Monday, May 18, 2009

I had a pleasant dream about Bill Luoma last night. Bill was going through my pile of books to get rid of, asking about the poems I planned to read last night. He had really good recall of poems of mine that were similar to but (in my mind) not as good as the poems I had intended to read. In my dream, I gave him the logic book that I have not yet given him in real life (Naive Causal Modeling, volume 1), and I talked to him about the advantages of backwards causation (part of the book argues the possibility of backwards causation, i.e. the idea that things I do today might have caused past events). I argued that backwards causation might enable Bill to change elements of his past life if he wanted to, by triggering backwards causation with his actions today, but Bill thought any past events he might be causing today had already happened and thus were unchangeable. But I said that meant that the effects would be determining the cause which is impossible. . .

In my dream Bill was using a baseball bat like a walking stick and spent a lot of time pausing to think. When he did speak I often felt surprised by what he said, and I had to think about how to respond to it. I guess this is my impression of Bill: soft-spoken, casual (not causal!) in affect, but deep, as if when you say something to Bill it takes a long time to float down through his attention, but when it's fully registered he comes back with an incisive but very light response. I'm always interested in conversation dreams which show me my internal models of other people, which are mostly about a mixture of gesture, timing, and tone. It's interesting to think of having these simple models of other people's way of presenting in one's own head--I wonder to what extent these models get triggered when doing, for example, email?

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