Jul 192005

Well, after nearly 26 years of experimentation, a professor at Princeton University has determined something most of us already knew…our thoughts can have an effect on machines. I think we all know this applies mainly to office machines. Most of us are already familiar with the universal principle that the greater our need for the copier to work, the greater the likelihood it will break down at the crucial moment.

However, it appears to also apply to cars during the escape attempt during horror movies.

Wired News has a story about researchers at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research program, or Pear, who have been attempting to measure the effect of human consciousness on machines since 1979.

Using random event generators — computers that spew random output — they have participants focus their intent on controlling the machines’ output. Out of several million trials, they’ve detected small but "statistically significant" signs that minds may be able to interact with machines. However, researchers are careful not to claim that minds cause an effect or that they know the nature of the communication.

While the Wired News story reports there are some skeptics, I would suggest these are people that have secretaries or administrative assistants, and rarely find themselves using office equipment of any kind. Heck, if I’m running late for the airport, I can guarantee that even the stapler won’t work properly.

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