Story idea: Dreams
I don’t have the skills/spoons/perseverence to write this story the way it deserves to be written. But.
What if every night, instead of a weird jumble of their own half-remembered subconscious stuff, people had a dream that was basically another person’s day, experienced in real time, including the internal dialogue and underlying ideas of the person who really experienced that day?
Example: Edwina goes to sleep on the evening of 26th of October, 2014. Today she bought her first car. When she falls asleep, she “wakes up” as Helen on the morning of 26th of October, 2014, and experiences the day as Helen really just lived it – from start to finish, with complete, untaught, first-person understanding of Helen’s ideas, reactions, and memories an’ stuff. When Helen goes to sleep 16 hours later, Edwina wakes up 8 hours later on the 27th of October in her own bed, with a vivid memory of one day of being a complete stranger on the other side of the world. This happens to every human. No one gets the same person twice.
What would the world be like if we did this? It’d be pretty hard to keep secrets for long. Would it mess up our psychological ingrouping and make us more empathetic? Would that mechanism have evolved in the first place? Would languages with Chinese, with large populations using them, be more commonly used and spoken? What if this is what happens in Firefly?
There’s a relevant XKCD for everything. If you haven’t discovered this yet,
please consider spending a few hours trawling through the archives.