Monday, July 2, 2012

Simple Online Psi Experiment

Could a simple online, open source, REG (Random Event Generator) experiment change the attitudes of the media, public, and most scientists toward psi research?

Such an experiment might consist primarily of a web page with two windows: one displaying an image or series of images (photos, graphics, words, etc.) intended to evoke emotional responses from the users; and another showing a webcam view or photograph of the REG. The website visitors would be invited to view the image and 'convey' to the REG their thoughts and feelings in response to the image(s). A third window might be included with a numerical or graphical representation of the REG output.

The experiment would not test individuals, but rather the collective influence of all users logged on at a particular time.

The experiment might be run continuously; or only for a minute or so several times an hour, with blank windows and a countdown clock displaying the time left before the next run. The details of each test--image sequence and timings--might be specified in a schedule file read by the web page software; and every few hours, or day, the data would be available for download: image sets, the schedule file, and REG output stream.

In a sense this is a simplified variant of the GCP (Global Consciousness Project), using a single REG and artificial stimuli rather than real world events, adding the request to intentionally convey to the REG the viewer's response to the stimuli, and the element of (from the perspective of the REG) 'the sense of being stared at'. In another sense, it would be somewhat analogous to the common human experience of a crowd reacting to a speaker or performer.

If this were undertaken as a cooperative effort by the larger community of REG and other researchers, with many contributors, then it might be relatively easy to assemble a collection of links to open source statistical software; introductions to statistics for REG analysis (perhaps including video tutorials); step-by-step explanations for analysis of the data, explained if possible at a high school level; and other online resources.

Users and other interested parties--skeptics and 'believers' alike--could be encouraged to do their own statistical analysis, and to discuss the results in a forum. Professional statisticians might use their own software and methods (including the many already in use for GCP), but 'amateurs' (especially students) could participate if open source spreadsheet or other methods were made available for download on the website. Others might submit sets of images, or choose from the images already available on a download page, and specify their own image sequences and timings for a test run--dozens of different versions of the experiment could be run and analyzed in a few days or weeks.

Thus a high school or college class, for example, might contact the experiment administrator to submit or choose a set of images, and specify the sequence and timings to run their own test; then download the data, and use the various open source methods (linked to on the website) to do their analysis in time for their next class. And the design of the experiment would be simple enough that anyone seriously interested in the results--e.g., any university or research organization--could repeat the experiment by building or buying a REG, and running the experiment on their own web server.

Such an experiment would not be intended as pioneering psi research (although in some sense it might be), nor would it be intended to 'prove' anything; but rather as a very simple, open, and public experiment attempting to find a way to demonstrate what has already been proven repeatedly in decades of REG and other psi research--a demonstration that, except for the details of the REG design and statistical methods, could be easily understood by the news media and the public. And unlike experiments conducted in a laboratory and eventually described in a peer reviewed journal, it would be conducted in full view of the public, with results made available on a daily basis. Whatever the virtues of the peer review system, in the matter of psi research it has simply served to suppress research and maintain the current materialist theology of science.

In a sense, it would be more of a 'public relations' or educational project than a research project, and could be used to involve and engage a much larger audience--interested amateurs, especially college and even high school students, and the news media--and thus, in effect, to bypass the 'experts' whose opinions have so powerfully limited public acceptance and understanding, and funding for consciousness research.

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