Monday, May 18, 2009

The Stream

A direct link to the above video is at

Two days ago, I was awakened by a vivid dream. The content was unusual enough that I immediately sat down at my computer and published it as my last blog entry, which was called News From the Future.

If you read that entry, you will have noticed that I omitted the fact that this story had come to me in a dream. Why did I do that? Because I know that there are many out there who have been trained to reject dreams as nothing more than random bits of junk, just the brain sorting through its data. On the other hand, I know that there are regular readers of this blog who completely accept the idea that dream states are plugged into extra-dimensional patterns, alternate realities not part of our own, and in that sense are not that different from the visions a Shaman might witness while in an altered state of consciousness.

It's possible, too, that both might be equally true: that the brain, in the process of sorting through recently acquired memories, is plugging into memes that exist in the sense that Richard Dawkins meant when he originally coined the term: memes are information patterns, ideas, or beliefs, that exist outside the restrictions of linear time.

At the end of that previous entry, I listed some of the recent news articles I had read in New Scientist and Scientific American which seemed to connect to my dream, and I also listed some of my blog entries which have played with similar ideas in the past. Clearly, the idea that some unconscious/subconscious part of my mind was fitting all those ideas together is easy to see, regardless of whether you believe in ideas advanced in blog entries like Creativity and the Quantum Universe and Our Non-Local Universe which say that there is now scientific proof that our universe is connected together in ways that transcend the limitations of the fourth dimension. Could there really be a "stream" of connectedness that our minds are sharing, as Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor proposed in her marvelous My Stroke of Insight?

I've talked a few times before about, the brainchild of web 3.0 pioneer Nova Spivack. Here's a link to a recently published essay of his called Welcome to the Stream: The Next Phase of the Web. In it, he discusses the quandary I presented in News From the Future: as tools like twitter make the web increasingly fluid, how does an end user make sense of the deluge? How do we filter the sludge out from what we really need? Nova concludes his essay like this:

The emergence of the Stream is an interesting paradigm shift that may turn out to characterize the next evolution of the Web, this coming third-decade of the Web's development. Even though the underlying data model may be increasingly like a graph, or even a semantic graph, the user experience will be increasingly stream oriented.

Whether Twitter, or some other app, the Web is becoming increasingly streamlike. How will we filter this stream? How will we cope? Whoever can solve these problems first and best is probably going to get rich.

Dreams of wealth aside, what I find so fascinating about these ideas of convergence and increasingly instantaneous connection across minds is the possibility that technology really could give us some bootstraps to pull ourselves up into a new mode of connectedness. In that sense, what we are talking about could be related to Kurzweil's Singularity just as much as it could be related to Zen Buddhism. And with my own project, getting people to see their underlying connectedness has been a running theme from the beginning. Here are some past entries where I've explored those ideas further:
Tens, Google, and the Expanding Universe

I Know You, You Know Me
You are Me and We are All Together
Daily Parrying
Where are You?
Poll 34 - God? Or the Multiverse?
Poll 37 - Do Shamans See Other Dimensions?

Finally, I wanted to mention a new scientific study just published by researchers from UCLA, who used high-resolution MRIs to discover that people who meditate regularly had "significantly larger volumes" in certain key parts of their brains. Isn't that amazing?

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

PS - Here's an article published yesterday by TechCrunch called "Jump Into the Stream".
Next: Evolution's Fast Lane

1 comment:

Mariana Soffer said...

ou might enjoy:
first post

Here is a part:

I don't think a stream has a uni dimensional sequence structure filled with pieces of information that people share and use to interact with each other, I think it is more complex than that. Maybe streams have a two dimensional structure with a spiral-shape. This structure starts at the information located farthest from the spiral center. As the stream evolves its contents are located in sequential order starting from the outer layers and moving toward the inner ones. The stream evolves towards better communication and interaction among it's participants. The closer the stream content is to the center the closer people are to truly understand each other and to increased interaction quality.

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