Global Consciousness and the Coronavirus Crisis

Apr 10, 2020 by

Starting in late February, 2020, the news in US media has been filled with concerns about the Coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan, China. In the US, there were reports on the disruptions overseas and analysts began warning that there would be a worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since then, we have recognized that we are dealing with a pandemic that will likely infect a large proportion of the world population. In connection with the physical spread of the virus, is another “viral” effect – on the world’s economies – with serious and continuing disruptions of business. This can be seen in the activity in the stock market which has fluctuated with unusually large changes over the last few weeks (with daily drops of between 5-13%, and smaller recoveries).

The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) network is designed to capture evidence of a possible unconscious interconnection of large numbers of people experiencing similar emotions. We predict that when events drive people to shared experience and engagement, there will be changes in the data from our network of dozens of random number generators (RNG) around the world. Our hypothesis is that normally random output from our widely-separated RNG devices begin to show similar trends during “global events.” Namely, when a mass consciousness forms in response to a powerful world event, we will find deviations from expected randomness in data from our world-spanning network of physical RNGs. These experiments track defining global events (e.g. an explosion, an earthquake, an attack) followed by a few hours for the global response to develop due to spreading news of the event. We’ve also tracked events which are less sharply focused, but still engage millions, for example Earth Day, or the Kumbh Mela celebration when tens of millions gather to bathe away their sins in the Ganges in northern India.

The GCP instrument – the worldwide network of RNGs – is designed and works well for focused events of a few hours duration and can’t readily be applied to long-lasting turmoil such as the slowly developing coronavirus pandemic. However, while the GCP readings aren’t designed to answer specific questions about the pandemic, we were curious about the effect and decided to do some sampling to see whether the network is responding. We looked at the seven-hour long period when the US stock market is open, on several days beginning with March 11, 2020. The results cannot be interpreted rigorously and should not be taken as evidence for reliable scientific conclusions, however they are interesting, to say the least.

The results for March 11-13, 16, and 17 showed strong departures on four days, one upward and three downward. The fifth case showed typical random variation. This is an informal assessment, but it seems meaningful that four of the five samples show strong departures from expectation. What this means is that the network was not producing normal random data during this time. The first figure below shows the data from March 17. The odds against chance for such a departure are about 50 to 1.

GCP Network Variance on 17th Mar 2020, 09:30 to 16:30 EST

GCP Network Variance on 17th Mar 2020

I assessed one other event related to the Coronavirus crisis, but in a different way as it was a single, sharply focused event. Pope Francis made a special Urbi et Orbi, on Friday, March 27th at 6:00 pm, praying for relief from the suffering brought by the Coronavirus so tragically affecting Italy and the rest of the world. I extracted and processed the corresponding data (two hours beginning at 18:00 CET). The figure shows a positive departure from what we would expect which supports GCP’s hypothesis.

GCP Network Variance on 27th Mar 2020, 16:00 to 18:00 CET

GCP Network Variance on 27th Mar 2020

While we cannot determine that this information represents our response to media moments or details of the market, the patterns are interesting and suggestive. We do not claim they show a “global consciousness” or represent our human condition, however, the pandemic and the market fluctuations provide a unique opportunity to investigate further.

For more information on this Global Consciousness Project experiment, download the report.

About the Author

Roger Nelson, PhDRoger Nelson, PhD, is Director of the Global Consciousness Project (GCP). He created the GCP in 1997, building a world-spanning random number generator network designed to gather evidence of coalescing global consciousness. His focus is on mental interactions, anomalous information transfer, and effects on physical systems by individuals and groups. Roger is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

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