Burning Man, Eight Years

I've been interested in the Burning Man event since first learning of it years ago. I haven't been able to attend, but perhaps someday. An email note from Yoav Zouker inspired me to look at the GCP data over the time we have been collecting data, during the most intense day, the Saturday of the burning. Here is the essential part of Yoav's note:

My email is to recommend to you and I base this on 40,000 test subjects.... that you try and use the EGG or any similar project to measure anomlies, and see what happens to the people attending the Burning Man Festival in Nevada Desert each year. If concert halls and world events can casue dramatic shifts, i have spoken to many people about this and they agree, there is no place to test such things as in Burning man Festival.

If you are not familiar with this, please check www.burningman.com (i am not working with them, i just attend, and it's a non-profit festival as well)

There is something unexplained and magical that happens to the 30-50,000 + people that come to the event. Channels and waves are so open that it almost seems that with everyone in one clear line of positive, constructive energy, we all can connect and achieve things that seem almost impossible.

To describe the festival is like to 'describe color to a blind person' and so I can only suggest you take an interest maybe in seeing what results you get from placing a measurement device such as the EGG in a place like Burning man. It is a festival of one week where art meets science and spirituality, a city is erected and destroyed in one week leaving no sign. No money is allowed, only trading of goods (food, gifts, arts) no trash can be found on the ground anywhere, there is no death, theft, rape or anything that you would find in many similar festivals... it changed my life (at the risk of sounding culitsh, which it is not in any way)

But the final product of what happens in this week, is far beyond words to describe. The site is vague because they don't want just anyone coming, the place is filled with incredible, mind opening experiences and maybe its location in the desert also signifies something. It is attended by scientists, artists and leading figure in every area of the world, giving lectures, talking, connecting and explaining, not to mention the event itself is compared by none in terms of visual stimulation, lights and art and ideas all over.

I learned that the main event is on the Saturday before Labor Day. The data from this date for 1999 to 2006 was downloaded, and converted to Z-scores. The 8 years of scores were then averaged, using the Stouffer Z method, and the result is plotted below. This striking curve shows a highly significant departure from expectation, with Z = 3.060, which has p = 0.001, or about 1000 to 1 odds of being just a chance fluctuation. The result is driven by two of the 8 years having a very strong effect (1999 and 2004) with the rest having modest positive or negative trends.

Burning Man,
Eight Years

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