Presenting a workshop on Audtra's method at the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) Conference in Anaheim resulted in downloads, pilot participants, future pilot partners, useful observations for immediate iterations, and a hybrid of a Twitter feature request scheduled for v2.4.
It also provided an opportunity to thank a major influence (and man of the hour), in person due to travel constraints. An inquiry to recommend the platform to psychology students evolved into the published researcher sharing his conference slides validating journals and chapter preview validating audio-transcription in research studies, validating the EEG/fNIRS invention, referring the work to two, IASD Past Presidents who happen to be published researchers, inside info, informational resources, logical advice, humorous bluntness, research projects including the EAR (Electronically Activated Recording) Repo, his book cover graphic and citation and acknowledgement honor, inspiration to return to school part-time for industry validation, and being the most helpful person since starting this journey, simply to advance science and the aligned work interests.
His feedback and views inspired the pivot, starting two quarters in, from a social, dream journal app into a more scientific image officially supporting all cognitive use-cases (including Alzheimer's, mental illness, developmental disability, and drug studies), along with an early rejection from Pfizer. No one has been more influential, and I can only dream I’ll be as active, digestive of information, and contributing to society as the role model, if I make it past my fatal heart attack at 39.9.
Friday night's opening keynote was by the IASD Founding President, who evidently, was a Princetonian and repeat Oprah guest. Saturday morning poster presentations included a researcher's study on adolescent grief dreams, where participants didn't complete the lengthy, Qualtrics reports. The clinical psych doctoral student (Cornell undergrad) acknowledged that it could have been "gamified," and knows the other grief dream researcher I've spoken with, who planned to feature my work on his grief dreams podcast—small world.
I noticed that Dr. Jack Gallant's images were being used without credit in the "Animating Dreams and Future Dream Recording" poster (which stated NIRS was recently being employed), then identified how much the University of Texas study costed the presenter, who the funder was (a typing app), their background (a converted hedgie), and end-goal (monetization via ads). The equity-holding, quasi-advisor to the app comedically hid my abstract in his jacket pocket when the founder appeared, as our visions aligned more.
Sunday morning activities included Robert Bosnack's workshop, "Dreamhackers," where I learned that Silicon Valley's brightest are paying Jungian psychoanalysts to interpret dreams in embodied imagination, to identify what to design and develop. Hello, Doug and Darla of some radio frequency app. No VCs were at the meeting (though some Googler VR PM's mother was), so your qualifications and expenses are safe. The best quotes from that session were, "app dreaming" (only in the Valley), "the app is 12 months pregnant and still not being born," "perfect is the enemy of good enough," "he begins to talk like Steve Jobs," and "when you lose your iPhone, something happens in your brain that's identical to losing a lover." I gave my abstract to him and his co-presenter, who gave me his consultancy card. That conjured the memory of the lady who sensed I had "great energy" and gave me an energy reading card at the airport.
One highlight was during the Sunday dinner of potential platform users that the multi-disciplinary legend organized. I was surprised and honored by his open validation of it, but didn't think to test record validation evidence using the platform until the final minute. Hopefully, the comedic, audio evidence mentioning that "if you want a really good dream sample, then her stuff is the answer...I think it's the best thing I can imagine through technology and smartphones for us to get decent samples in the real world" will remind and interest a literally starving, published researcher to conduct a study.
On Monday, I witnessed Justine Lasley's symposium, "The Professional Dreamer," as a volunteer and admired how she was empowering, mostly women, to create their own ventures, step-by-step. It transported me back to my early experiences and experimental learning at 23. I couldn't miss the neuro symposium featuring EEG and fMRI, then briefly met with the board chair to see if he'd be interested in recommending the platform to his study participants and psych students at UT, for a free license (app and data exports). He mentioned he could have used it in his recent, lucid dreaming study and asked next steps. I suggested he consider it for his next study or psych assignment, as I'm not a ruthless man. Though he initially thought I was a man from my professional name, so achievement unlocked (again).
My favorite researcher invited me to a second dinner meeting, so I was honored to give up the volunteer reimbursement (recorded as an IASD contribution), while fulfilling all other shifts. Another highlight was setting up his video recording, informing the opening act that the name he didn't recognize was the keynote speaker, and hearing the board chair respond, "that's his protege." After a comedic song about polymers, I got to see the retired influencer in action on center stage, where he asserted, "I predict to you that with new imaging technology, including a new one that I've only learned about recently, which is why it's good to stay in touch with people younger than you are, respond to their emails, you learn about infrared spectroscopy, which is a faster, better, cheaper way to look at your brain. And I predict that somebody is going to do a study in which they tell- they have people- they have a little cap on or NIRS." I died. It was the validation and best moment of my life, and like being back at the New York Academy of Sciences dream panel of two, IASD Past Presidents (where the platform got an unnamed mention), but zero to infinitely better. To relay how current and visionary he is, the man (who is over 79) adopted the Mac in 2008, and knows hows to use a hearing aid app and clear iPhone notifications. More highlights emerged as he told two people that the platform was a "magic carpet." Some of the test recordings are on my Audtra timeline and in the presentation slides.
Attendees hailed from the United States of Audtrica, Canada, the U.K., Germany, Israel, and Italy, including three published researchers who have conducted quantitative dream studies, Jungian clinicians, students, and recent baccalaureate and doctoral graduates. Evidently, an Arrow star and her mother also attended. I voted for Dr. Barrett's art of Yale Square and wanted to demo my timeline audio of her NYAS panel from rows away, but she was likely stuck in Cambridge snow.
On the final day, Audtra was tested and discussed in an hour-long workshop, where 75% was a standing, interactive discussion on the method and potential iterations, after a 15m slide introduction. I remain grateful to the room monitor and my new, juvenile justice friend for the defense in the partially intense discussion. While two of the feedback providers may have been technologically uninformed, illogical, and thereby negatively critical, I could have actually rehearsed for the presentation, and remained unbiased and neutral (even though everything said were facts), instead of offending doctoral students by attempting to prove its validation. Fortunately, everyone had left the conference already, so my first time addressing an audience (of eight, plus the two volunteers and me) was overall comedic. I tried to make peace afterwards, as I learn from everyone I meet, everything I read (even poor journalism), every experience, and love improving from solicited feedback.
Thank you to the IASD for this honor and letting me volunteer, a pioneering, scientific dream researcher who continues to shape the field, my mind, and being the kindest character, an IASD Past President for advising on abstract tone, the operations director, webmaster, and A/V Manager for helping me, and recent graduate who attended as a self-graduation gift, for downloading the app. The two researchers were influential in accelerating the update schedule for analytics (and mass export, soon to be available in v2.3 on iOS and Android).