I recently discovered some fascinating research into what I can only describe as anomalies in randomness. Before you decide I’ve gone off the deep end, hear me out. Quantum physicists have found that the deeper they dig into the behavior of elemental particles, the more chance comes into play. Einstein was said to be so frustrated by the inevitability of this that he exclaimed “God does not play dice!” But increasingly, we are discovering a random chance component to everything at the subatomic – or Planck – scale. So scientists futz around with random number generators – the digital equivalent of dice. What you get from random number generators is – well, random. But if you analyze the numbers over time, you find that they fall into a classic bell-curve shape.
Are you with me so far? Well, here goes… Recently scientists have found that the behavior of random number generators can be influenced – by thought. Yep! Having a group of people concentrate on a random number generator while its running – focusing on making more 1’s than zero’s – can have an effect on the randomness of the numbers!
I’m not making this up! I’ll give you all the references at the end of this article!
But wait, it gets even more interesting! Researchers set up a dozen random number generators in various parts of the world, and had them send their data back to a central server at Princeton. The data, of course, was random. But again, the randomness fit that classic bell-shaped distribution curve. But then some of the researchers began to go back and look at the data around the times when millions of people were focused on a single event, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks. What they found was that the outputs of these random number generators began changing – the bell shape began shifting about an hour before the first attack, and the shifts deviated even more wildly for about 48 hours afterwards.
Since then, they have plotted the correlations between shifts in randomness and other events, terrorist bombings, the O.J. Simpson verdict, all are documented on the website. They have increased the number of these random number generators spread around the world to 30, and they correlate the data from them continuously in real time http://viagraspills.com.
They have even built a desktop widget – the colored button shown at the end of this article – whose color changes as a result of the continuous data from all these random number generators. If things are pretty much normal, the button shows up green or slightly yellowish. If the deviation is high, it goes towards red, of if low, it goes blue.
I haven’t quite figured out what to make of all this, but you have to admit the research is fascinating. You can read more about the meanings of the button’s colors by clicking on it. You can read more about the numbers changing on 9/11 here and about the overall project here.