Princeton's Global Consciousness Project Readings Spiked on September 11.
September 25, 2001 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Princeton's Global Consciousness Project Readings Spiked on September 11. Was there, as The Boundary Institute believes, a "disturbance in the force" recorded by Princeton's GCP? Seems crazy to me, but the "" in the URL and the complicated-looking graphs must mean something.
posted by vraxoin (18 comments total)
Wow... that's amazing.
I have no idea what this stuff means.
posted by Dirjy at 10:42 AM on September 25, 2001

All those graphs are based on the output of a random number generator. Literally; read the FAQ on the site.
posted by lbergstr at 10:48 AM on September 25, 2001

right: but I don't understand how each of the graphs differ, or what kinds of results you *might* expect from each of the analysis methods, what each graph is looking at, exactly.
posted by rebeccablood at 10:53 AM on September 25, 2001

also, you'd need some context, what do the graphs "normally" look like? you'd need to see how the spikes fit in to a few days' data.
posted by signal at 11:19 AM on September 25, 2001

Take this as you will, but here's the background on random chance and consciousness:

The Princeton people use a real random number generator (not the pseudo-kind in your PC) for paranormal testing. They noticed that RNG's could be influenced by someone mentally trying to mess with its output. Some research backs this up (its really interesting like ganzfeld tests) so they decided to try a group approach. They noticed more non-random activity.

The project now runs a RNG full time to see if group consciousness (the world participating in one event) affects the output. Seemingly it does. The FAQ has a lot more info and you can get to it from the root page.

I don't know if 'the force' is a good metaphor, but when I was reading about this stuff a few years back a popular hypothesis is that consciousness creates order, not that consciousness affects some kind of ether.

Anyway, its parapsychology, most people have made up their mind on what that field of study is worth.
posted by skallas at 11:48 AM on September 25, 2001

so it seems like people's emotions might be causing the differences? or emotional thoughts? (based on it going up for the attack and down for the moment of silence?)

or, let's see, everyone thinking about the same thing at the moment of silence, it could be affected bythe degree of individuation of thought?

I would have thought that the simple loss of life might have been the cause of the attack spike (all those people changing states at once and so unexpectedly and violently).

who knows what it means? I just love speculating about this stuff, though.

(and I'll bet that in 1000 years, this stuff, far from being "fringe science" will be a "big duh." I hope metafilter is archived somewhere to prove that I predicted that. :)
posted by rebeccablood at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2001

Does this mean that if a lot of people focus on certain numbers, I could win the lotto?
posted by Apoch at 12:59 PM on September 25, 2001

This is reminiscent of Jung's Synchronicity, in which he empirically proves the non-random nature of astrological charts, and of Asimov's fictional "psychohistory" discipline.

I don't know much about statistical analysis, random numbers, etc., but after seeing the GCP's site, I want to host an EGG site.
posted by swift at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2001

To make up for my totally non-informative post above, here's info about how these guys are linked to Princeton: the project director is part of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Reasearch program, "established at Princeton University in 1979 by Robert G. Jahn, then Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to pursue rigorous scientific study of the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, systems, and processes common to contemporary engineering practice."
posted by lbergstr at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2001


one of my very smart friends points out that they generate random numbers from white noise derived from the radio spectrum, and notes that radio bands can be affected by strong transmissions on other bands.

he also mentions that there are known instances of intelligence transmissions on various spectra (conet is a CD set of some of these) and suggests that the source of the "random numbers" might have been affected by the flurry of transmissions that surely followed the attacks.

(this would also explain the slowdown during the minute of silence.)

posted by rebeccablood at 1:10 PM on September 25, 2001

princeton schminston.
posted by ronv at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2001

rebecca: sounds reasonable. This page describes the principles behind one of the random event generators used by the GCP, available from Orion Technologies (haven't found a website). I'm not sure of the relative strengths of effect of telecommunications, power distribution, consumer electronics, human-generated nonlocal electromagnetic fields, background radiation, Brownian motion, various thermal effects, ferrous impurities in the components used, etc. etc. - knowing such would be useful in evaluating an explanation based only on increased telecom traffic.
posted by Vetinari at 2:00 PM on September 25, 2001

but there were peaks before the event...
posted by swift at 2:08 PM on September 25, 2001

and there were fewer-than-normal people on the planes, but that doesn't *tell* you anything, really, unless other possibilities are taken away.
posted by rebeccablood at 2:20 PM on September 25, 2001

> but there were peaks before the event...

Aha! Houston, not only do we have group consciousness, we have precognition. (I know everything two weeks ahead of time because the little blue mushroom people tell me, but then they seal my lips so I can't tell you...)
posted by jfuller at 3:34 PM on September 25, 2001

Actually, what the REG devices measure is not human world consciousness, but dolphin world consciousness. Furthermore, the dolphins have long been close associates of the little blue mushroom people (though not as close as jfuller), who told them about the attacks a few hours before.

Why the dolphins chose to observe the humans' moment of silence is unknown at this time, but it might have been at that time that they all went back to their houses to pack up their things and prepare for the exodus to Alpha Centari.
posted by mattpfeff at 4:16 PM on September 25, 2001

i was going to point out the technique of random number generation as possibly faulty. thanks rebecca. there really is no such thing as a purely "random" number generator, as you may have figured out. one technique i've heard of proposed utilizing a lava lamp, for instance, to generate random numbers.
posted by moz at 5:57 PM on September 25, 2001

Vetinari and rebecca, the link itself states that the device contains 2 diodes and that a simultaneous external stimulus of both would result in no output. That would seem to rule out external electromagnetic influences (assuming the entire system is properly designed). Anyone got a complete schematic?

A good design would be balanced for all known external stimuli, e-m, thermal, physical, etc.
posted by Geo at 9:21 AM on October 2, 2001

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