Archive for the ‘Dreamland’ Category

Communing with nature

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Tonight I saw the sunset.

The temperature was much warmer today and I went outside seeking relief from the heavy heat inside. This time I had no blanket, but was not cold. The wind was flirtatious, at times coming on strong, massaging my whole body, then withdrawing to nothing but a light tickle about the face and neck.

The sun was a low, ill-defined orange ball. It was the same sun I’ve seen set many times over various bodies of water – Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Superior, the Detroit River (you can tell I’m from Ontario…) But I haven’t seen it go down over the Georgia Straight, while sitting on a bench, caressed by the wind, reading Marx’s Capital Vol. 1 (Ch. 15). It was nice.

An aside: last night I dreamed I was blogging. Let me clarify: I wasn’t dreaming about blogging; I experienced my dream as if I were writing a blog post. I dreamed through the device or act of blogging. So far, I’ve dreamed “in game” – again, unconscious experience mediated through metaphor of gaming. Also I have dreamed I’ve been instant messaging someone – communication twice removed (first through IM, second through the dream, or vice versa). Now it is the blog that is enframing my unconscious self. Goddess help me.

I dream of MMORPGs

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Tonight, in bed, my daughter said: “I have a ‘feeling ache’. I need some good energy, and some rest.”

And I’m all: I feel ya, sister. Then she passed out and I lay staring at the ceiling.

Why are kids so brilliant, and intuitive, and brilliantly intuitive?

Last night, I tossed and turned, all night it felt like. And as I roamed the bed, looking for space where a small foot or other body part was not draped across me or jabbing into me, I dreamt of MMORPGs. (Sara would be proud.) Oh? You don’t know what these are, you say? Well, why not come to my lecture on Friday about games? I didn’t know the first thing about why anybody would care about video or online games but guess what? I can give an entire 2nd year lecture on them. Now I dream about Massively Multiple Online Role Playing Games. In my dream, I’m in the game, looking for somewhere to sleep. How’s that for fucked up?

Maybe, one of these nights, I’ll get a restful sleep. I told KA I was plagued, in consciousness and unconsciousness. She said, by what? And really, it’s just life in general (as Depeche Mode would say).

Philosophical duels in dreamland

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Early this morning I awoke to the rain – a heavy, steady downpour that I most associate with Vancouver. I lay in bed, windows open, deep under my covers with only my face exposed to the chill, listening to its soothing rhythm, and felt at home. Not in a geographical sense, of course, but in that way when things just feel right. And you are at ease with yourself and everything around you, if only for a moment.

In that peaceful moment I recalled a dream; in fact, I’d been woken out of it. Feenberg and Bijker were sitting at a table somewhere, talking. And Bijker, in his affable, gentle way, challenged Feenberg to a duel (that’s what he called it). Of course, this was to be a philosophical duel, a battle of the brains, a theoretical tangle. Feenberg, naturally, accepted, and the two men sat quietly, pondering this turn of events, while my dream scene changed.

This is funny because these men are in no way philosophical opponents. I suspect they might even be friends. And both seem to be mild mannered – not the least bit predisposed to dueling of any sort. In fact, when Bijker visited our lab last year, he acknowledged the debt he (and really SCOT) owed Feenberg for introducing a critical approach to the study of technology.

The thing about preparing for your comps is, you never escape it, not even in sleep. Bijker has been on my mind because I just reread his Bakelite essay, and am reading Winner, who of course, has no patience for social constructivism whatever. So I guess I’ve got SCOT on the brain, and in my dreams…

My first computer dream (or you know you’re a nerd when…)

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Last night I had my first computer dream.

We’d had the neighbours over for some general relaxation and jovial imbibing. This while the children ran amok and tore the house apart. It was good times. Around 2 a.m. I awoke in some distress, with the sense of having been tossing and turning, as they say. My dream quickly returned to me:

I was (in my dream) documenting the night’s festivities on a wiki, complete with a table of contents, WikiWords and everything. The cause of my distress was that (in my dream) I was having trouble attaching some video taken during the night of the children and their antics (never really happened). I was having technical difficulties which, for any of you who know me, would be about par for the course (and yes, I’m aware of the irony).

Now, the day prior, I had just given my lecture on Networks, into which I’d miraculously managed to work wikis (thanks Rococo). And I’d been editing and uploading to our own class wiki that very day. So go figure. Dreams are not that subtle, Freud and his hangers-on notwithstanding.

I had to laugh at this dream – my life, my very thought process being mediated by the machine, being funneled and organized by a particular digital interface. This is funny and amazing to me. I’m thinking here (but only halfheartedly and vaguely) of Donna Haraway’s cyborg.

The dream itself I would categorize as a “stress” dream. You’ve had them. For example, a student’s stress dream is missing the exam, or waking up one day to find out you’re enrolled in a required course that you haven’t attended in two months. And it’s grade 13 French and you’re screwed. That’s one kind. Another kind is the “waitressing” dream. I’ve had so many of these in my decade or so of waiting tables. You’re “in the weeds”, having lost control of your section without even realizing it, and every customer wants to kill you. These are bad dreams, and they very nearly approximate real scenarios.

And now I’ve had my first computer dream. It’s not nearly as bad as the other types – not yet, anyhow. But not much is resting on my accumulation of geeky knowledge (who knows, maybe just my career?) Anyhow, Richard Smith would be proud. This is a man who, early on in our frienship said: “We’ll make a geek out of you yet.” To which I scoffed and guffawed. But secretly, I’m pleased…