Sci-Fi: Recruitment via Dreams

What follows is a little tinfoil-hat, I admit...

Okay, so the other night, I had a dream about working at the NSA or some other government agency where "We're smarter than you can imagine..." No doubt, this came from two things:

  1. I just read Dan Brown's turdly book Digital Fortress

  2. I had a really great discussion about my industry with my #1 consultant--my wife. Whitney observed that programmers are paid an obscene amount of money, and that I should expect a downward trend. Pointedly, I said at the time--well yeah, I didn't exactly graduate from M I T

So, the other night, I dreamed I was in a large lab staffed with uber-smart computer scientists: Cryptographers, cryptanalysts, etc. These guys DID graduate from MIT. And Oxford. Sometimes both. It was my first day on the job, and it was your typical "I'm late for class and forgot my homework" scenario--I felt stupid and I thought everyone else there didn't like me. People in the lab kept asking questions about stuff like, "Where's your new house?" and "How was your interview?". I realized I knew none of the answers to these basic questions. It was as if I'd fallen out of the sky into the most advanced quantum-computing, maximum security clearance lab in the world.

My dream self decided it was one of two things: 1) I was dead. 2) This was a dream.

Yeah, it was a dream.

* * *

So, my thought--suppose someone could beam a "job interview" directly into your dreams. Put you in the seat of a 787, driving a F1 car, or in the middle of a surgery. Essentially, using your own brain as a life simulator--nothing would have consequences, but you could record how someone REALLY would react in that situation. You can't hide in a dream; your subconscious hopes, fears, and hangups are right there.

Think about it: You're a secret agency. You need the best of the best, but you need to interview them with 100% accuracy and in complete secrecy, and you can't kill the 99.999% of people who aren't up to snuff. Ideally you don't even want people to apply or realize they've applied. How would you do it?

Simple: Dreams.

You broadcast dreams to huge chunks of the population, and record the results. Each dream has a "worm" or something similar to erase itself after it completes. Even if someone awakens during the dream, we've ALL had random dreams that we discredit and forget immediately. Such is the ephemeral nature of dreams--making them perfect for that purpose.

That's probably the plot of 100's of sci-fi stories already, but wouldn't that be neat (and horrifying) in real life?


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