Unsorted Random Thoughts
On a typical day, I spend a lot of time pattern matching. I see the brain as a massively parallel reflexive pattern matcher, which uses meta-pattern analysis to discover new patterns.
Imagination is a feedback loop in which our brains feed unsorted random thoughts into the matrix, and allows the most compelling experiences to bubble through. When we dream, we become cognizant of this behavior as much of the sensory input from the outside world is redirected from our conscious minds.
A lucid dream is merely a dream in which our conscious mind directs feedback generation by co-opting the pattern generator and selecting the experiences to feed back into our mental model / dream world. Our brains match patterns, constructing a narrative from the inputs creating a story we tell ourselves about who and what we are. When that story diverges from others experience we say someone is deluded, or in cases where the story interferes with the processing of actual physical input psychotic.
In effect, we cleverest of monkeys, are only capable of manipulating our world to the extent that we can imagine other possible realities. To paraphrase Witgenstein, the limits of my imagination are the limits of my experience. You can't dream something you can not fabricate from a combination of preexisting patterns, much like you can not imagine a color you cannot see, or hear a sound you cannot hear. What color is an X-ray? What color is a microwave? What does 0.001Hz sounds like? What does 100MHz sound like? You can imagine a sound deeper or higher pitch than you've ever heard, but in real life both are silent.
It is because of this pattern recognition feedback loop, where people with wider experience diverge from the norm that we see the disconnect between elected leaders, captains of industry, and Joe Six-Pack. Politicians are out of touch because their normative experiences are mostly clustered around political operations. Every word must be couched or pounded on in the echo chamber, and every expense justified by legal allowances and ethics rules. Due to being both rule makers and simultaneously being some of the most regulated individuals in the country, our elected leaders have created an echo chamber where writing rules with intent to bend them is normal, and the ability to abuse rules and procedures to wedge in pet projects is rewarded (through reelection).
The same pattern bias exists in the working class. Boys and girls have more distinct gender roles in the working class. We are all aware that boys play football and girls become cheerleaders, and it doesn't matter if you want to play clarinet, because a clarinet is not a football, and no cheerleader ever gave it up for 2nd clarinet. We can see these patterns in sit-coms (inarguably the lowest form of art imitating life) and know them as cliché. So pervasive are they that we even feed the stereotype back into the feedback loop, and politicians talk about Joe Six-pack as a voting block. As these gross patterns feed back on our social awareness they produce all manner of identity politics. The next time you recognize a political movement be it Feminism or the 99%, you will participate in reinforcing these patterns in your world view. But will at the same time fail to recognize how little these patterns matter to those who remain ignorant of them.