Sunday, 20 March 2011

More earthquake looniness

Seems no sooner do I blog on the moon and earthquakes I see some "moonman" is using the tragedy is CHCH for self promotion. The scammers name is Ken Ring. Oddly TV3 has reported that his claims have been "rubbished by scientists and sceptics". This just shows how much rubbish TV3 journalism is. In fact, these claims have been disproved. Notice the difference? "Rubbishing" implies the ideas may have merit and makes Ken look like an oppressed genius rather than a shameless crook.

How do I know? The original "prediction" was for
Potential earthquake time for the planet between 15th-25th, especially 18th for Christchurch, +/- about 3 days," Ring tweeted on February 14.
So he allows any time from the 12th (two days before the statement) to the 28th, for some place in the whole World - nice to hedge your bets. The CHCH example is disengenious because he already had reports of continuing aftershocks when he made the statement - it's a no brainer to "predict" more earthquakes within months of one that has just happened. Note, he allows a whole week for the prediction to come true.

Add to this that he predicts an earthquake someplace for a bit over a third of the dates in the calendar, and we are not surprised that he gets them "right" sometimes. We'd expect him to get it right about a third of the time by chance alone.

I've written about this in relation to coin tosses and it is the same here - the few positive results are not nearly enough to discount chance as the reason, even if we don't take into account all the misses, even if these were the only predictions made.

Now, Ken is a mathematitian. He knows all this. Yet he still peddles this tripe. Draw your own conclusions.

Anyway - Ken has predicted a big one for today. So anything in the next three days will count as a hit. Even if there was one, Ken's performance is still no better than chance so it means nothing. Still, it's brave of him, opportunists like him dont normally stick their kneck out so I wonder what excuse he has planned.

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