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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005 - 5:02 a.m.

The proof is in the mind. Scientists worldwide are taking part in the Global Consciousness project, to investigate how the human brain can affect the physical environment and each other. The discovery of a common human consciousness will have many ramifications relating to the God theory, quantum physics, and even our poetic constituencies. The future (if time is still linear) will look back on this as a seminal moment - the moment when the human species reached the end of rationality, and discovered that it was all along, psychic.

Every iteration of the experiment has the same set up, and the only variable is where the experiment is conducted. In the experiment, two little black boxes are placed side by side, each generating either a binary '1' or a '0' randomly over time. Each black box is an electronic device called a Random Event Generator (REG) and clicks with each '1' or '0' generated. Chance dictates that the two Random Event Generators will produce equal numbers of ones and zeros and this result corresponds to two horizontal straight lines on a graph, almost perfectly superimposed on each other.

This expected result is observed when the two REGs are placed in an isolated room away from any human body. But when the same black boxes are placed in the vicinity of humans, the behaviour of the lines becomes impossible to predict. It is as if the aggregate activity of human consciousness interrupts the hand of chance and, as the scientists say, "produces patterns that should not exist in truly random sequences."

Currently, there are sixty five cities around the world that host Random Event Generators sites. Each identical site carries out the random generation of the binary '1' or '0' two hundred times a second, and transmits the data in real-time to a central computer server at Princeton University for analysis. From Sao Paolo to Bangkok, New York to Sabah, data from each of the following situations has been collected and analysed:

Semper Fidelis (A Husband and Wife)

The act of sex between the two of them is the physical promise of faithfulness. When they have sex, the distance between their two bodies is zero and it is impossible to get any closer. The two lines of the REGs have followed each other for forty years, sometimes departing from each other but always ultimately coming together, like an inviolable mathematical law. In time to come when one of the lines fades away, the other line will also quickly disappear. They are already sixty-seven and each has known the geography of the other's body for forty years. But the maps of their bodies have been changing through time with the appearance of new landmarks: the varicose veins behind the calves, the pits of wrinkles, sallow age spots that mark the sides of the face. Sometimes he surprises her from behind as she gets undressed in the bathroom and they have sex pressed against the sink. The bathroom mirror remembers this: a pair of naked, old bodies in tight embrace, with his finger lightly tracing the line of her Caesarean scar. In the mornings, he still sits on the edge of the bed as he has done for years, and watches his wife get dressed. The bra has become a daily struggle and her skin has lost its elasticity, but he marvels quietly at how she is still the same woman he chose forty years ago.

Infidelity of a One Night Stand

There is an obvious point on the horizontal line of the REG graph when one of the lines rises sharply. This means that after that point, one of the black boxes repeatedly clicked and produced only one of the binary answers i.e. the event had turned non-random. The point of change corresponds to the moment when he was on top of a girl, an airline stewardess he had met in a bar an hour earlier. At that moment, he thought of his wife because the girl under him moaned in remarkably the same manner. He realized then, that instead of being chance drunken encounters, or the automatic end after a quarrel with his wife, one night stands could be committed purposefully and deliberately. He will continue to have them, leaving his clothes on the carpeted floors of various hotel rooms. But now he will have sex with other women with conscious intent, in order to find in their anonymous bodies that one woman, the hidden woman who was once the person he married.

Losing Virginities

The REG graphs report that most virginities in this country are lost at home in the afternoons. We arrive at this conclusion because there is little background interference caused by the presence of parents, grand-parents and siblings. There is no one at home when the boy fumbles with the padlock on the grille-door. The girl looks up and down the length of the corridor worried about neighbours who might detect that she entered his flat as a virgin and came out later, changed. They drop their school bags at the foot of the bed and sit on the foam mattress, but are unsure of how to initiate foreplay. She notices that he uses a bolster which still has depressions where his arms wrapped around it the night before. She starts unbuttoning her blouse and that movement prompts him to undress as well. The boy and the girl are seeing each other naked for the first time. The loss of virginity is not the physical confiscation of the hymen, but it encompasses the complete sequence of events, from the unlocking of the padlock, to the sight of their untested nudity, and finally to the post-coital fear of where all of this will lead to. The REG lines began a gradual climb a few days ago as soon as he convinced her to have sex, while they were talking at the void deck. There is a little spike in the REG lines when he withdraws and climbs off her, though the meaning of this is not yet understood. There was no change in the data at either the moment of penetration or orgasm. The lines are shifting, but so gradually that they appear to remain still to the unscientific eye. The innocuous stillness of the lines is like the stillness of their two bodies, lying together in the single bed, each trying to contemplate the significance of the act that has just passed.


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