The Third Millennium Blog

Third Millennium Thought

Proposals for Voting Systems Designed to Prevent Fraud

The reports of the characteristics of some voting machines and software and security are astonishing to me from my knowledge of being a programmer and systems analyst for forty years. I have experience on systems that process applications that are far less critical to the future of the US than federal voting.

I will propose some ordinary and possibly minimum standards and features of a mail-in voting system intended to be integral with a professional level of protections. The other details would be left to the state legislatures within the legal boundaries of the federal constitution. The only purpose of this list of criteria is to fulfill the stated, shared intention of the outcome of a valid, proper election process without helping or enabling cheating.

Here is a summary of characteristics of a Mail-In Vote Processing System designed to minimize fraud (cheating). I will add details and discussion later.


  • Unique Supervision and User Id’s Assigned to screened and registered individuals – never shared.
  • Id’s have levels of  permissions – System Id, Master ID, Auditor, Legal Liaison, Site Director, Site Shift Supervisor, Report access, Counter, Party A Observer , Party B Observer. etc. These delimit who is using access and transactions and the Party affiliation or other role and what can be allowed. Paired, linked monitor displays that are six feet separate are available to party observers and supervisors confined to a defined set of functions and views. Mandatory sign in for pairing workers and observers.
  • What is logged – basically everything. All actions and transactions are logged including history of changes, changes that are reversed, deletions – where allowed. The deletions are functional but the historical data is preserved – before and after. Nothing is really deleted. No working access to logs.
  • The log includes, ID, permission level,  Date, Time, Transaction Ident, history notes, etc. Limited mass transactions that effect more than one vote unless they are pre-defined batch level and the history log keeps the before and after state down to vote detail.
  • Since Mail-ins, both requested and voter-list mailout,  if returned, are tendered with Outer envelope – name, address, etc and another, inserted inner vote envelope with vote- choice information only. The two envelopes and its paper are separated permanently to protect identification of who voted for each election choice. Each paper should have a unique ID number one for the demographics paper and a different one for the vote paper.
  • The matching access between the two papers and their ID’s would be maintained – encrypted in an Auditor data base and not be available at the working level. Then  Names – address, demographics can also be encrypted to be a unique number so duplicates can be identified but name detail can not be read only seen as different information. Eg; a name and address  could be uniquely encrypted to 1234779123 and that combination of name and address will always come out to that number – this  can be searched for any repetition in the system that is a duplicate candidate  to be flagged. Similar combination but not exact combinations can be identifies as similar.
  • Low level AI and statistical audit – If fifty-three batches all had the same percentage for a candidate to four significant digits, that would be flagged.
  •  Other statistical test would be able to detect and flag generated data as opposed to individual votes – person by unrelated person.
  • Jovan Pulitzer is the expert who has the most patents on QR Code and other scan technology. He has proven that he can scan 100’s of thousands of ballots in a day and tell if the vote was never folded. These votes were never mailed in an envelope. They were printed separately only for voter fraud. The valid ballots have clear horizontal marks that show they were folded. These properties could be enhance to show the history of folding and other handling.
  • No internet access
  • Micro marks to prevent outside sources of ballots


Determinism or Self Organization

Determinism:  From Wikipedia: In the history of science, Laplace’s demon was the first published articulation of  scientific determinism by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1814. According to determinism, if someone (a super intelligence – aka LaPlace’s demon) captures all information –  knows the precise location and momentum of every atom (or sub-particle) in the universe, their past and future values for any given time are entailed (rigidly, exactly predictable); they can be calculated from the laws of classical mechanics. Laplace and others were absorbing and extrapolating this universal principle from a  large wave of advances in Classical Mechanics in the eighteenth century that could, for instance, predict the future movements of all the heavenly bodies indefinitely into the future –  limited only by the knowledge and accuracy of the starting state – of all parameters.  This would be the fruit of reductionism. The result is a complete, unitary view of a universe that is a machine (“clockwork universe”)that progresses from an early state to one outcome for a given future time .  The outcome cannot be altered. There is no other additional causality. As an example: Reductionism would break down the flight of an artillery shell to all the constituent linear algebra formulae for gravity, momentum, air friction, etc  and each is simple and gives an exact result and as they are accumulated they give an exact result to more significant digits for the final complex interaction.  A characteristic is that the equations are a distillation of each and all variations of the relationships (formula) and outcome of entire families of natural processes and entail less Information than a description of every change at every moment. This is part of what is called “Reductionism”. 

Certain references to themes and ideas will be repeated.  I will mark these putting them in bold and a larger font.

My Purpose:   I intend to question the conceptual – mathematical and scientific assertion of exclusive “Strict Determinism” as defined above. I can not logically and conclusively disprove exclusive Determinism but I can review and question it as an assumption and reveal its many, innate flaws. I can also attempt to, at least, propose an alternate view. Some say this alternate view is now mainstream, but; for example – in a flourish of philosophical eloquence, Albert Einstein once said that “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” Notice- “as well as the end”.

I am not a scientist or mathematician but the flaws are obvious  and they yield to more common level of analysis, knowledge, and  experience. The alternative that I think is much more believable is that, of course, there are many processes that are very dominantly deterministic. The difference is exclusive, clockwork Determinism vs a mixture of that deterministic causality and additional causality by emergent-self-organization. The difference is huge. The former excludes the possibility of free will among many other things. I also do not think a wholly strict deterministic causality would produce any life – therefore –  consciousness, culture. philosophy or religion. There are of course, many purely physical processes that have additional causality also. 

When I was taking Physics 101, I remember learning about Laplace’s conjecture and I thought about wind over water causing waves. The basic thermodynamic laws governing water are at the lowest molecular level and and must head toward randomness.

The equilibrium state, if enough external energy is applied (wind), the result, is not a flattened sameness  but may be, for example, be a 50ft wave pattern.  This may repeat for miles. Where did the larger pattern come from? I know at the thermodynamic level there is a chance variance. First any thermodynamic analysis at this smallest level can only be addressed by probability. Also there is no immediate or scientific causality for a 50ft. amplitude and a 200 ft. reach and a three mile breath. Determinism is mixed in. Of course, the whole system balances to the first law of thermodynamics. The different scales are in the order of magnitude of 10 to the 20th. Many years later when I heard about Complexity Theory  and self-ordering systems in the book Complexity, I had recognition, but no surprise. You see – anyone who wants to analyze deep and follow their own questions may get some insight. These thoughts anticipated a complex system with energy input that is over-driven that may deal with the energy heading towards chaos but the system self-organizes  to a larger cyclical pattern on a completely different scale. Small scale input, energy driven  —> chaos —>  self organization —> emergence of a new pattern at a higher level from – Additional Causality completely not explainable by low-level deterministic causality – but never contradicting determinism – that would be magic. It is only additional causality.  Is it possible that deterministic causality does not care (it has no deterministic solution)  to the lowest level of a system approaching chaos/randomness. While the cat (determinism) is away the mice (emergent self organization) play. 

Does this limit emergent-self-organization to marginal, low level or minor effect? An early form of algae oxygenated the entire earth.  Some mice have big dreams.


From Wikipedia – “Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions”

The term is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways, culminating in a higher order of emergence greater than the sum of its parts. The study of these complex linkages at various scales is the main goal of complex systems theory.

Alright, at this point, we have to deal with my limitations. I have two principles that I admire. One is to always feel free to consider – “It ain’t necessarily so” the other is to freely admit, at some points the three magic words: “I don’t know.’ So what’s this stuff about emergence? There is something that moves complex systems to be creative – to have a property appear that was not caused by the simple underlying laws at the lowest levels – A little glib – yes. How does it work exactly – I don’t know. There are hints -vague. I love the glib and indefinite causality of “something”. I will address “something” later.

This initial inventory of all positions/dynamics using the terminology of thermodynamics is the original – “information” – of the  Universe system. This information should encompass the information of all future states in the clockwork model. 

Information One possible problem is the concept of exact knowledge – a measurement (information) that approaches infinite degree  in a continuum is a string of numbers approaching infinite and can not be encompassed in a finite universe. I know that quantum theory seems to bound the lowest levels of a continuum but I will not expound on an area where I have little knowledge. In the mixed model with additional causality, needed information can exceed the capacity to encompass it. 

If a future state has more information than the initial state this is impossible by the thermodynamic rules in determinism. Of course if, in addition to strict determination, there is additional causality from emergent-self-organization then that would explain the surplus or unaccountable information.  Life emerged at a specific but, thermodynamically chance moment from a soup of protein that initially approached randomness at the lowest molecular level. It was emergent with no deterministic necessity – causality for that exact moment. Think of the information delta if that happened a million years sooner or later (or one second for that matter). This would exceed all the hard work of all the butterflies that ever existed in messing with tornado schedules. Think of all information in the different the molecular positions if chance is involved. This is just the start. Think of all the new Additional Causality and the new rules of living things. All the evolution from the new RNA groups, then DNA up until the present are determined by deterministic setting and in addition the new rules, a platform,  imposed by this living system with its own rules – (platform). 

The good thing about strict determinism  is that it is one, clear scientific rule that explains everything – by definition. It is easy and  clear to define. If you try to have it both ways – some “inconsequential” processes and outcomes may not be caused by physical laws – then how can you define or know the limit of the “extra” causality. Remember the algae? If living things are not strictly bounded by determinism (emergent-self-organization) then they run amok. Actually seen from a totally detached, objective view the human race does run amok quite often.

Reductionism in science: Scientific reductionism is the idea of reducing complex interactions and entities to the sum of their constituent parts. –  Momentum = Mass X Velocity –  The result is an exact mathematical algorithm and is elegant.  Some scientist extrapolated this to the belief that every single process in nature can be broken down. This is the orchestrating insight needed to support determinism from many complicated inputs and processes. This concept for complex systems with many interactions is a huge weakness for determinism. Even in science circles scientist/mathematicians like Dr. David Berlinski asks: “where are the formulae in the Theory of Evolution? Where are the standardized units of measurements?  When you proceed to the worlds of abstraction – culture, religion, ideology etc. there is a complete blowout. No mere butterflies there.

The same questions are unanswered in all the behavioral sciences.   Where are the quantitative measurables and linear algebra formulae and units for culture, consciousness, religion, feelings, associations.  How can we reign in – no exactly  determine the effects of abstractions throughout an individual’s, and through millions of years of human history. These abstracts have their own rules and contribute to deterministic outcome married to additional causality. On the internet one observer ask – for just one tiny example – what are all the processes, in ultimate detail that determined how an individual is affected by the shower scene in the movie Psycho? 20 years later an involuntary shudder is experienced. What is the precise chain of causality? What is the exact output.  What are the units and measurables. There is no simple, pure-science answer here. Abstractions are involved.  Once you start thinking this way, examples abound. When Christ, Ghandi or Martin Luther King were born out of a chance process – what changes would follow? I will go further and say that in some realms – consciousness or behavioral science, for example, you can forget an Aristotelian edifice as a  foundation. Instead, start in the middle and use initial observation and use science-based techniques and just move ahead. See the other entries on my  blog about dreaming and hypnosis. You can not start this from a  the lowest chain of deterministic base and proceed from there. No one has succeeded to any degree. It would seem that anyone who indicated that they are significantly closing in was – bluffing.

If we look at the entire earth populated with living things in every possible ecological opening, two things are undeniable: One: it does not seem possible that living things could arise out of groups of molecules organizing themselves when the minimum criteria for the first step is so high and complex. And, Two: there they are.  

In the book The Prime Number Conspiracy there is a reading about mathematical trends  in the frontiers of mathematics, An article  – In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge – on page 37.  Various test and analysis of number sequences are expected to increase in randomness but a pattern emerges in many unrelated areas . Groups of occurrences tend to bunch unexpectedly. It is called Universality and it appears “when systems that are very complex, consisting of many parts that strongly interact with each other to create a spectrum. ” This is a surprising pattern that appears in many disparate environments – this is why it is called Universality – “Something”. Yes I know this is vague and I do no understand where it comes from. But, it is consistent with the ability of complex system to defy the tendency toward randomness at some point and self-organize.  It is the first step to a process that changes everything at higher scales. It seems to be the missing link or, at least, one part.  Remember this starts with fundamental math – the skeleton of reality. 

As a parallel thought, I challenge anyone to define randomness. The best mathematicians have come to realize that you can not use any reduction. Randomness rejects any generalization.  There is a paradox between any encompassing insight and randomness. If mathematics can not produce a function that computes randomness how can the deterministic universe act like a computer that can support random needs of a process gone complex? If mathematics is skeletal for reality, this may be why there is a rejection at the lowest levels  of any function trying to emulate a “pure” random generator – (“Something”?).  

If a deterministic process that needs randomness must fail. then it needs intelligence for a solution to minimize entropy. The smallest unit of intelligence might be any mechanism of selectivity. This selectivity has no insight or foresight – it is accidental. Water going down a drain or warm vs cold air needing interchange -they need to use a mathematical model: a helix. Any starting, even accidental, selectivity could start a chain reaction that engages all the molecules on a vastly higher scale that solves  for all the complex interactions to a reduced state of entropy at a lower energy cost. This reminds me of Quantum computing. It is the opposite and a rebound from going to infinite complexity – but not deterministic. 







The Clockwork, Deterministic Universe and Emergent, Self-organization

The clockwork, deterministic universe and emergent, self-organization

I have been analyzing the possibility of another paradigm for years after leaving formal schooling. I had insights starting in Physics 102. I have always dreamed of contributing to this area. I have also been disappointed by books such as “Chaos” in not having clear conclusions – so here is my very opinionated thoughts out for comment.

Determinism as sole causality (as in La Place’s demon) can diminish to a seeming indifference when the system becomes chaotic. Then we may have the emergence of self-organizing systems. This is at the heart of Complexity Theory: the theory that processes having a large number of seemingly independent agents can spontaneously order themselves into a coherent system. This self-organization further decreases deterministic dominance marginally by the increasing feedback of self-organized structures with new, internal rules as the new feedback is input back into the original state. The chain of chaos – self organization – emergent organization platform/arena/objects – is a feedback loop to the original state further marginalizing/deflecting absolute determination without violating determinism. But it is a separate, and increasingly, additional causality. After this self-organization and determinism work in combination.

At the start point where chaos is diminishing the absolute hold of deterministic causality – self-organization can appear. This is not magic but this is the point where determinism effectively approaches indifference. As the self- organization creates new rules in its arena or platform or structure – those emergent rules and structures feed back to the original chaos and the new, additional causality is rising, sometimes exponentially as in when wind over water creates a system of waves with 3 emergent parameters of periodicity appear – amplitude, reach and time on the scale of a hundred miles. All the while determinism is deflected but not directly opposed or violated. We live immersed in the fact that each level with new, causality not limited to determinism can create a new level a platform. Organized proteins – RNA – DNA – Cellular Life – memory – association – consciousness – cultures – religion – philosophy etc. Each platform more distant from direct causality but operates in combination with deterministic boundaries.

I will now attempt to further explain, per phrase, what I mean.

La Places demon and the clockwork universe: —– Physicist use a mind experiment to imagine a “demon” observer at the lowest level – who can measure every physical attribute of a system – to infinite exactitude – to predict all future behavior using all known and yet unknown scientific laws, this is then rolled up to the clockwork universe for all time. In this view, from the initial state, all future changes came out as was exactly pre-ordained. When math is used to generate a model of chaos (as in Period Three Implies Chaos) this infinitely specified input starting state is used to refute non-predictability. It should be noted that in a continuum there is not enough storage in the universe for infinite exactitude (infinite number of decimal places). Missing information – contradicts the chain of causality needed in other analysis such a black holes. Computer simulations of “chaos” must start with a limited number of digits and so yield a predictable  result. The simulation is false. In reality (if that matters to those locked into the Sheldon Cooper syndrome) we can never discover such infinite information.

Chaotic systems —– As an example: when water wants to go down a drain or wind blows across the surface of water, at the first moment, the initial deterministic effects are at the lowest molecular level and there is no pattern or expected pattern at the 3 foot or 30,000 foot view. The water molecules exhibit Brownian motion and appear random. What is the exact nature of chaotic or random? I don’t know. There are mathematical approaches such as “Period Three Implies Chaos” by Li and Yorke. I have to use the cop-out of being effectively random at this level of granularity. In a whirlpool formation, these molecules will go clockwise or counter clockwise in combination with others or as they caucus with other groups of opposing “opinion” at increasing levels of scale for a final settlement. After a cascade of organization, it will be completely clockwise or counterclockwise. A mathematical model may describe the new structure – “Thanks mathematics we needed that helical suggestion.” This reach-out to mathematics is typical of complex systems trying to reach a new equilibrium while being driven to distribute heat.  A helical model? – Is this the music of the spheres playing in the background? In the case of wind over water, there is no deterministic rule that says what will be the amplitude or width of the emergent wave system or the exact place of a molecule in that system. Even at the molecular level where determinism can hold sway if the energy level is low enough, in emergent complexity there is no clear, deterministic path to explain the final position of an individual molecule.

Emergent self-organization —– Larger patterns emerge not directly caused by the basic laws of physical science: waves, helical structures, whirly gigs, tornadoes, hurricanes, RNA, DNA, life, evolution, memory, association, consciousness, social structures etc. The entire earth was transformed to have oxygen in its atmosphere by pre-algae life forms. In this case the evolutionary system produced a process and a new arena for greater variety and increased dominance of life. Life has its own rules and causality while not contradicting determinism. The Gaia principle. Why do I have to keep repeating “while not contradicting determinism”?

Platform/arena/objects —– When structures emerge in the further stages of self-organization and higher level platforms allowing new functions to emerge – Life as a platform,  DNA, Evolution, Cultures then whole new areas of causality and outcome are exploded by addition to the original seed at a point of indifference. All from a molecular level deterministic transactions. Life and consciousness and all its capabilities and rules are a new paradigm beyond clockwork determination. Afterwards even determinism can contribute to geometrically exploding variance. A person is going to impregnate their mate but gets hit on the head by a deterministic coconut for dominantly deterministic reasons. So sex tomorrow instead. The chromosome coin is differently flipped 46 times than it would have been the day before and each offspring – maybe thousands after generations and each also use their 246 chromosome dice. Does this sound like determinism having the final say? Can the causative local area contain enough information in an effective gradient to deal with these explosions? Use your imagination and there are many more examples.

Evolution is a specialized case of an organized system that creates new functionality at higher levels. Anti-evolutionist ask “how can you evolve from a two chambered heart to a four chambered heart when there are 100’s of thousands of fatal heart combinations in between”. Great question. As an example of new rules, evolution can use the Object-Orientated design of a two chamber heart to evolve to a four chamber heart. Two chambers, each has two opening, each with an in and an out valve, one connected to arterial one to the venal system. I googled for six chambered hearts once and there were two examples. Of course, they were Siamese twins but the important point is that they were somewhat viable. Three set of two chambered objects. When evolution has a higher level structure that is ratified; backbone, heart chambers feet, the evolutionary system favors the higher level structure and puts more variety in the lower level changes. I just saw this in Quanta Magazine. Whales have foot bones – not back to fins. This is Object-Orientated Design. Quanta Magazine also has an article on more small changes in evolution and less big changes. The best quality teams use this principle. None of this is directly due to determinism. This is just a few of the evolutionary mechanisms that simulate forethought of design. Evolution is not randomness; it is a system; it uses randomness in its system just as a casino does. In a casino the top level rule is “the house always wins” and so does evolution. Always onward, not just in reactive/survival, but in functionality and dominating the environment, exploiting ecological niches and having a process, already developed, (the evolution SYSTEM) ready to deal with new challenges ( anti-fragility?).

Let us stop to allow a sense of wonder to appear. In the Lord of the Rings there were two simultaneous paradigms that co-existent: Natural Laws and Magic. Now we know that we have two paradigms that logically track causality: Natural laws and emergent Self-Organization. The second paradigm establishes a transcendent base for the existence of free will – the most essential component of the human soul. Is there a third paradigm: spiritual? – Don’t answer – none of us knows by proof or logic but only by faith. But proof or logic cannot deny it either. Remember that all the PHD Logical Positivist and Empirical Positivist by the tens of thousands were wrong about the clockwork universe with a single paradigm at one time. Some still are still fighting a rear-guard. I just read a book about time that said the past is real, the present is real and the future is real. The future is not real if I have some conscious control. It is probable (not real). Catch up.


Why We Dream

The evolution of man’s dreaming reaches way back into the evolutionary mammalian past. Researchers accept evidence that dogs have dreams. Any explanation of the evolutionary, initial ratification/benefit must have, at base, a simple justification. So why did this remarkable facility evolve? Let us imagine how it helped the earliest humans.

Disclaimer – When I first formulated this theory, I fell into the self-centered trap of “if this theory is true then other conjectures must be false”. On reflection, I realized this is an A OR B trap/falicy as opposed to A AND B. I think my theory is very basic in terms of early development and evolutionary ratification of survival benefit. It can even be applied to other mammals like dogs. When I later thought about other dream effects/motifs like broad, non-specific  anxiety, I have to admit it does not directly fit my model presented below of specific danger-avoidance and attraction to better opportunity. I should know enough to understand that the Evolutionary System ratifies on the basis of the sum total of all outcomes that are supportive.

Dreaming and nightmares as a necessary repetition mechanism to establish deep association for avoidance of danger.

This is my explanation of the initial, basic and continuing mechanism and evolutionary ratification that I present here. I think the easiest explanation can be seen in a scenario:

.A carefree juvenile is being warned to stay away from the high grass but like any youngster the communication may be clear but the urgency is not there. It does not compete with his short attention span, and immersion in play. The focus of juveniles at play is very narrow. Initially, he does not even see the proximity of the high grass.

He hears a muffled grunt. He smells a meaty smell. He looks up and sees high grass very close. His parents have been acting concerned and motioning and verbalizing the young ones to stay closer. He notices the adults stiffen and sniff the air. Strange, escalating verbalizations come from them and he can see the whites of their eyes. They begin to look like children he has seen that were frightened.  Normally his troupe does not go near high grass. He wonders what all this means. He does not have an immediate, automatic reaction so he is frozen in place.

Suddenly everyone is screaming wildly. He has never seen every adult in the extreme of complete panic – this is terrifying.  A monstrous animal leaps from the tall grass and seizes another child of the group who screams piteously. – Blood and panic. His mother runs to him and grabs him, almost dislocating his shoulder as she yanks him and runs away. He is frozen and traumatized.

Rhetorical question: Will this juvenile dream about this that night and on subsequent nights? Of course – he will have many, many nightmares. These nightmares are very common in young people. They are also almost inevitable after episodes of extreme stress at any age.  Will not all these associations be cooked in at a low level in his consciousness?

Why constant dreams/nightmares? Memory, learning and deep association can only be effective by direct and intense repetition. The research I see now, is emphatic on the role of repetition. This mechanism is necessary down to the biological/chemical process at the synaptic level. The most effective system of association and priorities is dependent on repetition. It is like a system of game trails where the most trod path is dominant and there are many lesser branches. The alternative would be real-world, sporadic repetition of near-death experiences until the person is dead or more alert. This is not the best survival path. How do we get the repetition? Dreaming.

By the repetition in dreams,all these important associations and reactions are intensified. The next time he is carefree (maybe never to the same degree as before) and absorbed in the immediate but smells that meaty smell or sees the adults get still or sees that look or he hears those peculiar noises from them or gets too close to the high grass or hears that grunt, or adult alarm cries- will not his attention be automatically riveted and Adrenalin flow – a start and flight reaction?  Won’t he start running towards the adults and safety? Is this not a survival trait? The trigger that acts past the state of immediate absorption is a monitor – observer. This would be the main ratification and driver of this the unique dream state that is, otherwise, a drain on energy resources. I think it is the main reason for dreaming to evolve going way back to other mammals that dream. This does not exclude other theories. 

Most times the conscious mind (left-dominant) must be rooted in the expected and absorbed in the immediate, whether it is food gathering and especially in play. The hidden observer can compare with past associations and trigger a mental tap on the shoulder. Dreaming sets up the associations after the remains of the day are relived and re-hashed. Things that the left brain in the Usual State of Consciousness is willing to ignore or deny are associated and relived with new intensity and re-tuned with the glandular responses. The chemical process of deepening synaptic paths continues. An ordinary memory string can be triggered by a connection starting point like a picture, a poem or a song. The above memory links are more like alarm triggers. 

We could consider Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a more extreme effect of this mechanism.

I have received all of these pieces from others in articles. I just put them together in a good guess. I fail to see the harm and thank you for your indulgence.

What is Hypnosis

I have had a theory to explain what hypnosis is for many years. The explanation is overly structured for the purpose of analysis. It does explain things I knew about hypnosis and it has explained or predicted other things – additional, unplanned outputs.

When I was first taught about hypnosis by a teacher/hypnotist, he described the behavior of people responding to experimenters and stage hypnotists. I also saw hypnotist shows. I had the shock of immediate recognition. When I have seen people hypnotized and read of many examples I was struck by what a willing dupe they are and the similarity to my memory and questioning as a dreamer.

I remember my dreams and moments of questioning inconsistencies. I habitually analyze everything. In order for the dream to continue past obvious inconsistencies such as  – the dead-end by my house is now ocean front – in the middle of Queens, NY – miles from the ocean. The doubt is immediately suppressed, glossed over, as in Star Wars: “These are not the droids you are looking for” the suggestion appears that “there has been a lot of rain lately” – and I buy it!

The hypnotized in a session or show are similarly compelled to muddle through a proposed or implied scenario and they ignore an audience that may be laughing at them sometimes mockingly and not supportively. The relationship to the hypnotists is dominantly important and certainly is unique – no other person present has this directive power. As a start, I recognized the dreaming dupe as the same dupe in the hypnotic subject.

I started posting this theory to HypnosisOnline in the Forum – “Hypnosis Theory”. I proposed at that time (2005) that this will only be scientifically verified when brain function mapping provided by dynamic PET/CT scans clarify specific-purpose functional areas in dreaming and hypnosis. Now – January 2017 

Bing searches find hits on both dreaming and hypnosis identifying the same areas. “Reduced self-monitoring in dreams may be related to the deactivation of brain regions such as posterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.”

– I have received concurrence. You can see the response from Gil Boyne (died 2010) a pre-eminent English Hypno-therapist and teacher in many seminars.

I then had to identify the key parameters that would identify differences in the Usual State of Consciousness (USC) vs Dreaming vs Hypnosis. The emergent view of dreaming concurs with my experience and the writings of others on dream and hypnosis experiences.

For the 3 states that are input:

  1. Awake or the Usual State of Consciousness (USC)
  2. Dreaming
  3. Hypnosis

This is where I am going: here are the permutations:

State Physiological State Consciousness


USC Awake USC Consciousness USC-Control
Dreaming Asleep Dream Observer Dream Director
Hypnosis Awake Dream Observer Hypnotist as Dream Director

Here are the three parameters necessary to differentiate the three states:USC, dreaming and hypnosis:

 Physiological State:

What is the comparison of the USC (Usual State of Consciousness) to Dreaming? The first parameter must be physiological state (awake or asleep). The USC and Hypnotism are physiologically awake and dreaming occurs while we are physiologically asleep.


What are the similarities in consciousness in these three states? Consciousness is self aware experience of our identity, our awareness of self and our perceived command of mental resources especially decisions. It is a subjective sense of our span of internal control as opposed to the external Not-I of all other reality. Any other perception beside our body and our mind is perceived as the Not-I. Consciousness is an overall coordinating function that brings together many internal inputs and outputs many mental resource elements and functions. e.g. I will try to remember. I will try to manipulate another person. I will overcome fear of an external factor. 

What differentiates the USC from Dreaming? The high-level answer is we are cut off from the physical world and are immersed in a Dream World. In the dream world there is an obvious  parallelism to our awake world. In dreaming there is a different but familiar experience of the internal I and a familiar sense of all other dream reality (place, people, time, mood, etc.) as the familiar Not-I. In the dream state the Not-I is technically us but analyzed by perception we perceive a separate I and a Not-I. This is, by perception,  the same as when we are awake – in dreaming it is an illusion, of course.

How much access to critical thinking?

The dream world has its own logic. I can open the side of a fish tank like a door and the water stays but the fish may drift out. Gravity mechanics are so weak that I sometimes question 40 ft jumps and have the option of becoming lucid (realizing and embracing that you are dreaming).  In order for the dream world to persist with all the illogic and shifting reality the Dream Observer must be a dupe with limited access to critical judgement.

When we dream, we do not control the monster chasing us. It is a Not-I element along with many other Not-I elements. The mood, the time-frame, the theme, external events, surprises the Dream consciousness interacts with many other person-entities. Those other entities – dream people – interact with each other as I watch. The entities are all generated and designed by a Not-I element! This is utterly spectacular and should not be glossed over because it happens every night. By this definition the dream state Not-I elements have to be separated to define the dream sense of I.  I call the dream sense of I the Dream Observer as do others (Stephen Labarge). (I call the   Not-I elements the Dream Director – more detail below.)

The Dream Observer, as I have so far described it, sounds wholly passive, but; it is really a participant like an overwhelmed improvisational actor swept along by external direction, setting and expectation but still a partner in determining the story line. For this reason I include in the Dream Observer the concept of this dominated but participating improv-actor and a contributor to the story. Dominated, but with a second level of inhibition stops. Some dreams have a media form of stream of consciousness and others have a more pointed message and/or impressive insight and/or a story.

Consciousness – Hypnotic State and Dream State 

As I stated in my overview above the hypnotized in a session or show are similarly compelled to muddle through a proposed or implied scenario and they ignore an audience that may be laughing at them, sometimes mockingly and not supportively. I saw a show in which the hypnotist’s scenario involved telling people they were having babies and they complied in a cartoonish fashion as best they could under the circumstances. Yes – some of them could have been faking. For this discussion, the only important thing is if some of them were not. This and many other descriptions of hypnotized persons compels me to recognize them as the same Dream Observer that I am very familiar with. People that do not remember dreams or only have disconnected stream-of-consciousness dreams will not see this. Especially when I was younger – I remembered all of several dreams through the night in detail and because I analyze compulsively I remember discrepancies and being forced to ignore them. Sometimes I become lucid because the reach is too far. This locks in the sense of “What a dupe!”. This is the basis of my recognition of the hypnotic subject as the Dream Observer.

Control – Dream Director

In dreaming – I call the Not-I Control element the Dream Director. I am not talking about a light switch on/off mechanism but a relative shift in priority and dominance. When I am the dreaming, I have a lot less control and access to critical judgment. Another center of control has shifted to a higher level of dominance compared to the USC. I have experienced this shift many times as I became lucid when analyzing events such as a long jump a block long. I remember everything experienced in the shift. The metaphor of a film director conducting an improv lesson is right on because we are given an entire world, people, mood, story line, surprises. Think of an overpowering director using improv to teach actors who are overwhelmed and eager to follow any direction without any critical thinking. This is close.

The Dream Observer Consciousness also accepts the illogical dream world as a matter of course. Compared to the dream state, in the USC I have a relatively much higher level access to critical judgement and I have the choice to persist in using it. This control element is intrinsic to the USC, so lets call the USC control element simply “USC-Control“.

The Dream Not-I – The Dream Director (DD) – What are the characteristics of the dream Not-I? The not-I determines that we have a nightmare when I do not want to. It creates other people entities and monsters in our dreams that are not-I. Why am I dreaming about my basement that is changed in incongruous ways. Why have I gone back in time? Where did the theme, feeling and mood come from? Why do I agree to false memories? What compels me to go down the basement when there is a foreboding sense and I don’t want to. It tweaks the story line by turning the stairs into various fun house stairs when we are fleeing from some threatening presence and I do not want this to happen. To me, all of this is clearly Not-I. The forceful introduction into the dream is a significant, other center of control. What is the shift in to a more dominant control element in dreaming? I call this dream control element the Dream Director. In this view of dreaming, the control element is not absolute but relatively more to the Dream Director. I am only taking about the default when we add up all the not-I. I am not saying that the Dream Director is another person with all the functions of a person, but; there is some coordination especially in a message dream as opposed to a stream-of-consciousness dream.

In dreaming there is a shift in the control element to the “Dream Director” and it is the relative higher control element in the dream state. Relatively, the degree of this control, is not the same as in the USC. In the USC it is probably the hidden observer that can connect with past associations and emotional triggers – the instinct that may give us a tap on the shoulder. It will feed inputs into the next nights dreaming after sifting through the remains of the day and assigning its own importance. Associations are deepened according to the Dream Directors priorities and this is a survival trait. See my write up on Why We Dream attached.

Where does hypnotism that is somewhat dominating come from? There is an economy in evolution that does not develop extra body part or extra behavior wasting scarce resources. I am not talking about a person referred to as being “hypnotized as they read a book”. Nor am I denying these partial states. I am talking about those instances of a dominating state in which, for instance, a stage hypnotist (or experimenter) can tell a person that mathematics is funny and a person that is usually too inhibited and has no innate acting ability will play the role with conviction. More significantly they will ignore derisive laughter of everyone else in the audience. The hypnotic subject ignores the significance of a large audience laughing at him as directed. He overcomes previous lifetime patterns of sensitivity and inhibition. He is compelled to go along unless a lower level of inhibition is triggered or he finds a way to resist such as sleeping, coming out or ab-reacting. This, to me, is a distinct state from the Usual State of Consciousness. A completely honest and sober person who is directed by the hypnotist, or knowledge of what is expected, will confabulate a story of satanic abuse (so convincingly that the FBI investigated for all the murdered sacrificed babies /other evidence/participants and nothing came of the investigation) or past lives or alien abduction. These effects are spectacular and needs to be explained. The expectation, hint or leads from the hypnotist are accepted as part of the direction as well as the subjects cultural information about hypnosis. The relationship to the hypnotists is dominantly important and certainly is unique – no other person present has this directive power.

My theory is simply this: The hypnotized person, without changing physiological state, gives up their USC Consciousness sense of self to the Dream Observer consciousness and allows the control element to shift from USC-control to the control element of the hypnotist acting in the role of the Dream Director. One obvious induction method is relaxation and related techniques that “bore” the left brain into giving up control just as we do every night! As we fall asleep, before we go into a later prolonged dream state. We can fall into immediate reverie that is dream-like. I do not have an explanation for other induction methods but they must result in the giving up of left brain control element, “I”, of the USC. In dreaming we switch control to the right brain control function of the Dream Director – “Hypnotist as Dream Director“. That is why its unique messages are often in the visual form of a verbal pun. The right brain is normally verbally challenged when it is driving the point.

Here are the permutations:

State Physiological State Consciousness

Control shift

USC Awake USC Consciousness USC-Control
Dreaming Asleep Dream Observer Dream Director
Hypnosis Awake Dream Observer Hypnotist as Dream Director

-Other outputs not anticipated until I extended combinations

State Awake Consciousness Control Shift
Lucid Dreaming Asleep shift to more USC Consciousness USC-Control 
Corridor Dream Asleep Dream Observer Dream Director not active
Transcendental Meditation Awake Dream Observer Prior Intention
Fugue Awake? Dream Observer Dream Director

This theory also explains why honest persons who are hypnotized will tell convincing stories of satanic abuse, past lives or alien abduction wholly according to the specialty of the hypnotist. The same type of thing happens every night. The dream observer is compelled to go along with the theme and direction. It explains the dangers of false memories. I have supported dream absurdities with false memories many times and this is a lingering effect when I am waking.

Note the other outputs that I did not anticipate when I related the three elements to Dreaming, USC and Hypnosis. They emerged and helped to give me the feeling that this theory clicks.

If we become Lucid, become aware, that we are dreaming and decide to take control, we shift toward USC-Consciousness and realize we can take control but if we decide to dismiss the dream world we wake up. If we decide to stay in the dream world then we decide what to shift and change. I have done this many times but not regularly. As we become Lucid, we shift from the passive, submissive Dream Observer to a state approaching USC-Control. When we are lucid, we can change the not-I elements, the mood, the entire dream world. We can choose to continue to interact with other dream entities (our dream people created by the not-I Dream Director) or choose to interact differently or dismiss them and our surroundings or change our surroundings. The Dream Director as control element shifts down inversely as our USC-control increases. I have experienced this many times as do thousands of others. Many people do not even remember their dreams. We are behaviorally variable.

Dreaming and hypnosis share a shift in access to critical judgment, inhibition suppressed to a lower level, amnesia, false memories, resistance, lucidity, time-shift, ability to tune out external stimulus (but hypnosis is not physiological sleep). Why do honest people confabulate both when they are dreaming and when they are hypnotized? This is why the the hypnotized person is the worst experimental subject imaginable. The hypnotized subject will remember a valid reality better than in the USC but if there is no reality matching expectation then the hypnotized subject or dreamer must confabulate a false memory. He is being directed to either remember or to conform by confabulating.

Deconstructionist point out that there are many partial effects and shared elements. This is true. Why does the sharing and mixing of mental functions in other states invalidate hypnosis as a separate state? Partial hypnosis effects or long term effects from therapists (another route to the same transaction?) does not invalidate hypnosis any more than all the partial or shared effects of sleep in rest, momentary reverie etc. invalidate the state of sleep. If we insisted that we address sleep as all or nothing (it can be deconstructed) and we addressed partial effects such a momentary reverie, automatic driving a car to establish a continuum then the state of sleep could be denied with as much logic as deconstructionist use to deny hypnosis as a distinct state. Both have partial elements that may be present in continuums and present in various combinations and degrees.

Let me put it more positively. There are certain states that have been ratified by behavioral evolution: the usual state of consciousness – Awake, and Dreaming (see Why We Dream in this blog). There are other states that are combinations of behavioral functions – that is portions of these mechanisms and combinations. Lucid dreaming, Fugue and sleep walking are recombination of behavioral functions that seem to be in the wrong physiological state and are probably not ratified to support survival by evolution. Hypnotism is another recombination but I do not know if hypnosis is ratified.

As an Analyst, I constructed the first table for 3 states with the 3 factors necessary to differentiate them:

The table of additional outputs is an unanticipated output of the first analysis. Consider the symmetry and recombination in the process of becoming a lucid dreamer compared to my suggestion about hypnosis. The fact that these factors yield some insight into other states is an indication of concurrence.

In changing from dreaming to Lucid Dreaming we shift our Dream Observer Consciousness from the dominated Dream Observer to the I of the Usual State of Consciousness and Control from the Dream Director to USC-Control while not changing our physiological state.

In changing from the USC – awake to Hypnotism we shift our consciousness from the I of the Usual State of Consciousness to the Dream Observer Consciousness and the Control Element from USC-Control to the the Hypnotist as Dream Director Control while not changing our physiological state.

Can we see these patterns?

These shifts and Fugue and Sleep walking and Transcendental Mediation show that such recombinations exist usual or unusual, evolution-ratified or emergent.