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galaxor nebulon's Journal

Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.

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  2017.03.11  12.57

I had a dream that I wrote a program that manipulated the bitcoin market by generating a flurry of transactions that artificially inflated the value of bitcoins, whereupon I sold and then stopped my transactions. (This would not work in real life).

I figured no one would know it was me, but just in case, I tried to run the program on a computer in Russia so people would think it was a Russian person who'd done it.

But someone got ahold of my binary somehow (maybe this program was run by a botnet and I had distributed the binary out there?), and they were able to figure out it was me because the compiler had left some telltale stuff on the symbol table. They were able to do some stylometry between the program's function names and the function names of other stuff I'd published. They also could tell that it was not a Russian because I fluently used idiomatic Americanisms in some strings I'd left in the data section.


I should have produced an optimized (-O3) binary, and statically linked it. That would've taken care of the symbol table problem (I think!). And I should've been more careful about my string constants.

But also, I should've read my binary myself to see if there was anything in there that would ruin my anonymity.


  2017.02.21  11.14
Explosion O'clock

I had a dream that I was visiting a planet that had a weird atmospheric
effect. For a second each sunrise and sunset, the atmosphere lensed a
bunch of the sunlight together and caused super-intense light and heat
that could burn you like an ant under a magnifying glass. You lit on fire
so fast that people referred to these times as "explosion o'clock". You
could hide from it by getting into any piece of shade that was strong
enough to not also burn. All buildings were built out of stone, and extra
hiding places were placed around. At explosion o'clock, everybody went to
huddle in the shade of one of these places. I was struck by how people of
all sorts of social statuses would huddle together in the shade just for a
second. I was also struck with the nonchalance with which people treated
this. I saw someone walking down the street reading the paper, and then
ducked into the shade for explosion o'clock and then continued on, reading
the paper the whole time.


  2016.12.11  08.50
Overthrow all kings

I had a dream that I was trying to take over a castle and overthrow the king. It turned out that I was a distant member of the royal family, so the magic castle responded to my wishes. With a slash of my sword, I could cut through the walls. Or I could repair the walls. They tried to convince me that, since I was a member of the royal family, I should put down my sword and join them. Instead, I slashed my way to the upper floors of the castle, looking for the king. I went higher and higher, until I was on the top floor, and then I went even higher, into levels of abstraction. There was a map of the castle. I slashed higher. There was a schedule, showing the planned activities in the castle. Finally, I went high enough that I found the very idea of hierarchy and destroyed it!


  2016.10.25  14.46
A New Car!!

I had a dream that I was at a party of some sort. Like, an event, not just a thing at someone's house or whatever. They had this thing where you could bounce a ball and if it landed in the bowl, you got a prize. It was on the honor system. I bounced a ball into the bowl and went over to the prize table. It was like candy and stickers, but then there were car keys there. I was like "why are all these chumps taking candy when they could take the car!" So I took the keys.

I went down to the parking garage to see the car I had won. It was green and looked like a car. But I started wondering if they had really intended for me to win the car this way. For one thing, if I just drove it away, I wouldn't have any papers to prove that I owned the car! At the very least, I should check with someone about this, and make sure I had understood the situation correctly, and if I had, they could hook me up with the papers.

So I went back in, and they had gathered everybody around for a crisis meeting: It seems someone had stolen the keys to the car, which were supposed to be the grand prize at the thing after the dinner!

I wanted to return the keys, but didn't want to admit that I had been greedy and thought I deserved them for bouncing a ball into a bowl. So I spoke up with a lie, and I said "I accidentally picked up those keys! I saw them on the table and thought I had left my car keys on the table, sorry about that, here it is." Nobody believed me, though, and they booed at me.

The end.


  2016.09.06  14.27
Heidelberg Project

I had a dream I was walking through the Heidelberg Project. But it was full of these magically-animated dioramas that did performances as you walked by. When I tried to leave, they changed their performance. Now each one was all about trying to convince me to join the diorama and become part it forever.


  2016.08.09  06.30

I had a dream that all around the world, random people got random superpowers. My superpower was that my body was made of unbreachable metallic armor, and my arms were machine guns that could fire an infinite amount of bullets.

I panicked. I couldn't figure out how to stop my machine guns from firing. Around me, this caused other superpowered individuals with even more destructive powers to panic. Soon, the city was mostly on fire, among other disasters. This happened all over the world.

Eventually, the panic subsided. I felt really bad about my part in it. I blamed myself. I thought maybe if I hadn't panicked, it others wouldn't have panicked and maybe the disaster wouldn't have happened.

So I started a foundation whose purpose was to give reparations to people who were harmed in the panic. I planned on doing my part to fund the foundation by safely shooting off my guns and collecting the copper from the casings of the bullets. After all, I could produce infinite bullets! In doing this, though, I produced way more lead than was useful. Lead is highly toxic, so I experimented with whether I could change ammo types. I found that the only other ammo I could use was depleted uranium, so I decided to switch back to lead. I also experimented to see if I could collect the bullets without firing them, so that the gunpowder could be used in useful applications. Alas, no.

So, how were people supposed to collect money from the foundation? It was so open-ended! Could I and should I have some kind of process by which people had to prove that the damage they're claiming was in fact caused by the super panic? Should I put a time limit, like people had to submit their claims by X time? That way, we might have a more manageable and predictable burden.

I found someone whose superpower was to be an excellent lawyer, and they wrote the rules for the foundation.

Eventually, I met someone who was a reality bender! They could edit history! I asked him if we could make it so the super panic had never happened. He was worried, because when he left anything unspecified in his history edits, they tended to be filled in the worst way. So the two of us sat around and designed an alternative history. We tried our best to make it airtight and fully specified. Finally, we were satisfied, and implemented that history.

In the new version, the super panic never happened! People discovered their powers calmly and nobody accidentally destroyed any cities.

Soon, however, a faction of fascist super people developed who had the philosophy that might makes right, and they decided to try to take over the world, and a huge war erupted!

This was also no good. So I found the reality bender again. We decided to make up a safer way to use superpowers. It could potentially be useful to be able to summon infinite copper, for example, but maybe there should be some rules you have to follow. Hoops to jump through in order to get the copper, for example. Like, we needed some sort of API for reality.

"You mean, like physics?" he pointed out.

Indeed, we couldn't come up with anything better. So we decided to just re-implement the non-superpowers version of reality.

And then I woke up. From that ... dream???


  2016.06.23  11.50
Just Misunderstood!

I had a dream that I was Hitler! It turns out I wasn't so much full of hate as I was full of cowardice.

It seemed to me that we were headed for a World War, and the only thing I cared about was that I did not personally fight in it. I thought the safest thing to do would be to be the leader of the country. That oughta make me pretty safe from the war! And the best way to become the leader would be to spout hate-filled vitriol, because that's what the people wanted to hear.

So, I guess it was all a misunderstanding???


  2016.06.23  11.48
Saint Busters

I had a dream that I was poking around a Catholic church, looking for a shrine dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. I had brought a stainless steel saucepan full of cold saltwater. I was going to trap his soul in it!



  2016.06.23  11.47
Moon Antics

I had a dream that the moon's orbit was decaying a little bit, and as a result, at the next solar eclipse, gravitational lensing was going to cause the moon to act like a magnifying glass and the Earth was going to act like an ant with the sunlight magnified at it. So I ran some computer simulations and figured out how to solve the problem: Everybody on the Earth was supposed to take everything reflective they had and point it at a certain spot on the moon when it was visible during the day. Ablation would cause the moon to accelerate back into a safe orbit for the next couple tens of thousands of years.


  2016.05.31  15.09

I had a dream that I kidnapped my 10-year-old daughter that I had. I don't know how it started, but it was some sort of mistake/misunderstanding, where instead of admitting the mistake and doing the right thing, I compounded it with making bad choices, and the next thing I knew, I was kidnapping her and if I ever brought her back home, I'd never get to see her again cuz I'd go to jail, so I had to stay on the lam.

I had a car that was like a 1970s muscle car, which allowed me to outrun the police, but it had modern-day gas mileage somehow, so it was easier to afford gas for it. The gas mileage wasn't even that great, but it was like 22mpg, whereas the real muscle cars from the 70s had like 7mpg.

That analysis of gas mileage was literally a part of my dream, with those exact numbers.

The car was basically this one: It was yellow and had the intake thing that came up from the hood.

Anyway, here are the adventures we had:

We tried to go to a restaurant to eat, but we had no money, so they let us sit and eat corn flakes that we had brought. I resolved to look for odd jobs while we were on the road.

We visited the "Cardiff Castle". Not the real Cardiff Castle, but in fact an old, fancy tree in Utah that had died of natural causes and its remains had weathered and rotted so that it looked like a cool castle. Actually, it looked like the archaeological remains of a cool castle's foundation. The way its roots were laid out made it look like roads leading up to the castle. But it was a tourist trap. I guess the nearby community had some Welsh settlers and that's why they named it "Cardiff Castle".

When I woke up, I looked up Cardiff Castle on wikipedia to see if there really was a tourist trap like this. The only hit I got was for the real Cardiff Castle -- a castle in Cardiff, Wales. I was probably thinking of the Coral Castle.

In another episode, we talked about what roads to take. We had been avoiding the freeway and sticking to the highways and country roads, because we thought we would be harder to detect on those roads. But then we found this area full of farms with private roads. I thought we'd be even less detectable if we went on the private roads. So we started driving on those. But I went to the farmhouse at one of the farms, to ask permission to use their roads, and to see if they had any odd jobs we could do, cuz we were driving constantly and needed money for food and gas. The person at the farmhouse said that we could use the private roads if we really thought that was a good idea, but the private roads connected with some federal park land further up. He said that if we stayed on the main roads, we'd only have to deal with state and county police, but if we took the park roads, we'd also have to deal with park rangers! When he said that, I realized that he knew who we were and that they must've been showing our pictures on TV. I decided not to do any odd jobs, and to just drive as fast as we could to get out of there, especially since the next thing that guy was probably gonna do was call the police.

In another episode, we stopped at some sort of watering-hole. It was put by the side of the road as a public service for people who were driving livestock trucks, so that you could spray water into your truck to cool your animals and let them drink.

There were a bunch of italian drivers there, for some reason. One of them thought my daughter was cute (she was), and took her picture. Later, we got an email. He had sent her picture to "Doctor Alford's Smile Floss", and they wanted to use her picture on the next box.

I said no, because it seemed like a bad omen, because the "Alford Plea" is where you plead guilty to the crime but say "I'm not actually guilty, I just think I'm gonna lose this case, so I'm making a plea deal."

I guess my dream thought that "Alford" sounded like an Italian name. That's the only reason I can think of that my dream would have specified that there were Italians there. But now that I'm awake, Alford seems like a highly English name. I don't know what I was thinking.

In the final episode, I called her mom (Naomi) so the two of them could talk. The daughter started crying on the phone and said she was scared and wanted to go home. This was a big surprise to me! I had thought she was having a good time!

So I decided to send her home on a bus, even though I knew that meant I'd never get to see her again. I stayed on the lam, though. Forever, as far as I knew.

The end.


  2016.05.15  12.06
Smash the patriarchy, oh lord

I had a dream that I was God, and even I couldn't smash the patriarchy!

The problem was that I was trying to do it without directly controlling everybody's minds.

First, I tried just telling everybody to treat women equally. That caused a lot of people to talk a lot, but it changed their behavior not at all.

Then I tried manifesting myself on Earth and trying to get laws passed and stuff. I went to the white house and told them I wanted to speak to the president. They were like "uh huh, and who are you?" I was like "Okay, I'm going to sound like a crazy person, but I'm God personified on Earth." They were like "Yep, you sound like a crazy person." I was like "Here's something that should help you believe me. You are about to pick up the phone and call the president. Then you say what you want to say." Much to his surprise, he picked up the phone and called the president. When the president answered, though, he was like "Um, false alarm, sir."

I eventually got some bills to the floor of congress, though, and I tried to fix the vote by making the misogynist legislators vanish during the vote. But the people didn't think that was fair, and didn't take a vote.

Meanwhile, all my meddling was causing a huge backlash among the populace. It was like all sorts of people, and not just gamers, had joined Gamergate. People were joining into gangs and smashing windows and beating up feminists and stuff.

What this goes to show is that I should really make a plan, in case I ever become god.


  2016.04.05  13.38
SCP Agent

I had a dream that I was a new rookie Agent at the SCP Foundation. A more experienced Agent was showing me around.

The first thing he pointed out was that I should ignore database entries from Agent 5114. Apparently, this was not a real person, and was instead some kind of paranormal imitation phenomenon, designated SCP-5114. It had gotten into the Foundation database, so it generated new files that were similar to the files around it, dealing with cataloguing and containing paranormal phenomena. But the articles written by Agent 5114 made no sense at all, and were not about real things. Just ignore them. Apparently, Agent 5114 also physically manifested sometimes. A Mobile Task Force would be deployed to investigate a phenomenon, and while they were there, Agent 5114 would appear and start acting like he was part of the Task Force, except he would just grab random things and start chattering about their supposed anomalous properties and how to contain them.

The Foundation was eventually able to contain SCP 5114 in this way: When he manifested in a Task Force one day, they never recalled that Task Force. Instead, members were just replaced on different shifts, and the Task Force was redeployed to a warehouse where the Foundation stored non-anomalous office supplies.

My escort introduced me to SCP 5114. I tried to have a conversation, but SCP 5114 was too busy taking apart a broken VCR and spouting off nonsensical containment procedures.

Next, my escort took me to an apartment (designated Site 84), where there was a chair. Whenever someone sat in the chair, they would not get out of the chair. No amount of force could move either the person or the chair. The person would still talk and act like themselves, but they required no food or water, and never needed to eliminate. If you asked them why they were sitting in the chair, they would say "I don't want someone to take my seat. This is a good seat."

In order to show me how dangerous SCP objects can be, my escort next showed me cemetery gate. If you go to the other side of the gate, you are now dead, but you don't realize it and neither does anybody else. They just assume you're still alive and continue interacting with you as though you are. You feel alive, and continue to do things, even though you're not actually there - you're actually lying dead in the cemetery. The cemetery was founded in the 1870s. In times past, you could go for a long time without anybody noticing that you were dead! However, you have no effect on machines. You don't show up on cameras, you can't drive cars, you can't open automatic doors. If someone notices the discrepancy, they will suddenly realize you're not there, and then so do you, and now you're dead.

Then my escort showed me a lucky rabbit's foot they had in containment. Before he was able to warn me not to touch it, I touched it. I now had a memetic infection: I now *HATED* rabbits, and would take every opportunity to bring this up.

Now, this is the sort of thing I could live with, but the Foundation decided that since I was compromised, I needed to be imprisoned and studied forever. Oops!!


  2016.02.17  20.00
Puppies and Kittens and Rainbows

I had a dream that I was at a wedding when a bunch of angels busted in and took over the mic. They apologized for not taking better care of humanity, but they just now realized that the indoors existed, so they were not aware of most of the things that were going on!

Someone asked why bad things happen to good people.

The angel said: "You like puppies and kittens and rainbows, right? Well, you can't have any of that stuff unless it sometimes rains cats and dogs!"


  2016.02.04  15.45
Alien Blobs

I had a dream that there were these aliens invading. Their natural state was a big ol blob, but they could also convincingly take any shape. They could infect people too, and then they would turn into amorphous shape-shifters.

The infected humans usually shape-shifted back to their original shape and kept acting like they used to act. Very little changed, EXCEPT that they now strongly believed that everybody should be infected by the aliens. This was very different from how most people felt!

Infected humans could infect other people, but only if the other human was willing to be infected. But the infected humans saw no problem with lying like crazy or manipulating people to get them to "agree" to be infected. My infected pharmacist wouldn't fill my prescription for antidepressants. She said that if I got really depressed, I would long for the community provided by being infected by the aliens.


  2015.11.26  14.40
National Health Plan

I had a dream that someone was denied cancer treatment by his insurance company, so he went to the insurance company and shot up the place and was killed by the police, instead of waiting for the cancer to do it.

The media tried to treat it like a regular mass shooting, but the public reacted differently. They started picketing in front of insurance companies, so employees had to walk the gauntlet as they went to work. They held up big signs with pictures of people who had died due to being denied treatment by the insurance company. The signs said things like "who is the real mass murderer?"

By the time I woke up, it looked like this was going to start lawmakers talking seriously about a national health plan.


  2015.11.23  19.02

I had a dream that I was a German boy, and when I turned 16, I was drafted into the Nazi army! I did not want to be in the Nazi army, for many reasons!

We were finally brought to the battle, to fight against some Americans. As we were waiting for the order to charge, one of my squadmates accidentally shot another one. Then everybody turned and looked like they were going to kill him. So I shot another squadmate and said to the first guy, "come on, let's defect!"

We ran through the battle, tearing off our uniforms to lessen the chances that the Americans would shoot us as we tried to surrender. The plan was that we would surrender and then live out the rest of the war in a POW camp.

But when we got to the Americans, there was a whole bunch of confusion going on, and we just got herded onto a transport to be taken back to base, as though we were American soldiers.

At this point, I lost track of my friend. Since he took no part in my subsequent adventures, it kind of makes me wonder: Did I make up that accident, or even that entire person? Maybe I just didn't want to think of myself as someone that would shoot someone just to get what I want, so I made up that I was rescuing someone.

Whatever happened there, I was shipped back to America. I had been to England as a kid, so I knew a little English. I figured that, if I didn't say much, I might not be found out.

And it mostly worked.

I didn't know what to do in America, so I went to high school (I was still 16). But soon, I was found out as being German, and people thought I was a spy and were going to arrest me, so I ran. I was living on the street, stealing things for a living. Eventually, I fell in with some kind of gang. They robbed jewellery stores.

I guess I lived with them for awhile. But at some point, they started turning to violent crimes that I didn't want to be part of, so I ran again.

Before I woke up, what was going on was that I was going to live on a hippy commune!

I wonder how differently my life would have turned out if I had successfully become a POW. Or if I hadn't defected at all. Maybe I could have had a legitimate life, and not had to worry about being caught all the time. I guess we'll never know.


  2015.11.09  17.31
Space Pirates

Space pirates are not as fun as you may think.

I had a dream that I lived on this one planet, but most of the people at the planet lived on the station in orbit over it. There was like 20,000 people on the surface and like a million people in orbit. But pirates decided they didn't like how our civilization kept law and order in that solar system! They wanted to smuggle things out and our ships kept stopping them. So they got a fleet together and blew up the station!

So now there were huge labor shortages on the planet itself. It took most of our effort just to keep the surface habitat running. Harsh weather, extreme cold. That's the sort of thing we had to contend with. Also, most of the agricultural facilities were on the station! We were going to have to all pull together to stay alive.

One day, I saw a bunch of people marched up against the wall to face a firing squad! Fortunately, the firing squad only had squirt guns, but still -- that is no way to treat people. "Hey," I said. "What do you think you're doing?"

The wetsecutionsers said "These people didn't do their chores!" I said "That's no excuse to do mock executions!" And I wrestled one of the squirt guns away from one of them and used it to squirt the executioners. They were all running around and squirting me, and I was squirting them. We were all getting wet.

"See, THIS is what you're supposed to do with squirt guns!" I said.



  2015.10.29  14.12
Alternate Universe Shennanigans

I had a dream that my friends rented a moving truck from Jack's Hardware. It turned out that, due to some weird consequence of the rules of the universe, when you parked that specific truck in that specific parking spot and put the key in the ignition, a portal to another universe opened above the truck!

If you stood under the portal and looked up, you'd see the ground of the other universe. If you crawled on top of the car and jumped up, you'd go through the portal and the gravity of the other universe would catch you and you'd fall to the ground there.

We jumped into the other universe to check it out.

It was a lot like ours. The people were human and lived in cities like ours, and even spoke English! They had a different writing system, based on hieroglyphics that we couldn't read.

There was a music concert of some kind there. I guess it was similar to one of those things where all the high schools send their musicians. We decided to see what the alien music was like. It was okay. Pretty similar to ours. We couldn't read the programs, though.

Over the next week or so, we jumped over to the other universe increasingly casually, to see what was going on.

However, on one jump, we started to feel like people were suspicious of us, and it might be a little dangerous. Someone was talking to some cops and pointing at us, so we got out of there quick and jumped back through the portal.

Over dinner at my house, I realized that Juliet the dog did not make it back to our side with us! Ignoring all danger, and all warnings from friends, I went back to the portal myself.

Whoever was last through the portal, they did not shut it down. They just covered it with cardboard. So I took the cardboard down and jumped through.

Pretty quickly, I got arrested. On what charge? I have no idea, I have no knowledge of their legal system.

They took me to see the king! He said that he was going to send me to the scientists so they could dissect me and figure out stuff about my universe.

So I decided to challenge him to a duel for my freedom! I didn't know if that was a thing, but sometimes things like this work in Earth fiction, so why not try it?

The king thought that was amusing and accepted the duel. Apparently, I was lucky: Duels in this society were not to the death. We had little pompoms velcroed to our backs. The goal of the duel was to get the pompom off your opponent. We also had swords with pompoms. If your sword loses its pompom, you have to stop using it. Now, I was given a rapier, whereas the king had a big ol' sword and some kind of staff with a half-moon blade on the top. "I am the king, after all," he said, by way of justifying the imbalance in weaponry. "We can't just have people challenging the king to duels and winning all the time over here."

Well, as it turns out, the king expected me to be dueling in the formalistic style of their culture. Being unaware of that tradition, I rushed him, knocked his weapons aside with my hands, and grabbed the pompom off his back. I won! Fair and square. Nothing actually said this was against the rules, it just defied expectations.

So, this meant that I was king now!

The former king's first wife decided to be with me and stay being the queen. She seemed like a perfectly reasonable person, and it seemed like she was really the brains and wisdom of the kingdom -- at least, this was my impression from my brief conversation with her. The rest of the former king's wives wanted to stay with him because they liked him. I was a little worried about their prospects, but I figured that even if they did have to take minimum wage jobs to get by, with that many adults in the household, they should be able to get by. And for all I know, they'd have a lucrative speaking career, or make a bunch of money writing books or something.

The queen and I had a brief wedding right then and there. Featuring: "I, Ryan, take you, ... uh, ... *psst. Hey, you. Person I randomly selected as best man. I did not actually catch her name.*" Ambriel was her name.

My plans included getting her to teach me to read their heiroglyphics.

But first, we had a bunch of business to attend to! A bunch of supplicants were there for when the king was holding court. I had been one of them, but there was a long line after me. Also, I sent some of my guards to look for Juliet!

It seemed like for most of them, my ascension either mooted their complaints, or they were afraid because they didn't know what I was like. So most of the supplicants just said something like "I just wanted to, um, congratulate you on your ascension."

One guy, though, had figured out that if you make a dousing rod out of aluminum foil, it would project a faint image from my universe onto a wall! I thought that looked pretty handy, so I sent him to see the scientists. I checked, though. It was not a portal that you could go through.

So, even though there was still a long line of supplicants, the queen said that it was time to stop holding court. I guess that was something that was okay to do. Sure, whatever.

So I decided that I should take her to see my universe! We'd do a better job if we both understood each other's cultures. And I'd like her to meet my friends and family and stuff.

So we went to where the portal was, but it was gone! Probably what had happened was that the people who work at Jack's Hardware noticed that the moving truck was in the parking lot with the keys in the ignition and were like "what the heck?" and moved it back to where it's supposed to be. But if anything is at all different, the portal disappears. If the truck is somewhere else, if the keys aren't in the ignition. It was such a fluke.

Well, I hoped that my friends, who knew I was there, and knew how to summon the portal, would bring it back. In the meantime, I could maybe check out that dousing rod setup and see if I could send a message, or at least monitor to see when they were going to open the portal.

On this side, there was a diner near where the portal was, so the queen and I ate there. We had our bodyguards with us: The Knight and the Rook. They were hardboiled detectives wearing papier-mache rook and knight costumes. I whispered to the queen: "Can that one only move in straight lines and that one only move in L shapes?" She was like "What the heck are you talking about?" So maybe they don't have chess there? I don't know.

Anyway, that's pretty much where I was left when I woke up. I hope I found Juliet! I hope I got the portal to my dimension opened back up! I hope I replaced the monarchy with a democracy!


  2015.10.09  14.27
Energy budget

I had a dream that my ship went to visit a colony that was having trouble and asking for help. They were a bunch of little (pretty big) habitation modules orbiting a star. We went to investigate.

They told us that they were running out of hydrogen and they didn't have any ships they could use to go and get some. But we could easily get hydrogen from the star or, more easily, from a nearby gas giant.

But I hung out on the colony while my ship went to get that stuff. The colony had this technology where you could ask the omnipresent computer for stuff and it would nano-assemble it right there for you.

I thought that was awesome, so I kept having it make stuff for me. Like, I didn't want to take a shower, so I was like "computer, clean me". Bam. I completely changed my body a couple times. I had it make some good foods for me.

The people on the colony didn't seem to use that technology very much. I noticed that they had stores that charged money for stuff. They grew food in gardens. I was like "Why do you do that, when you can just ask for stuff?" and they were like "um, I don't know. That's just what we do."

"How do you get money?"
"By working jobs."
"Why do you do that? Why not just have the computer do stuff for you and live in luxury?"
"I don't know, that's just not what we do."

My ship came back and I told them I was resigning. I was going to live in luxury here on this colony!

Then, suddenly, one day, the computer stopped listening to me and wouldn't make anything else for me. I tried to figure out what the deal was. I was getting hungry because I didn't have any of their money and the computer wouldn't nano-assemble me any more food.

Eventually, I figured out the deal: Everybody has an energy budget - they can only have the computer spend a certain amount of energy assembling stuff for them. I had exceeded mine. Most people didn't even realize they had a budget, because the culture was such that it just never came up for most people. But nobody told me to be conservative because they seriously didn't know you had to!

Well, I guess I was going to have to get a job or whatever and wait til my energy budget replenished. Now I wished I had gone back on my ship, cuz working jobs is for chumps.


  2015.08.26  12.09
Parachute busking

I had a dream that parachuting was a busking activity. Here's how it works:

You have someone working your table on the ground. They sell snacks, shine shoes, and watch your tip jar. They split the take with the parachuter. Also, the parachuter has a sign there, so people know which parachuter they're tipping. There tends to be several in the sky at once, since they're dropped from the same plane.

The parachuters may do things like dress as celebrities, lipsync song-and-dance routines (to a boombox they carry, which simulcasts with the boombox at their table), or do tricks in the air, such as cooking or tandem-parachuting and trading clothes with the partner.

It was pretty exciting to watch!


  2015.08.21  14.03
AI Car

I had a dream that I was an AI car (like Knight Rider). I apparently had a humanoid body, too, but it was just a hologram projected by the car.

I met another AI car. We discovered that we could actually have our hologram bodies leave the car, but the further we got from the car, the more stressed out we got. We didn't dare stray to far or too long.

We both wished we were real humans. We convinced people we were until we were able to adopt human children, which we thought would make us feel more human.

We didn't want to let them know that we were actually cars. We would think of excuses to drive them around all day. We would put them to bed at night (which was stressful because we had to leave the car and go into the house), and then retreat back to the car to sleep.

One day, I decided to try something: I would break my addiction to the car and become a real person! I bought a plane ticket and got on the plane. I was already panicking by the time I was sitting on the plane, because the parking lot was much further from the plane than I'd ever strayed before. The plane started to take off, and ...

I woke up.
So I guess it worked? I am a real person now!!

This dream is brought to you by the fact that I was tired and missed the bus and had to drive to work TWICE this week!


  2015.08.20  17.44
Dick Cheney

I had a dream that Dick Cheney was speaking at the university. I went to the talk (hopefully to protest?).

During the talk, Cheney was sweaty. Someone in the audience said "Hey, you look like you're hot" and tossed Cheney a wet rag. Cheney caught it and mopped his forehead. I joked "Y'know, he was throwing that *at* you, not *to* you". Cheney was like "Really? Security!" and the security guards grabbed the guy and took him away.

Dang it, I accidentally ruined that guy's life forever!


  2015.08.16  13.30

I had a dream that I heard a song called "Microseconds". It was kind of a techno song, like Drum & Bass or maybe IDM or something. The music played and over the music, the guy made a little speech:

"I was driving. Driving my car. Driving down the highway. I saw an exit that had a mechanic. So I pulled off of the highway. But that wasn't my intended destination. And it wasn't something I did on a whim. You see: There was something wrong with my car."

Then there was the chorus, which talked about how sometimes you have to make decisions, and you only have microseconds to make them.

The rest of the song alternated between that chorus and other similar speeches in which mundane decisions are described with excessive drama. But I don't actually remember those parts of the song.


  2015.08.07  15.24
Inheritance after 100 year time warp

I had a dream which took place somewhere in New England. A lady was going to her father's funeral. The elder brother stood to inherit the big estate, including a fancy house and the surrounding lands which had tenant farmers. This was around 1910.

However, she had evidence that the brother had actually murdered the father, so she would inherit instead. (I looked this up; apparently, this is real. It's called the "Slayer Rule").

However, on the way to the funeral, she accidentally went through a time warp and ended up in modern times. In the intervening ~100 years, the brother had died, obviously. His children had inherited, and so forth. The farmland surrounding the estate house had been sold off and suburbs had been built there. The estate house was still in the family.

She still had the evidence that her brother had murdered her father. The question posed by my dream is: Would that evidence be of any use to her? Could she get her hands on any of what would have been her inheritance?

Update: I brought this question to James Daily of Law and the Multiverse. Here is his reply:

That's....a new one.

The short answer is that she's probably out of luck.  There's the practical
matter of getting a court to believe her identity and the evidence, but let's
assume that all goes fine.  The first big problem is the way slayer statutes are
worded.  Consider Connecticut's (since we're talking about New England):

"A person finally adjudged guilty either as the principal or accessory, of any
crime under Section 53a-54a ... shall not inherit or receive any part of the
estate of the deceased"

Since the brother is dead, he cannot be put on trial and thus cannot be found
guilty of having murdered the father.  Mere evidence offered in probate court is
not enough to trigger the statute.

(It should be noted that the court could judge this under the law as it existed
c.1910, before many slayer statutes were enacted, but the pre-statutory common
law principle was that felons could not benefit from their felonious acts, which
presupposes that they have been convicted of a felony.  See, e.g., Slocum v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 245 Mass. 565, 567 (1923).  So we get the same
result either way.)

But even supposing there was a loophole in the slayer statute or that the court
were willing to invoke some broader principle of equity (especially under the
circumstances), there's the problem of reopening a probate case.  Courts are
generally loathe to reopen an estate, doubly so after so many years have passed
and the assets have been distributed many times over.

Ultimately she's probably out of luck on the inheritance.  If she played her
cards right she could probably make a fortune from her autobiography, though. 
Genetic and radiological testing would pretty straightforwardly establish that
she was indeed who she says she was and from the pre-atomic past, since her
teeth and bones would lack the tell-tale radioisotopes of everyone born after
the era of atomic testing.



  2015.06.19  11.39
Olive and Apple

I had a dream that I met a guy at the coffeeshop and his name was Olive. He told me he was sad cuz he was going to marry a girl named Apple today, but she changed her mind and they will not be getting married.

THEN I bumped into Apple on the bus, and she said she was on her way to her wedding. I told her I'd bumped into Olive and he'd said she was not marrying him. Did she change her mind, or is she marrying someone else on the very same day she was supposed to marry Olive? This wasn't adding up.

Apple told me that Olive was a person of limited mental faculties. She was friends with him, and he'd had a crush on her for years. She invited him to her wedding and he thought that meant she was asking him to marry her. She set him straight and I guess in his mind that became her changing her mind about marrying him.

Very sad.

And even more sad, the person she was marrying was named Adam, and was not named after a food at all!


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