Forum Settings
       
« Previous 1 2
Reply To Thread

Aftershocking verdictFollow

#1 Oct 23 2012 at 4:21 AM Rating: Excellent
Avatar
******
27,410 posts
What.
Quote:
Scientists aghast after colleagues convicted of manslaughter over Italy quake

Earthquake experts around the world say they are appalled by an Italian court's decision to convict six scientists on manslaughter charges for failing to predict the deadly quake that devastated the city of L'Aquila. They warned the ruling could severely harm future scientific research.

The court in L'Aquila sentenced the scientists and a government official Monday to six years in prison, ruling that they didn't accurately communicate the risk of the earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people.

The trial centered on a meeting a week before the 6.3-magnitude quake struck. At the meeting, the experts determined that it was "unlikely" but not impossible that a major quake would take place, despite concern among the city's residents over recent seismic activity.

Prosecutors said the defendants provided "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory information about the dangers" facing L'Aquila.

The court agreed, convicting the six scientists from the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) and a member of the Civil Protection Agency. It also ordered the Italian authorities to pay 7.8 million euros ($10 million) in damages.

Seismologists were aghast at the court's decision, noting that earthquakes remain impossible to forecast with any kind of accuracy.

"To predict a large quake on the basis of a relatively commonplace sequence of small earthquakes, and to advise the local population to flee" would constitute "both bad science and bad public policy," said David Oglesby, an associate professor at the earth sciences faculty of the University of California, Riverside.
There's more story in the link. I still can't quite wrap my head around this. Perhaps I'll edit in some thoughts later.
____________________________
Someone on another forum wrote:
Wow, you've got an awesome writing style.! I really dig the narrator's back story, humor, sarcasm, and the plethora of pop culture references. Altogether a refreshingly different RotR journal (not that I don't like the more traditional ones, mind you).

#2 Oct 23 2012 at 5:24 AM Rating: Decent
******
21,717 posts
On the surface, it seems apalling and ludicrous. However...

Quote:
The trial centered on a meeting a week before the 6.3-magnitude quake struck. At the meeting, the experts determined that it was "unlikely" but not impossible that a major quake would take place, despite concern among the city's residents over recent seismic activity.


It seems the content of this meeting was a centerpiece of the trial. Was there political or commercial motivation in denouncing the possibility of an earthquake? Was it really all just about science? I'm guessing there's more to the story here...

Edited, Oct 23rd 2012 6:25am by BrownDuck
____________________________
R.I.P. Jessica M. 5/3/2010
This post brought to you by Carl's Jr.
gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#3 Oct 23 2012 at 6:28 AM Rating: Excellent
Avatar
******
27,410 posts
BrownDuck wrote:
Was there political or commercial motivation in denouncing the possibility of an earthquake?
After finally having a moment to read the full thing, it doesn't sound like it. As noted in the article, earthquakes are really hard to truly predict with any real accuracy. Either way, barring something that proves they willfully mislead with their statements, I worry about the precedent this sets.
____________________________
Someone on another forum wrote:
Wow, you've got an awesome writing style.! I really dig the narrator's back story, humor, sarcasm, and the plethora of pop culture references. Altogether a refreshingly different RotR journal (not that I don't like the more traditional ones, mind you).

#4 Oct 23 2012 at 6:45 AM Rating: Excellent
Annoying Ass
ZAM Administrator
Avatar
*****
11,946 posts
The only thing I want to know is if we can sue weathermen who don't predict the weather correctly now. If so, this ruling might turn out to do some good!

... but honestly, it seems terrifying for scientists.
____________________________
Retired News Writer for the ZAM Network
WoW - Aureliano the Insane - level 90 Druid on Sen'Jin
Nanaoki - level 90 Mage on Sen'Jin
#5 Oct 23 2012 at 6:46 AM Rating: Decent
******
21,717 posts
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
Was there political or commercial motivation in denouncing the possibility of an earthquake?
After finally having a moment to read the full thing, it doesn't sound like it. As noted in the article, earthquakes are really hard to truly predict with any real accuracy. Either way, barring something that proves they willfully mislead with their statements, I worry about the precedent this sets.

You're right. In the absense of outside motivation, this sets a nasty precedent. In no way should scientists ever be held accountable for the variability of mother nature. This is not the same as predicting a levy will hold, for example. I just can't help but wonder that the same sentiment surely had to be shared among the court members and that something truly negative had to come to light to allow such a verdict to pass. I guess this is a case of "it's so ridiculous, I can't believe it at face value" cases.
____________________________
R.I.P. Jessica M. 5/3/2010
This post brought to you by Carl's Jr.
gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#6 Oct 23 2012 at 6:51 AM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
From Nature:
Quote:
The view from L'Aquila, however, is quite different. Prosecutors and the families of victims alike say that the trial has nothing to do with the ability to predict earthquakes, and everything to do with the failure of government-appointed scientists serving on an advisory panel to adequately evaluate, and then communicate, the potential risk to the local population. The charges, detailed in a 224-page document filed by Picuti, allege that members of the National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, who held a special meeting in L'Aquila the week before the earthquake, provided "incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information" to a public that had been unnerved by months of persistent, low-level tremors. Picuti says that the commission was more interested in pacifying the local population than in giving clear advice about earthquake preparedness.

"I'm not crazy," Picuti says. "I know they can't predict earthquakes. The basis of the charges is not that they didn't predict the earthquake. As functionaries of the state, they had certain duties imposed by law: to evaluate and characterize the risks that were present in L'Aquila." Part of that risk assessment, he says, should have included the density of the urban population and the known fragility of many ancient buildings in the city centre. "They were obligated to evaluate the degree of risk given all these factors," he says, "and they did not."

I won't even pretend to know anything about this case, much less Italian criminal law, but it seems that the criminal negligence stems from inadequately assessing the risks of an earthquake hitting the city, not predicting if an earthquake will hit the city.
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#7 Oct 23 2012 at 7:01 AM Rating: Decent
******
21,717 posts
Jophiel wrote:
I won't even pretend to know anything about this case, much less Italian criminal law, but it seems that the criminal negligence stems from inadequately assessing the risks of an earthquake hitting the city, not predicting if an earthquake will hit the city.


The article you quoted illustrates what I was getting at. It shouldn't take another disaster like the Sumatra earthquake to convince government entities of the need to prepare against risk. If there's a failure there, it absolutely should be dealt with. Is it criminal? Maybe, I don't know. Allowing the whole thing to slip under the rug is detrimental in any case.
____________________________
R.I.P. Jessica M. 5/3/2010
This post brought to you by Carl's Jr.
gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#8 Oct 23 2012 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
******
43,650 posts
BrownDuck wrote:
Is it criminal? Maybe, I don't know.
Well, they're paid to do one thing, and if the article is accurate, then providing "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory information about the dangers" is certainly criminally negligent.
____________________________
George Carlin wrote:
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
#9 Oct 23 2012 at 8:25 AM Rating: Excellent
Meat Popsicle
*****
11,709 posts
LockeColeMA wrote:
... but honestly, it seems terrifying for scientists.


Given that there's virtually always some degree of contradicting evidence in science it is a bit scary. On the other hand there's something to be said for telling people to prepare for the worst, and hoping for the best.

Shifts the blame onto the lazy populace and off your shoulders. Smiley: nod
____________________________
That monster in the mirror, he just might be you. -Grover
#10 Oct 23 2012 at 8:32 AM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
I got the impression (from what little I read on it) that the issue wasn't just that they were wrong but that the evidence indicated that they sort of half-assed the whole thing, thus the negligence.

Of course, if I had all the details I might disagree with the verdict anyway. It just doesn't sound like "You didn't say there'd be an earthquake! Jail for you!"
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#11 Oct 23 2012 at 8:44 AM Rating: Excellent
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
Reading the article Joph linked, I'm highly inclined to side with the scientists here.

For one, they were a National council, NOT some commission convened by L'Aquila for risk evaluation. L'Aquila is a high-risk area, which should have been reviewing this for DECADES. Expecting one 6 person national panel to do it in a couple of months is absurd.

Two, the scientists arrived at the commission meeting without being warned that it would be open. They hadn't prepared public statements, because they hadn't intended to be engaging the public at that time. They convened to assess the risk of an imminent earthquake, not to give detailed instructions on what to do during one.

Third, they had to spend the bulk of their time telling the public not to worry. They were holding a special commission in L'Aquila for two reasons. 1, because there had been months of persistent quakes. 2, because an amateur seismologist had been spreading his theory of a massive, imminent quake. Step one absolutely had to be to assuage public fear. Panic doesn't help anyone, regardless of whether that's during a disaster or not. They calmed the population, and unfortunately a quake hit. But would the quake have been better if it happened in a town predisposed to panic? I'm guessing not, because a lot of the people still alive are so because of rescue efforts.

This is a town where earthquakes are the norm. They know what to do during quakes--they have them all the time. Procedure doesn't change according to the intensity of a quake. All they would have told the townspeople are things all of them already knew.

The problem is that people assumed "low risk of a high-magnitude quake" meant "stop following procedure." And I don't think that's the scientists' fault.

I don't think you can reduce the blame down to this commission. The town should have been conducting surveys on their buildings for a long time, the local systems should have been spreading info on earthquake procedure (I'm betting evacuation routes aren't decided on by the commission), the commission should have been warned they'd be addressing the public so they could issue a statement (and have had a closed door meeting before hand for the scientific review), etc.

This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#12 Oct 23 2012 at 8:49 AM Rating: Decent
Prodigal Son
*****
19,921 posts
Now they should just call to evacuate entire cities whenever somebody farts loudly.
____________________________
publiusvarus wrote:
we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
#13 Oct 23 2012 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
Scholar
***
1,286 posts
Wait...so now people are being prosecuted for natural disasters occurring?

What the **** is wrong with people?
____________________________
Server: Midgardsormr
Occupation: Reckless Red Mage

IcookPizza wrote:

I think RDM's neurotic omniscience is sooooooo worth including in any alliance.
#14 Oct 23 2012 at 9:15 AM Rating: Excellent
Meat Popsicle
*****
11,709 posts
cidbahamut wrote:
What the **** is wrong with people?


Might want to have a seat, it could take a while to read the whole list.
____________________________
That monster in the mirror, he just might be you. -Grover
#15 Oct 23 2012 at 9:17 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
***
1,286 posts
someproteinguy wrote:
cidbahamut wrote:
What the **** is wrong with people?


Might want to have a seat, it could take a while to read the whole list.

Is there at least a cliff notes version or a table of contents I could look over in the meantime?
____________________________
Server: Midgardsormr
Occupation: Reckless Red Mage

IcookPizza wrote:

I think RDM's neurotic omniscience is sooooooo worth including in any alliance.
#16 Oct 23 2012 at 9:22 AM Rating: Excellent
Meat Popsicle
*****
11,709 posts
cidbahamut wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
cidbahamut wrote:
What the **** is wrong with people?


Might want to have a seat, it could take a while to read the whole list.

Is there at least a cliff notes version or a table of contents I could look over in the meantime?


Well apparently first on the list is that they tend to die in earthquakes. There's also a whole chapter dealing with rage and pointing their fingers at things.

Many of them also smell funny.
____________________________
That monster in the mirror, he just might be you. -Grover
#17 Oct 23 2012 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
******
43,650 posts
cidbahamut wrote:
Wait...so now people are being prosecuted for natural disasters occurring?
No, they're being prosecuted because the people doing the suing believe the deaths would have been easily preventable. Whether or not that is true is beyond me since I'm not going to go digging into more than the articles linked here.
____________________________
George Carlin wrote:
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
#18 Oct 23 2012 at 9:32 AM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
cidbahamut wrote:
Wait...so now people are being prosecuted for natural disasters occurring?

No.
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#19 Oct 23 2012 at 10:22 AM Rating: Excellent
Will swallow your soul
******
28,221 posts
So much is left out of the articles. Aside from the recent swarm of small quakes, is there a seismic history in the area? Was the depth and attitude of the known faults understood?

Italy is a pretty active seismic area overall. I'd be interested to know whether the scientists answered a question like, "Should we be concerned about a major quake?" with something like, "No more so than anywhere in Italy."

California is probably one of the best-studied earthquake zones in the world, and the most you'll get out of a seismologist here is, "Be ready for anything." If you really push, they'll say something like, "A major quake WILL happen, but we can't predict exactly where or when."

The seismologists should probably have hedged their replies better at the very least. Without knowing what they did say, I can't tell why they were punished. But nearly all Italians live in seismically active areas. And retrofitting buildings and infrastructure is expensive and time consuming and no one wants to do it; but maybe they should.
____________________________
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

#20 Oct 23 2012 at 10:28 AM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
My take-away was that they were tasked with evaluating the risk if an earthquake hit and very much under-estimated the impact which led to complacency among the population. They didn't account for population density or antiquated buildings without protection. Maybe other things as well.

An exaggerated analogy being be me saying "Well, by my best judgement, if a nuclear bomb went off in downtown LA, it would just damage a few cars" so everyone reacts to a nuclear bomb threat by staying off the streets but makes no attempt to flee the city, seek shelter, head to Vault 13 or whatever.
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#21 Oct 23 2012 at 10:33 AM Rating: Good
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
The area is a seismic hot spot. Earthquakes are a way of life there. But the last major earthquake was in the 1700s, and most of the buildings haven'tn designed to stand up to seismic waves at higher magnitudes.

The overall message of the meeting seemed to have been "We can't guarantee against a major quake, but many smaller quakes statistically tend to alleviate the stress that can cause a major quake."

I'm not seeing much anger over what they actually said, it largely seems to be about what they did say. Some people are **** that they spent most of the meeting trying to quell fears, but I'm not sure that's fair. I'd need to see a video of the meeting to decide. I mean, were they answering questions? Were those questions such that they had to keep repeating assurances?

What's really bothering me, though, is that the scientists apparently didn't know they'd be meeting with the public. You can't hold them negligent for not delivering information if they weren't warned they'd need to. I also worry about the precedent of a national 6-person commission being held responsible for a single town.

Was this a trial by jury? I don't remember any article saying.
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#22 Oct 23 2012 at 11:01 AM Rating: Excellent
Will swallow your soul
******
28,221 posts
A swarm of small quakes can presage a larger quake. Or they can relieve stress on the faults. It really depends on what kind(s) of fault(s) we're talking about.

Any seismologist should have a glib statement to make to the public at any time. How hard is it to say, "Don't panic, but be prepared for the worst just in case"?

I have to wonder whether the scientists were under some pressure to understate the danger because money is tight and no one wanted to have to deal with retrofitting discussions.
____________________________
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

#23 Oct 23 2012 at 11:19 AM Rating: Excellent
Meat Popsicle
*****
11,709 posts
Samira wrote:
Any seismologist should have a glib statement to make to the public at any time. How hard is it to say, "Don't panic, but be prepared for the worst just in case"?


Smiley: nod

I guess I don't know, we're the people told this at anytime? I'm assuming not? Seems odd if it wasn't said for whatever reason.

We've been told to prepare for 'the big one,' it's heard on a regular basis, people make movies about it, blah blah blah. 80% chance in the next 50 years or whatever the line is these days; and we're not a bunch of raving panicked loons.

Well at least not any more than the rest of the country... Smiley: um
____________________________
That monster in the mirror, he just might be you. -Grover
#24 Oct 23 2012 at 11:28 AM Rating: Excellent
Tracer Bullet
*****
12,564 posts

I'll be happy if this decision can somehow be used to prosecute the Extenze people for the commercial where they say "It's real science!" and show guys in white lab coats stirring a flask of blue liquid.


Edited, Oct 23rd 2012 12:29pm by trickybeck
____________________________
Na Zdrowie
#25 Oct 23 2012 at 12:08 PM Rating: Excellent
******
43,650 posts
Research on Blue Gatorade is essential to the discovery of flying cars, man.
____________________________
George Carlin wrote:
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
#26 Oct 23 2012 at 12:17 PM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
trickybeck wrote:
I'll be happy if this decision can somehow be used to prosecute the Extenze people for the commercial where they say "It's real science!" and show guys in white lab coats stirring a flask of blue liquid.

If sanitary pad commercials have taught me anything, it's that that blue liquid came out of a vagina.
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#27 Oct 24 2012 at 1:16 PM Rating: Excellent
Drunken English Bastard
*****
15,263 posts
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.
____________________________
My Movember page
Solrain wrote:
WARs can use semi-colons however we want. I once killed a guy with a semi-colon.

LordFaramir wrote:
ODESNT MATTER CAUSE I HAVE ALCHOLOL IN MY VEINGS BETCH ;3
#28 Oct 24 2012 at 3:11 PM Rating: Default
Encyclopedia
******
31,550 posts
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.



Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?
____________________________
King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#29 Oct 24 2012 at 3:23 PM Rating: Excellent
Meat Popsicle
*****
11,709 posts
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.



Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?


Even if it wasn't, I'm not sure I could see that stopping you. Smiley: wink
____________________________
That monster in the mirror, he just might be you. -Grover
#30 Oct 24 2012 at 3:34 PM Rating: Excellent
****
5,684 posts
someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.



Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?


Even if it wasn't, I'm not sure I could see that stopping you. Smiley: wink

Gbaji is going to insert it whether you want him to or not. It's what god would want.

Edited, Oct 24th 2012 4:35pm by Bardalicious
____________________________
Almalieque wrote:
I admit that I was wrong

God bless Lili St. Cyr
#31 Oct 24 2012 at 3:35 PM Rating: Good
******
21,717 posts
Bardalicious wrote:
Gbaji is going to insert it whether you want him to or not. It's what god would want.

And it's almost never legitimate.


Edited, Oct 24th 2012 4:36pm by BrownDuck
____________________________
R.I.P. Jessica M. 5/3/2010
This post brought to you by Carl's Jr.
gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#32 Oct 24 2012 at 4:34 PM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

You think blame-shifting is somehow uniquely socialist? Are you in grade school or something?

I mean "Yes, this is exactly the point where you make a smug and erroneous statement. Actually, every point is that point when you're Gbaji."
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#33 Oct 24 2012 at 4:39 PM Rating: Default
Encyclopedia
******
31,550 posts
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

You think blame-shifting is somehow uniquely socialist?


No. But socialist states tend to take control of (and thus responsibility for) more aspects of the lives of their citizens. So if you create something called the "National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks", the citizens are going to be that much more likely to expect that their government will be able to predict great risks. And when their government fails them, they'll be more likely to point the finger of blame.

It's about expectations.
____________________________
King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#34 Oct 24 2012 at 5:05 PM Rating: Good
Worst. Title. Ever!
*****
14,792 posts
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

You think blame-shifting is somehow uniquely socialist?


No. But socialist states tend to take control of (and thus responsibility for) more aspects of the lives of their citizens. So if you create something called the "National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks", the citizens are going to be that much more likely to expect that their government will be able to predict great risks. And when their government fails them, they'll be more likely to point the finger of blame.

It's about expectations.


No one expects private sector committees to accomplish anything.
____________________________
Can't sleep, clown will eat me.
#35 Oct 24 2012 at 5:08 PM Rating: Good
Skelly Poker Since 2008
*****
15,818 posts
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

You think blame-shifting is somehow uniquely socialist?


No. But socialist states tend to take control of (and thus responsibility for) more aspects of the lives of their citizens. So if you create something called the "National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks", the citizens are going to be that much more likely to expect that their government will be able to predict great risks. And when their government fails them, they'll be more likely to point the finger of blame.

It's about expectations.
Sure. And in a purely capitalistic system the masses expect no help or 'warning' before or in the wake of a great natural disaster - and they don't get any.

I don't think the scientists or the commission should be held legally responsible. Civilly or occupationally liable to some extent maybe, but they should't go to jail.
____________________________
Alma wrote:
Post and be happy!
#36 Oct 24 2012 at 5:19 PM Rating: Good
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
Right, because corporations are known for standing up and saying, "You know what? My bad."

[EDIT]

And question, do we have any indication that this even IS a public committee? It could just as easily be an independent organization contracted by the government.

But, of course, that wouldn't suit gbaji's rhetoric.

Edited, Oct 24th 2012 7:21pm by idiggory
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#37 Oct 24 2012 at 5:39 PM Rating: Default
Encyclopedia
******
31,550 posts
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

And question, do we have any indication that this even IS a public committee? It could just as easily be an independent organization contracted by the government.


Quote:
The view from L'Aquila, however, is quite different. Prosecutors and the families of victims alike say that the trial has nothing to do with the ability to predict earthquakes, and everything to do with the failure of government-appointed scientists serving on an advisory panel to adequately evaluate, and then communicate, the potential risk to the local population. The charges, detailed in a 224-page document filed by Picuti, allege that members of the National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, who held a special meeting in L'Aquila the week before the earthquake, provided "incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information" to a public that had been unnerved by months of persistent, low-level tremors. Picuti says that the commission was more interested in pacifying the local population than in giving clear advice about earthquake preparedness.

"I'm not crazy," Picuti says. "I know they can't predict earthquakes. The basis of the charges is not that they didn't predict the earthquake. As functionaries of the state, they had certain duties imposed by law: to evaluate and characterize the risks that were present in L'Aquila." Part of that risk assessment, he says, should have included the density of the urban population and the known fragility of many ancient buildings in the city centre. "They were obligated to evaluate the degree of risk given all these factors," he says, "and they did not."



I'd say that's an indication. Wouldn't you agree?
____________________________
King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#38 Oct 24 2012 at 6:28 PM Rating: Good
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
All I've been able to find conflicts. This article calls it Italy's top disaster relief organization.

But the top disaster relief organization for the US is the American Red Cross, which isn't led by the state.

So that doesn't actually give me any room to say.

Furthermore, the articles keep saying seven were convicted--six scientists and one (ex)government official. But all seven were members of the National Commission.

So, what? Was there only one person there capable of acting in any official capacity? Why are all of them being held liable then--it's obviously isn't their job if they aren't given a position of authority.

And I'm seeing quotes that "These are professionals who spoke in good faith and were by no means motivated by personal interests." Is that just trying to reinforce their defense, or were they actually just experts called in to discuss the situation, without a personal stake in the issue?

I have no clue. I'm not seeing anything close to definitive proof for either argument.

And my point is that you're a biased moron for jumping to that conclusion.
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#39 Oct 24 2012 at 7:43 PM Rating: Default
Encyclopedia
******
31,550 posts
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
All I've been able to find conflicts. This article calls it Italy's top disaster relief organization.

But the top disaster relief organization for the US is the American Red Cross, which isn't led by the state.

So that doesn't actually give me any room to say.


You're arguing the wrong point though. Doesn't matter whether said organization is directly part of the government, or was simply called by the government to put on a PR show for the people. What matters is that the government did set up the meeting. It did put those scientists in the room with the public. It did so with the specific goal of dispelling people's fears that a big quake was coming. And as a result, the people believed that they did not need to take the normal precautions they would take when a series of tremors were occurring.
____________________________
King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#40 Oct 24 2012 at 7:51 PM Rating: Good
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
Right, because you're not making any wild assumptions there at all.

And, of course, a gov't that just says **** is so much better.
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#41 Oct 24 2012 at 8:57 PM Rating: Decent
Prodigal Son
*****
19,921 posts
TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

You think blame-shifting is somehow uniquely socialist?


No. But socialist states tend to take control of (and thus responsibility for) more aspects of the lives of their citizens. So if you create something called the "National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks", the citizens are going to be that much more likely to expect that their government will be able to predict great risks. And when their government fails them, they'll be more likely to point the finger of blame.

It's about expectations.


No one expects private sector committees to accomplish anything.

No, they should expect their President to personally prevent such tragedies from occurring. Like we do.
____________________________
publiusvarus wrote:
we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
#42 Oct 24 2012 at 11:12 PM Rating: Good
****
6,470 posts
Elinda wrote:
I don't think the scientists or the commission should be held legally responsible. Civilly or occupationally liable to some extent maybe, but they should't go to jail.


That's my inclination as well.
____________________________
Latest Articles:
Monaco: What's Yours is Mine Review

Follow me on Twitter!
#43 Oct 26 2012 at 3:39 AM Rating: Good
Everyone's Oiran
Avatar
*****
15,917 posts
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.



Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

Is this were I insert a stock statement about how in a small government, big capitalist nation fixated on the idea that every individual controls and is completely responsible for his/her own actions, the victims of the earthquake would not only be scapegoating the scientists, but suing them for everything they and their families own and earn. "You didn't hedge an unknowable prediction well enough. Bankruptcy on top of jail for you!"
____________________________
<3

http://www.reddit.com/r/Forum4/
#44 Oct 26 2012 at 3:46 PM Rating: Default
Encyclopedia
******
31,550 posts
Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

Is this were I insert a stock statement about how in a small government, big capitalist nation fixated on the idea that every individual controls and is completely responsible for his/her own actions, the victims of the earthquake would not only be scapegoating the scientists, but suing them for everything they and their families own and earn. "You didn't hedge an unknowable prediction well enough. Bankruptcy on top of jail for you!"


In such a society, the individuals would take responsibility for their own well being. I suspect you don't quite grasp what that means. Point being that instead of a government trying to tell the people not to worry about the earthquakes, it would have told them that anything is possible and to take whatever preparations they felt they needed to take. As a result, more people would have chosen to do what they would normally do (stay outside), and fewer would have died. While those who did might attempt to sue, they'd have a hard time doing so because they weren't told that they were perfectly safe.


The issue here is that it's become increasingly common for governments to use scientists as a backdrop to lend weight to their positions. In this case, the scientists were put out in front of the public to give the usual song and dance about earthquakes, then the government official told the public that they were perfectly safe. While the scientists didn't say anything technically untrue (the odds of a big earthquake were low, relatively speaking), it was how they were used that caused the problem. If it had just been a government official telling people not to worry, the people would have told him he doesn't know anything and would have taken precautions themselves. But by saying that in a press release as part of a presentation by a group of expert scientists people put more weight in his words.


I agree that this is somewhat unfair to the scientists, but on the other hand, scientists have become complacent in past decades with regard to how they are used by governments. They darn well know that the PR folks will spin the science, and they usually stand silent when it happens because they get paid to do this sort of thing. And every once in a while it backfires. Did they lie? No. But they allowed their expertise to lend weight to a lie.

____________________________
King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#45 Oct 26 2012 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
Avatar
*****
19,764 posts
I can't decide if I think this is the stupidest argument gbaji has ever made or not.
____________________________
IDrownFish wrote:
Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

lolgaxe wrote:
Never underestimate the healing power of a massive dong.
#46 Oct 26 2012 at 4:22 PM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I can't decide if I think this is the stupidest argument gbaji has ever made or not.

Yeah, I decided the other day to just let it go.

And I debate SSM with Alma! ALMA!!
____________________________
Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#47 Oct 26 2012 at 5:12 PM Rating: Excellent
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I can't decide if I think this is the stupidest argument gbaji has ever made or not.
That mess was gbaji clumsily telling us in a backdoor way that pro-ACC scientists are full of crap...again.
____________________________
gbaji wrote:
My own extraordinary nature has nothing to do with the validity of what I'm talking about..
#48 Oct 27 2012 at 11:50 AM Rating: Good
Drunken English Bastard
*****
15,263 posts
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This seems like a desire to blame someone to me.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Scape-goating, pure and simple. I think it's disgusting, personally.



Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

Insert stock rebuttal about how they'd have been sued the shit out of if this has happened in the United States?

As others have said, demanding someone be held responsible isn't even remotely unique to a Socialist country.
____________________________
My Movember page
Solrain wrote:
WARs can use semi-colons however we want. I once killed a guy with a semi-colon.

LordFaramir wrote:
ODESNT MATTER CAUSE I HAVE ALCHOLOL IN MY VEINGS BETCH ;3
#49 Oct 27 2012 at 9:25 PM Rating: Good
Prodigal Son
*****
19,921 posts
gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Is this where I inser
  • List Item
  • t a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

    Is this were I insert a stock statement about how in a small government, big capitalist nation fixated on the idea that every individual controls and is completely responsible for his/her own actions, the victims of the earthquake would not only be scapegoating the scientists, but suing them for everything they and their families own and earn. "You didn't hedge an unknowable prediction well enough. Bankruptcy on top of jail for you!"


    In such a society, the individuals would take responsibility for their own well being. I suspect you don't quite grasp what that means. Point being that instead of a government trying to tell the people not to worry about the earthquakes, it would have told them that anything is possible and to take whatever preparations they felt they needed to take. As a result, more people would have chosen to do what they would normally do (stay outside), and fewer would have died. While those who did might attempt to sue, they'd have a hard time doing so because they weren't told that they were perfectly safe.

    Maybe they shouldn't live in active earthquake zones? Or near volcanoes, or below sea level in hurricane-qprone areas...
    ____________________________
    publiusvarus wrote:
    we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
    #50 Oct 28 2012 at 7:49 AM Rating: Good
    Skelly Poker Since 2008
    *****
    15,818 posts
    gbaji wrote:
    Aripyanfar wrote:
    gbaji wrote:
    Is this where I insert a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

    Is this were I insert a stock statement about how in a small government, big capitalist nation fixated on the idea that every individual controls and is completely responsible for his/her own actions, the victims of the earthquake would not only be scapegoating the scientists, but suing them for everything they and their families own and earn. "You didn't hedge an unknowable prediction well enough. Bankruptcy on top of jail for you!"


    In such a society, the individuals would take responsibility for their own well being. I suspect you don't quite grasp what that means. Point being that instead of a government trying to tell the people not to worry about the earthquakes, it would have told them that anything is possible and to take whatever preparations they felt they needed to take. As a result, more people would have chosen to do what they would normally do (stay outside), and fewer would have died. While those who did might attempt to sue, they'd have a hard time doing so because they weren't told that they were perfectly safe.


    The issue here is that it's become increasingly common for governments to use scientists as a backdrop to lend weight to their positions. In this case, the scientists were put out in front of the public to give the usual song and dance about earthquakes, then the government official told the public that they were perfectly safe. While the scientists didn't say anything technically untrue (the odds of a big earthquake were low, relatively speaking), it was how they were used that caused the problem. If it had just been a government official telling people not to worry, the people would have told him he doesn't know anything and would have taken precautions themselves. But by saying that in a press release as part of a presentation by a group of expert scientists people put more weight in his words.


    I agree that this is somewhat unfair to the scientists, but on the other hand, scientists have become complacent in past decades with regard to how they are used by governments. They darn well know that the PR folks will spin the science, and they usually stand silent when it happens because they get paid to do this sort of thing. And every once in a while it backfires. Did they lie? No. But they allowed their expertise to lend weight to a lie.


    Yeah, keep the masses uninformed or better yet, misinformed. Knowledge is power, yo.
    ____________________________
    Alma wrote:
    Post and be happy!
    #51 Oct 28 2012 at 6:26 PM Rating: Excellent
    Will swallow your soul
    ******
    28,221 posts
    Debalic wrote:
    gbaji wrote:
    Aripyanfar wrote:
    gbaji wrote:
    Is this where I inser
  • List Item
  • t a stock statement about how this is an inevitable result of socialism/nanny-state/etc?

    Is this were I insert a stock statement about how in a small government, big capitalist nation fixated on the idea that every individual controls and is completely responsible for his/her own actions, the victims of the earthquake would not only be scapegoating the scientists, but suing them for everything they and their families own and earn. "You didn't hedge an unknowable prediction well enough. Bankruptcy on top of jail for you!"


    In such a society, the individuals would take responsibility for their own well being. I suspect you don't quite grasp what that means. Point being that instead of a government trying to tell the people not to worry about the earthquakes, it would have told them that anything is possible and to take whatever preparations they felt they needed to take. As a result, more people would have chosen to do what they would normally do (stay outside), and fewer would have died. While those who did might attempt to sue, they'd have a hard time doing so because they weren't told that they were perfectly safe.

    Maybe they shouldn't live in active earthquake zones? Or near volcanoes, or below sea level in hurricane-qprone areas...



    Yeah, speaking of which, good luck with that megastorm moving your way.

    ____________________________
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    « Previous 1 2
    Reply To Thread

    Colors Smileys Quote OriginalQuote Checked Help

     

    Recent Visitors: 28 All times are in CDT
    Anonymous Guests (28)