Can a Random Event Generator Predict the Future?
February 15, 2005
posting on Slashdot Sunday caught my interest. Can subtle variations in random noise be used to predict the future? The Rednova article Can This Black Box See Into the Future? says that the network of random event generators (boxes generating random data using white noise) located around the world not only registered the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, but that the characteristic shift in the pattern of numbers started four hours before the planes hit. The system also showed statistically significant changes 24 hours before the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the Indian Ocean. The Global Consciousness Project is headed by Dr. Roger Nelson, an emeritus researcher at Princeton University and the project's Web site is hosted at Princeton University. The Global Consciousness Project, also called the EGG Project, according to the Web site, is an "international and multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists, engineers, artists and others. This Website introduces methods and technology and empirical results in one section, and presents interpretations and applications in another. The purpose of this project is to examine subtle correlations that appear to reflect the role of consciousness in the world. The scientific work is at the margins of our understanding, and our view is enriched by a creative and poetic perspective." The network uses three different types of random event generators (REGs). All rely on random data derived from a white noise source such as a resistor or semiconductor junctions. The REG design Web page describes the devices in detail and has links to Web pages with even more information. Reading the papers on the project's Web site, I noticed the researchers were careful to point out that because the network did not output any specifics about the type of disaster or other events, it wasn't practical to use it for predicting the future. Some events, such as New Year's celebrations, were shown to have a localized effect, while other events affected distant REGs. Is the network tapping into Global Consciousness? Does examination of the random data after events take place give researchers an opportunity to put their own bias on the outcome? Does the REG's use of quantum level effects to generate the random events explain the coherence that's sometimes evident in the network? The Web site might help come up with your own answers to those questions. Do you want to see what the network is doing now? Click on the Realtime Display link at the bottom of the Global Consciousness Project Web page and monitor the data yourself! If the display goes crazy, you may want to turn on the TV set!
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