IONS going all out at this year's Burning Man event


Burning Man 2014: A Kinoetic Experience
As you read this, our team of scientists and research assistants is already trekking out to the Black Rock Desert once again to conduct the third--and most comprehensive--collective consciousness experiment ever at the Burning Man festival. From our Playa-based research center, dubbed Camp Kinoetic, we will be setting up new, custom-built random number generators (RNGs) at key locations around the city to measure the synchronization of collective energy during the climactic moments of the Burn.

This study, explains Dean Radin, IONS Chief Scientist, is an experiment testing the hypothesis that mind and matter interact, and that this interaction can be detected when a group of people focus their collective attention toward the same object or event. Burning Man is an ideal setting to test this hypothesis because the group is isolated, the group is coherent in the sense that everyone at the festival shares the same high motivation to be there (no one wanders in accidentally), and because there are two periods during the week-long festival when all 70,000 people are focused on the same event: the burning of the man effigy and the burning of the temple.

During these periods, when the collective mind associated with the crowd becomes unusually coherent, we predict that a similar moment of unusual coherence will arise in physical entropy. Based on previous pilot experiments at Burning Man, we predict that within a 20-minute window starting five minutes before the effigy burning ceremony, a greater-than-chance degree of cross-correlation will be observed among the outputs of our devices on the Playa (all of which are based on quantum randomness via electron tunneling).

Thanks to the generous support of the Ray Benton Fund, we plan to place between 34 and 50 RNGs all around Black Rock City, all recording continuously from at least one day before the burning of the man effigy to the morning after the temple burn for a total of up to three days and producing hundreds of gigabytes of data to analyze.

We'll be posting updates to our Collective Consciousness experiment page on Facebook so you can follow along, and in the meantime, you can get a taste of what's to come from this TEDx video featuring Cassandra Vieten explaining the collective consciousness experiment to an audience at Burning Man:

Fantastic! Hopefully there will be some interesting results from IONS's research
I hope so too.

The live webcast is fascinating to watch. I've seen several "art cars" rolling across the playa, as well as a couple of fairly large dust devils. Lots of folks out riding bicycles or just walking around. The scenes change every few minutes, so it's possible to get a sense of what it's like to be there.