenty-first century. Electric Dreams
7(3). Retrieved October 30, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_2000_mar_computer-dreams1.htm
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2000 July). Digital Dreaming Series: Computer Dreams
II : The changing (inter)face of dream texts. Electric Dreams 7(7). Retrieved
October 30, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_2000_july_computer-dreams2.htm
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2000 November). Digital Dreaming
Series: Computer Dreams III :: The Digital Shift in Culture. Electric Dreams
7(11). Retrieved October 30, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_2000_nov_computer-dreams3.htm
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2001 January). Digital Dreaming
Series: Computer Dreams IV :: Dream Code and Decoded Flows. Electric Dreams
8(1). Retrieved December 31, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_2001_jan_computer-dreams4.htm
Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (2001 May). Digital Dreaming
Series: Computer Dreams V :: Emergence of Digital Imagery in Analog Dreamers.
Electric Dreams 8(5). Retrieved May 1, 2001 from Electric Dreams on the World
Wide Web: http://members.telocity.com/rcw666/ed-articles/richard_wilkerson_2001_may_computer-dreams5.htm
Richard Catlett (2001 June). Digital Dreaming Series: Computer Dreams VI ::
Digital Dreaming: Emergence or Replacement Imagery? Electric Dreams 8(6). Retrieved
July 7, 2001 from
Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: