Friday, February 18, 2005

Random thoughts

Perhaps you have heard of the Global Consciousness Project. In this experiment, which has been going on for years, a group of 60 computers all over the world is generating a constant stream of random numbers 24 hours a day. The interesting thing is that on occasion patterns in the random number stream develop that should not be there by the laws of probability. These periods of coherence seem to correspond to global events such as the tsunami, 9/11, or Princess Diana's funeral, making it seem that the random flow is being affected by world consciousness at that point in time.

Can human consciousness, magnified many fold when cataclysmic world events are happening, cause aberrations in the usual random processes of nature? Quite possibly. But I am more inclined to look for an explanation in the philosophy of time, as propounded by Janet Sussman in The Reality of Time, rather than in the nature of consciousness. She says that time is a field that generates breakfronts when loops in the space/time continuum return to their source. These cataclysmic world events that we all feel so keenly are symptomatic of quantum shifts in the fabric of time. I think the real explanation of the random number anomalies is that it's a synchonistic phenomenon that registers on the level of consciousness the same as when you shift gears in the car; you feel a shift. And it registers simultaneously on the quantum level (the numbers are randomized according to observation of quantum-indeterminate events) because physical reality itself is shifting at these breakpoints.

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