Friday, May 27, 2011

Seismologists Indicted For Not Predicting Earthquake

I hate to say "I told you so." I really do. There are few things that pain me more than a vigorous finger-wag and a scolding reminder of my prior fortellsions.

But in this case it is richly deserved.

The wonderful news out of Italy is that the families of the 309 people killed in the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake may finally receive justice. Six Italian seismologists and one government official have been charged with manslaughter for failing to predict the April 6, 2009 quake.

Typically, the global numero-scientific cabal is circling the wagons to defend the allegedly-homicidal seismologists. And as to be expected, they're throwing around the standard set of excuses: that earthquakes can't be predicted, that the purpose of seismology is to quantify earthquake hazard for a given region, and that people in earthquake zones should retrofit buildings or something - I don't know. I didn't read the whole thing.

The problem, of course, is that the seismologers were trying to use an inexact science like science to make their earthquake hazard shakey maps or whatever they do. Whereas the most effective techniques for earthquake prediction are currently in the domain of pseudoscience.

Legitimate seismologists summarily dismissed the radon-based predictions of pseudoscientist Giampaolo "Rudy" Giuliani, who predicted the earthquake nearly a week before it hit. Also summarily dismissed was my own successful earthquake prediction, using the pseudoscience of looking for alignments of various celestial bodies with the then-undiscovered Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin).

So, scientists... although it hurts me to say it, I told you so!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Camping's Folly: When Numbers Go Bad

As you may have noticed, the world didn't end yesterday. Harold Camping (File Photo)There have been a number of explanations for why Family Radio nonogenarian Harold Camping's Judgement Day prediction did not come true, ranging from a last minute change of heart by Our Lord and Savior to the fact that God doesn't exist and that all religions are merely societal constructs enabled by neurotransmitters in the brain. Camping himself has an alternate explanation - that Judgement Day happened, but was invisible.

While all of these are possible, I have an alternate theory. Camping's prediction was based on a very careful calculation of the accumulated ages of biblical figures, along with a rounding-down of the age of the Earth from 4.57 billion years to just over 6,000. What did Camping use to make this calculation? Numbers. Numerology. A study of the purported mystical relationship between numbers and life.

Since life proved to be correct by continuing to exist today, it is painfully obvious that numbers are wrong. This may be a harsh lesson for Camping's followers, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases destroyed their families over this prediction, but a lesson learned.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

NASA Proves Einstein Right, Numeratocracy Wrong

NASA today announced the successful results of the Gravity Probe B mission, which validated Einstein's theory of General Relativity by showing that space and time are indeed warped by gravity. This result confirms what The Math Skeptic has been saying for years - that all time and distance measurements - and by extension the numbers used to make them, are inherently distorted and thus invalid.
Gravity Probe B bouncing along on the invisible trampoline
Einstein's theory goes thusly: the Earth, like all celestial bodies, sits on a giant invisible rubber trampoline. This theory was quite revolutionary in 1916, as it displaced the previous Infinite Turtles theory from its spacetime pedestal, and has been under constant scrutiny in the century hence by IT proponents. According to General Relativity, the surface of this trampoline is distorted so much by the planet's immense mass that time and space themselves are bent into curves.

General Relativity also predicted that the rotation of the planet would also drag the frame of the trampoline around with it as it turned, much as a fat guy doing a back spin will drag the cardboard around with him as he breakdances, presumably to Herbie Hancock's "Rockit." This is known among IT2 proponents (Invisible Trampoline, not to be confused with Infinite Turtle proponents) as frame-dragging.

The Gravity Probe B mission, using the most accurate gyroscopes ever made, proved both trampoline curvature and frame-dragging to be true, and that gravity distorts spacetime by 0.00183383 of a degree per year.

By extension, this means that all numbers vary by 0.00183383 per year as well, throwing all of arithmetic in doubt. That math homework you did 20 years ago is now off by 0.03667 per digit. However, if you go back to your grade school and appeal to have your grades changed (grades which also are now off by 0.03667 of a letter, incidentally), you will be mocked and ridiculed. Such is the pervasity of the arithmetic cabal.