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Re: Anyone know if Alvaro is OK?

From: Chris Browne <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Anyone know if Alvaro is OK?
Date: 2010-03-01 23:11:48
Message-ID: 87y6ib3adn.fsf@ca.afilias.info (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
scrawford(at)pinpointresearch(dot)com (Steve Crawford) writes:
> Marc G. Fournier wrote:
>>
>> Is there a higher then normal amount of earthquakes happening
>> recently? haiti, japan just had one for 6.9, there was apparently
>> one in illinos a few weeks back, one on the Russia/China/N.Korean
>> border and now Chile?
>
> Random events come in bunches - something I always stop to remind
> myself of whenever there is a sudden bunch of quakes, celebrity
> deaths, plane crashes, etc. Especially with relatively unusual events
> like great-quakes and plane crashes, it can be tough to see if there
> is any signal in the noise - a job I have to leave to experienced
> statisticians.

I'll nit pick a little bit...

Random events are often *noticed* when there is some reason to think
it's an unusually large batch.

Nobody really notices the carnage on the highways, because,
stochastically, there are such a large number of events, both positive
and negative (e.g. - millions of people making it home safely, and a
tiny number that don't) that it's difficult for there to be a
sufficiently large number of "adverse events" to notice.

People are a lot more worried about terrorists than about car accidents,
even though the latter are *enormously* more likely to cause one's
demise, by a *huge* factor.  (This mismeasurement irritates me a lot,
particularly when I visit airports!)

2010 has had more news about earthquakes than other nearby years, but as
you say, it is not obvious that there is any signal to be found in the
noise.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deadly_earthquakes_since_1900> is
an interesting list.  Very few quakes are listed for 2009; I wonder if
this results from events not being reported yet?  Preceding years
consistently have quite a lot of deadly earthquakes, dating back for
many years.  From that list, Chile has been seeing pretty potent
earthquakes on a regular basis since 1905.

I'm mighty glad to hear that Alvaro is OK, and that things weren't too
disastrously shaken up, for him.
-- 
(format nil "~S(at)~S" "cbbrowne" "gmail.com")
http://linuxfinances.info/info/lsf.html
"Sponges grow in  the ocean. I wonder how much  deeper the ocean would
be if that didn't happen." -- Steven Wright

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