Ken Ring & March 20th – let's get back to science

By Grant Jacobs 20/03/2011

As we head towards whatever flexi-time deadline it is that Ken Ring has in mind as the end of his ‘earthquake prediction/warning/opinion’ this what I see on the GeoNet national seismic drum summary:

Source: GeoNet, NZ.
Source: GeoNet, NZ.

Magnitude 4 earthquakes are common in New Zealand and we’ve had several over the past 24 hours. A magnitude 4.7 at Hawera from 120km down. Three magnitude 4+ earthquakes in 25 minutes near Twizel, and (much) smaller aftershocks in the Christchurch region. None of these are ‘for the record books’ as Ken Ring said to Marcus Lush.

This fuss has seen more traffic to my blog than ever. A good thing, right?

Actually, it’s partly why I’m sick of the Ken Ring fiasco. Readers can’t see the blog traffic, but I can. A good 60-80%+ of the traffic each day over the past ten days or so has been to a short article on why it never mattered what happened today. It’s depressing to see the bulk of my readership go to a topic like that for days on end. You can only hope it’s mostly people who think Ring’s ’predictions’ are silly, but that it’s attracted the sort of attention is has at all is a bit disquieting.

It’s also not as if I’ll stop letting people know what I think of homeopathy and whatnot; it’s the sheer persistence of the thing that is a bit much.

I want people to be reading about all the great things happening in science, not hare-brained ’predictions’ and the media circus feeding off it.

On that note, I offer below some of my longer-form articles for general readers, with teasers. Older articles including videos, shorter pieces and a few more serious articles can be found in my blog anniversary day listing or just browsing around the archives to the right of this page. Feel free to comment, even if the articles are old. Don’t forget my colleagues blogs too.

Health and science-related

Practising science:

As a parting thought, I would also suggest to Ken Ring that a change in line of his ‘forecasting’ business is in order–to one that does not impact on people or exploit their fears. A return to Pawmistry, perhaps? (Palm-readings of cats and kittens, for the few who haven’t heard of it yet.)