A Brief Description of GCP Procedures

This is an introduction of the technology and procedures we use in our effort to measure global consciousness. There are links to pages with more detail for those who are interested.

We use devices called random event generators (REG) that usually produce a continuous sequence of completely unpredictable numbers which can be recorded in computer files. Experiments have shown that human consciousness can make the string of numbers slightly non-random when people hold intentions to do so, or when there is a special state of coherent group consciousness. The difference is very small, but statistical analysis demonstrates that this correlation of the REG behavior with something about consciousness is real. It is as if our wishes could change the 50/50 odds of a coin flip ever so slightly.

It turns out that this small effect of consciousness on the electronic REG isn't diminished by distance or shielding, so it apparently isn't brought about by something physical like temperature changes, or sound waves, or electromagnetic radiation. Instead it seems that information is the important thing. The data that we collect is changed from an expected random condition to a a slightly structured condition, detectable by statistical tests. Such structure implies that the numbers are not completely unpredictable, and that we can expect to see trends or patterns that should not appear in truly random data.

The Global Consciousness Project is a natural extension of laboratory experiments and field measurements of group consciousness, which show that that resonance and coherence of focus can produce structure in the REG data. It uses a network of "eggs" hosted by people around the world. The eggs are computers running software to collect a 200-bit sample once per second from an attached REG, and to send the data over the internet to a server where it is archived and analysed. We examine the unfolding array of data to see whether it is random, or if there is evidence of structure that corresponds to major events in the world's consciousness.

Results from statistical tests of this question confirm the basic hypothesis that powerfully engaging events will affect our measurement system, the network of eggs. In a majority of cases, the data do show a deviation from the chance expectation for random numbers, in accord with our predictions, and the overall accumulation over dozens of individual tests is highly significant. It is good evidence for an anomalous effect that is correlated with events in the world, and it may be evidence for an evanescent global consciousness.

If you are interested in detail, there is more material in the "Procedures" section, examining the thinking that went into the design of the analytical methodology of the Global Consciousness Project. It is provided as background and documentation, rather than as a description of what we are doing. You may want to look at some other, more "readable" pages that deal with various aspects of the project.

  • How it Works is part of a chapter prepared for a book, explaining what an REG is, how we use these devices, and speculations about how we think such tecnology may register something that consciousness creates.

  • The REG device is a core item in the the project. Here we describe it generally, show some examples of what an REG does.

  • The Chisquare Statistic that we use is a little unfamiliar. This page explains its application to our data, and provides links to more detail.

  • Speculations are offered with the caveat that we do not know how to explain the mechanism for these anomalous effects of consciousness. Of course we think about it, and you may be interested in some of the ideas.

  • Questions come from many people. Here is an email exchange with a professor of statistics who exemplifies the best tradition of skepticism. It addresses several procedural issues and explains how we deal with them.

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