Antiwar Protests, Jan 18 2003
I received an email on January 22, asking whether the anti-war protests on January 18 2003 might have had any detectable effects on the Global Consciousness Project network.
I said I would be happy to explore this, but that it would be valuable to make a specific, formal prediction. I requested a beginning time and ending time for a period that contained or defined the major gatherings, according to Ashley's feeling for the times that seemed appropriate.
The news services indicated the protest gathering started at 11 am in Washington, and gave no exact time for end, but it looked to be around 3:30 or 4:00 pm. Ashley sent a note on the 23rd confirming the whole timespan was 11:00 to 4:00-ish, and specifying that "the times that I think would be most appropriate would probably be between 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM on Saturday the 18th." This is the period when the "consciousness of the anti-war protesters was most heightened ..." The formal specification was established as 1:30 to 3:30 PM (18:30 to 20:30 GMT), standard analysis, seconds resolution. Subsidiary analyses were planned as informal explorations of effects on individual eggs, and at other locations and times.
The first following figure shows the full network of 50 eggs, during the specified period. It has a Chisquare of 7366.7 on 7200 df, and corresponding p-value of 0.083.
The next figure provides a little context, in which it appears that Ashley's feeling about the "appropriate time" does contain the most prominent steady trend during the whole period.
We have lately been looking at the behavior of individual eggs, and beginning to ask whether those closer to the focusing event, in either spatial distance or relevance may show stronger effects. The next two graphs show our egg in Durham, NC, and two eggs in Princeton, NJ, respectively, during the formal analysis period. Their patterns are interesting, showing some extreme trends over 15-20 minute periods, but there is no clear indication of larger effects overall.
Finally, the last figure shows the period from 11:00 to 16:00 San Francisco time. This has a striking trend, going in the opposite direction from our standard prediction. Interesting, but interpretation is difficult.