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Dream: Artificial Reality in UnconsciousnessA scenario of artificial life that rolls out in your sleep
Kim Seung-chan  |  synergy@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2009.09.22  18:51:45
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A DREAM is something mysterious and not fully understood even by scientists. Nevertheless, modern society offers people to work for 8 hours, take leisure time for 8 hours, and sleep for 8 hours. This indicates that 1/3 of our life is related with dreams that occur while sleeping. Then what are dreams? How do they relate with reality? And are they satisfying? The Yonsei Annals asked 100 Yonseians some questions related to their dreams.

                                         How is the genre of dreams related to reality?
   Before taking a close look at dreams, let us see how often you experience the "mysterious experience" in your desk, your bed, and anywhere else you might fall asleep. Out of 93 respondents, a majority (34) answered that they frequently experience dreaming while they are asleep. Still, there are those who do not dream, for 20 answered that they hardly ever dream.
   Those who have experienced dreaming may not have the same dream all the time, but they might have a major type of dream they encounter often. Actually, 47 out of 95 respondents replied that they have dreams related to other people, including their relatives, friends, celebrities, and sometimes even unknown people. As social interaction is indispensable for individuals in the society, people might be dreaming of people because their experience in the real world is mostly related to others. Yonseians are not an exception, for not many people go through a single day without meeting other people.
   When Yonseians were asked, "How is the real world related to dreams?" most of the people responded, "a thought in one's mind appearing as a dream." Surprisingly, the second most rated answer was, "It does not have any relationship." As the real world is full of social interaction among people, the majority of people are assumed to dream about substances in the society. Only a few Yonseians dreamed about natural environments (1) and animals (3). However, some had supernatural dreams about topics such as heaven and hell, ghosts, space trip and dreams that are unidentified (7). Also, following the dreams about "people", the second most rated (13) was about class time, work, and exams. This supports the idea that the actual world we live in is probably related to dreams.


                                                 What is the mechanism of dreaming?
   Then, in what case does a dream squeeze into your time of unconsciousness? It is often known in some scientific researches that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is the moment when dream occurs. However, this time, let us look at the mechanism in the point of Yonseians' view. As stated before, the response "thinking a lot contributes to dreaming" came to be the major answer (49). Maybe a lot of people think that "thinking" is closely related to dreams. The other choices for contribution in dreaming; insomnia, being exhausted or a special experience had the similar amounts of respondents whom answered. No one knows the exact fact. Maybe two or more factors among these choices contribute to dream appearance. Some people who answered "others" had this answer. As not everything is known as an exact theory, it is fascinating to imagine which cases your own dream appears in.
   When discussing dreams, one of the most important factors might be how much the dreaming individuals are satisfied with their own dreaming hours. People might be satisfied with their working hours and playing hours, but the problem is, if the sleeping hours are always a nightmare will everything in life be tolerable? Out of 93 respondents, most were neutral to their satisfaction, but 25 respondents said they were rather not satisfied. Those who were not satisfied showed to have sad or scary dreams. However, most of the people think that a dream does not have influence in the life that follows after sleep. Accordingly, 50 people said that a dream is only a dream, not to deal with the real world.


                                        The general interest in dreams among Yonseians
   Unlike the prediction that people will have quite an interest in dreams, most of the people did not seem to be concerned about their dreams. To the question entitled "What do you do first after you dream?" 47 students said they ignore it, 20 people tended to tell their dream story to others, and 6 people wrote it in a diary. Maybe some dreams are interesting, although the majority have minor interest about dreams. Some people tended to sleep more and more to enjoy continue dreaming. However, most of the people did not have tried to consider interpretation about their dream. Only 3 respondents replied that they search for information related to their own artificial world. Perhaps dreams are sometimes considered to be related to the future of an individual. There are even some websites that have specific dream interpretation. However, as it is not proven scientifically, we can say that only god knows whether or not dream is related to the future.

                                                                  *               *               *

   The world of unconsciousness is not sufficiently known by people. However, dreams are one of the major sources of information that come from unconsciousness. Still, the mechanism of dreams is mysterious. Although a dream is a major source of information, only the dreamers can see their own dreams. Dreams may or may not be related to the real world. However, as it is a companion that goes along with your sleep, you might want to wish dreams to be pleasant. Some people wanted to dream of having a sweet date by going to the place they want to go with their love. How romantic! Do you have a dream that you want to dream? Then give it a wish and tonight, and close your eyes. Perhaps you will get to experience the most pleasant world of artificial reality!

 <How often do you dream?>

a little: 24
sometimes: 15
barely: 20
a lot: 34

<What genre of dreams do you experience?>

people: 45
I don't know: 19
natural environment: 15
working conditions: 13
supernatural dreams: 9
animals: 2

<Are you satisfied with your dreams?>

sometimes: 42
mostly no: 18
quite satisfying: 13
I do not know or cannot remember my dreams: 12
not at all: 7
very satisfying: 1

<How does the actual world relate with dreams?>

what we think is coming up in dreams: 38
has no relation: 34
someting I desperately want appears: 7
it is a substance for predicting the future: 6
it is the opposite: 5
others: 4

<What do you do after you dream?>

ignore it: 47
tell my dream to others: 20
keep sleeping to dream more: 7
leave a memo in a diary: 6
others: 6
interpret it or find something related to it: 3

 A scientific genre of dream: color vs. black and white
Did you know that there are people who dream of images illustrated only in black and white? Surprisingly, over 10 percent of the Yonseians were surveyed to dream in black and white. 160 respondents had colored dreams like the real world, whereas 23 people had dreams that are only black and white. However, it seemed that there is no influence in how often one dreams or dream in black and white dreams. Will it be related to color blindness such as red-green color blindness? Further research was done on this topic, but it seemed that it is not closely related. The ones who dreamed in black and white were not color blind, and color blind people did not dream in black and white. An additional specified survey related to black and white dream was given out to 100 Yonseians. In color blindness, 7 out of 95 respondents turned out to be red-green colorblind four males and two females (one unidentified). Furthermore, there were seven males and six females who dreamt in black and white. In total, 14 males and eight females dreamed colorless dreams. Also, only a few of them could easily bring up colors in their mind with their eyes closed.

 When asked to think of image on the left in their minds, only 2 respondents out of 23 could easily imagine it, whereas over half of the 95 respondents were surveyed that they could easily think up random colors in their mi nd. This demonstrates that colorless dreams may be related to color imaging abilities.

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