Monday, January 27, 2014

Global Consciousness? There May Be An App For That…

Six years ago this February, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR) shut its doors for the last time1. Spearheading maverick research on consciousness and human/machine interactions, PEAR’s alumni have presented provocative and contentious findings serving to enflame groups like Guerilla Skeptics. For example, Roger Nelson’s random event generator registering fluctuations in global consciousness during New Year’s Eve, 9/11 (nevar fergit), and the death of Nelson Mandela2.
PEAR’s dream is still alive through Psyleron. They’re selling a Random Event Generator for $349 USD3 so everyone has the opportunity to collect data on the phenomena of global consciousness. Still the bar for entry is quite high.
Maybe not for long.
There’s an Indiegogo campaign poised to revolutionize how we use our smartphones. When released, it will supposedly transform your phone into a true random number generator (RNG). This is a surprising development since most RNGs are pseudorandom, susceptible to being gamed if someone breaks the key. A very simple RNG is taking a string of 8 numbers (k) 86753099, saving the middle four integers (s) 7530, then perform s^2 56700900, and save the middle four integers of that number. Rinse, lather, repeat as necessary. Knowing k is 86753099 can cock up everything since the numbers aren’t truly random.
The app, so far, is a mix of Twitter and Foursquare. Not only are you tracked in the name of science, your microblog entries are compared against the background consciousness (courtesy of their Random Event Generator (REG)) in your vicinity, and fellow users. Bonus, the app’s going to be free. Psyleron currently offers a random event generator service, SyncTXT, that’s $6.49 a month. No word if that’ll be phased out when the app goes gold.
Over the past ten days, the campaign’s earned $8,546 USD which is a strong start for their $100,000 goal. Appreciate the campaign is “flexible funding”, meaning the campaign will receive all funds raised even if they miss the goal. You’re not dealing with (alleged) thieves like Rick Dyer and his ilk. Roger Nelson and Adam Curry (no, not the guy from MTV) are consulting on development, along with Dean Radin4 and many others involved in PEAR, psi research, and similar fields.
So reach deep, real deep, into your pockets! We don’t want to hear no jingling, just the crinkling of paper, and give what you can afford to make this vision a reality.