February 26, 2009

"74% of Indians, 65% of South Koreans and 56% of Americans hold an old-fashioned Freudian view of dreams: that they are portals into the unconscious."

But they are wrong. Supposedly. Good. Because last night, Judge Richard A. Posner was in my dream. No, not like that. He was going on about how fine a thing it was to be a judge in the 7th Circuit. If that's my unconscious, it's really, really sad.

36 comments:

Meade said...

Judge Posner didn't happen to be wearing green pants, did he?

That would be so wrong on one simple level.

Ann Althouse said...

LOL.

Ann Althouse said...

You need to come to Madison and explain a theory of judicial review to me.

Kirk Parker said...

"In general, you need better dreams". -Herb Gardner, I'm Not Rappaport

Tibore said...

"Meade said...
Judge Posner didn't happen to be wearing green pants, did he? "


In her dream? No; shorts. And she woke up screaming.

;)  :D

Great White Father George said...

The Americans studied were 50 MIT students who took a short survey in exchange for candy.

And the South Korean sample was composed of 57 undergrad psych students.

42 Indian students were surveyed.

This is bullshit.

Numbers are from p. 4 of the study.

Am I missing something?

This is a Harvard/Carnegie Mellon study?!?

No wonder I don't believe in global warming.

RiceBowlHaircut said...

If you want to know more about how we dream , check out "DMT" on wiki. It's the chemical that your pituitary gland produces to put you into REM sleep. It has also been isolated, purified and used for spiritual rituals. In my opinion it is one of the most intriguing chemicals I have ever read about.

ricpic said...

"Portals into the unconscious," another portentous senseless phrase. Portals into the conscious might make some sense. Dreams highlight (or underline) not what we are unconscious of, rather what is in our consciousness but is usually kept under wraps so that we can go on functioning in an undisturbed state. Not repressed, kept on the back burner as it were. Dreams aren't about what we don't know. We know. But it's best that certain knowledge not be front and center in the light of day.
I offer the above free of charge to all the lumpen Freud-tasters out there.

Meade said...

"You need to come to Madison and explain a theory of judicial review to me"

Hopping on bicycle now.

Google maps predicts arrival in 3 days and 7:23 short hours.

Leave a light on?

Ann Althouse said...

Ha ha. I may drift off into dreamland, where I encounter various judges and legal luminaries -- all my dreams are tagged "law" -- but you can wake me up when you get here.

Meade said...

Must. Peddle. Faster.

TMink said...

Father George, well said my friend.

We have tons of theories about dreams, but very little understanding. To say otherwise is to lack credulity.

Has anyone had visitation dreams from dead loved ones? I have had two or three. In one, my dead aunt Ann gave me a message for her sons. In another, my father told me it was OK to let him go.

Both were very powerful and interesting. Was it my unconscious, was it them, was it random neural firings (not bloody likely)?

I don't know, but I was blessed by both dreams.

Trey

Darcy said...

Hi, Trey.

Yes, I've had two myself. Both extremely vivid and comforting! I don't have any belief as to the real source of these visitation dreams, but I'm very happy to take an optimistic view of them!

Joe said...

Titus's dreams are portals into hell.

Moreover, the word would be "subconscious", not "unconscious".

BJM said...

Perhaps dreams indicate that reality doesn't mean what we think it means?

reader_iam said...

Human beings are irrational about dreams the same way they are irrational about a lot of things. We make dumb choices all the time on the basis of silly information like racial bias or a misunderstanding of statistics — or dreams.

LOL.

traditionalguy said...

Tmink... "Credulity" means belief with little or no evidence. Anyway, some dreams communicate at deep level a solution to unresolved conflicts. The mind never sleeps and it remembers everything it has experienced and processes new experience daily while we sleep. Other dreams are triggered by late night ice cream. Around the turn of the century (1900)Freud and Jung wanted to find patterns they could use to explain human conscious and unconscious thinking. They got answers that are still used today in mind control for fun and profit. Government's attempts to erase a man's mind and subsequently re-build that mind have resulted in many frankenstein monster types. The younger they can get a child, the easier it is to do. How much of the Obama's stimulus money goes into early child training programs? The war for men's hearts and minds goes on.

Roger Sweeny said...

When I went to law school, it seemed like the professors ranked jobs like this:
1) Justice of the SCOTUS
2) (tie) state supreme court justice, federal appeals judge
3) law school professor.

Below that was every other possible thing a person could do.

I'm not at all surprised that your unconscious would think "how fine a thing it was to be a judge in the 7th Circuit."

vbspurs said...

Simon dreams with Scalia!

*nananana come catch me*

traditionalguy said...

The woman's seat is soon coming open. Who better than AA to keep the opinions grounded in real categories. She has had 5 years practice in publishing her opinions here and Dissenting from ours. The 5/4 votes would become a thing of the past after she uses her wiles on the old goats.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd much rather be a lawprof than a judge. Much more joy and freedom. Easier to get away with blogging. More individualism, if you dare to express it. Plus, the rhythm of the academic year, with the annual influx of new people. It's sublimely cool, and can't imagine how it could be better listening to litigants and cranking out writings that represent the structured thinking of a group.

ak said...

"But after so many years of brain research showing that most of our everyday cognitions result from a complex but observable interaction of proteins and neurons and other mostly uncontrolled cellular activity, how can so many otherwise rational people think dreams should be taken seriously?"

What nonsense. Poetry, art, science, engineering, comedy, memory, etc. Are all those moments of inspiration and creativity random firing of neurons? And what is even the point of humans reducing human cognition to that level?

Synova said...

I think dreams are random brain noise... which we then sort, order, and fill-in to create something that holds together with a semblance of logic.

But then, my Unified Theory of Cognition is all about cloud-bunnies.

Synova said...

Oh, in case that wasn't clear...

I think that how we make sense of the random brain noise *is* often significant. The matter of the random firing and chemical what-not is incidental.

Hazy Dave said...

I dreamed I walked out on the London Fashion Week runway, and I wasn't wearing any pants!

Revenant said...

Poetry, art, science, engineering, comedy, memory, etc. Are all those moments of inspiration and creativity random firing of neurons?

The Himalayas are the result of random motion of tectonic plates. The night sky is the result in random variations in the fabric of space-time soon after the big bang. The Grand Canyon is the result of random precipitation and geological activity.

Why should it be surprising that beautiful things can have their ultimate roots in random activity? You can get all sorts of interesting results by feeding random inputs into a rules engine.

Revenant said...

I think dreams are random brain noise... which we then sort, order, and fill-in to create something that holds together with a semblance of logic.

That is, as I understand it, pretty much the scientific consensus on what dreams are.

Most people don't realize it, but most of what we experience is inferred rather than literally perceived by our senses. That's why (for example) optical illusions work.

Mark V Wilson said...

That Time article is one of the most content-free, ridiculous, meandering and meaningless things I have ever read.

Roger Sweeny said...

I'd much rather be a lawprof than a judge. Much more joy and freedom.

Which is no doubt part of the reason why my law profs ranked trial judge and low-level appellate judge below law professor.

But state supreme court judges and federal circuit judges have a significant amount of freedom--and a hell of a lot of power.

Of course, even that pales next to SCOTUS justices. They're the closest we have to philosopher-kings. Can't be fired. Can't be overturned. And if you really want to, you can have your clerks do most of the "cranking out writings."

Simon said...

vbspurs said...
"Simon dreams with Scalia!"

Heh, well, I would hope that my subconscious can think of more pulchritudinous judges to be dreaming about than Nino! I don't think that I've ever dreamed about a judge, come to think of it.

Simon said...

Roger Sweeny said...
"Can't be overturned."

Only in Constitutional cases. Just recently, Congress passed a law whose sole function was to change the law in a way that would produce the result argued by the losing side in a recent decision by the court, effectively overturning the decision going forward.

reader_iam said...

Notice how Simon carefully picks the word "dreamed" and even italicizes it!

Well, I can parse that, buddy. How does "fantasize" grab you?

; )

TMink said...

Synova wrote: "I think that how we make sense of the random brain noise *is* often significant."

Dreams as a Rorschach, I like that idea. It has panache and a certain truthiness about it.

Trey

Simon said...

Nothing gets past Reader, who is going to get me into trouble. ;)

Oligonicella said...

ak --

"Are all those moments of inspiration and creativity random firing of neurons?"

They didn't say it was. Their use of random dealt with an experiment and even the quote you supplied didn't say the firing was random but "complex but observable interaction of proteins and neurons and other mostly uncontrolled cellular activity" which really means that we don't control the cellular level of our brain activity consciously, not that it's random.

Neurons continuously bounce chemicals back and forth in cascades of activity. It's not random, but we really don't understand the patterns and how they provide conscious thought.

pj said...

Because I've had far too many testable dreams - especially post-internet. The scientists are just wrong on this one - though I've noticed many scientists who I count amount my friends, don't have a very rich dream life to begin with. The ones that do, agree with me.

They're just wrong on this. they'll come back around to my view in a few decades.

I knew they were wrong about the nutritional value of eggs too. ;-)