Random Number Generators and ESP

In summary, researchers at Princeton University and a NYU graduate are exploring the possibility of global events causing changes in the collective human consciousness, as seen through statistical anomalies in random number generators. Their findings have sparked interest in building similar devices for personal use, but there is currently no solid evidence to support this hypothesis.
  • #1
It’s no secret that major world events send ripples of collective emotion through communities—witness the outpourings of grief and charity after 9-11, the Southeast Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina—but what if those ripples could be felt without the aid of TV broadcasts and Web news reports? What if such events made a psychic impression independent of any sort of human communication? Sounds like a bunch of New-Age hooey, but researchers at Princeton University, and one graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications program, are exploring the possibility with the help of random number generators.

Without going into too much detail about the Princeton project (you can read more about it at the link below), researchers found, over the course of a 30-year project, that during significant global events, random number generators present statistical anomalies that could conceivably be chalked up to changes in the collective human consciousness.

Even if you’re skeptical about this hypothesis, NYU grad Rob Seward’s thesis project, the “Consciousness Field Resonator,” is worthy of attention. Seward built a random-number generator (housed in a handsome copper box) that hangs on the wall and alerts users of statistical anomalies with a series of bright lights. When the lights flash, you’re left to wonder what’s causing the alert. Is it the bombing in Lebanon or Iraq? A World Cup victory? Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s birthday? Whole new systems of superstition could be built around this thing. Sure, it’s art first and foremost, but it’s also a really interesting use of technology and a kick-ass DIY project. Download instructions for making your own here. —Megan Miller


My explanation:
1) statistical anomalies are to be expected, due to the law of big numbers.
2) they're doing post-hoc predictions: "when statistical anomaly occurs => read the news and find the event"
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  • #2
What constitutes a "significant global event"?
"that could conceivably be" seems I don't know... NOT very convincing.

It also seems like a test for this could be possible, but won't happen. You'd have to launch some missiles at some villages or cities and see if anything gets picked up.
  • #4
Since there is no way to correlate events to observations, I am locking this. If these folks ever manage to make a predication or provide some logical evidence to show that these are anything more than random coincidences, we can pursue this further.

Related to Random Number Generators and ESP

1. What is a random number generator (RNG)?

A random number generator is a computational or physical device that produces numbers or sequences of numbers that have no pattern or predictability.

2. How do RNGs work?

RNGs use algorithms or physical processes to generate a series of numbers that appear random. These numbers are often used for statistical sampling, cryptography, and simulations.

3. Can RNGs produce true randomness?

No, RNGs can only produce pseudo-randomness, which means that the numbers generated may appear random but are actually determined by a set of rules or inputs. True randomness is impossible to achieve with a computational device.

4. What is the connection between RNGs and ESP?

Some people believe that RNGs can be influenced by extrasensory perception (ESP), allowing individuals to predict or control the outcome of random events. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

5. Can RNGs be biased?

Yes, RNGs can be biased if the algorithm or physical process used to generate the numbers is flawed or if there are external factors that influence the outcome. It is important for RNGs to be carefully designed and tested to minimize bias.

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