I had a terrifying dream last night. I'm having a lot of trouble getting stuff done today, so I think it might be that dream getting in the way.  So, I'm going to try to get it out. Darkness, the central theme of this dream, had a substance.  It was made of stuff, not just the absence of light.  And there were things in that stuff.

It wasn't like the darkness was intelligent, or anything.  But it had a language, you could communicate with it, and I knew this -- everyone knew this -- because a single sentence in the language of darkness had leaked.

Everyone knew it because it was a useful sentence to know.  I think you could use it as fuel or something.  I know the guy I learned it from was using it to make his motorcycle work.

Weeks later, when there were people in every part of the developed world who had made themselves dependent upon this phrase, a website came out, a translator tool that would allow a person to learn new phrases, and find out what they meant.  And it came with a sample phrase.

In a pitch dark room, with only the light of a computer monitor, I sat alone and spoke the test phrase into the mic.  The darkness responded, not from the computer, but emerging out of the black, "I am watching you."


That's when I woke up.  But it was dark in the room I woke up in, so waking up wasn't very reassuring.  Closing my eyes made it even darker.

I feel quite certain that the darkness itself wasn't sapient in my dream, but that some limited but powerful creature was using the darkness to leverage itself into a position of control over humanity.  I've always been kind of afraid of the dark, but I think it's going to be a little bit worse for a while.

I want to visit the world's most silent room

(via Reddit) According to an article on the Hindustan Times website, Why world's most silent room is scary, the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minnesota is the quietest place on earth.  According to the article, it's virtually impossible to stay in for substantial lengths of time:

"We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark - one reporter stayed in there for 45 minutes", said company’s founder and president, Steven Orfield.

The article uses a lot of passive voice, and cites the Mail Online, so I'm not confident about the accuracy of its claims -- but Anechoic chamber is the first thing that comes up when you google Orfield Labs, so I think at least that part is probably true.

I hope the part about them challenging people to stay in it is true, too, because I definitely want to try it out.  I mean, like, if my therapist thinks it's okay.  Sensory deprivation isn't exactly known for encouraging psychological stability -- from "Negative effects" on the Sensory deprivation Wikipedia page:

One study took 19 volunteers, all of whom tested in the lower and upper 20th percentiles on a questionnaire which measures the tendency of healthy people to see things not really there, and placed them into a pitch black, soundproof booth for 15 minutes. After, they completed another test that measures psychosis-like experiences, originally used to study recreational drug users. Five people reported seeinghallucinations of faces, six reported seeing shapes/faces not actually there, four noted a heightened sense of smell and two people reported sensing a "presence of evil" in the room.

I wonder how that would feel, and whether I'd be okay with it.  (I imagine not, since apparently no one has been able to spend more than 45 minutes in one.)  I'm also (surprisingly intensely) curious about what it would sound like to sing in a room that silent.  I imagine a feeling of having my voice pulled out of my throat and taken away, but I don't suspect I'm very good at guessing what that kind of room would sound like.