General Description and Proposal
The impulse for the research proposed here can be traced back over the past 35 years, during which time excellent experiments have demonstrated that human consciousness can interact with delicately balanced physical systems, in particular, REGs. During the past five years, these experiments have been brought out of the laboratory and into "field" situations where the REG devices show characteristic behavior in the presence of people participating in deeply engaging activities. Most recently, the experiments have been extended to gather data during extraordinary global events such as the funeral ceremonies for Princess Diana, with results indicating a measurable effect correlated with the widely shared emotional resonance. It is research which suggests that further explorations might be very productive.
The Global Consciousness Project can be conceptualized as an international network designed to record subtle, direct interactions of globally coherent consciousness with a world spanning array of sensitive detectors. The core of the GCP is a network of REGs placed to record data at sites around the world and report it via the Internet to central computers where the data will be automatically archived, analyzed, and displayed on a dedicated website. To do this experiment, a refined protocol built on the foundation of earlier, rigorous anomalies research has been developed. The data will be integrated in a variety of standard, well-tested analyses summarizing local and global statistics, with particular attention to anomalous deviations from chance expectation and unexpected structure in the data arrays, correlated with predictions made prior to data acquisition. Correlations with major events that engage the world population will be the primary vehicle for tests of coherence and patterns in the globally distributed REG data.
The technological heart of the system will be the central servers, the computers where all data will be gathered and redundantly archived. These machines will run sophisticated programs to create and maintain the growing database generated continuously at a rate of one or more data-points per second at each node in the EGG network. Here also will reside the analytical software and the integrative algorithms designed to reveal patterns and structure in the data. Common statistics will be calculated, but also a variety of refined measures developed in recent years to extract subtle information from backgrounds of random noise. The analyses will be augmented by graphical displays designed to serve both scientific and aesthetic purposes. Data-driven music may be generated, and may allow perception of inherent patterns that escape conventional analysis.
A.3. Three Phases
The GCP is designed in three phases, the first of which is focused primarily on building and testing system components in a small network. Phase 1 and part of the subsequent phase will be conducted with considerable attention to confidentiality to allow the acquisition of as large a database as possible prior to broader public engagement. This will allow an assessment of effects of growing public awareness due to publicity that might -- if the fundamental EGG hypothesis is correct -- create perturbations which can be observed in the data.
During this period, preparations will proceed for Phase 2, intended to have up to 28 sites at opportune university, commercial, and individual sites. Phase 2 will permit the implementation of more complex analysis procedures derived from computational technologies such as quantitative electroencephalography, which require input from a certain minimum of sources.
Assuming the results of the second
phase show structure in the REG data warranting deeper exploration, Phase 3 will increase
the number of sites to 100 or more and will ask more incisive scientific questions. This
phase will address issues generated from first principles as well as questions raised by
previous results. It will explore effects of simple factors such as the relative density
of the network's spatial array, and more complex issues including potential applications.
We expect to implement web-based forms to provide public access (qualified by suitable
automatic filtering) for people who wish to download data for well-defined analyses.