Best Of The Web
“Where do our minds go at night? For more than a century, discussions of dreams have tended to revolve around the interpretation of our dreams’ contents. Do they reflect our unconscious anxieties? Are they an attempt to simulate threats, training us to cope with future challenges? Or are they simply the result of our mental housekeeping, as the sleeping brain reactivates our memories and processes them for long-term storage? In each case, the focus has been on the more immersive, surreal flights of fancy that occupy the sleeping brain.
Yet our most puzzling dreams may not have contents at all. Have you ever woken up with the certainty that you had just been dreaming, yet you were unable to recall even a single detail of the scene your mind was playing out? Various sleep studies have found that approximately 30 percent of the time, participants wake up with the sensation that they have been dreaming about something, yet when they are asked to describe the experience, they draw a complete blank. This is a distinct experience from waking up and having no sense of having been dreaming at all, which occurs about 20 percent of the time, or the rich narratives found in the other 50 percent.
Sleep researchers refer to that first vague sensation as a “white dream”—and its true nature is a scientific mystery. It’s known that white dreams can occur at any part of the sleep cycle, though they are more likely to occur during non-rapid eye movement, earlier in the night. Sometimes, they are explained as a case of simply forgetting what was being dreamed. But some researchers now believe that something much stranger is going on. Rather than reflecting a memory deficit, white dreams might represent a boundary between sleep states, consisting of a basic form of consciousness without detailed sensual content.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Kurds have been staunch allies in America's struggle against ISIS. Without them, America would have paid a far steeper price in blood and treasure to defeat the brutal outfit. That's why President Trump's move to pull U.S. troops out of..."
"For the first time since President Richard Nixon refused to turn over the White House tapes, the United States is facing a genuine constitutional crisis. To be sure, Donald Trump had already created a crisis in the presidency by abusing the..."
"Every October for the past five years, Fat Bear Week has showcased some of the healthiest, hungriest, and chonkiest bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve, a four-million-acre expanse of wilderness in southern Alaska..."
"I sat on my childhood bed, surrounded by 52-year-old stuffed animals, with a smartphone lodged between my ear and shoulder. My father had died unexpectedly the day before, and I was jotting down notes as my rabbi back in Ohio described various..."
"In August, it was SoulCycle and Equinox. The month prior, Home Depot. Back in 2017, L.L.Bean. These are only a few of the companies to ignite the collective ire of progressive consumers over corporate ties to Trump. In the case of the boutique..."
"Movies like Gemini Man are usually ideal airplane viewing. Take a formulaic plot about spies and cloning, then add dialogue so predictable that getting interrupted by pilots’ announcements and turbulence and your seatmate’s need to get up and..."
"It’s still unclear whether Israel’s next election will be in four years or four months. But either way, if the center-right wants a better outcome, it needs to learn the lessons of September’s election. So here are two: First, while center-right..."
"Smart homes, bountiful oceans and casual sexism: the future as envisaged from 1967 ‘Yes, life will be richer, easier, healthier as space-age dreams come true.’ In 1967, the Ford Motor Company (then known as Philco-Ford) released the short film..."