On Tue, 18 Apr 2006, Jessica Lucas wrote: >> >>> Hi, >>> >>> I'm a writer for the Daily Princetonian, and I was wondering if you could talk to me about the teilhard.global-mind.org website and the Global Consciousness Project. I'm writing a story on what this is, what it does, and who runs it, as well as who else is involved. Please let me know if I can call to speak with you over the phone or if you would like to answer questions via email. I said, "Let's try email." > Great! Thank you so much for your cooperation. I have included my questions below, but please feel free to add anything else you would like to. The story is for tomorrow, so your responses as soon as you can get them to me, would be tremendously appreciated. To which I responded: That's a short time, but I will see what I can do for you. Here are her questions, and my brief answers: > > Could you describe this Global Consciousness Project (basically, how would you summarize the project so that I can get a personal description rather than from the website)? What is its aim or purpose? What do you hope to achieve? The GCP maintains a network of Random Event Generators (REGs) producing at each of 60 sites around the world a random number each second, continuously over months and years. We examine the resulting matrix of synchronized, parallel data sequences to see if there is any non-random structure corresponding to major events such as natural or man-made disasters, terrible accidents, or grand celebrations. Statistical analysis shows that there are such correlations, and they cannot be attributed to ordinary electromagnetic fields, bad data, or mistakes. The system is designed to test the general hypothesis that special states of human consciousness on a global scale may influence the data. Perhaps we can see the first glimmerings of a noosphere -- a shell of intelligence for the earth. > > What motivated you to become interested in/involved with this type of research? What type of work do you do/have you done before that provides an interesting perspective or gives you experience for the GCP I'm interested in the subtle aspects of consciousness as it manifests directly in the world. From 1980 to 2002 I was part of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) group, doing laboratory experiments with individuals, looking at the effects of intention, studying interactions of mind and matter. I applied the same technologies and analytical tools in field experiments looking at coherence and resonance in groups of people. A natural progression led to the creation of a network of REGs around the world to ask the same questions but with a global perspective. > > What are the other subjects that converge in such a multidisciplinary field and how do they interact? In what ways do you and other researchers on this project interact with intellects from these other areas? We are a multidisciplinary group, bringing to bear expertise in psychology, sociology, physics, statistics, and, in particular cases, more specialized fields such as seismology. There are about 100 people involved in the GCP, with 20 or so from different fields interacting directly in design and analysis work for the project. Our modes of interaction are exactly like any other international academic or research field: conferences and working meetings, papers and correspondence. > > How did it get started? I asked friends around the world to collect data from their REG equipment during some "global" events such as Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. The combined results of a dozen independent datasets showed significant departures from expectation. This was a prototype for the permanent system we call the Global Consciouness Project or GCP. > > With whom do you collaborate? Scientists, artists, programmers, business people around the world. Many are at universities and research institutes, some are at industrial labs, some are fully independent. > > How does this project relate to PEAR? The GCP is independent from PEAR, but we use technology developed at PEAR, and my colleagues there provide friendly support and valuable technical consultation. > > How do you analyze the data generated by the REG and other experiments that are done? What results/data have been gathered so far and what kinds of conclusions, if any, have been made? We use canonical (standard) statistical procedures, including a number of signal processing and time series tools. We have a formal series of hypothesis tests that are literally replications. The current bottom line shows an accumulation of positive results that have odds against chance of about 100,000 to one. Many other analyses enlarge the perspective and strengthen the conclusion that our data do show structure where there should be none. We cannot claim this is due to a "global consciousness" but it is an attractive model. > > What are the implications of this research and any discoveries it may lead to? There are scientific and philosophical implications of the results, suggesting a direct participation of consciousness, attention, engagement in what happens in the world. This means, among other things, that we have the capability and the responsibility for conscious evolution. The results imply that consciousness is a creative force in the world; they suggest that what we wish for or envision becomes more likely. Two fundamental questions with broad implications are: 1) What does it mean for physics and statistics that truly random numbers depart substantially from expection and show structure where there should be none? 2) What is the practical importance and the philosphical implication of anomalous departures from expectation that are correlated with matters of human interest?