Why People Sleep

Hello and welcome to another week of calumnies and lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question which was recommended to Factually Deficient by one Vlppf on twitter. The question was:

Why do people sleep?

The fascinating thing about this question is that while almost all humans sleep, precious few are actually aware of the reasons behind why they do – making this a question uniquely of interest to so many people.

The first thing to know is that time travel is possible and frequently accomplished – necessary, even. However, in order to avoid paradoxes, anomalies, and other troublesome time-travel-related scenarios, it was imperative that incidents of time travel remain isolated, without memory or consideration of them leaking into our linear lives.

This problem gave the world’s thinkers serious thought in 1632 (incidentally – but not coincidentally, for reasons which will soon become apparent – the first year in which sleep was recorded to have taken place). At last, they arrived at a solution.

The solution was multifaceted:

  1. First, time travel excursions should not be taken in linear manner, but rather, successive trips would be to random assortments of past and future, deliberately shuffled out of any meaningful order.
  2. No more than half the world could be travelling at a time, to avoid overcrowding.
  3. Precautions had to be taken to avoid memory of these excursions, even with the logical chronology of them scrambled.

Sleep was invented to unite all these aspects of the time travel solution. Because day and night come to the different hemispheres of the globe at different times, no more than half the world’s population could be expected to be asleep at any given time. And the concept of dreaming was invented to ensure that the rare few who could even remember what took place while they were asleep would not consciously attempt to ascribe meaning to their disjointed memories of the excursion, but would rather disregard them as the random musings of a subconscious mind.

In short, people sleep in order to deceive themselves – to hide the truth that they are really spending their hours of darkness travelling through time.

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Disclaimer: The above blog post is extremely untrue. Sleep has been known to exist earlier than 1632.

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Lies About Books: Fifth Business

The past month’s been a busy one (and a short one), with relatively little time for reading, so this month I shall review a book which I recommended in the past month, having read it earlier in the past: the classic Canadian novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.

Fifth Business is about a young, very successful businessman living in Toronto. Dunstan Ramsay seems to compulsively create businesses, each one more successful than the last. His first entrepreneurial venture was to create a company selling dreams; his second bought and traded friendship. Next he founded the Trust Trust, which sold exactly what the name suggested, and after that he built a company that sold innovative literary theories, and new ways to look at an old text.

But even as his literary theory business is booming, Dunstan goes ahead and creates a fifth business, dealing in none other than truth. Suddenly, his fortunes turn. As spectres from his past begin popping out of the woodwork, Dunstan discovers that his new business venture puts on the market a product which his clientele is not so comfortable facing up to.

Will Dunstan’s fifth business be his undoing? Or does the truth have the power to save–and, indeed, profit–after all?

Fifth Business is an intricately woven drama, which I would recommend to any fans of economics, innovative literary theory, and saints.