End of Mayan Calendar, Dec 21 2012
The end of Mayan Calendar has been defined as happening on the 21st of December, and many around the world have been anticipating it for months or even years. This is an abstract moment to which we humans have attached importance, making it meaningful. The voices of those who imagine apocalypse have become somewhat muted, and more of what I hear as the day comes near, are invitations; opportunities to connect; information about meditations to join; and synchronous singing to celebrate possibility. Those voices are saying is that love is alive and well, and that we should look forward to the day. Whether or not there are any "big changes" as many predict, we will have come to attention more than is usual, and that can't be bad.
The formal hypothesis test is complicated because there are so many events that are set and proselytized. Indeed, there are so many that we can make the event definition simple, including them all by setting the formal specification to span the times we know people will be engaged. As time allows, we can do some more pointed analyses in the exploratory mode, just to see how they look. So, the formal GCP event will be more than 24 hours, beginning two hours before noon UTC on the 21st, and ending at 20:00 UTC on the 22nd. Google search can be used to locate events, including lots of efforts to sell either the fearsome "end of the world" scenarios, or the "dawn of a new age" propositions. Below is a collection given by the Shift Network, which lists something happening in most time zones. I'm sure there are other things earlier on the 21st and later on the 22nd, but this will do for our study.
The GCP formal event is set for 10:00 UTC on the 21st to 20:00 UTC on the 22nd. The result is Chisquare 122898.933 on 122400 df for p = 0.157 and Z = 1.008.
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.
I did one exploratory analysis, per request, of the TM meditations including 8000 yogic flyers, and this is shown in the following graph. Again, single events cannot provide reliable, interpretable results, but may suggest trends.