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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Romantic Thought

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. It's past midnight. Lying in bed, PETER listens to radio music.

  5. PETER (V.O.): I don't fall asleep easily...

  6. Peter sleeps.


  8. Peter returns to bed with a phone in hand. Sitting in bed, he begins to have screen time.

  9. PETER (V.O.): Here's a romantic question from a lady Quoran: If you can't sleep at night, are you in someone's dream?

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What's the origin of this saying?

  12. Peter surfs the web.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's said to be a Japanese legend.

  14. Act 2


  16. Thinking.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My elder daughter is living in Japan. Has she come across this legend yet?

  18. Thinking.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is she awake now?

  20. Recalling.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The question reminds me of my days in the 1970s. I began studying Logic as a method of systematic philosophizing.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Based on reasoning and critical thinking, Logic derives truth from half truth or deception.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Deductive reasoning is from the general to the particular. Inductive reasoning is from the particular to the general.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In critical thinking, we observe, we discern patterns, we hypothesize and we derive theories.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.): Based on observations or experience, the hypothesis "If you can't sleep at night, you are in someone's dream" is only analytically meaningful if it has been verified or falsified.

  30. Thinking.

  31. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): When I become sleepless, could I be in someone's dream?.

  32. Thinking.

  33. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): It's hard for me to verify. When I dreamt of someone, I wouldn't tell them. Similarly, no one have told me s/he dreamt of me.

  34. Peter takes a look of his WIFE sleeping by his side.

  35. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Sometimes I dream of my wife, but I don't observe my dreams have any impact on her. Thus, the hypothesis is easy to falsify.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): So, empirically speaking, when I can't sleep at night, its improbable that I'm in someone's dream.

  38. Pausing,

  39. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): On the other hand, whatever that can be imagined and has no inherent contradiction eg a round square, it isn't logically impossible.

  40. Thinking.

  41. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): That means to say, although it can't be proven by experience now that "if I can't sleep at night, I'm in someone's dream", the correlation will still be logically possible in future.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This's like saying it's logically possible that the sun will rise from the West tomorrow.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But who would like to observe, experience, reason, think and analyse a Japanese legend in such a philosophical fashion?

  46. Act 3


  48. Thinking.

  49. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The legend should be a romantic thought - an idealized world view.

  50. Pausing.

  51. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): How nice it is to think of the possibility that one can't fall asleep is because s/he is in someone's dream!

  52. Pausing.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So romantically speaking, when I can't fall asleep at night, it must be the case that I'm in someone's dream.

  54. Recalling.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's a song called "Dream a little dream of me".

  56. Surfing the web, Peter finds the song. As he plays it, we hear sweet music: ....while I'm alone and blue as can be, dream a little of me... I'm longing to linger til dawn dear...

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While individuals may consciously want choices and freedom, dreaming whatever is dictated by our subconscious.

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Perhaps, I've put too much analysis on this phenomenon. There could be multiple rational-intuitive way to interpret that. I'm giving my affirmative answer.

  60. Peter types on his phone.


  62. Lying in bed, Peter listens to radio music.

  63. PETER (V.O.): I should sleep early, before someone would dream of me.

  64. FADE OUT.

  65. THE END

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