Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2006, 07:01 AM   #1
Tenspace
I Live Here
 
Tenspace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
Posts: 10,218
I don't know what to make of this. Anyone care to comment on their methods? How 'scientific' is this?

http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

What are the data made of, how are they generated, and what do we measure?

The data come from electronic random sources called random event generators, abbreviated as REG or sometimes RNG, for random number generator, which produce a steady stream of unpredictable bits. They are the equivalent of high-speed electronic coin flippers. We simply record the actual value of 200 coin flips every second at each device, expecting it will be about 100 (50/50 chance for a bit to be 1 or 0). The resulting count is a varying quantity, of course, depending on chance fluctuations. We record these trial counts continuously at each node in the network, every second, every day over months and years. Thus, we have data to examine for changes correlated with events in the world. From the statistics, especially the variation in the mean or average count, we can determine the relative randomicity of the datastream, and thereby identify unexpected structure that might be correlated with global events of importance to humans.

What does the actual measurement look like and what does it mean?

We look for anomalous structure or order in what is normally expected to be random data. The most common measure of such structure is based on differences from theoretical predictions, in particular, deviations from the mean or average that is expected for the trial scores. If there is a persistent tendency for the data to differ from expectation, this will show up in statistical measures. The idea that we can use the scale of such variations in the data as a measure of some aspect of "consciousness" is derived from three decades of laboratory research indicating that conscious intention can affect the randomness of REG devices in controlled experiments. What the GCP/EGG project is doing is a direct extension of such work. A more extended discussion of how we do the measurement is available.

How do you jump from there to "global consciousness" measuring the effect of organized meditations or major public events around the world?

In "field" studies with REGs we have found consistent deviations from expected random data sequences taken in situations where groups become integrated. During deeply engaging meetings, concerts, rituals, etc., the data tend to show slightly greater order, and we are able to predict this deviation with small but significant success. In the GCP case, exactly the same thing is done -- we predict a detectable ordering (in the form of slight meanshifts, or changes in the variability of the mean) in otherwise random data during world-class events that are likely to engage the attention of large numbers of us around the globe. The continuous data streams registered by the EGG network have a well-defined statistical character, namely, random expectation, and we simply look at the empirical statistics to see whether our predictions of structure are supported by the data. That is, we predict differences from the random expectation that are correlated with the events, and use standard statistical tests to see whether the predicted structure exists in the data.


[edit] - didn't mean to quote the whole damn FAQ.

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
Tenspace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 07:40 AM   #2
RenaissanceMan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Why use random number generators in computers? Which... of course, can't actually generate truly random numbers. Why not use the total sales of bags of mulch? I'm sure that will corrolate with totally random events just as well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 08:09 AM   #3
Tenspace
I Live Here
 
Tenspace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
Posts: 10,218
Quote:
RenaissanceMan wrote
Why use random number generators in computers? Which... of course, can't actually generate truly random numbers. Why not use the total sales of bags of mulch? I'm sure that will corrolate with totally random events just as well.
I think they'd say that mulch sales are not random, they are driven by mulch needs, distribution networks, supply sources, etc.

And they're not nearly as cool as a black box with blinking lights.

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
Tenspace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 08:37 AM   #4
Victus
Obsessed Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,260
So wait, is this one of those things where they get people together to hum and chant and see if it correlates with statistically significant deviations from the RNG (500 '1's in a row)?

That's pretty weak science. Even after 499 '1's, the probably of the next number being a 1 instead of a 0 is still 50/50.

Are they consciously trying to change it to one of the specific options? If so, why not raise the number ceiling to 10, or 1,000,000? That way it at least drives the point home that they can consciously influence the 'random' number process.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
Victus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 11:11 AM   #5
Tenspace
I Live Here
 
Tenspace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
Posts: 10,218
Quote:
Victus wrote
So wait, is this one of those things where they get people together to hum and chant and see if it correlates with statistically significant deviations from the RNG (500 '1's in a row)?

That's pretty weak science. Even after 499 '1's, the probably of the next number being a 1 instead of a 0 is still 50/50.

Are they consciously trying to change it to one of the specific options? If so, why not raise the number ceiling to 10, or 1,000,000? That way it at least drives the point home that they can consciously influence the 'random' number process.
Did you read the science? V, I'm not interested in opinion as much as refutation or confirmation of their methods. There are, apparently, a bunch of skeptical scientists who offer no explanation for the non-randomness of these correlations, and are just as intrigued by this as the guys at Princeton, University of London, etc.

Again, I'll play Devil's Advocate and represent their side of the story (Don't take this as my belief in them.... I'm attempting to look at scientific data with an open mind). Some of their methods are over my head, that's why I would like the opinion on their methodologies from you scientists.

Here are a few points to consider:

Dr. Roger Nelson, PhD, Experimental Cognitive Psychology, retired from Princeton in 2002. He said, "We're very early on in the process of trying to figure out what's going on here. At the moment we're stabbing in the dark", after calling the results, "Earth-shattering stuff".

Dr. Chris French, Psychology Chair, Goldsmith's College, UK: "The Global Consciousness Project has generated some very intriguing results that cannot be readily dismissed. I'm involved in similar work to see if we get the same results. We haven't managed to do so yet but it's only an early experiment. The jury's still out."

This may be junk science... methods may not be truly objective and sterile, researchers may be polluting the results with their own personal bias, and of course, anything that finds favor with the Tinfoil Hat Brigade should definitely be questioned.

The director of the project, Dr. Nelson, said, "I want to acknowledge that I like the notion of Global Consciousness, but that this idea is really an aesthetic speculation. I don't think we have real grounds to claim that the statistics and graphs representing the data prove the existence of a global consciousness. On the other hand, we do have strong evidence of anomalous structure in what should be random data, and clear correlations of these unexplained departures from expectation with well-defined events that are of special importance to people. The events share a common feature, namely, that they engage our attention, and draw us into a common focus."

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
Tenspace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 11:46 AM   #6
RenaissanceMan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I... I couldn't read it. I tried! I really did. Every time I would read a few paragraphs my brain would start bleeding and screaming in pain. Afterwards I would wake up on the floor shaking. Make the stupid stop!

From what I COULD gather, they correlate their pseudo-random numbers in the most byzantine manner so it would look like a scientific study and then when a statistically unlikely spike occurs (Like flipping a coin HEADS 10 times in a row) they would look to that area and correlate the spike with some event that happened at the same time. The correlation of random numbers and then linking them to unconnected random events is NOT SCIENCE.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
ocmpoma
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Not sure if it's the same group, but here's a post on Good Math, Bad Math about the same general topic. There's a follow-up post on Arpil 23, as well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 12:39 PM   #8
Victus
Obsessed Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,260
I took a closer look at the site. If you take out all the 'light red' results (ie, those that support their hypothesis but don't meet criteria for statistical significance, p < 0.05) it suddenly becomes a whole lot less impressive. Out of about 216 trials listed on their site, as I read them...

20 reached statistical significance and supported the hypothesis.
8 reached statistical significance but in a manner opposite of the hypothesis.
188 remaining trials did not reach statistical significance (111 light red and 77 black).

Interesting, but I'm not wowed by the current results.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
Victus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2006, 07:56 AM   #9
ocmpoma
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Not sure if it was my linking to his post (or maybe he's a member of the forums), but Mark CC over at Good Math, Bad Math has looked into the Global Consciousness Project:

http://goodmath.blogspot.com/2006/05...-bad-math.html
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2006, 08:11 AM   #10
Choobus
I Live Here
 
Choobus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: prick up your ears
Posts: 20,553
Quote:
RenaissanceMan wrote
Why use random number generators in computers? Which... of course, can't actually generate truly random numbers. Why not use the total sales of bags of mulch? I'm sure that will corrolate with totally random events just as well.
good point. But if you want something truly random, use radioactive decay or something simlar. There could be a predictable mulch pattern.

You can always turn tricks for a few extra bucks. If looks are an issue, there's the glory hole option, but don't expect more than ... tips.
~ Philiboid Studge
Choobus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2006, 03:17 PM   #11
Gathercole
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
noosphere wrote
We hypothesize that our instruments will show anomalous deviations associated with Global Events when there is widespread participation or reaction to the event, and we can expect large-scale coherence and resonance
Look at their references. Hmm... all published in a journal called the "Journal of Scientific Exploration." Not a single article published in a widely respected journal? Something as groundbreaking as their work purports to be should be in Nature.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:31 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin - Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2000 - , Raving Atheists [dot] com frequency-supranational frequency-supranational