Princeton's experiment goes like this: Take a quantum device that produces
a true random binary output (not like a the rand() function).
Create a plot such that every time the device outputs a one,
the line goes up, otherwise it goes down. Sit a human in front
of the screen and ask it to mentally will the line up or down.
It has an effect. Consciousness is misunderstood by Western
Science, and this experiment is one of the first serious
attempts at looking into it. My take is that I've seen this
quite a few places over a few years, and have not heard much
counter-evidence, but it's still hard to believe. However,
coming from an AI background, the only difference I can see
between my mental processing and what a computer can
do is complexity (which I am sure we
will master) and that I am conscious... and I don't
see in what way consciousness helps me survive versus your
After an episode of Babylon 5 with a nice twist,
Allan Doyle's contribution
was somewhat spooky...
(notice the Psi Corps sign on their page)
has received U.S. Patent No. 5830064
... the first patent
for a device that can assess the influence of a person's
mental intentions on the outcome of a random event.
As Allan says "Gotta wonder what kind of range they claim
. If you take this to be true, should it be
patented? If you take it to be false, it's another fine example
that anything can be patented. They've got some
paper abstracts online
. They are a
spin-off from Princeton University's
which has had some pretty interesting results.
The beginning of their book is available online
Remember that getting a patent does not mean very much. There is
a possibly apocryphal story of a British inventor who wanted
to prove that anything could be patented. So he patented a
foolproof method to kill a fly: hit it with a large heavy
object such as a hammer. He duly received his patent.
Finally this article is obviously controversial, being on the
margins of modern science. It's very easy to flame, so don't
bother. If you have some criticism of their method, some
knowledge of value to the others, please contribute. But
mindless flames waste everybody's time, and reflect poorly