In the category called, “What now?” we find an article in this week’s Science Magazine about “Dream Incubation”. This drives me to the dictionary. We go there not for the word dream but for “incubation”. “The time for and the support and encouragement of development“. A Hen incubates her eggs. So dream incubation is the encouragement of someone to dream some thing. Who is interested in getting you to dream about something other than numbered sheep? Advertisers. Companies such as Xbox and the beer maker Coors are joining scientists to research the possibilities. Sounds like something from a dystopian classic like 1984 doesn’t it? Funny how the elements of our dystopian future fall into place. Big brother had a camera, microphone and speaker in everyone’s domicile. We of course would never tolerate the police state envisioned in Orwell’s 1984. Instead of Big brother we have his niece, Alexa. The camera is part of our security system. Like Alexa the cameras are connected to the web. The ubiquitous cell phone is within earshot of the pillow we dream on. All the elements are in place but its not slam-dunk. Dreams are notorious for doing their own thing. If we were able to direct our dreams, to be the Spielberg of sleep, we might not want to wake up. Hamlet worried that the “Big Sleep” might have dreams worse than waking reality. I doubt he considered advertising as a possibility. Like ticks and virus, advertisers will plague us and try to invade every part of our waking lives. Now they stalk the border of Morpheus’s kingdom. Alarms are being raised but its early. If it were easy we’d be using “Incubated Dreams” already. Is this a threat? don’t rush your judgement…sleep on it.