Sweet dreams are made of this…

The title of this post is a reference to the 1983 Eurythmics song by the same name, which I only came to know of because Samsung featured it in their Galaxy Note 3 + Gear commercial. Some people have had very interesting notions about dreaming, captured nicely in the image below.


Dreaming is an extremely realistic state of mind. And yet, after it is all over, we have very little memory of what just happened.


Some of the world’s most famous scientists and inventors were able to develop upon their research because of something they saw in their dreams, which spurred them to consider that angle and solve the problem. The most widely heard example of this is probably of August Kekulé, who discovered the structure of benzene as a result of a dream involving a snake eating its own tail. The great Indian mathematician, Ramanujan, claimed that his favourite goddess Namagiri, would appear in his dreams and show him mathematical proofs, which he would then write down when he woke up. How he remembered them is a mystery to me! Whenever I dream, it looks something like the image below…

This happens to me waaaaay too often!

These days, high resolution brain scan systems allow us to decode brainwaves and show us what exactly a person is looking at, or thinking about. At the moment, fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology is being used, and the resolution is pretty low. But stronger and better magnets could change all that. A quote from Mary Lou Jephsen, whose TED talk is an aggregation of research in the field,

We’re going to be able to dump our ideas directly to digital media. Could you imagine if we could leapfrog language and communicate directly with human thought? What would we be capable of then?And how will we learn to deal with the truths of unfiltered human thought? You think the Internet was big.These are huge questions. It might be irresistible as a tool to amplify our thinking and communication skills. And indeed, this very same tool may prove to lead to the cure for Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.

There are immense opportunities for everyone with this technology. On 17th October, 2015, SS Rajamouli, the director of the blockbuster Baahubali, came to IIT Madras to meet the students. When asked how he has been producing super-hit movies one after the other, he said, “It is simply because I am a good storyteller.” When asked what takes the maximum time when making a movie, he said, “Getting the idea in my mind into the minds of all the people involved in writing, design, CGI, etc. takes up most of the time on the set.” If he was able to use this new mind-blowing technology, he would have been able to churn out his movies at a much faster rate! Finally, here’s some motivation from Shia LaBeouf…

Make your dreams come true!


  1. TED
  2. XKCD

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