Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Predict or Prevent...That is the Question

What a great class today! I really enjoyed listening to everyone's thoughts on these topics. Just to summarize each scenario:

Prediction Team:

Your team has a new prediction method that has never been tested before, but you believe it will predict some earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.0 on the Richter scale. One day at work, your instruments tell you that there is a 3% chance of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in San Fransico within the next 15 minutes.

The essential question:

Would it be worse to send a Warning, but then the quake doens't occur or you don't send a warning and the quake does occur?

Prevention Team:

Your team has been developing a method to prevent large quakes from occurring. You know five things:

1. A fault in your local area has built up enough strain to cause a 6.0 earthquake
2. There is a 50% chance that it could occur in the next ten years.
3. You may be able to prevent it by causing a series of about 25 smaller quakes in the same location to relase the strain on the rocks.
4. You predic that each of the smaller quakes will be less than 5.0.
5. There is a 10% chance that the small er quakes could actually trigger the major quake instead of preventing it.

Essential Question:

Should we take our chances and/or prepare for the one large one or should would we cause the series of 25 smaller ones, hoping to release the strain of the rocks?

I'd love to hear what all of you think. I'm looking forward to reading some great comments.

~Cool Teacher Dude


Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I do not know they both have good and bad thing about them so that does make it hard to deside which I would do,put, right now I think I would like to predict it because then it will give people more time to get ready for it ,but, if we prevent it there is no need to worry people. Oh I need help to find a web site to answer Question 3 on the Earthquakes worksheet we had for homework can any one help me please?

Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I think it would be best to tell the state that a earthqquake is coming and it not to happen, because if the people left the state for safety or something, at least they wouldn't be dead! Oh, And person with the comment above me, you 4got to sign your name!!


Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I think it would be better to tell everyone that the earthquake was coming but it didn't happen because if you don't and it does happen, you could lose your job. Also, you'd feel the guilt of so many people who died and were injured. Also, I wanted to say this: someone said for the prevent questions, what if we prevented it from happening with less than we predicted amount of small earthquakes( origional amount was 25 small earthquakes) but, if you lessened the amount, there would be a greater percentage of it causing a major earthquake so therefore, i would just deal with the major earthquake. Thats just my opinion.


Ari said...

The win-win situations for me are the most confusing. I get one agree with one part of it, but when I hear someone else explain the other thing I'm going against it makes me want to choose both of the answers! In the predition team, I had written down what might happen if the percentage went up from 3% to 75% between that 15 minutes? Then would the people be at risk for seeing the light(dying)? Those are the questions that come back to haunt me if I don't choose the right one, but is there always a right or wrong answer? Should we trust our gut or go with it? I think if you are ever in a situation like this one, you should think which one makes more sense by thinking about the consequences for the choice you picked, and then get someone elses opinion... And momoluvspink, I was thinking the same thing until Cool Teacher Dude said that all of the people would be going around screaming and running like they didn't have any sense, then if people were to jump in their cars and try to evacuate, all the roads would be stopped up, and that it would be best just to not tell them. You would have to cross your fingers and hope that the earthquake doesn't happen, but all that is is just trying to test your luck. Does anyone else have anything to add on to this comment?

Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I would predict and if it was a big magnitude and a big chance of it happening I would but if it wasnt i still would tell the people but also tell them it might not happen.


Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I would like to predict the earthquaks. I choose this because then we won't be tampering with the balance of Mother Nature and if you could predict them than you could tell people to evacuate.

Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

why won't anyone help me I can't find the answer. Oh, I'm the first person I'm sorry I forgot to sign my name but I but I still need help to find the answer. Please help me

Ps. I still can't pick.

Chelsea said...

I dont know which to pick, because they both have good things and bad things.

Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

great post cool teacher dude and I like the way you listed things in your post but I am sad you are leaving


Mr. Sherman's Science Class said...

I would predict because even if it's not scheduled to have a big magnitude you would want to warn people of the danger that they could be in. If you didn't warn them and people got seriously injured, adn maybe even died they would blame you for the deaths and injuries of those people. Besides, if you predicted it and people fled the city they would still blame you but some might thank you for watching out and being careful. My mom always told me "you should rather be safe then sorry."


$!E44@ said...

Hey Mr.Sherman.....can we still post on your site?
we really miss you...:)
itz nice seing you everyday....
well we gtg:)