Thursday, September 16, 2004

Do Android Cats Dream of Electric Mice?

It's amusing to see the contrast between the first and last seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's probably the same for every long running television series. I enjoy the subtle, self-referential humor found throughout many of the later episodes of TNG that's missing in the early seasons. They seem to have matured over the years.

Just finished watching an episode called Phantasms from the seventh season, where Data is experimenting with a dream program and begins to experience a series of nightmares. He decides to have his dreams analysed by Sigmund Freud in the holodeck - hilarious - and the rest of the story unravels from there.

In one scene, Data is watching his cat Spot while asleep, observing the slight muscle twitches that indicate Spot is dreaming. I've noticed this sometimes with my own pets as well. I wonder what it is that they are dreaming of. Are dreams the royal road to understanding the unconscious mind, as Freud puts it, each object symbolising some hidden sexual desire or repressed memory? If a cat dreams of chasing and catching a mouse, what would that symbolise. Perhaps sometimes a mouse is just a mouse.

Lieutenant Commander Data


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