The Global Consciousness Project

What is the nature of Global Consciousness?

Independent Analyses

Because the data are publically available, a number of people have done independent analyses on the Global Consciousness Project. This page gives an annotated list of links and reports of analyses which are available for download or online reading. Some are large and comprehensive efforts, while others are pilot studies that investigate hypotheses and attempt to determine their promise, and still others are critical studies. I have undoubtably forgotten some people so I’ll add them later, and if you are one or know of some work that should be noted here, please let me know.

In alphabetical order:

Brad Anderson
is the creator and keeper of the GCP Dot, which shows the current level of coherence in the network. The warm colors indicate positive deviations of the squared Stouffer’s Z calculated for each second, but smoothed over a window of a minute. Cooler colors indicate negative deviations of this measure of network variance or internode correlations. The same data are used in the GCP Graph to show the history of dot excursions over the past 24 hours.
Peter Bancel
has become a partner in the GCP, having started by making a careful critical survey. His analysis skills and deep background in experimental physics enable a program of fundamental assessments of structure. These are detailed in recent papers in JSE and an upcoming paper for Explore. He already had made many contributions, including RNG Pair Correlations and Autocorrelations in GCP data from September 11 2001, a draft paper that looks at some of the details of intercorrelation among the individual and grouped nodes in the GCP network. It provided insight into the generality of the effect on the eggs from what appears to be a common influence. Peter established the presence of a strong autocorrelation (in 9/11 variance data). An example of digging deeper is considering the effect of the extreme pre-event deviations on 9/11, and determining that even if these are removed from the analysis, the overall anomalous effect remains strong. (Newer work shows these post hoc analyses must be interpreted with caution.)
has made the latest and greatest (and quite necessary) improvements in the Realtime Display, which is now quite stable and well-behaved. He also has recreated the Daily Movies, originally designed by John Walker, using flash programming, so the resulting movies are about 1/10th the size. They show the day/night cycle and the changing seasons. They are automatically generated, and the most recent (yesterday) is displayed in a small format on the home page. The movies also have a pointer graphic that shows the accumulated Netvar and Devar deviations.
Paul Bethke
has done some analysis, but his greater contributions to the project are in building and maintaining the Windows EGG software for data collection. Paul also helps sort out the problems egg hosts in the field have when there is difficulty with setup or getting through firewalls, etc.
Rick Berger
is an early supporter and is the principle designer for the GCP website. His critera for simplicity and elegance shaped a presentation that continues to look good and work well years later. That’s saying something, given the rapid changes in computers and the Internet.
Dick Bierman
is an early and frequent contributor. He is responsible for the original design of the real time display. In addition, he usually contributes some independent perspectives on major events, for example, the Turkish earthquake. Most recently, Dick has been managing a pilot study to look at a different approach to analysis, using a set of decoy datasets that are rated along with the actual target data.
Richard Broughton
has been a helpful kibbitzer on occasion, but also a direct contributor. To assess the effects in our first New Year transition, he considered the GCP data as if it were electrical data from a brain, based on the fundamental notion of the EGG project as a means to capture some glimmering of global consciousness. He set up an analysis to compare the analog of an "evoked response" for New Years for the times (which are places, timezones, of course) where there is much attention to the celebration ("Maxi-Celebration"), with other places where there is little celebration (Mini-Celebration). The graphs he produced are linked as Evoked Response. The difference is striking, and I think may even have surprised Richard a little.
George deBeaumont
was an invaluable contributor in the first couple of years as an independent analyst. No summary paper or collection shows his work, but a search of the website indicated he looked at the data and added something of value to the representation of something like 25 of the formal event analyses. Some examples are the examination of various graphic presentations and attempts to find standardized displays that would capitalize on multiple perspectives, while working toward analytical standards. George also helped with early studies of the impact of varying parameters such as the analysis block size, and did some crucially important independent replications of difficult analyses, such as that for the Pope’s pilgrimage to the middle east. Finally, and most spectacularly, George performed a deeper assessment of the Solar Eclipse, Aug 11 1999 which gave us one of the most important pieces of insight into the locality and relevance issue. I lost contact with George in late 2001, early 2002, and I hope he is well.
Taylor Jackson
recently took over the maintenance and development of the real time display. He has not only modernized the Java, but has added two versions of a Coherence display, one based on Egg variance, and one on the Stouffer Z across eggs.
Jukka Lantta
has been working on a neural network analysis of GCP data using an artificial life algorithm This investigation uses Pythia. Jukka is a neural network designer who has looked for patterns in other large random datasets, including the lottery. He says that did not work. In his analyses of the GCP data his intent is to find hidden correlations, but he maintains a skeptical perspective. He is not ready to draw conclusions, but in several iterations or replications of the tests, he has each time found surprising evidence of structure. The approach he is using measures a fitness parameter. If there were perfect intercorrelation among the eggs, the fitness would be 100%, so datasets that reliably show larger percentages contain more intercorrelation. This work continues.
Ed May
is skeptical, but collegial, and has contributed suggestions and critiques. Working with James Spottiswoode, he has invested time in confirming the quality of the data and the effect of our analyses. A paper describing their critique of our 9/11 analyses is available. Since people often ask about this criticism, I have made a commentary page based on a response to one of these queries. The comments address also a critique by Jeff Scargle. A more recent exchange (2007) on a professional discussion list gives more perspective on the May & Spottiswoode criticism, indicating its fundamental weakness.
Doug Mast
has worked on various schemes to get a clear reading on the question whether there may be global correlations among the eggs, not necessarily associated with particular events, but quite general, as would be expected if the egg network is responsive to changes in the environment. An early attempt is detailed as version one, and that is complemented by later efforts and integrations that are included in broader studies of Inter-Egg Correlation.
Mike Meyer
has done lots of background work, most importantly in assessing the empirical performance of the eggs. He has been carefully examining the actual behavior of the REG/RNG devices over long time periods, to see how much the real-world physical devices differ from their theoretical image. The most comprehensive version of his work is summarized in tables Comparing Theoretical and Empirical SD for GCP calculations. Other work is referenced in links from the Errors page, and directly in the SD per egg page. In addition, in a preliminary look at Local Sidereal Time Mike concluded tentatively that there was no correlation with or effect on the egg data. However he has now done a comprehensive analysis of 8 years of data Galactic and Celestial Effects on GCP Data, and it appears that there are some indications of structure after all.
Greg Nelson
is the principle architect for the EGG software, including the eggsh and basket programs and the communication protocols. His is the vision of an effective and reasonably secure system for collecting and maintaining a compact, reliable, ever-growing database. Together with John Walker, he created a powerful set of tools. Greg also is creatively helpful (in his abundant spare time) with the many sophisticated background tasks that keep the GCP running. But his contributions also include occasional pretty extras like the animated graphs of some of the 9/11 analyses.
Dean Radin
has contrubuted much to the project, including analyses of some of the big events. For the Y2K transition, he introduced a complex analytical approach that examined an aspect of the inter-egg variance. This inspired the simpler measure of variance deviation we have used since then for other New Years, and for other point-centered events. Dean’s work is included in the Y2K pages. He also made independent assessments of the GCP data associated with September 11 2001, many of which are included in joint publications and presentations, as well as his own publications. Following the 9/11 disaster, Dean went into an intensive analysis mode. A draft paper describes early versions. Subsequently, these and other, related analyses were published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration: GCP on 9/11, A very readable description of the project in the IONS Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Jaroen Ruuward
working with Dick Bierman, wrote the original code for the real time display.
Jeff Scargle
Occasionally, a sceptic will make an effort to understand what we are doing. Jeff was strongly critical, but thorough in his review of our 9/11 reports. Since people ask about this criticism, I have made a commentary page based on a response to one of these queries. The comments address also a critique by Spottiswoode and May. A more recent exchange (2007) on a professional discussion list gives more perspective on the May & Spottiswoode criticism, indicating its fundamental weakness.
Richard Shoup
has examined the data from the beginning of July to the end of October 2001 to see empirically how unusual September 11 is. A paper describing his survey, available at the Boundary Institute contains interesting perspectives.
Nishith Singh
contributed some stabilizing work on the real time display.
James Spottiswoode
also a skeptic, has contributed suggestions (e.g., do general correlations) and critiques. And, working with Ed May, James has invested time in confirming the quality of the data and the effect of our analyses. A paper describing their critique of our 9/11 analyses is available. Since people often ask about this criticism, I have made a commentary page based on a response to one of these queries. The comments address also a critique by Jeff Scargle. A recent exchange (2007) on a professional discussion list gives more perspective on the May & Spottiswoode criticism, indicating its fundamental weakness.
William Treurniet
has created a Windows compatible software package called EggAnalysis which can be downloaded for use by anyone interested in doing their own exploratory analyses of GCP data. He has applied these tools in his own independent assessments of Power Spectra and Ringing in EGG data. William applies his analytical skills to other interesting questions in exploratory science. Recently he has been examining apparent correlations of fluctuations in deep mantle earthquake activity with alternate 360 day long day-night periods of Mayan Calendar predictions. In 2009, he took on the question of possible periodic effects of group meditation on GCP EGG behaviour. This is described in a webpage detailing an analysis of Nexus meditations.
John Walker
while alphabetically late in this list, was one of the first and remains one of the most prolific contributors to the GCP in several domains. In addition to refining the original architecture for data collection, he built the automatic processes to produce the Eggsummary tables and graphs, the Data Extract facility, the Eggshell Analysis Package, the pseudorandom database, and many other hidden, background facilities. In addition, John created the Worldbeat daily movies, and has occasionally done some special analyses such as long-term correlations, which includes a look at the relationship of GCP data and local sidereal time.
Hans Wendt
has for years been looking at the GCP data from an engineering perspective, focused especially on correlations with external variables. Among the most interesting of his findings is a correlation between the effect size (Z-scores) of the GCP data and a composite measure of Interplanetary Magnetic Field changes. A draft version of his report is impressive, but it is not yet available in public form. (As of June 15, 2008 a draft is available at IMF.effects.doc, not for quoting or wider distribution.) One interpretive conclusion addresses the Experimenter Effect. Wendt says, There has been a question what role, if any, is played by the identity of the person who selects the events to be listed, etc. From the plots it seems it makes no difference. In any case there seems to be no special role of the chief investigator. I have omitted cases where the latter is mentioned first, followed by one or more others. Then there is the corollary where an Other was mentioned first and followed by Nelson. All the options were done as well but there is no real difference.
Bryan Williams
has been making confirmatory and complementary analyses of formal events for many subsets, usually taking a 15-minute blocksize version of the data. This provides some response to the question whether a general, external influence is at work, as opposed to an experimenter effect operating via fortuitous (albeit anomalous) selection of the analysis specifications. He has looked in detail at the 911 Attacks, as well as the Columbia crash, the Peace demonstrations prior to the Iraq war, and then the ending when the statue of Saddam falls. He continues to add this dimension to the analytical work, and also pursues a separate program of analyses that look at situations and events he chooses that are not part of our formal series, but which are akin to and sometimes included in the GCP’s Explorations intended to broaden our experience and potential understanding.

Tangentially related

Dr. Nicholas J. Gonzalez
Not directly relevant to the GCP/EGG work, an interview with Dr. Gonzales about his research on alternative treatments for cancer is worth a look if you are interested in the politics of science, as he has interesting insights that I think are generally applicable to the problems of research at the frontiers of mainstream science.