Sunday, July 25, 2010

A desire to "utilize" human brain's CPU cycles wasted during sleep

ALSO SEE OID 218Z, 219Z.

This thought has been ongoing in my mind for at least the last 2 years, and I'm finally writing it today.

When we sleep, our conscious brain sleeps as well. It goes from a voluntary state to an involuntary (perhaps "unconscious") state. The control on our thoughts - the ability to steer the brain's thinking - is lost during sleep.

I sometimes wish that it was possible to utilize the brain during sleep. That I could be physically asleep - with my body resting - while my brain continues to think. After all, it isn't always the case that one sleeps to get both physical and mental rest - we sometimes sleep when we're only physically tired, although we might not be tired mentally.

An ability to utilize the brain during sleep will expose billions of hours of human brain time each day. Just imagine the incredible potential this yet-unexposed brain time has.

CEOs could be asleep physically, while their brains could be awake, pondering about a competitor's strategy. Scientists could think peacefully about an issue puzzling them. Poets and musicians could compose their next creations. Engineers could hash the next breakthrough. Many tasks on my to-do list - such as think about net neutrality for some time - could be finished without wasting the day's time.

And I'm not even wishing for the full brain to be available during sleep - it's acceptable if only one half the brain is available for the first half of the sleep, while the other half is available for the rest. It's also alright if parts of brain keep sleeping from time to time to give themselves rest.

Unsure if this'll ever be possible...

Related content: Learning While You Dream, NYT, Apr'10
Related phenomenon: Lucid dream

Update [3-Jan-16]: The 1990 Arnold movie Total Recall is somewhat related to this idea.

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