Yesterday marked the end of our eight-day pilot Peace Intention Experiment.
For all of you who didn’t register, we can now reveal our target as the Wanni (or north) section of Sri Lanka. This area of the world has suffered a civil war for 25 years, with more suicide bombings than anywhere on earth. The Wanni section is the stronghold of the rebel Tamil Tigers, the well-armed rebel forces.
We’re delighted that at least 11,468 people took part at different times during the week (many more who couldn’t log onto the sites also joined in, and we will tally them soon). We enjoyed participation in more than 65 countries and every continent but Antartica, with the top 10 countries ranking as follows: United States, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Belgium Spain and Mexico.
Nevertheless, intenders also came from many far-flung quarters, from Trinidad, Mongolia and Nepal to Guadeloupe, Indonesia, Malia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. People participated from all manner of computers, not only PCs and Macs, but also iPhones, iPods and Danger Hiptops.
So, heartfelt thanks to all of you, and we’ll make sure to give Australia a friendlier time of the day with the next experiment.
Big press in Sri Lanka
Although this was simply a pilot, our Peace Intention Experiment was given a great deal of newspaper and television press in Sri Lanka and indeed around the world.
We have been working with the noted Peace advocate Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe, the Gandhi of Sri Lanka, whose organization has supplied us with the weekly figures for war related deaths, abductions, injuries and attacks for the past two years for our study.
What happens now
From these statistics, our scientists, most especially Jessica Utts, professor of Statistics at University of California at Irvine, will model a prediction of the likely average violence levels we should expect over the coming month, if the fighting carries on as normal. Up until now, the Wanni section of Sri Lanka has averaged 102 deaths per week. We will then compare this model of what should happen to what did happen over a month. The difference in the two numbers, plus some control of variables, will tell us if our intention had any influence in lowering all levels of violence. This will require at least a month, as we gather the statistics and then compare them with our model.
We will report our findings to all of you soon thereafter. Our latest information is that the fighting had intensified at the start of our experiment, as the government attacked the LTTE rebel stronghold, the UN suddenly sent in a peace keeper and the fighting may be diminishing. Our careful monitoring of the situation will tell us more.
For those of you in the Peace Intention Experiment, you are not on our e-news list and want to find out what happened, please sign up here.
What you can do in the meantime
Many of you who participated wrote about the extraordinary and palpable experience you had participating in this experiment and would like to run further ‘experiments’. Here’s how you can keep the process going:
But to carry on, we need your support. We have big plans for the Peace Intention Experiment. Although this was just a pilot, we’d like to roll out this experiment so that hundreds of thousands participate next time. To do this, we need big server power. Here’s how you can help: