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KenNYC
June 12th, 2011, 12:05 PM
Ok, so I picked a rather vague title, but this is beyond ridiculous....



Italian scientists arrested over deadly quake
Frances D'Emilio
May 27, 2011

ROME: Seven scientists and other experts have been indicted on manslaughter charges for allegedly failing to warn residents sufficiently before an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009.

Defence lawyers condemned the charges yesterday, saying it was impossible to predict earthquakes. Seismologists have long concurred, saying no big earthquake has been foretold.

The judge, Giuseppe Romano Gargarella, ordered members of the national government's great risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go on trial in L'Aquila on September 20.

The judge reportedly said the defendants ''gave inexact, incomplete and contradictory information'' about whether smaller tremors felt in L'Aquila in the six months before the April quake should have constituted grounds for a warning.

Prosecutors focused on a memo issued after a meeting of the commission in March 2009 called because of mounting concerns about seismic activity. The memo - issued a week before the big quake - said experts had concluded a big quake was ''improbable'' but could not be excluded.

Commission members later stressed to the media that six months of low-magnitude quakes was not unusual in the highly seismic region and did not mean a big one was coming.

In one interview included in the prosecutors' case, a commission member, Bernardo De Bernardis, responded to a question about whether residents should just relax with a glass of wine. ''Absolutely, absolutely, a Montepulciano doc,'' he replied, referring to a red wine.

Such a reassuring opinion ''persuaded the victims to stay at home'', the indictment reportedly said.

The 6.3-magnitude quake killed 308 people in and around the mediaeval town, which was largely reduced to rubble. Thousands of survivors lived in tent camps or temporary housing for months.

Defence lawyers contend that since earthquakes cannot be predicted, accusations that the commission should have sounded an alarm make no sense.

Although earthquakes cannot be predicted, after Japan's recent devastating quake experts said an early warning system in place there to detect the Earth's rumblings before they could be felt helped save countless lives.

But as recently as this month Italy's national geophysics institute insisted earthquakes could not be predicted in a bid to dispel a widely reported prediction of a huge quake that was due to strike Rome on May 11.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/italian-scientists-arrested-over-deadly-quake-20110526-1f6ec.html#ixzz1P4uz3MVf

ZippyTheChimp
June 12th, 2011, 07:16 PM
Somebody's been watching too many low-grade disaster movies.

You know, the one where the hero spends the first half of the movie warning the local townspeople of impending danger, and gets ridiculed by the scientific community. Along the way, he meets a hot, young, single mother of two precocious children.

In the second half, events unfold exactly how and when he predicted; and most of the locals are killed off in the mayhem. The hero manages to stay about 20 feet ahead of the destruction, saves his new girlfriend, the kids, and the family dog.

This would be just a little silly if the scientists were charged with dereliction of duty or the like.

But manslaughter?

Attention Rapture predictors: you're all invited to Italy for your next prophecy.

Fabrizio
June 13th, 2011, 04:53 AM
I love it the way you guys read an article like this and question nothing.

ZippyTheChimp
June 13th, 2011, 07:10 AM
This should be good.

Ninjahedge
June 13th, 2011, 08:17 AM
Fab, was that a rhetorical question?

Don't answer, mine was.

If you disagree with this particular story, could you give us the Snopes on it? If you have not found anything to question it on, why do you question it?

Again. Rhetorical.

ZippyTheChimp
June 13th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Hypothetical:

April 1, 2009 (well, why not?): The Great Risks Committee issues a warning that there will probably be a devastating earthquake in L'Aquila within the following two weeks.

Panic in the town as citizens rush to move out. Three people are trampled to death.

May 1, 2009: No earthquake yet.

Committee members are charged with manslaughter.

Ninjahedge
June 13th, 2011, 02:41 PM
Zip, THAT I would actually agree with more than the actual situation.

The difference between not shouting that there MIGHT be a fire that night, or shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (in your case, when there isn't).

People should not be blamed for not being able to predict the unpredictable or protect from all natural disasters.

These are scientists, not oracles.

ZippyTheChimp
June 13th, 2011, 03:48 PM
Is another Court of Fools developing?

Ninjahedge
June 14th, 2011, 07:47 AM
Only if you think I am disagreeing with you.


Sometimes it is up to the player himself to determine what courts he ends up in. ;)

MidtownGuy
June 14th, 2011, 01:11 PM
I do think they're cracking up over there in Italy. Somebody sprayed the tomatoes with something? I dunno.

It's always been a meshugenah kind of place, but lately the developments out of there just keep getting more and more bizarre.

Arrested for an earthquake. Jesus. What will they think of next? If anyone should be arrested over an Earthquake, it should be Berlusconi for his failure to help the people of L'Aquila in a timely manner after they were left homeless. Instead he told them to pretend they were camping.

Nice country.

Ninjahedge
June 14th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Or maybe it is just the classic internet saga of being more aware of EXISTING situations than we were in the past.

From what I have heard, people think that many things in the States are MUCH worse than they were in the "Good Olde Days", but the reality is, even with the recession, thinks like Health, SOL and Crime are MUCH better now than they were "back then".

Difference being, someone gets raped or abducted 1000 miles away, you are aware of it shortly after the victims family due to electronic communication.

The world may seem better when you are only told about 10 of the 100 bad things that have happened in a week than all 20 of the 20 you now have.....

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 12:37 AM
I love it the way you guys read an article like this and question nothing.

Please explain what there is to question?

There is a scientific consensus that it is entirely impossible to predict earth quakes, and that there are no correlations between small shakes and large ones.

Now, scientists are being prosecuted for not being able to predict what is scientifically impossible to predict.

Dear Fab, I honestly cannot wait to hear what you got for this one.

Ninjahedge
June 15th, 2011, 07:55 AM
He means whether this is true or not.

I am not bothering going to Snopes on this one.

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2011, 08:32 AM
^
Of course it's true. Stories all over. The indicted people have been named.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/world/europe/15italy.html

See my post #6.

Another defense lawyer, Alfredo Biondi, cited the case of Giuseppe Zamberletti, the former chief of Italy’s civil protection agency. He was placed under investigation after he ordered the evacuation in 1985 of a series of towns in the Garfagnana, an area in the province of Lucca, because of unusual seismic activity there. Mr. Zamberletti, who is the current president of the Major Risks Commission but is not a defendant in this case, was accused of causing public alarm when the major earthquake never occurred. The case never made it to trial.

Ninjahedge
June 15th, 2011, 08:50 AM
Damned if you do.......

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 09:01 AM
"They do not stand accused of failing to predict the earthquake; everyone agrees that would have been impossible."

^ This of course is not what the article posted by Ken wanted you to know.

The NYTimes article is still not a complete picture though. A clue is here:

" for not adequately informing residents of the potential danger posed by the seismic activity that shook the Abruzzo region for months before the fatal earthquake that killed 309 people on April 6, 2009."

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 09:34 AM
Somethings been missing. I just figured it out.
Can we get a feature on certain threads to play the Italian national anthem upon page load?

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 09:36 AM
^ This is the forum the moderator wants and encourages.

Poor Edward.

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 09:38 AM
Oh please.:rolleyes:

It's a freaking internet thread. Lighten up.

You like humor.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 09:42 AM
I only said it as a friggin' joke. OMG .....get a freaking life already if you can't handle it. Jesus.

(Welcome to Wired New York)

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 09:45 AM
Instead of "OMG"...you seem to prefer *sigh*. Much more mature.:rolleyes:

This is Wired New York after all! Gotta keep things up to your level, huh?

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Zippy...you can take it from here. All yours...

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 09:52 AM
but...but...another of your sarcastic put downs would really complete the exchange!

Ninjahedge
June 15th, 2011, 10:03 AM
This seems oddly..... familiar.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 10:05 AM
It follows where ever I go.... where ever I post.

This is what they do to Edward's WiredNewYork. They trash threads.

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 10:15 AM
Can it with the "Edward" stuff, using his name for your agenda. You aren't fooling anybody.

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 10:16 AM
This seems oddly..... familiar.

Because now there is another Italian themed thread for fab to trash.


It follows where ever I go.... where ever I post.

he's referring to all two threads. lol.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 10:24 AM
Note from post 16.

All yours Zip. All yours.

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 10:27 AM
*sigh*

is that better?

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 10:30 AM
He posts pages and pages of unprovoked insults. Of course what the moderator notices is a *sigh*.

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 10:33 AM
I joked about the Italian national anthem. Your name or any real reference to you wasn't even in there.

Lighten up fab.

scumonkey
June 15th, 2011, 10:42 AM
http://twitpic.com/show/thumb/5aur0a

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 10:51 AM
"They do not stand accused of failing to predict the earthquake; everyone agrees that would have been impossible."

^ This of course is not what the article posted by Ken wanted you to know.

The NYTimes article is still not a complete picture though. A clue is here:

" for not adequately informing residents of the potential danger posed by the seismic activity that shook the Abruzzo region for months before the fatal earthquake that killed 309 people on April 6, 2009."

Those two things are one and the same, since it's impossible to predict earthquakes. So while they're not, in clear text, accused for failing to predict it, that is essentially what they are being told they should have done.

Moreover, since when is it scientists jobs to protect the general population? Isn't that for the politicians to do?

MidtownGuy
June 15th, 2011, 10:59 AM
and those politicians definitely failed them after the quake (Berlusconi). The political leader who was supposed to be able to "get things done" told people to pretend they were camping.

Ninjahedge
June 15th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Bottom line is this.

You can warn people who live in a high seismic activity area that there is a high chance of an earthquake striking, but you cant accurately predict when just by the preceeding activity (not YET, at least). There are just too many variables.

Accusing the scientific community of not informing these people is ignorant. The only thing they can do at this point is to simply say "You are ALWAYS at a high risk of a deadly seismic event. Live there at your own risk".

This ain't a volcano. There are no real signs (although even a volcano does not have a timer on it...).

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 04:04 PM
From the NYTimes article:

"They do not stand accused of failing to predict the earthquake; everyone agrees that would have been impossible."

"But prosecutors say that by playing down the risk of a major earthquake, the panel — the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks — failed to uphold its mandate and did not allow the local population to make adequately informed decisions about whether to stay in their homes or move to a safer place."

"National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks" . I don't know the exact equivalent in the US, I'd say something along the lines of FEMA, Homeland Security?

The area was having clusters of tremors. Many of these are not felt, but they are measured. Should the population have been informed about what the instruments were reading?

Earthquakes cannot be predicted, but still, Italy has an early warning system in place in the South. California has an early warning system, Japan , Mexico... why not this region?

Early warning systems give alarms only minutes before a strike... sometimes only seconds... but it may be enough for people to save themselves. And think schools, hospitals as a doctor is giving surgery, of someone about to step into an elevator.

I don't know the exact mandate of the "Risks" entity: but should they have been issuing warnings?.. "what-to-do-in-case-of" statements?.... drills for school children? The buildings in the historic center are ancient, they crumble. Maybe specific warnings and advice to those residents? We are having tremors, elevator use is banned at the moment, restaurants must remove tables from under cornices, no tours to the bell tower. Were hospitals on alert? Doctors? Should they have been? I don't know.

Furthermore: in a press conference about the tremors (people were getting nervous) a week before the quake, one of the commission member's advice to the populace was to relax...."just sit back with a glass of wine". He even recommended which wine to drink.

Also: this is Italy... it's about politics too. Magistrates VS. the Berlusconi government. When they get a chance to put the screws on they do.

And: there will be no jail time. This is a warning, it is an investigation. Maybe a fine, but I doubt it. They will have to go before a judge and answer questions though.

Info about the early warning system in Italy: http://www.eqh.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/src/eew/pdf/K03zollo.pdf

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2011, 04:15 PM
Galileo spinning in his grave.

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 05:25 PM
"But prosecutors say that by playing down the risk of a major earthquake, the panel — the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks — failed to uphold its mandate and did not allow the local population to make adequately informed decisions about whether to stay in their homes or move to a safer place."

Just like in the Knox thread, you are quoting prosecution statements, as if they were established facts. Since when is it a scientists job to advise people where they should live or not? And how exactly should these scientists know how big the risk of an earthquake is? As stated, earthquakes are not predictable. Any assumption the scientists would make is just based on looking at history, which is something the politicians could do just as easily, there is no science involved in it.


"National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks" . I don't know the exact equivalent in the US, I'd say something along the lines of FEMA, Homeland Security?

Irrelevant, as earthquakes are not forecastable. We do not know of any method to forecast or prevent them.


The area was having clusters of tremors. Many of these are not felt, but they are measured. Should the population have been informed about what the instruments were reading?

As long as there is no scientific basis for correlating these with the chance of specific, or larger earthquakes, no? Moreover, the information is available, the quest is whether it is a scientists job to warn the general population about something it is scientifically impossible to predict or estimate


Earthquakes cannot be predicted, but still, Italy has an early warning system in place in the South. California has an early warning system, Japan , Mexico... why not this region?

This statement is completely retarded. An "early warning" earthquake system is nothing more than a computer, registering when an earthquake happens and then sends an alert to the responsible governments. An early warning system cannot predict an earthquake. It is a system that alerts the authorities after the quake has happened.

That being said, these scientists are charged with manslaughter. The charge is that they are personally responsible for these people dying.

You know, the AK thread has made me think you're either an extremely dedicated troll, or somewhat stupid. I'm becoming more and more convinced you're actually retarded.


but should they have been issuing warnings?.. "what-to-do-in-case-of" statements?.... drills for school children?

No, they shouldn't. That is a job for the government. Telling people what to do is not science, it's public policy. The scientists should be in a laboratory, doing research.


The buildings in the historic center are ancient, they crumble. Maybe specific warnings and advice to those residents?

Should the local government do that? Yes.
Should scientists do that? No of course not.


Furthermore: in a press conference about the tremors (people were getting nervous) a week before the quake, one of the commission member's advice to the populace was to relax...."just sit back with a glass of wine". He even recommended which wine to drink.

Which he was entirely correct to do. Because there was no correlation between those earthquakes and the big one, moreover, it was not scientifically possible to predict a larger one would come.

If the NYTimes writes an article saying "You should go up on your rooftop terrace, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the day, because the weather is beautiful", and I do that, and by coincidence a plane happens to crash into my building, killing me, that is not the NYTimes' fault.


And: there will be no jail time. This is a warning, it is an investigation. Maybe a fine, but I doubt it. They will have to go before a judge and answer questions though.

Stupidity isn't cured by the amount of penalties. These scientists are charged with being personally responsible for killing people. They will go through the rest of their life, labeled as killers by their own government. If you don't see the problem in that, I am starting to suspect Italy's problems goes beyond the justice system.

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2011, 05:53 PM
In one of the articles I ran across while searching earthquake predication as relating to this story, a comparison was made between the Abruzzi geologic region and San Andreas. The fault at San Andreas is much less complex than at Abruzzi, and in either case, the main obstacle to prediction is that they can't get directly to the rock and observe what's going on. There are monitors along the fault in California, but what the researchers do is not prediction, it's forecasting.

They'll determine that a particular region of the fault has an "X%" probability of a major move in the fault during the next 25 to 50 years. I suppose that if you asked a scientist to make a definite statement, you might get, "Don't raise children here."

I can imagine how well that would be taken by city government.

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2011, 05:59 PM
If you want to find out if there are ways to minimize destruction and loss of life, you form a committee, and call the seven people to testify.

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 06:11 PM
In one of the articles I ran across while searching earthquake predication as relating to this story, a comparison was made between the Abruzzi geologic region and San Andreas. The fault at San Andreas is much less complex than at Abruzzi, and in either case, the main obstacle to prediction is that they can't get directly to the rock and observe what's going on. There are monitors along the fault in California, but what the researchers do is not prediction, it's forecasting.

They'll determine that a particular region of the fault has an "X%" probability of a major move in the fault during the next 25 to 50 years. I suppose that if you asked a scientist to make a definite statement, you might get, "Don't raise children here."

I can imagine how well that would be taken by city government.

Early prediction systems generally relies on tracking p-waves, which may give you a few seconds to a few minutes "warning" before the big shake comes.

I disagree with your latter statements about a scientist giving you that answer. That would be a political / policy statement. If a scientist reads that an are has a large earthquake every 100 years, and you ask him what that means; he'll tell you "on average, there will be a large earthquake every 100 years." He is not, and I can assure you any real scientist is extremely caution of making value-based statements, going to tell you whether or not you should live there.

Don't get me wrong, if you got a geologist friend, and you're asking him "Hey, is living in SF really safe?" over a cocktail, I'm sure he'd be happy to answer. If you put him in his official position and ask him that same question in front of a microphone, I guarantee you that he will not answer it. It's simply not their job. Scientists do data. Policy is for politicians.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 06:18 PM
Ken I 'm sorry, but the quote is "The National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks" — failed to uphold its mandate "

What is this organizations mandate? What is the organizations purpose? What is it's job?

You tell me.

---

I write NOTHING about earthquake prediction. And the comissioners are not being charged with failure to predict earthquakes. YOU ARE MAKING THIS UP. From the article: "They do not stand accused of failing to predict the earthquake"

ALSO: I write about early warning systems... these systems save lives. Even if the warning comes in minutes or even seconds. It is not earthquake prediction.

ZippyTheChimp
June 15th, 2011, 06:19 PM
disagree with your latter statements about a scientist giving you that answer. It was tongue-in-cheek.

BTW, the USGS says that there are about 1 million earthquakes every year, 10% of them large enough to be felt by humans.

That's 275 every day.

eddhead
June 15th, 2011, 06:28 PM
Ken I 'm sorry, but the quote is "The National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks" — failed to uphold its mandate "

What is this organizations mandate? What is the organizations purpose? What is it's job?

You tell me.



To prevent earthquakes? Really?

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 06:33 PM
It should be noted that the tremors around the area were growing regestering up to 4.3. But people were being told that "though not impossible an earthquake was improbable" and to " relax with a glass of wine". When maybe they could have encouraged people to be on alert.

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 06:34 PM
To prevent earthquakes? Really?

^ LOL. OK good one.


---------------------

RE: ""The National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks"

The NYTimes translation of the department's name in English is quite creative...it is actually the

"Commissione Grandi Rischi"... uh... never mind it doesn't really translate.

It is part of the "Dipartimento della Protezione Civile"

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 06:47 PM
It should be noted that the tremors around the area were growing regestering up to 4.3. But people were being told that "though not impossible an earthquake was improbable" and to " relax with a glass of wine". When maybe they could have encouraged people to be on alert.

Except the fact that there was no scientific reason to believe there would be a large quake.

You keep;
1) Arguing that the scientists should be doing the politician's jobs, and;
2) Ignore the fact that this is about scientists being held personally responsible for killing people

Fabrizio
June 15th, 2011, 07:03 PM
Ken...Ken... these men run a Commission. The Commission has a job. Part of that job is doing what you say the politicians should be doing: alerting the public, explaining risks, advising methods of precaution. The Commission's mandate was not decided by you.

Furthermore: the incident (which started over a press conference) is being investigated. The men are being investigted. No one will go to jail.

It would be like after the BP spill, or Katrina... an investigation. Did these men fullfill their obligations to the public.

KenNYC
June 15th, 2011, 09:51 PM
It would be like after the BP spill, or Katrina... an investigation. Did these men fullfill their obligations to the public.

Both of those situations were possible to predict, indeed the BP situation was man made.

No, they are not charged with negligence in their work. They are charged with manslaughter. I don't know if you're too stupid to see the difference, or you're just trolling, but I am going to save myself a lot of agony...


Fabrizio has now been successfully added to your ignore list. You will now be returned to where you were.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 02:18 AM
Ken, it's a charge of manslaughter that will go no where, there will be no jail time. Even the Times article quotes Biondi the lawyer as saying (sarcastically so): “often there’s no punishment,” but there are plenty of criminal charges to choose from".

I love the way you, of all people, throw the word troll around. Even after it is in black and white that the men are not charged for not predicting an earthquake... you still insist that's what the charges are. And you continue above.

lofter1
June 16th, 2011, 02:20 AM
Maybe I'll the next to get put on the list. I'm just as stupid as you. I daresay more so.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 02:35 AM
There used to be lot's of stupid people at WiredNewYork...the ranks have certainly thinned. We're now left with mostly geniuses.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 06:35 AM
Amazing how it's minimized that 7 individuals, not organizations, are named in a criminal indictment, have to stand at trial before a judge where anything can happen (look what happened to Knox at the other Court of Fools).

"It's a charge of manslaughter." That's one step down from murder.

"There'll be no jail time."

"Maybe a fine."

"It will go nowhere."

No problem.

Geez, can it get any simpler: The individuals aren't charged with a form of Dereliction of Duty; they are charged with manslaughter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manslaughter), causing the death of a person.

The Advocate announced with a flourish that he had no intention of participating in this thread, that he knew what was going to happen here.

What's happened is another tedious "Defend Italy at all Costs" thread.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 06:52 AM
I post about how these commission members failed to carry out their mandate... encouraging people to relax (with a glass of wine), not issuing warnings, drills, preventative measures ...in the face of mounting tremors and a nervous populace.

In other words, I condemmed an Italian government agency.

For Zippy this is "Defend Italy at all Costs"

What IS perfectly cool though... are the tedious comments started on the previous pages. For these of course nothing is said.

Come to your own conclusions folks.


are named in a criminal indictment, have to stand at trial before a judge where anything can happen (look what happened to Knox at the other Court of Fools).

^ Oh boy. Nothing is going to happen here. Believe as you please.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:02 AM
^
By your own words, you shouldn't be here. What's it to you?

re: eartquake thread. The story there is fascinating and different (and much bigger) than that article. But I know what you and your teammate will do to the thread: and I'm not interested.

So what was done? We ridiculed an absurd action by a court. Oh, how unfair. Never happens on this forum.


And again, like confessions in the Knox thread, the Advocate ignores the central issue. I won't bother repeating it, since he's just trolling.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:06 AM
The Advocate just edited in my quote, which only highlights what I'm saying. LOL.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 07:09 AM
^ Oh now you'll ride with that one...I added the quote after posting while keeping the window open.

But OK... rightI edited my post after reading yours... that is the idea right?

-----------



So what was done? We ridiculed an absurd action by a court.

Again Zippy ignores post 16 on down. Etc.

------



So what was done? We ridiculed an absurd action by a court. Oh, how unfair. Never happens on this forum.

And I criticised a government agency.

And I tried to explain a number of times to an obstinate poster that the charges were not because they failed to predict an earthquake.

And so? For Zippy... disagreeing with him is "trolling".

Oh.... and tedious is the "Advocate" business.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:18 AM
But OK... rightI edited my post after reading yours... that is the idea right?No, that's not the idea. The idea is exactly what I posted: "highlights what I'm saying."


Oh.... and tedious is the "Advocate" business.It's what you do....24/7

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Zip...it's a bore. It's very transparent. Others are on to you. Believe me.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:22 AM
Believe you?

Why would anyone believe you?

Transparency:
and I'm not interested.What a joke.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 07:25 AM
Maybe I'll the next to get put on the list. I'm just as stupid as you. I daresay more so.

Nah, Lofter...it's a tie.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 07:28 AM
Attention: Unanswered trash-Italy post in the Knox thread.

Ninjahedge
June 16th, 2011, 08:18 AM
BAck to the subject.

In structural design, we are told how to design new building and how to retrofit existing buildings to resist earthquakes within a certain envelope of predicted ground motion based on history of amplitude and frequency of occurance in the past.

Mean recurrance does not hold quite as strongly with earthquakes as things such as wind events simply because there is not as complete a record of ALL events possible within a certain period of time. 100 years of weather events can tell you when an area is more likely to get a hurricane. 100 years of geological events is simply a blip on the clock of tectonic events stretching millions of years.

Now, back to subject. You can get an IDEA of how often an event will occur, but that is not a forecast. It is a probability. A mean recurrance interval (%chance to happen over #years). As shown with other mean recurrance models, an extremely unlikely event can happen twice in two years even if it is listed as a mean recurrance of 50. OTOH, you can go 100 years without it happening once.

IT IS PROBABILITY.

Now, seismic events get more difficult because we do not have an exactl model of global tectonic movement. Maybe 100 years from now we will be able to look beneath the crust deep enough to track movements, model the geometry and composition of the shifting plates to enough detail to give more accurate FORECASTS, but that is not something we have today.

All we have today is "well, bad quakes happened here in the past, fairly regularly. You are at high risk of another".

In modern design that has changed the way we do things, but scientists do not have the crystal ball to tell them what will happen and when (they are not Goldblume with a Mac). They can only study what has happened and, hopefully, work with engineers to minimize the life loss when an event happens.

And scientists CERTAINLY do not have the ability to tell towns that they need to tear down all their old brick-and-mortar construction in a high risk zone because they are insufficient to resist the loads they would experience. THAT is for the legislators. And those legislators, in most societies, can only do what the people will allow them to do.

So maybe the survivors of the quake should all be charged with manslaughter because they did not demand that legislation be passed to either reinforce or remove all high risk structures?


The more I hear about the blame game, the more relieved I am it is not an American Invention, but the more sad I am that it is inseperably Human.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 08:36 AM
This is from the California Emergency Management Agency. This is the kind of stuff the "Commissione Grandi Rischi" of the "Dipartimento della Protezione Civile" are supposed to deal with. This is the kind of info to be disiminated. Instead we had them holding a press conference and telling people to relax. Maybe they should have been reviewing this stuff at the press conference, telling people where to go to get info etc.:

Before An Earthquake
How well you,your family and your home survive an
earthquake often depends upon how well you prepare
beforehand. Develop a family and neighborhood
earthquake plan.The following checklist will help you
get started:
■■Prepare an emergency kit of food,water,and
supplies including a flashlight,portable battery-
operated radio,batteries,medicines,first aid kit,
money and clothing.
■■Know the safe spots in each room—under sturdy
tables,desks,or against interior walls.
■■Know the danger spots—near windows,mirrors,
hanging objects,fireplaces and tall,unsecured
furniture.
■■Conduct practice drills so you and your family
know the safe locations in your home.
■■Decide how and where your family will reunite if
separated during a quake.
■■Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who family
members can call after the quake to report their
whereabouts and conditions.
■■Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary
resuscitation.)
■■Learn how to shut off gas,water,and electricity in
case the lines are damaged.SAFETY NOTE do not
attempt to relight the gas pilot.Call the utility
company.
■■Check chimneys,roofs,walls and foundations for
stability.Make sure your house is bolted to its
foundation.
■■Secure your water heater and major appliances as
well as tall,heavy furniture,hanging plants,mirrors
and picture frames—especially those over beds.
■■Keep breakables,heavy objects,flammable or
hazardous liquids such as,paints,pest sprays and
cleaning products,in secured cabinets or on lower
shelves.
■■Organize your neighborhood to be self-sufficient
after a quake. Would you be ready
to ride it out if an
earthquake hit today?
With some basic planning and
thinking ahead, preparing your
home or
workplace
for an
earthquake is
easy.These tips
on what to do
before, during and
after an earthquake were devel
oped by the California Governor’s
Office of Emergency Services to
help you get ready to ride it out!
www.oes.ca.gov (http://www.oes.ca.gov)

Ninjahedge
June 16th, 2011, 08:44 AM
FEMA and the CEMA are not scientists.

They are an emergency response organization that does their best to minimize loss of life both before and after.

They have no right to tell people to do anything, only to recommend, and they have not been sued for not knowing the future.


BTW, read Chicken Little and see how effective it is to warn people of the worst after every minor tremor.


BTW, how many tremors have they had there with no major seismic event following?

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 09:01 AM
But they are scientists who are on the "Commissione Grandi Rischi", their job in that capacity is to...oh never mind

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 09:06 AM
To my knowledge, no one in California connected with earthquake research has ever been indicted for manslaughter because of an earthquake.

The title of this thread is being (willfully?) ignored.

It's about the criminal-justice system in Italy. The earthquake is only an example of how screwed up it is.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 09:13 AM
BTW, how many tremors have they had there with no major seismic event following?The region is seismically active.

BTW, the only area of earthquake "prediction" that's even somewhat accurate is the forecasting of aftershocks. Models have been built up over decades of gathering data. For a given magnitude initial quake, estimates are made for the frequency and magnitude of aftershocks. You can search the recent earthquake in Japan for information.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Now, scientists are being prosecuted for not being able to predict what is scientifically impossible to predict.



He (Fabrizio) means whether this is true or not.




^
Of course it's true.


From the NYTimes:

"They do not stand accused of failing to predict the earthquake; everyone agrees that would have been impossible everyone agrees that would have been impossible. But prosecutors say that by playing down the risk of a major earthquake, the panel — the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks — failed to uphold its mandate "

I explained about what their mandate is, I quoted the famous "relax and have a glass of wine " line from one of the commissioners that set off the fury (among other things)

I then offer this info:



Also: this is Italy... it's about politics too. Magistrates VS. the Berlusconi government. When they get a chance to put the screws on they do.

And: there will be no jail time. This is a warning, it is an investigation. Maybe a fine, but I doubt it. They will have to go before a judge and answer questions though.




I provide info about what the charges are actually about. What the outcome will most likely be (based on other similar cases). i give examples of what this commissions mandate is. In other words putting this incident in context.

From there ...knowing all of this...the actual facts leading up to the case...hearing both sides...one can now make judgements on the actions of the magistrates.

Zippy doesn't seem to understand this concept.

---

For me? It's baroque...it's unfortunately 80% poltics... Berlusconi is right about out-of-control- judges (I've been saying this here forever)... but the whole thing will actually probably have a postive outcome: changes will be made... and no, no one is going to jail.

Ninjahedge
June 16th, 2011, 10:37 AM
I know Zip ;)

What I was saying is this:

1. There were tremors.
2. Fab is saying (in support of the Italian Legal System) that these tremors should have been warning enough for a major event.
3. They did not give a warning.

4. How many tremors have there been before with no event immediately (a few days) following?
5. If officials are repremanded for giving out warnings when there are no events, how many penalties would these guys have had against them warning after every tremor?
5a. If there were warnings given out (or recommendations given) after every minor tremor, how long would it be before people stopped paying attension and had a glass of wine on the roof on a nice day?

That is basically my position. Punishing these guys when they cannot predict the future is just a way for someone in charge to point the finger of blame at someone so that the people feel somehow better. Blame the seismologist for not warning us! He is at fault for Grandma dying!

There are many different stakes now available in modern society to burn someone at. If you get good enough at it, people tend to forget what the real issues are.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 10:50 AM
Punishing these guys when they cannot predict the future

^ We're back to Square 1

Ninjahedge
June 16th, 2011, 11:55 AM
Some place you are used to.

If square one is not right, there is no need to go any further.

The future of seismic events are not predictable to the extent that allow the shut down and evacuation of a city.

To be blamed for not issung a warning when that warning is not absolute shows a lack of knowledge on the part of the ones seeking to lay the blame. In addition, having other cases that punish those that disrupt the day-to-day life with "false" warnings shows the contradictory nature of this whole scenario.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't is not a viable legal framework.

KenNYC
June 16th, 2011, 12:13 PM
Damned if you do and damned if you don't is not a viable legal framework.

In Italy, it clearly is. Someone has to take the blame, and you can damn well be sure it isn't going to be the politicians.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 12:36 PM
Ken could you tell us why Stefania Pezzopane...person in charge of the reconstruction of L'Aquila and President of the Province of L'Acqiila lost her election?

MidtownGuy
June 16th, 2011, 12:59 PM
Cut the rhetorical games. If you have something valid to contribute, spit it out.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2011, 01:02 PM
If you have something valid to contribute...

^ Nota bene

MidtownGuy
June 16th, 2011, 01:07 PM
^q.e.d.

ZippyTheChimp
June 16th, 2011, 01:25 PM
I know Zip ;)

LOL

The Advocate wasn't interested in this thread, but he sure is trying hard to divert attention from the fact that the criminal-justice system in Italy sucks.

hbcat
June 18th, 2011, 12:49 PM
It is not possible to predict earthquakes in the days/hours before then occur. Japan and Taiwan have the most sophisticated early-warning systems in the world, but the Japan Meteorological Agency was only able to warn of an imminent quake 8.6 seconds before the Tohoku Earthquake in March:

http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/2011_Earthquake.html

The question of whether or not the officials in Italy were incompetent is a red herring. They had no way of knowing when the earthquake was coming, and no on should have believed them one way or the other had they said it was, unless Italy also has an imminent alert system.

Ninjahedge
June 20th, 2011, 08:09 AM
They do.

It's called God!


:rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
June 20th, 2011, 10:18 AM
The question of whether or not the officials in Italy were incompetent is a red herring. They had no way of knowing when the earthquake was coming, and no on should have believed them one way or the other had they said it was, unless Italy also has an imminent alert system.Before we hear for the nth time that the scientists weren't charged for failure to predict an earthquake, it's easy to see that the events unfolded because they didn't predict the earthquake.

To repeat:
Another defense lawyer, Alfredo Biondi, cited the case of Giuseppe Zamberletti, the former chief of Italy’s civil protection agency. He was placed under investigation after he ordered the evacuation in 1985 of a series of towns in the Garfagnana, an area in the province of Lucca, because of unusual seismic activity there. Mr. Zamberletti, who is the current president of the Major Risks Commission but is not a defendant in this case, was accused of causing public alarm when the major earthquake never occurred. The case never made it to trial.

There had been seismic activity in the region for months. Some of the 30 or so people that started the complaint that resulted in the manslaughter charges indicated that they stayed in L'Aqila because of the statements of the committee.

Really? Or is this after-the-fact?

What if the committee had met a month or two earlier to discuss the tremors, and had issued a warning? How many townspeople would have left their homes and their jobs for months?

Geologic time isn't tied to a human scale. Centuries are like the blink of an eye. Unluckily for the scientists that were charged, the earthquake happened only six days later; but there is no reason that they couldn't still be waiting for it today. If the earthquake happened tomorrow, would there be any manslaughter charges?