Author Topic: It's Just a Dream (A Short Story of Dreamworld)  (Read 623 times)

Offline JoannaB

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It's Just a Dream (A Short Story of Dreamworld)
« on: December 08, 2013, 09:42:34 AM »

- In the before dreamworld era, parents used to tell their children that it's just a dream, and thus nothing can harm you. Can anyone here tell me some of the dangers we might face in dreamworld? Yes?

- Phishing.

- Indeed. How does that work?

- The criminal uses a combination of telepathy, hacking skills, and dream interpretation to extract your most secret dreams, your security risks, and your personally identifiable information, PII, about both your waking and dream self.

- Very good. And how do you protect yourself against it?

- Do not trust strangers in dreams. Remember anyone could be a criminal, no matter how innocent they look, and they might even disguise themselves as someone you know: most common successful phishing against minors is a friend of the family or a divorced parent disguising themselves as your guardian, whom they know well enough to fully imitate. Do not reveal secrets to anyone outside of a password protected soundproofed dream space.

- Outstanding! Any other dangers?

- Identity Theft, when a hacker breaks into a dreamer's mind, and basically like takes it over and reprograms it and then like owns you.

- Yes, philosophers continue to argue about which is a worse crime: identity theft or murder. What do you think?

- Even though murder is irreversible, but I think identity theft is worse because it  can easily lead to phishing even in password protected places, the thief having access to all your passwords, and thus more victims. Plus, you are like imprisoned inside yourself.

- Great points! So how do we protect ourselves?

- Strengthen dream memory. We must never under any circumstances fully forget our real self identities in any dream, no matter what dream character we assume, especially when sharing a dream initiated by another.

- That is incorrect. You had it right when you said "we must never forget," but then your "especially" is illogical: "never" leaves no room for "especially." Any other dream crimes?

- Social engineering!

- Very good, and prey tell, what is social engineering?

- A social engineer sets up an entire dream space with all detailed virtual dream constructs, using lots of storage and RAM, populated by a seemingly large number of dream characters, but in actuality the dream criminal directly controls and is every one of them. The naive dreamer is lured to reveal secrets by tricks such as one dream character vouching for another, or a good-cop bad-cop routine in which the criminal pins one of his dream characters against another, and the victim distrusts the villain, and sides with the apparent non-villain, not realizing that both are the same dreamer.

- The one in the back of the room, you had a question, I think?

- Why is it called good-cop bad-cop routine? What's a cop?

- Excellent question! In the pre-dreamworld era, they had cops or police or law enforcers, who would protect victims from criminals. That was their job.

- Why don't we have cops in dreamworld to protect us from these crimes?

- DreamCorp does have enforcers who guard DreamCorp interests and put people in jail for dream space theft or violating copyrights. That is close to the old fashioned cops. However, they will not protect you against any of the dangers we mentioned thus far. Can anyone tell me why not?

- It's none of their business, as long as DreamCorp interests are not violated. They may even decide to hire some of the criminals, since they pride themselves that their employees are the most skilled dreamers, and these criminals have great skills.

- That's certainly part of it. However, even more fundamentally, think about it: how could anyone else protect you in your dreams if you are not strong enough to protect yourself? how could another keep your secrets safe if you reveal them? If you open your mind, no one can shut it for you; if you think like a victim, you do become one; and your dreams can turn into nightmares at a moment's notice, and those kind of criminals love nightmares because we are more likely to be shaken up by them and left unguarded. This is why you learned meditation, starting in kindergarten. So, stay focused, and stay safe!

Offline pj

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Re: It's Just a Dream (A Short Story of Dreamworld)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 10:09:17 AM »
Have you considered publishing a collection of these?  They are excellent!

Thank you for continuing to share them with us here.
What truly matters is not built of right and wrong; but of grace, and of love.

--pj

Offline JoannaB

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Re: It's Just a Dream (A Short Story of Dreamworld)
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 04:56:11 PM »
Thank you! I am glad you like them.

Writing fiction is my childhood dream. I grew up wanting to be a writer. It was not until I either was finishing high school or starting college that my father managed to persuade me that since writing was not something to make a living with I should drop my dream. Plus he said, "you could not be a good writer, because nothing has ever happened to you." It broke my heart, but I believed him, and dropped my dream.

In hindsight perhaps the not able to make a living was correct, plus my tendencies for low self esteem and for periodic depression probably would not have worked well with becoming a writer for a living. However, I think the could not be any good and nothing ever happened to me arguments were BS, and I should not have believed them.

Off and on in my adult life I have thought about publishing but never actually followed up with it. I have a busy stressful life, and writing is "just" something I really enjoy doing. I hate editing though. And I tend to write very short stuff like this. I do have a few other stories that are not of dreamworld that are equally short.

The dreamworld stories I have been sharing with you pretty much as I have been completing them - the only one I had prior to coming here was "In Memory of Owen", the rest have been written since joining MM. I have been greatly motivated by the positive feedback I have been getting here from you and other members, including requests for more stories, so I wrote more. :)

Offline Rebel Seven

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Re: It's Just a Dream (A Short Story of Dreamworld)
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 06:47:45 PM »
I am grateful you do! I really enjoy them, PJ is right I hope you get a good collection together
Sol rests her head on her great celestial pillow, and I rise from my sun-soaked slumber to claim the night.