The Global Consciousness Project

What is the nature of Global Consciousness?

Blog years


Roger Nelson

GCP blog

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 19 2012

The Global Consciousness Project is in its 15th year. We started designing and building in late 1997, gathered resources and invited the help of friends over the next several months, and collected the first network data in August 1998. We will soon see the 15th New Year celebration, and as always, predict a modest change in both the network variance and the device variance. I especially like the latter measure because, graphically, it looks like what I think so many of us feel—a light-hearted focus on a moment in time. Abstract, but meaningful. As midnight approaches, we look for our partner to give a hug, or we get ready to lift a glass in a toast to the beginning of a new long moment in time. We relax toward this utterly non-material event. And the device variance does the same—its fluctuations decrease as midnight approaches, and then afterward recover to a normal level.

On a different scale, this is what I see happening on the 21st of December, which so many around the world have been anticipating for months or even years. This too is an abstract moment to which we humans have attached importance. And this makes it meaningful. Thankfully, the voices of those who imagine apocalypse have become somewhat muted, and most of what I hear these days, as the 21st comes near, are invitations; opportunities to connect; information about meditations to join; and synchronous singing to celebrate possibility. Above all, what many of those voices are saying is that love is alive and well. I am looking forward to it. Whether or not there are any big changes as many predict, we will have come to attention more than is usual, and that can't be bad.

We will have a formal hypothesis test. It is complicated in one sense because there are so many events that might be the sort we look for. On the other hand, there are so many that we can make the event definition rather simple. We will just include them all by setting the formal specification to span the times we know people will be engaged. Then, as time allows, we can also do some more pointed analyses in the exploratory mode, just to see how they look. So, the formal GCP event will be more than 24 hours, beginning, say, two hours before noon UTC on the 21st, and continuing to take in a dozen or more of the larger events I've seen promoted, ending at 20:00 UTC on the 22nd. A few selected search terms on Google will bring you to many events, and even more efforts to sell either the fearsome end of the world scenarios, or the dawn of a new age propositions. One good collection is given by the Shift Network, which lists something happening in most time zones. Many of these events are listed below. I'm sure there will be other things earlier on the 21st and later on the 22nd, but this will do for our study.

                    02:00 am PST (10:00 UTC 21 Dec) to include 11:11, a mystical moment 
                    10:00 am PST (18:00 UTC) for 30 mins 8000 Yogic Flyers South America
                    12:00 pm PST (20:00 UTC) for 3 mins First wave of Global Unification
                    14:00 pm PST (22:00 UTC) for 15 mins Ise Oluwa synchronized song
                    16:00 (00:00 UTC 22 Dec) Teotihuacan drumming, 700 drums
                    18:00 (02:00 UTC) Qigong broadcast
                    20:00 (04:00 UTC) World Peace Prayer, Mt Fuji Japan
                    22:30 (06:30 UTC) One Billion Oms, India
                    12:00 (08:00 UTC) Midnight Breathe As One, LA
                    02:00 (10:00 UTC) Muslim prayers to Mecca
                    04:00 (12:00 UTC) Findhorn in Scotland
                    06:00 (14:00 UTC) Various events South America
                    08:00 (16:00 UTC) Hebrew prayers, Jerusalem
                    10:00 (18:00 UTC) Unity Village Chapel prayers, Missouri
                    12:00 noon (20:00 UTC) Final Wave, Global Birth Moment Agape Center LA

Meanwhile, we have seen a small burst of events recently, ranging from celebration for some (the US elections), to terrible tragedy. The unspeakable horror visited on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT is something I would rather not have to put on the GCP list of events. But it must be there, as an example of the worst kind of shock to most of us. Of course it is in some ways very much the kind of tragedy visited on families and communities all around the world where there is armed conflict, terrorism, and war. This is just a sharply focused version of what we (in the US and other Western countries) otherwise do not really see. 20 children 6 or 7 years old murdered, executed in the most brutal way.

The US Presidential election is given attention all around the world, as I know from my international friends. Many of them would vote if they could, since our President wields so much influence and affects what happens in almost every country. This election was also more bitter than most, and seemed to provide a clearer choice than often is the case. So we took a look of course.

These and other recent event analyses can be accessed from the What's New box on the GCP home page, or by going to the huge table (more than 420 events by now) of results, also linked from menu on the homepage. The bottom line statistic, compounded over all formal events, now stands at more than 6 sigma (standard deviations). This corresponds to odds against chance on the order of 100 billion.

There are some new papers coming soon, including short descriptions and chapter length, inclusive reports. Stay tuned.

We are entering or already in the midst of Holiday Celebrations, and I hope you will be gathering with friends and family. May the end of the Mayan calendar correspond with the beginning of many good years ahead.

GCP/EGG Update October 29 2012

It seems we are seeing more often the extreme weather events that experts say are one of the obvious results of climate change. The coastal waters off the Eastern shores of the US are several degrees warmer than usual, and this is a source of the huge energies we are witnessing in Hurricane Sandy. Those energies are beginning to impact Princeton, NJ, where I live, even though the storm center is still 200 miles away and won't make land fall for 8 or 10 hours. It is likely that we'll lose electrical power for a few days, and since I've been planning to send an update note, now is a good time for it.

Later today I'll set up some exploratory analyses to look at the GCP data during the major part of the storm—even though our technology is better applied to relatively brief events of a few hours. How to assess the impact on GCP data from events that unfold over several days or even longer periods is an interesting problem to consider, and we don't have a good formal approach. Most of the events we examine are of a few hours duration, comprising the spreading response or developing world-wide consciousness of some brief moment with great impact. An explosion, or a crash, and also many natural disasters are just momentary flashes on the screen of consciousness, though with a lingering impact over a few hours in most cases. Sometimes, as in the case of the great earthquake in Haiti, or the tsunami in Japan, it takes days or even weeks for the magnitude of the disaster to sink in. But GCP's basic analysis depends on precise timing to work—because the world is complex and noisy with possible events, we depend on sharp focus to exclude potentially confounding events that are temporally near to the one of interest. If we analyse data from the days-long battering of a hurricane, we will be certain to include time during which any number of other events might engage the global mind. We aren't clever enough yet to be able to sort the disparate potential sources of effects in the GCP data.

We learn from efforts to learn, however, so it pays to go ahead with explorations. What I will do is look for an increase in the number and magnitude of spikes of deviation over the several days when the hurricane is a major focus of attention, compared with less exciting periods of time. This might lead to a more formal kind of analysis, in which we are able to make specific predictions about changes in statistical characteristics.

My wife and I going to Durham, NC, in a few days (if the storm doesn't intervene). I'm scheduled to give an evening presentation on November 2 for the Rhine Research Center. If you are in the neighborhood, please come by. You can find more information at

I have been quiet for a while, mostly focused on the regular maintenance of the EGG network, and on several papers and a chapter for a book in Stanley Krippner's series on parapsychology. Work like this makes me think more deeply than I'm otherwise inclined to do, and that brings up interesting conundrums. One that is always near the surface is the question, how does it work physically? A full answer to that kind of question is really difficult, I think, because it requires attention not just to the physics, but to psychological factors for sure, and something that might as well be called the spiritual context. Without going into great detail, what that implies is that it will not be sufficient to measure distances and count bits, even when that is supplemented by the inclusion of emotions and attitudes in our equations. It means that there is a greater depth and a wider scope that we must recognize as part of the picture. In a metaphor, it is like fruit which will not ripen until it is time. That time is tantalizingly near, but it remains unpredictable because there are so few good minds paying attention to real and serious questions about the mind—where is it, what is it made of, what limits does it have and which limitations does it breach?

People ask me, for example, what I think will happen on December 21 2012. They are motivated, probably, by the entertainment industry's perpetual effort to capture our attention, and productions based on their belief that disaster and danger will do that. Thus, we hear fanciful documentary reports, and are encouraged to see horror movies about the end of the world as foretold in the Mayan calendar. That, of course, is not a sensible interpretation, as the Mayans will tell you if you ask. But on the other hand, probably by remarkable coincidence, the timing of the end of the Mayan calendar (actually, the end of an age in the calendar) happens to come about the time when we humans really must get serious about the world we affect so powerfully, and until now, so destructively.

I don't know if there will be a change in perception and attitude in December, but it is possible the very wide publication of stories and expectations about this allegedly singular time will make it so. We do know that huge numbers of people will be paying attention, and there are a great many organized efforts to mark this time. So of course, the GCP will set a formal event for the 21st of December, predicting that the attention and focus of millions will in fact create a moment of global consciousness capable of changing the behavior of our instruments. Let's pray that it will also change the way we live on this beautiful blue jewel of a planet.

Now to set up that analysis ... Be well.

GCP/EGG Update June 29 2012

It's time, and it's hot outside so I am taking advantage of my basement office which pretty much always remains cool. Like a cave (indeed many people would see it as a mancave of the classic sort.) In any case, I want to do a bit of an update. So much is going on that this may be short, even though the list is long.

I just came back from the SSE meeting in Boulder and as usual I was charmed and informed and sometimes nonplussed, in a good way. My wife says, This is not just a meeting, it's a family reunion. That's true, but the family grows and changes. I think a third of the people there were new this year, and that's good. As an example, I got to meet two young physicists from New Orleans who came at my recommendation because it is a place to meet people working at the edges—as Duhe and Thomas plan to do. In August I will be going to my other family meeting, the annual gathering of the professional researchers in the Parapsychology Association. That will be in Durham, NC, and if you are interested, go to the PA website for more information. This meeting is more tightly focused on anomalies relating to consciousness, but is always rich with surprises at the edge of what we know—or hope to know.

Just this morning I added another event to the growing list I call the Obama effect series. Yesterday, the US Supreme Court issued its ruling on a suit that might have crippled or destroyed the health care law pushed through by Obama and the Democrats in an effort to bring the US within striking distance of a modern, reasonable healthcare system. The court largely validated the Affordable Care Act, in a ruling that surprised most people, not least because conservative Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding vote in a 5/4 majority. While this is mostly of concern in the US, there is attention around the world because it has been such a major issue in our noisy political culture. The result is positive and substantial though not significant. I have added it to the lengthing series of what I call Obama effect events, which now total 11 and have a combined odds of about 1 in 2000 of being chance fluctuation.

We are making progress on setting the GCP DOT running again. It's been slow, but I think we're getting close. It actually works, but puts too big a load on the external server where it is running—so it crashes. That is indeed close. Probably can be fixed by an infusion of money for larger server capacities, but we are looking at a couple of alternatives, including offers to host it. The we in this case is really two volunteer programmers, Kevin in England, and Oliver in South Africa, with me as admiring audience. Wish them success—and think positively about manifesting the necessary resources.

There are an increasing number of radio, tv, and movie presentations of the GCP, and I recently put together a list of YouTube versions or excerpts of these, using the search terms global consciousness and roger nelson. The latter produces quite a few hits, split between Prince Rogers Nelson, the singer, and me/GCP, with a few others. The former produces mostly GCP hits in the first page or two, and includes several I had never seen that use the data and concepts in art pieces. I have posted a list of Links to YouTube videos in roughly appropriate categories, including Scientific, Radio and TV Programs, Non English Language, Art and Music, and Miscellaneous. If you know of others that should be on the list, please send me a link. And if you have a yen for an artful look, check out this link and the others under Art and Music. Oh, also, if you see errors or totally inappropriate items, feedback is welcome.

There seem always to be things brewing. I've had really interesting meetings with some entrepreneurial folks recently, and may get involved in major new aspects of the Project, possibly including expansions. There are a couple of directions those might take, one being a greatly increased data rate for the existing system, and another being a great expansion of the system taking advantage of new technology. Tantalizing possibilities in both directions, and one or the other or both will happen when the logistics fall into place. I'm thinking a bit about crowdfunding as a way the money aspect of the logistics might work. If you have experience with that, and an interest (and time) to work on it, send me a note.

Things that are brewing also include what seems to be an increasing growth rate in the number of people and organizations with aligned purposes. That is, I have incoming from ever more people with the desire and often a very active program aimed at helping to create a bright future. We all know how much the road is uphill, but when people are undaunted, purposeful, and persistent, the climb is possible. And when they/we are joined together, it becomes a pleasure. Check out, for example, 1 Giant Mind, a group that has a long view, and an integrative approach. Hmmm, just what we had in global mind.

GCP/EGG Update April 6 2012

Spring is in the air in Princeton. Beautiful weather, just right for working in the garden. But for the moment, I am taking some time at the keyboard for it has been some time since I provided an update on the GCP. There tends to be a lot going on in the background, and without a map much of what happens in the Project remains almost invisible.

The homepage does have a What's New box, which always lists the most recent events, and occasionally notes something else that may be of interest. For example, I have just added the analysis of a terrorist attack in Mogadishu, a poignant tragedy because the attack came as the Somalians were beginning to feel the years of chaos might be ending. We can hope that hope will return. Only 10 people were killed, but the effect is out of proportion to their number because of the symbolic interference and interruption of progress. The theater that was bombed was only now opened after 20 years of social unrest preventing anything culturally enriching.

Just two days earlier came yet another in what has become a series of horrifying, and for most of us, senseless shootings in schools. This time in a Christian nursing college in Oakland. In this case as in the Mogadishu bombing, a relatively small number of people died, but the shock to our interpersonal humanity is a grave indicator of somthing seriously amiss in our culture. We wonder each time, briefly it seems, how anyone could do this, what happened to so twist a person to such cold, inhmane acts. But we don't give these moments the serious examination required to understand, and thus we are doomed to see it again and again.

I think these are acts of desperation by people who do not belong, who are completely disconnected from the rest of us. The lone killer of innocent students is simply alone, and probably unconscious of the source of his pain and anger. He is not quite human because we are social beings and he has failed to connect. But there is a conscious separation and powerful intention on the part of the terrorists in Somalia. They have coached themselves to be outside the society, actually to regard the center of the society as enemies. Their motivation is to destroy the order and establish a new form they have convinced themselves is correct. There is no understanding of a long and painful history which teaches that human society requires interaction and trust, not force and disdain. Both cases are tragic failures of the normal human condition, and both surely arouse in the global consciousness deep concern and compassion. At the global level these are signs of malfunction, of something like a wound or illness. They seem to create widespread effects—even in nominally separate physical systems like the network of Eggs that is the GCP instrument.

Although I have not yet consolidated them, we have a growing collection of berserker events like the Oakland school shooting. It is possible to put make a series of similar events and test the results for the consistency that should be expected based on their commonality. We have done that for a dozen events in which Barack Obama was central, and found a significant composite outcome, with most of the individual events showing deviations in the same direction. A similar assessment of large-scale meditations shows strong deviations in many cases, but they are as often positive as negative. The overall result is thus essentially null by our standard measure, but there is a suggestion of excess variance across the subset results: p = 0.067. The question whether differences in the type or style of organized meditation matters to the effect on the GCP data is worth pursuing.

On a very positive note, we have an Egghosts map and table again! It turns out one of the newest Egg hosts, in Capetown, South Africa, is also a Java wizard (and more). He's Oliver McDermott, and in the course of just a couple of days, he revamped the Egghosts page, which had been out of commission for a long time due to changes in the workings of Google maps. Oliver also brought the structure up to date and into compliance with current web programming standards. I'm very grateful. We are still missing the GCP Dot, but I think that is coming close to a rebirth thanks to Kevin in London.

Occasionally I do Explorations of events I don't think qualify as global. In mid-March, I lost my oldest brother. He was 78 years old, and had gotten more fragile over the last year, so we knew he was on the way. He was a remarkable man, physically handicapped from birth, but very bright and blessed with a rich and charming personalty. He was much loved, and became an important part of the family in his nursing home. As I had done when my mother died, I decided to take a look at the GCP data. Although single events can't be reliably interpreted, nevertheless we might learn something. The graph of data on the day of Louis's passing is pretty interesting, and those who are inclined to think the experimenter (that's me in this case) drives the GCP effect may find apparent support for their view.

I will add some more to this update later. This is now done.