|Why the EGG Acronym?|
Consciousness Project is also known as the EGG project, and we should explain why. The
public name (GCP) is transparently meaningful, and provides an orientation to the nature
and purposes of the project. As you will see, however, the EGG acronym is often favored in
the materials you will find on this website. It is also the conventional usage within the
project's planning and working group for a number of reasons, and we offer this background
as explanation and context.
A bit of history
In an early cooperative effort, we all contributed data to Dean's measurement of the jury verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial. A serendipitous meeting at the Esalen Institute with the organizers of the Gaiamind global meditation led me to organize a project to gather data from as many sources as possible, asking friends and colleagues with suitable equipment to run it during the defined period on 23 January, 1996. When Princess Diana was killed, another opportunity called to take data with multiple sources, distributed widely in Europe and the US. These and related global-scale projects are described in some detail in the electronic journal eJAP.
These collaborations preceded a conference in late 1997 that brought Psychophysiologists and Psi researchers together in Freiburg, Germany to talk about integrating some sophisticated physiological measures such as EEG into experiments on anomalies associated with consciousness. In a casual conversation during a break, Dean said, perhaps jokingly, "Why not a World EEG?" This captured the essence of a large-scale, and more sophisticated version of the global consciousness measurments that had yielded striking and potentially important results. The notion quickly grew into a concrete possibility as I began talking about it with others.
The EGG name
I set about organizing a small working group, and began developing specific plans for implementing a network of global dimension to take data using the best available technology for assessing direct effects of consciousness. Greg Nelson was among those I talked with in depth about the possibilities. He saw the project as an opportunity to do some work directly in anomalies research, and offered to write the backbone software for gathering and archiving the data. We were searching for a good name for the project, and his suggestion was ElectroGaiaGram, or EGG. Although it might imply we intended to measure electrical effects, which we did not, the name was appealing, not least because "egg," as a metaphor, is among the richest words in the English language. In any case, the name stuck, and we continue to use it, not only for its fertility in connotation but, as explained in the architecture document, because it has led to a very concise and convenient set of terms for technical communications.
Thus, although the transparent meaning of the formal name "Global Consciousness Project" is prefered for the first layer of public access to the project, we wish to make this more personal, internal name, with its metaphorical richness, available to you as well.