I went to bed at 12:56, I know this because I keep track of time. And then I tried to get to sleep and I had a dream. The dream itself was uninteresting, as dreams tend to be; we've all had wild and crazy nocturnal thought emissions but generally they're too personal or surreal to be affecting. Simply jumping around saying 'I'm an orange! Smell my chapstick!' doesn't have any depth to it, and context, and it's not funny, and in the same way so are dreams not. So are not dreams. So not are dreams. The idea that humour doesn't require hard work is wrong, wrong, wrong, as Margaret Thatcher would have said if she had been Barry Took. For every laugh, there is a man sitting awake at 12:55, drunk, thinking it up.

It was a long and very involved dream; I lived in a cabin in the woods, it was night-time, there was a single road going by the house, cars went by, and I was also in my own room, and a man came through the window, tangled in the curtain, and I shot him several times with my Sig P230, and then I re-ran the scenario and waited before shooting him, and then I was back in the cabin, and then I thought about the history of me buying the cabin and owning it - well, it was more like a bungalow, really - and also about the relative merits of owning a Saiga 12 shotgun and a pistol, and about 10-gauge shotguns, which are really big and nasty, and then I was back in my room and there was a man at the door, and I woke up. There was no man.

The dream seemed to take a very long time indeed, but when I looked at the clock I saw that it was only 01:36. Which made me wonder; there must be an upper limit to the amount of thoughts a person can think in half an hour. Presumably it would not be possible to have a dream which lasts ten minutes in real life, but occupies a perceived million years (say) of mental time, because you simply can't have enough thoughts to cover a million years of history in half an hour, even if your mind was racing. Each individual thought must take a certain amount of time.

So what's the speed of thought? The brain runs at a certain frequency but thoughts are more complex than simple maths. To determine the speed of thought I have come up with a mental experiment which I shall mentally do. I will count from one to ten, with my menta. My mind.

does this

It took me two and a half seconds, although I had to mentally count the seconds as well, so let's round it down to two seconds. Therefore, if it takes two seconds to do such a simple thing as count from one to ten, I conclude that many of the things I do every day which are much more complex - navigating the underground, going to the toilet, shooting Terry Wogan - are mentally impossible. But I still do them, which leads to two possibilities:
1. Faith. Like the bee, I am kept aloft by willpower. And the fact thay my brain can alter its angle of attack, which increases its apparent surface area;
2. We are linked, and our brains tap into a pool of experience. Each time I perform an action I am merely retrieving the collective human solution to the problem. Many people have done the same thing already, in the same location, at the same time of day and season of the year, in all weather conditions.

Which is correct? Who can say. Perhaps we are all the dream of something else, and it doesn't matter what crimes we commit or who we hurt because the people aren't real. There is room for God in the holes of Science.

Further experiments include:
1. Monitor the dreams of a nihilist;
2. Placing a person in a unique location and situation and study his or her reactions;
3. Find a way to justify watching sedated, greased young girls wrestling in a transparent plastic sack;
4. Monkeypox?