(If you want to collaborate in the editing of this draft, please register yourself by clicking here.)
Sea of dreams and stories
Close your eyes and… Oh no, wait, then you can’t read this text!
Let’s try again:
Imagine a sea of dreams and stories waving slowly in front of a little girl, who has a picture of herself and a llama named Mr. Rogers in her hand. While the sea is only a small pond near the village the girl lives at, she cannot yet make a difference between those proportions. And thus the pond appears as nearly endless sea for her as she watches the small waves brought by a gentle breeze on it.
She thinks about her neighbors and their tough luck with the fire that damaged their barn so badly, and how they now must perhaps sell all their animals. They had an idea to attract tourists and now that dream seems to be vanishing like a wave in the pond.
Moona thinks about all the other people in the village, too many of whose plans and dreams seem to have been shattered lately. She ponders that it is as if the dreams had something in common with each other. Moona starts to wonder – if they have something in common, maybe these different people could be connected like the waves are, of which now the light is glimmering from the tops of…
In this chapter, “Sea of dreams and stories”, I list some dreams just to give some food for thought – what people might dream of. I won’t go yet into how anything can be implemented in information technology.
My question to you is: do you find some of these relatable, or can you perhaps come up with some others that are more interesting for you? And how do you think a truly well functioning system, that can use its users’ combined knowledge and understanding, should perhaps work for these dreams? You can comment to this post or in Humane Tech community forum.
PICTURE: Dreams are rising from waves in dark water
Samples of Dreams – suggest your own, it can be a good example of a dream not worth pursuing too!:
Not be lonely anymore, Rescue our love, Save the world, Prevent global warming, Heal our child, Prove new model of the Universe, Cure my addiction, Cure his addiction, Help her, Help others, Not to be afraid anymore, Have a cat or puppy, Get rid of my dept, Ride a mastodon, Tell her I love her, Have a bee party with our community, Get rid of anxiety, Get up happy and refreshed, Climb a mountain that nobody has climbed before, Be able to spend time as I like, Become professional dancer, Become rich, Respect supreme leader, Make my company successful, Get kids to sleep easily, Read more books, Transcend myself, Learn to set goals and reach them, Spend time in relaxed company, Surrender to my inner child and find my passion, Create something new, Pursuit of wholeness in life, Learn to cultivate my inner sense, Good health for me and my family, Happiness, Rooted happiness that carries over difficulties, Find soul mate
I’m currently working with the first prototype of “dream catcher” that we can start to use in order to not only express dreams but bring structured information around them. This I hope will make it immediately easier to understand the power of starting with our dreams and goals, when planning information systems.
Stories and dreams
There are several ways that storytelling and stories link to Dreams Oriented Computing.
One is that telling a story around a dream makes both of them more relatable, easier to understand and thus promote compassion. Compassion is something that I considered as an alternative keyword for “dreams” in this approach, in my attempt to define a paradigm that helps us towards better future. There is hardly ever too much compassion in the world – while empathy can lead to reactive ill-judged action, that doesn’t usually mean that there was too much compassion, just that control of reactions and desire to understand instead to judge was too low. Mature people tend to understand that one can use compassion also to understand her/his opponents and avoid futile escalation of controversies (empathy and sympathy are not exactly synonyms for compassion).
Stories are also a powerful way to think about values and ethics. You might remember a story from your childhood that moved you to tears. For me, that was “The Little Match Girl” by Christian Andersen. It is still in my mind a great example of a story that brings the need for human ethics to live. A story that powerful is not easy to tell and too much of the same kind (think about the news – we will be discussing news in the chapter “Make news actionable”) can make one numb. But the lack of understanding of different ethical viewpoints is often traceable to one-sided stories that the individual consumes – or the culture produces. In fact, trying to limit what stories are told is one of the main symptoms of tyrannical tendencies in society.
Third connection to stories and art overall is that they can be an antidote to one of the humankind’s most frightening enemy: conformation. There are numerous books, novels, and movies that tell how ordinary people can be turned little by little to something they would never have accepted (without their lives being in danger) if it had happened overnight. From the list above you might have noticed that not all dreams are necessary what all of us would find ethical. More about how to take conformation into account will be told a bit later when we will go through implementation plans.
Fourth, our economical thinking seriously needs more stories based approach. Some of the economists have identified this, but few have had the courage to imagine a future, where we could much better understand what it really means for an individual to face a change in some of her economic possibilities and available choices, the changes being due for example some policy or taxing change. In “outer bounds” section of implementation I will outline possibilities for economic simulations vastly more accurate than currently, based on anonymized data from volunteers that are using Dreams Oriented Computing platform.
And finally, stories are an important way we handle information in our brains. When we hear a story, we want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. The stories work as a kind of “living templates” in our minds for future stories – our understanding of the world needs different stories that still have enough in common to kind of compress the information for efficient processing. Thus we need a wide variety of stories in order to be able to form a balanced view of the world.