Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Computer REM sleep mode

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My Mac just told me that it would go to sleep if I didn't connect it to a power supply. Obviously, I've connected it to a power supply so I can post this idea.

It strikes me that, when my Mac shuts down, it isn't really sleeping. I mean, it's fairly dormant and probably running a few low-level routines (like a human sleeper), but it certainly doesn't do all the things that the human brain does when it's asleep. In particular, I don't think my Mac does REM sleep; it doesn't seem to dream, which I think is sad.

Many famous people - such as Kekulé and others too numerous to remember - have been inspired by dreams. Even the average Joe or Joan can awake from a dream with one or two new ideas in their head.

What's needed, therefore, is computer REM sleep. In this mode, the computer would do a variety of random but somewhat self-consistent things with data and software it was working on while it was awake. For instance, it might put copies of all that day's emails into an Excel spreadsheet (duplicating the one that mentioned ostriches to fill a complete column), and use the result to modify a couple of TIFF files. Or it might search iTunes for music by Adobe produced by a record label called Python (or vice versa), and use the resulting music tracks to modulate some graphs in PowerPoint.

Obviously, the results of these bumbling, sleep-ridden actions would not be allowed to overwrite real data. Instead, they would be dumped into a dream-folder. For greater verisimilitude, the dream-folder's contents would be constantly deleted, so that only the results from the last few moments before waking were available for subsequent examination.

MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2017


       I think the dreaming computer may have been post here before Max.... naturally I'm too lazy to check, so I'll simply just leave a sort of lingering doubt like an afterimage.
xenzag, Feb 23 2017

       <HAL 9000>   

       "Will I dream ?"   

       </HAL 9000>
8th of 7, Feb 23 2017

       Could it, after awakening, be sluggish and slow to respond, move the mouse on its own, dump gibberish onto the screen followed by a reboot and a message saying "OK, I'm awake now"?
whatrock, Feb 24 2017

       ^ and surly.
FlyingToaster, Feb 24 2017

       No, but it would be nice if it could say "I had the strangest dream. All these photographs leaked into Excel..."
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       Any electric sheep images in those Excel files?
RayfordSteele, Feb 24 2017

       No, but there's a lot of stuff about a unicorn running through misty woodlands.
8th of 7, Feb 24 2017

       //do most people...// No, I think that's just you.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       Well, you have my sympathies, [bigs].
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017


       My apologies?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017


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