The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) has recently become known to the blogosphere. As discussed in this article, it’s a study undertaken by Princeton University researchers to determine the existence of a shared global human consciousness. What the researchers are now claiming, however, is that their measuring system (the proverbial “black box”) is managing to actually predict major world events before they happen, with a high degree of sensitivity but very poor specificity. Best as I can tell, this is not a hoax.
For my part, I have always believed in the existence of a shared pooled human subconscious. It fits with Jung’s treatise on the racial subconscious and helps to explain a variety of human conditions whose consistency is taken for granted, such as the commonality of cultural and artistic archetypes and the tendency for individuals in different countries to make the same discoveries simultaneously. (Newton and Liebnitz inventing calculus at the same time, for instance.) Mind you, genetic predispositions and historical overlaps can explain some of the shared archetype stuff, and a commonality of science can explain some of the simultaneous invention stuff. But I think it runs deeper than that; just not sure exactly how, though.
However, I take exception with the suggestion that this shared unconscious can be harnessed to predict the future, as the GCP analyses appear to suggest; the data are simply too flawed to make that determination. There’s something statisticians and epidemiologists call the “Texas sharpshooter fallacy” wherein a fellow shoots holes in the side of a barn and then draws a bull’s-eye around each of the bullet holes, making it appear as if he was on-target with each shot. In short, there’s an important event happening everyday somewhere in the world; it’s a simple matter to match the black box’s responses to any of these events and claim a remarkable hit rate.
As always, I could be wrong…. But I’m rarely so 😉
Hey check out the post immediately below this one. It was drafted on and uploaded from my PDA. Sweeet. I used a great PalmOS utility called hblogger. Why is this important? It means that so long as I have GPRS access, I can continue to update this blog no matter where I happen to find myself. And since I travel a great deal, this is no small feat!
this is a test of my new mobile blogging system. this post was written and uploaded on my treo 600 pda using hblogger. what y’all think?
[Posted with hblogger 2.0 http://www.normsoft.com/hblogger/]
“[The 9/11 terrorists] are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex.” –Salman Rushdie
Interestingly, if you take away the dancing and the beardlessness, you also have the things that fundamentalist Evangelical Christians appear to be against, too.
My latest thing is trying to play the sitar . I’m taking lessons with the Sitar School of Toronto. Here’s a pic taken in class:
While I can barely play the scales yet, our school is nonetheless having a performance in Ottawa on March 5: 610 Cumberland (at Laurier), Perez Building, Frieman Hall, $15 for adults and $10 for students.Here’s an interesting idea: online volunteering
Rarely have I found myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan on anything, yet we find resonance on Iraq.
Here’s another analysis of the Bushies exporting torture. So when does this regime get prosecuted for war crimes, hmmm? On a similar note, Eric Margolis discusses the new Pentagon spy system here.
And surprise, surprise, US government scienists are now reporting that they have been pressued to suppress data that might suggest a link between industry and environmental degradation. The assault on the intellect continues.
The brilliance of these people is that they are so beyond ridiculous, that no one is surprised anymore by their looking glass logic, hypocrisy or corruption, and so it no longer makes the news.