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Is the Dreamworld Round?

Dreamed 2006/7/5 by Wayan

THAT DAY

Ow! Headache, sore shoulders, tired, mild chills. A relapse of the mystery virus pestering me.

And the World Dream Bank has crashed. I try to fix it, can't, and finally call the site host and complain. They concede at last it's a problem on their server, and promise it'll be fixed in an hour. My housemate Alder complains her email's slow, too, so I test the house web connection. Only her machine's slow. Animation for ads, probably, slowing screen-loading. Her chip is ancient--just can't take it.

I trim the top of the conifer out front, then climb the avocado tree in back and top that, too. Delayed it for months. Up a tree, my headache goes away.

Find info the city wants to prove we did the rewiring required for undergrounding (removing poles and overhead lines). Been avoiding it, since I thought I had to phone the electrician. Nope! It's all there on the tag on the new box.

For a sickie I got a lot done today!

In the evening, watch Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy.

THAT NIGHT...

I'm in a small night class, studying the interface between this world and the dream world. It's a real place. Magic works there, but is less common then dreamers here think. Wizards there can fly for short periods, for example; but most spells are unreliable, running out of steam inconsistently. Technology is low.

The class has two professors, one a native of the other world; some students may be dreamworlders too.

I'm intrigued and wonder what useful info or techniques our world can offer the other world. I ask what it's like... and they're hazy on basic facts! Not evasion. They don't know how big it is, what the population is, anything! Surely this is where to begin. Know your world! Then barbarians can't invade out of the blue. I ask them to sketch the known world; it turns out all these students are from a single land no bigger than Greece. Their known dreamworld sounds smaller than our Mediterranean! A red-robed, wild-haired figure levitates above a sailing ship on a vast sea.

Their professor is weak on math; but I say "your world is probably a sphere, until you have evidence to the contrary. How long is your day, compared to ours? If very short, you could be on an oblate spheroid, a squashed ball; but most likely a sphere. You can find out how big, as follows" and explain the steps Aristarchus used. "Just takes travel and basic geometry; Stone Age people could do it."

As I talk, I realize that among all the Greeks' achievements, Aristarchus really stands out. Other societies built great monuments, wrote great literature, invented democratic systems; but none deduced the size of the Earth or the distance of the Moon! Yet that took no technology; just logical deduction.

I also suggest "Why not send out exploratory ships, each with a levitating mage? On a round world, just flying above the ship makes one a lookout with a huge horizon; even if you can't control the weather or fly long distances, you CAN see what's coming and spot land a hundred miles off. Map the world, make trade safe, learn other cultures' magic."

I want to come back to this dream-class another night, and describe the Iroquois Alliance and the principles of free speech, legal and social equality of all persons...

Oh, and what about movable type? That's easier with metals technology, but you could do it in a pinch even without metal--hardwood fonts, anyone?

I'll explore the whole dreamworld yet. Even if that means I must revolutionize it.

The Aristarchus of dreams!

NOTES

THE NEXT DAY

I research energy-efficient washing machines for our co-op house. Seems prosaic, but my dreams apparently LIKE this organized fact-finding. I wonder if we can afford solar panels yet?

THREE AND A HALF YEARS LATER

I researched solar power obsessively, took my time, and landed an incredible deal for our house--a set of interlocking discounts, promos, training grants and subsidies that got us a $35,000 system for ten cents on the dollar. My inner Aristarchus really works.



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