After a near-awakening, I got a grip on some objects and follow a stairway back into a solid dream room. There were people there.
me: "May I use a web browser?"
man: "All right. But bear in mind that we are charged by the minute."
I wanted to search for a couple of my own websites to see what came up. But every time I typed in a URL the system would append a terrible number of suffixes to it (sort of like how when you type in "google" it adds in the ".com", but this was adding about 10 of them whether you wanted it or not).
A man poked at the keyboard and got my name to come up in a search engine. The title of the page that came up wasn't in English, it looked arabic.
me: "What is the translation of that?"
man: "It says 'Saddam Lives'"
He paused, then looked back at the screen to correct himself.
man: "Oh, actually it says 'Saladian Lives'."
This is another case of learning a completely new term in context that makes some sense. Apparently Saladian was a muslim leader who fought against the West during the crusades:
European and Arab versions of the Crusaders have little common. What the West remembers as an epic effort to reconquer the Holy Land is portrayed here as a brutal, destructive, unprovoked invasion by barbarian hordes. When, under Saladian, a powerful Muslin army-inspired by prophets and poets-defeated the Crusaders, it was greatest victory ever won by a non-European society against the West.
The browser experience was terrible and slow. As I brought up pages I'd get dozens of options popping up about whether to reformat the page.
These surprising quirks make it seem a lot stronger indication that I'm using a real system, as opposed to dreams which lack these details and are more like "impressions" of using a computer.
While I browsed, I noticed some guys in another room signaling to each other, beating on the walls and floors and looking out windows. Giving up on the useless browser, I went in and asked them what they were signaling about. One guy was frantically shuffling phone lines around.
phone guy: "Look, you know all about this. When you come around, the lines need to be shuffled."
me: "Oh well. Y'know, the thing about oppressive regimes trying to use technology that they don't understand is that they don't know who made it. Either it was a good guy who put in safety mechanisms, or it's an adversary who will undermine their goals. Over the long run, the bad guys cancel each other out and the good guys save the day."
After giving that little pep talk, I woke up.
Currently I am experimenting with using Disqus for comments, however it is configured that you don't have to log in or tie it to an account. Simply check the "I'd rather post as a guest" button after clicking in the spot to type in a name.