Tuesday, July 29, 2008

newsclip: Global Consciousness Project

Note that the comment that they're "just looking for patterns in random data" is absolutely not true. See the website for more details on the hypothesis-testing nature of this experiment.


w.e.cousins said...

Hello Dr Radin, it would be helpful if your blog post actually stated what the hypothesis you were testing actually was. This should be expressible in a couple of sentences at most (or at least that's what I've been told and what I tell my students). I looked at the website you listed and couldn't seem to uncover the hypothesis? Unfortunately stuff about "surprise events" and registries and correlations and eggs and the like didn't shed light on the matter. Silly me. Would it be very wrong for me to ask you to post your hypothesis/es on the blog?

Dean Radin said...

From the website: "The early experiment simply asked whether the [random] network was affected when powerful events caused large numbers of people to pay attention to the same thing. This experiment was based on a hypothesis registry specifying a priori for each event a period of time and an analysis method to examine the data for changes in statistical measures."

An important term here is a priori, i.e. the predictions are recorded before any data are analyzed. The network is constructed to avoid any known mundane influences that might cause spurious correlations with world events attracting lots of attention (like increased EM radiation due to increased cell phone traffic).

You can find this and much more on the basic idea of the experiment, the various forms of analysis, the current results (odds against chance beyond a million to one), etc., by scrolling down the home page located at http://noosphere.princeton.edu/
and starting at the "introduction" link on the "Scientific Work" section.

David Bailey said...

The overall signal comes from averaging the output of all the RNG's, I presume. When an anomaly happens, does it seem as if all the RNG's contribute, or do just a few go crazy?

David Bailey said...

I was struck by the misleading response from the skeptical scientist that responded to this work. He spoke as if he had not read the details of how the experiment was done - i.e. that the significant events are selected before the data is analysed.

People trust scientific commentators to be honest and accurate and to have studied the details of the subject for at least 30 mins!

Dean Radin said...

Oftentimes when it comes to controversial topics the media feels compelled to offer counter-opinions, even when they're not warranted. While this practice helps to sustain the apparent neutrality of the reporters, it also sustains confusion in the viewing audience, especially when the counter arguments aren't correct.

Dean Radin said...

does it seem as if all the RNG's contribute, or do just a few go crazy?

In general, an unexpected positive correlation appears among all RNGs. That provides stronger evidence that whatever is going on, it's global and not due to a couple of local glitches. There is also some evidence that distance from the event matters.

I believe that new journal articles (beyond what has already been published) are in the process of being prepared that describe these latest analyses.