I ran into a girl who reminded me of someone I met in real life a few years ago. She was wearing a black dress which was not much more than a very coarse mesh. She hugged me and was very physically affectionate so I took the liberty of groping through the holes in her dress.
me: "That sure is a nice outfit. How are you doing these days."
girl: "Oh I'm great, I've moved."
me: "Really? Okay, well I'll tell you what. I'll give you a code word, then I'll shake you and yell at you and poke you until you wake up. You email me the code word we'll know we exchanged information in a dream. Deal?"
girl: "I can try..."
me: "See, if you told me something, I'd be an ace at remembering it when I wake up. But my days of of going 'I saw you in a dream and you said...' are over, because that never seems to work. The word I'll give you is 'FIRESTONE'...like the tire company."
girl: "That will be easy to remember, because it relates to my favorite movie scene. Although you probably won't think it's a good scene at all."
me: "I don't care, whatever works that helps you remember. Visualize burning rocks, or tires. Just get back to 'FIRESTONE'."
At this point I shook and poked her yelling "WAKE UP WAKE UP!" She vanished. Seeing my behavior, a tall man in a nearby group shook his head.
tall man: "That is a perfect example of why you are blocked in developing your abilities. It's practically impossible to have a conversation with you, or show you anything, because you're always running around screaming to get people to find you in the 'real world'. Wait to do that kind of communication once you've got the hang of things here. You'll have a lot better shot at succeeding."
me: (guiltily) "Ok. But surely you must understand my motive for wanting to prove this. It's just so scary and hard to go through this alone when I wake up."
A shorter man and a woman joined the conversation.
short man: "How so? I'd think it would be way scarier and harder for you here, where you don't have a clue what you're doing."
woman: (to the men) "No, you guys don't get it. What makes something insane and unacceptable isn't the absolute of how much wacky stuff is going on--all worlds are 'wacky'. The hardest part is isolation, where you feel like you're the only one who goes through something."
The man shrugged, and turned back to me.
man: "Be that as it may, I've been following your progress, and am disappointed you're not doing better. I expected more."
me: "Oh come on, that's not fair! Look at all the 'real life' progress I've made, especially in terms of getting myself better educated. I'm not doing THAT badly."
He guided me through an area which was a winding area of racks and parts. He started pulling some objects down on a table, including flower pots. I sat down beside him and watched.
It was as if we were in a hardware store from which anything could be pulled:
...except it seemed more vast, somehow.
Music was playing, and he started arranging the objects. They melted in his hands as if they were claymation creatures. I grasped the idea of turning the table into a workspace for composing music, and he seemed to pick up what I was thinking. First I made an object for a microphone, then an object for an instrument. As I dragged them together, the sound became louder.
What I was doing was an attempt to mimic the MIT Audiopad
...which I have read about, but never used.
I added another instrument, and the resulting composition played the two sounds at once with no special concentration on my part.
me: "There's no speakers and no mixer. I don't see how volume of the waveform I'm getting in my head can be controlled. How is the audio stream being represented? What's the limit of how loud it can get before it can't get louder, and it clips?"
man: (waving his hands) "No, no. There's no limits like that."
me: (skeptically) "Then I don't see how this can possibly be working. Whether carried in a sound wave or not, all information needs to be transmitted though a substrate."
man: "No it doesn't. It's not analog, it's not digital, you can't really think of it that way."
me: (frustrated) "There's got to be some way you can explain this to me. I've heard this not-analog-not-digital argument before, but it's just makes no sense. Where is the darn stuff STORED?!?"
He paused to choose his answer carefully.
man: "In our expanding minds."
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