This (archived) page is the repository for the occasional updates I have been sending to the GCP mailing list every two or three months over the years.
GCP/EGG Update December 13 2009
If you go to the GCP website homepage and you have your speakers on, you will hear a long, harmonious chord. For many years I have wanted to make music using the EGG data, but though there have been some interesting efforts, which you can listen to on the music page, none are like the
vision I have had. What I would like is a continuous, rich and complex
un-chord that shifts toward harmony when the Eggs are more correlated, occasionally becoming a soaring and magical chorus that I think of as
music of the noospheres :-) As you can imagine, this is something of a tall order, so it hasn't happened—yet.
On the other hand, there are examples now and then, of the sort of thing I'm drawn to. One of these is a CD by Jonathan Goldman named Ultimate Om, and this is what you hear when you come to the GCP website. I extracted just 8 minutes from a lovely, continuous chord by 100 voices (reading from the record jacket). It plays just once, though I was tempted to make it continuous, and there is a control you can use to turn it off, or to play it again.
Turning to a much more technically oriented matter, I became aware, thanks to Dick Shoup, that the synchronization of the Eggs running under Windows XP and Vista (possibly other OS as well) is not a close as we intend because the automatic Internet synchronization happens by default just once a week. It needs to be daily to work well. If you are hosting an egg under Windows, (or if you simply want your clock to be accurate) you can download and run a small executable program by Doug Knox that lets you easily change the update interval. This is a utility which he describes and links here. I have checked it to be sure it works and is a clean program. You can achieve the same result by editing the appropriate registry entry, but that demands care and some expertise. You can find detailed instructions here. Another option is to use one of the free/shareware time synch programs. We've been recommending Dimension 4 or Atom Time, both of which get good reviews.
We have several new events in the results listing, the most recent of which is the Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims seek to make once in their lifetime. Millions converge, and this year's Haj was a testimony to peace and organization. The heavens smiled, and the days of gathering and ritual went off without the tragic crushes that have marred the event in recent years.
The holiday season is upon us, and the New Year will be here before we know it. Quite a decade, and more to come. If you have been reading my update notes for a while, you will know me for an optimist. That's still true, but I am amazed at the scary contrasts between what we could be and what we are. It is a mystery we need to solve, sooner rather than later, because we seem to be racking up a daunting array of tensions. Here in the US, our pride in the older values that defined the country blinds us to many problems.
And yet, there is so much love around us, and there are so many good souls reaching out to touch others and bring the joy that is our birthright. It is a unique gift, this feeling of joy. I suspect it is made of the same stuff as the interconnections that apparently cause the Egg network to ring. I'm hoping that will become stronger and more harmonious as we move into the second decade of this still new century.
GCP/EGG Update October 27 2009
This is just a mini-update. It came to my attention that the Wikipedia article on the GCP has been changed substantially from a previously reasonable state by a couple of intensely self-assured skeptics, who
revert any efforts to correct errors or attempts to create balance. In the discussion page, I wrote a brief comment about the situation and was invited by someone to say what errors I find in the article, with a promise to try to fix them. Here is my discussion of skeptical bias in the Wikipedia GCP article. I placed the same list of errors and poor quality references in the discussion section of the GCP entry, to help people who may be interested in achieving a more responsible article.
GCP/EGG Update September 25 2009
I see I started this update three weeks ago. Time flies when you're having fun, and I must say, though the
fun is not exactly play and games, there is a lot to like about the busy activities of conferences, travel, and interesting guests at home.
Some quick notes on recent activities.
- Roger Nelson,
Is the Global Mind Real?a short, readable article in first issue of a new magazine, EdgeScience, published by the Society for Scientific Exploration. Check it out—and consider joining the SSE.
- Roger Nelson and Peter Bancel,
Exploring Global Consciousness,in preparation for Explore, the Journal of Science and Healing. This is designed for non-specialists, but covers the basics of the Project and then goes on to our recent analytical research program. There will be more detailed technical papers, but we have summarized new work showing 5 different measures of structure. Among the findings are that our correlations are affected by the distance between Eggs. We also have suggestive indications that on average the length of the effect is only a couple of hours.
These and other findings are material for a simple but powerful modeling effort that may show us what kind of effect we actually have. It appears to distinguish between
fieldmodels, and strongly favors the latter. A pre-publication draft will be available soon.
- Roger Nelson and Peter Bancel, a
Letter to the Editorof Journal of Scientific exploration in response to one from Helmut Schmidt commenting on the Global Consciousness Project. It is available as a page proof.
Peter Bancel, my primary collaborator, and the author of most the sophisticated analysis that goes beyond the formal event series, is in the States for a while (he normally lives in Paris). That results in opportunities to get together for concentrated thinking about the GCP. This is not only stimulating and interesting, it leads to more good questions. As a bonus, we always find some time—or it finds us—to talk more broadly about how the world might be put together.
This reminds me of the two very good meetings we have had with larger groups of people. I am setting a kind of expectation that we will have another. Perhaps there are some people reading this who would like to work on making such a meeting happen. If so, write me a note with some practical thoughts on supporting and organizing it. If several people want to work together we can proceed.
For whatever reasons, the GCP data seem steady, more so than is often the case for consciousness-related research. There are even some faint signs of increasing strength, but that is not a statistically sound observation—more a feeling for the data. What is perhaps more surprising (to my conservative inner observer) is that the strength is especially notable not in bad news like bombings and terror, but in the kinder, gentler modes we sometimes share.
I may have mentioned this before, but you may like to know we now have a
What's New box on the home page. It isn't often updated, but it is a place to find major changes and additions.
GCP/EGG Update May 6 2009
Some quick notes on recent activities.
Common Passion is now hosting forums for the Global Consciousness Project. (Scroll down the page to find the GCP forums.) I am hoping for volunteers to take over moderation of some of the individual forums. Folks on the GCP mailing list are especially welcome because you already have considerable knowledge of the project. The forums have just gone live, so I don't know exactly what to expect, but I am hoping for an organic, self-managing, useful and interesting discussion.
On May 5th I did an interview with Alex Tsakiris for skeptiko.com. His interest is to have both skeptics and researchers address issues that bear on the viability and validity of the work. The intent is to give skeptics an opportunity to state clearly and support their objections, and to give psi researchers an opportunity to address the criticism and if they think it is not valid to explain why not.
Around the same time I did an email interview with James Lumsden-Cook for his blog on parapsychology. It is up already and looks good. James had already done a summary of what the GCP is about, so the interview addresses some additional questions.
[Note: This item is in question. I told them I cannot sign the release form they require. I will let you know if the issue is resolved.]
On June 5th, I will be on the Coast to Coast late night radio show with George Noory. It will be 2:00 to 5:00 am! That's 11:00 pm June 4th Pacific time if I have it right. This is the first time I have been on the show, though I was asked in earlier days, and others including Dean Radin have talked about the GCP. I think it will be interesting, not least because a lot can happen in a 3-hour conversation. I hope the forums described above will help with what promises to be a flood of emails.
The Global Coherence Initiative is now live with the first of the Global Coherence Monitors. Very pretty data. Analysis is still in the works, along with lots of work to build the network.
Movies are now stable, and are automatically generated. The homepage shows the most recent (yesterday) and the
daily movies link leads to the archive, where you can play the standard or high resolution version full screen. Sound is in the development stage.
GCP/EGG Update April 4 2009
There are so many new things to mention that I am surprised to see it has been more than three months since I sent out an update notice. Time flies, more so as more of it has accumulated. There's a proportionality that is clear but not often noticed. When one is 20 years old three months can seem a long span since it is still is a substantial fraction of all the time one has experienced. But when one is 60 that span becomes like one month, and yet somehow three months of activity must be fit into this small fraction. So what is there to do? Why, enjoy it in all its fullness. This is where the ancient aphorisms about the moment come to force. We should be here now, and be conscious of this moment's possibilities.
So, on with a list:
The Inauguration of President Barack Obama. The new US government is looking energetic and whatever our political persuasions and wherever we live on this earthball, it seems the President is admired for his qualities. Even those who oppose the policies show respect for the man. In previous updates I noted that the GCP network has shown some signs of excitement during big moments of the campaign and election. The Inauguration follows in the same vein, but with a unique twist—the usual
Network variance data show a strong deviation, but with a trend in the downward direction. Since it is a big event, we have done contextual explorations, which augment the interest. The downward trend is associated with celebrations and meditation events. Those categories tend to show big positive deviations in our complemetary or orthogonal
Covar measure, and so does the Inauguration. Take a look. It's interesting.
GlobalBrainPainting is back, looking richer and more colorful. They offer to subscribers who help support their costs some extra value, including high definition versions, the ability to save or send images (use right-click menu), and a discussion forum.
A month ago we had a visit from a Dutch artist, Iebele Abel, who is from Utrecht. We had met last October and talked about his use of the REG technology we use for consciousness research in his art and music. His website gives some examples: He set up a Study Tour to New York and Princeton, to meet others interested as Iebele is, in the combination of technology and aesthetics. I introduced him to people at Princeton who hold a yearly competition and exhibition called the
Art of Science, and he also visited with the Psyleron group who make REGs. We're working on an Artist in Residence gig at the University.
And speaking of the combination of art and science, I have been having a wonderful time in the past few weeks working with Dale, a consummate professional with skills in programming and scripting that he's been applying to some of the aesthetic aspects of the website. (Seeing this description, Dale said thanks for the kind words, but I think I would have preferred:
...a ). First, he took on the task of rebuilding the Realtime display, making it both more reliable and more accurately reflective of the current data. He also added some features such as options to have various sounds (or no sounds) and the choice of appropriate sound accompaniment for the composite display and the individual egg displays. The new Realtime Display is also worth a look.
wandering minstrel programmer, Dale, shuffled by and offered to do a little craftwork for us before heading on....
With that in hand, Dale shifted attention to a moviemaker to bring back the daily movies, originally created by John Walker, showing the individual Egg activity during the day. The new movies use Flash, and are smaller files, making for more facile download and viewing, but they don't have sound—yet. This is a work in progress but I wanted to let you know they are available. The movies come in low and high resolution, with file sizes of wbout 350 Kb and 1 Mb, respectively. The homepage is graced with a sample, and links are provided to the movies for recent days.
We still have heads down to the analytical tasks too, and it is worth noting the current status of findings. Peter Bancel does the heavy lifting here:
- The formal experiment with 275 events (pre-specified hypothesis tests) cumulates to a 5-sigma effect.
- The primary measure is the network variance (Netvar), which is driven by pair correlations of the REGs at the trial (1-second) level.
- A second, independent statistic called Covar also shows a significant effect. It is correlated with Netvar, but the quality of its response differs.
- The network experiment naturally suggests studying the effect of distance. Correlations decrease with greater separation of REGs, becoming non-significant after 8000 Km.
- Defining an event's duration for our predictions is necessarily approximate, and this leads to the ability to determine the time course of the network response.
- These structural analyses give modestly significant results, and combine with the basic Netvar and Covar results to favor interpretation in terms of
data anomalies, not simple
- Perhaps most important, the convergent evidence, several independent measures and correlations, give confidence in the existence of structure in data where there should be none, and link that structure to something about human consciousness. There is always
so much to do, so many good questionsbut we have a solid foundation from which we can see the outlines of useful models and viable explanations.
We are working on two papers at this time, one for Explore and one for Journal of Scientific Exploration, which will ennumerate and, we hope, illuminate these findings.
A recent suggestion was for me to list the places where I will be attending conventions and giving talks. Here are some upcoming events:
- May 21-24, Istanbul, Turkish Parapsychology Meeting
- May 27-30, Charlottesville, VA, Society for Scientific Exploration
- June 19-21, Las Vegas, Remote Viewing Meeting
- July 18-22, Ubud, Bali, Noosphere World Congress
- August 6-9, Seattle, WA, Parapsychological Association Convention
- August 13-16, (uncertain) Viterbo, Italy, EURO SSE meeting