Flowing in Dreams

In Debate jargon, “the flow” is the visual representation of the series of arguments each debater makes. It includes all sorts of symbols and abbreviations, and it’s used by both the debaters and the judges to keep track of everything that’s being said and to have a clear understanding of how each argument interacts with one and another (what is a response to what, what was unaddressed and therefore conceded, and etch).

After volunteering as a judge at a debate tournament on Sunday, I had a really weird dream. Well, all of my dreams are weird, but this one was particularly interesting because it didn’t play out graphically at all the way I would expect. As opposed to seeing movie-like visuals, the entire dream played out on “the flow”: all I was seeing was a white sheet of paper, and ink in different colors would appear on the page. Arrows, symbols, and other graphical cues would surround the words the indicate particular meanings that would track the development of “the conversation” that was happening in the dream.

Just like in debate, the writing was really fast because the people were talking fairly quickly and quite a lot of was happening (although the subject of the dream escapes me), and the page kept turning back to front, left to right, up and down so that the writing could keep up with the different and separate concepts of the narrative of the dreams.

In a way, it’s similar to what we programmers visualize sometimes after coding for hours and fall asleep. We dream “in code”. In this case, I dreamed “in flow”.