These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news.

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"These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

An Italian scientist who predicted a major earthquake near L'Aquila a few weeks ago was forced to remove warnings from the internet after being reported to the police, it emerged today.

Giampaolo Giuliani, a researcher at the National Physical Laboratory of Gran Sasso, based his forecast on emissions of radon gas coming from the ground in seismically active areas.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/06/italy-earthquake-predicted

The researcher had said that a "disastrous" earthquake would strike on March 29, but when it didn't, Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, officially denounced Giuliani in court last week for "false alarm." "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news," Bertolaso was quoted as saying. "Everyone knows that you can't predict earthquakes."

Using a method that measures gasses emitted by small tremors, Giuliani, it turns out, was partially right. A much smaller seismic shift struck on the day he said it would, with the truly disastrous one arriving just one week later. "Someone owes me an apology," Giuliani, who is also a resident of L'Aquila, told reporters on Monday. "The situation here is dramatic. I am devastated but also angry."
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1889644,00.html

via Slashdot

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/06/1935246&art_pos=2

I find it incredible that the Italian Government can censor posts on the internet. Does this country have no concept of free speech?
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/06/italy-earthquake-predicted



http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1889644,00.html

via Slashdot

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/06/1935246&art_pos=2

I find it incredible that the Italian Government can censor posts on the internet. Does this country have no concept of free speech?
lol, no not really. You didn't know that? They have a notoriously horrible legal system.
 

Danger

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, officially denounced Giuliani in court last week for "false alarm."
Not only is Giuliani owed an apology; that Bertolaso moron should be charged with criminal negligence (and terminal stupidity).
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Are radon gas emissions actually a valid method of earthquake forecasting?
 

Danger

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Are radon gas emissions actually a valid method of earthquake forecasting?
There must be some validity to it, since it worked.
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

There must be some validity to it, since it worked.
There is a guy planting little red parks in a public park. A cop ask hims why, he says "it repels giraffes". To which the cop says "but we don't have giraffes around here". And the guy tells him "yeah, thank you".
 

Danger

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

There is a guy planting little red parks in a public park.
What the hell are 'little red parks'? :confused:
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

It was not funyy anyway...
What the hell are 'little red parks'? :confused:
It should have read "little red flags".
 

Danger

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Ahhh...
Actually, it was funny in the first place. I knew that there was a brain-fart in the typing department, but wasn't sure what the actual word was supposed to be.
 

russ_watters

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Also, the guy doesn't say "thank you", he says "you're welcome".... still, Danger, you got the point, right? Earthquake forecasting is like lottery winning. People win the lottery, but only because so many people play it so often that someone must eventually hit the number. I don't believe there is any method of earthquake predicting that has proven to be reliable and not just a random lucky guess once or twice.

And I am, of course, conceding that one as a win for the sake of the argument above - however, it clearly was not a win, but a case of moving the goalposts. If you play 777 in the lottery today and it comes up tomorrow, it doesn't matter that you only missed it by a day: you still didn't win.
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Are radon gas emissions actually a valid method of earthquake forecasting?
A seismologist was on the radio earlier this evening talking about this incident. She said that it was once thought that radon emissions could be used to predict earthquakes due to interesting correlations in data but that when put to the test it failed to have any predictive power. And apparently this man is not a seismologist either.
 

vanesch

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

That said, there seems to be an active research on the topic. Just google "radon earthquake" and you get several publications talking about it, like:

from 2001:
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001AM/finalprogram/abstract_25440.htm

or an older one from 1980
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1981/JB086iB08p07037.shtml

from 2003:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/k8dbf4lre7ubmlxm/

from 2002:
http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/1301/

So this does seem to be not such a crazy path of investigation.
 

Chi Meson

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Speaking of "little red flags,"

anyone who predicts an earthquake to occur on a specific day, when an earthquake has never been predicted for a specific day...

I can't find any link to the original prediction; did he include any margin of error, or did he just give the date? Who in their right mind would believe such a thing, and who in their right mind would not have the same reaction as that politician in the face of an apparent crackpot?

I'm not denouncing the fellow, yet, but let's see if he can predict another. There will be more earthquakes, right?
 
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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

I read here and there that Giampaolo Giuliani is really a geologist (but not a seismologist apparently. Grand Sasso is a particle physics lab.). I also read here and there that radon is still very controversial mean of "earthquake prediction" among the geologist community. I may interpret Giampaolo Giuliani claims as an ethically questionable strategy to push his own theory forward. I guess their are other possible early indicators of seism and only a combination of them can lead to a credible warning.
 

mgb_phys

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

So if I run into a crowded cinema and yell fire - it's OK because one day there will be a fire in a cinema a couple of weeks after I do it?
 

LowlyPion

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Re: "These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news."

Looks like the whole thing got ratcheted up a few notches more than needed.

I would be curious about what methodology could lead him to project a specific time, when the forces beneath his feet are unavailable to be seen with any precision. What remaining jagged ledge or outcrop remained to give way to initiate the event?

On the other hand when a potential indirect predictor like radon elevates, that surely must be a possible credible factor, if it has been noted before at prior events. Divining from concentration data though, when you've no idea of what the maximum may be from a big fissure slip looks a tad dicey however. If he was in possession of radon level data from the last quake in L'Aquilla in the 17th century, that might be more credible, but still and all, determining the instant with error bars that surely can't be within a day of precision looks to be spurious more than prescient.

If he had raised a concern that there was a heightened probability then maybe people could have come to their own accommodations with the risks involved. Like moving the china off the top shelves, or lashing down the aquarium stand, or not sleeping in a bed with crossed swords hanging on the wall overhead. That should have relieved him of any guilt for issuing no warning at all about something so ominous potentially pending.
 

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