Paris Terror Attacks
Late on the 13th of November, 2015, Paris suffered agonizing terrorist attacks in several places, roughly at the same time beginning around 9 or 9:30. Gunmen entered a restaurant an sprayed customers with AK-47 fire, killing several. Two or more bombs, apparently suicide vests, exploded outside a soccer stadium, and a team of murderous and suicidal men killed more than 100 people in a rock concert hall, the Bataclan. Shock and dismay were felt around the world.
The NY Times reported that the most deaths appear to have occurred at The Bataclan, a popular concert venue. At approximately 9:30 p.m., several armed individuals entered and began shooting for about 10 minutes. At around 10 p.m., the gunmen began taking hostages. French media quoted officials saying that about 100 people were killed here. French police entered and killed 3 or 4 terrorists, ending this tragic moment.
The event was analysed by Bryan Williams, who looked at eggs which were closest to Paris. His description and the resulting graph are shown below.
Specific Hypothesis and Results
The GCP event was set to begin 13th Nov at 9pm local time for 6 hours, which is 20:00 on the 13th to 02:00 14th, UTC. This probably includes half an hour before the time of the Bataclan invasion. I was unable to get accurate times for the other attacks. The result is Chisquare 21418.581 on 21600 df, for p = 0.808 and Z = -0.872.
The following graph is a visual display of the statistical result. It shows the second-by-second accumulation of small deviations of the data from what’s expected. Our prediction is that deviations will tend to be positive, and if this is so, the jagged line will tend to go upward. If the endpoint is positive, this is evidence for the general hypothesis and adds to the bottom line. If the endpoint is outside the smooth curve showing 0.05 probability, the deviation is nominally significant. If the trend of the cumulative deviation is downward, this is evidence against the hypothesis, and is subtracted from the bottom line. For more detail on how to interpret the results, see The Science and related pages, as well as the standard caveat below.
It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every
success might be largely driven by chance, and every
null might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.
Bryan Williams' Analysis
Here's a graph of the data from the Global Consciousness Project's worldwide network of RNGs (called "EGGs") which corresponds to the horrific attacks that occurred in Paris, France last evening. The trace for all the EGGs (in blue) compliments the formal GCP result (http://www.global-mind.org/events/paris.terror.html). The graph also shows the output from one of the EGGs in France (EGG 2173, located in the city of Toulouse to the south), as well as the closest EGG to Paris at the time (EGG 3104, located in East Susses, UK, along the English Channel). (Unfortunately, the EGG located directly in Paris does not appear to have been active at the time.) It is rather intriguing to see that the Toulouse EGG (in pink) showed a significant positive deviation from chance (Chi-Square = 22082.60, 21600 df, p = .01, associated z = 2.312). While we can't know for sure whether this was a possible "group consciousness" effect or an expected chance fluctuation in the data, it does look interesting from an aesthetic perspective. Here's offering hope for the people of Paris.