Breaking news: your mind can affect the world around us. Sounds like science fiction, right? Or possibly some kind of new age theory that requires crystals and hemp to work. Well, put your scepticism to one side, it might not be so crazy after all.
Adam M Curry is a hardware hacker and tech entrepreneur. He is also the founder of the Collective Consciousness App, a tool you can download onto your phone to chart your own interconnectedness with your environment. The concept relies on a random number generator, created inside your phone by the app, which is the kind of chaotic system that research at PEAR lab and the Institute of Noetic Sciences has shown can be affected by human consciousness. We spoke to Curry after the crowdfunding of his project had finished short of target, as the technology entrepreneur began the process of talking to investors about funding the app.
Can you give a brief overview of the app concept?
The app is the world’s largest consciousness experiment. It’s based on several decades of scientific research, that shows that our minds can have an unexplained ordering effect on random physical phenomena. As science moves forward, it’s starting to give us a picture of this interconnection of reality and our minds [over 80 scientists recently called for more research into the area]. Before this, it was commonly thought that our minds are just a side-effect of the physical universe. The reason why these experiments are important is because it’s evidence of the connection between mind and reality. So, the app uses that connection to show its users it exists.
What kinds of effects of consciousness could people be seeing?
Say you meditate every day. The app is running all the time in the background, but say your spikes in consciousness activity coincide with when you meditate. It’s not that meditating is some kind of powerful activity that affects the world all the time, it’s that you’ve created a subjective association between that activity and the app, such that you see an effect. Say your neighbour meditates too, in the next door room. It would have no effect on the phone, because there’s no subjective connection between the two things.
What kind of benefits would the app’s users get from it?
The strongest benefit is the chance to participate in an interesting and unique exploration. A good comparison is the SETI@home project, where scientists were looking for signals from outer space, but they didn’t have the computing power to crunch all the data. So they made a tool that people could download to use their spare computer power to process the data.
There are over 2 million people that donated their computer time, who were participating because they believed in it.
If people that are inclined to believe this works are the ones downloading, does that mean you get a much stronger effect?
Yes. You see this in the lab research too. You get really unaccountably strong effects from people who definitely believe in it , and then people who are vehemently sceptical get no effect, or in the opposite direction from their intention. It’s the subjective connection, the belief system, that makes these effects happen.