Signs 29 – The Power of Distraction

| November 4, 2018

Planet X SignsIn two more days, the nation will vote in in the midterms.  A day many see as heralding a fundamental shift in the nation’s political agenda.  Whether you are on the left or the right, one thing is for sure; we’re all distracted.

Worse yet, the feeling of free speech in our nation is in the grip of a political correctness buzzsaw that is reminiscent of Germany in 1933 and Americans no longer laugh together as we once did.

Now, even our comedians must grapple with finding ways to make us laugh without destroying their careers because they’ve failed to keep up with an ever-changing landscape of political correctness and unfortunately gored the political ox du jour.

Meanwhile, the fireball and earthquake database subsets we’re tracking in this series are continuing to rachet up as new concerns are expressed over seismic and volcanic activity worldwide.

Then there are the many floods and crop failures wreaking havoc all across our globe.  When we turn to the mainstream media for reporting, what do we get?  Disasters that must exceed a high threshold of body counts and insurance claims before they are mentioned in passing on the nightly news shows.

No matter the election results on November 6, blue, red, purple or puss green, the distraction will continue no matter who wins what.  This distraction is indeed a sad situation because as you will see with the October 2018 results, because we’re on a more profound trajectory.

October 2018 Fireballs

Fireballs are reported worldwide, and the American Meteor Society which is the primary source for North America, for this dataset.

AMS Multistate / Country Fireballs

Multistate/country fireballs cross the borders of multiple states and countries. For this reason, this is a critical category in the dataset because of the distance these fireballs must travel to receive reports from across large geographic areas.

Multistate Fireballs 1/2015 to 10/2018

In  August and September of this year, we saw declines in this subset for these months the four years tracked.  However, in October, we see parity between this year and the previous year.  Statistically, this is a push, and further observation reports for November and December will be necessary for this study.

AMS Huge Event Fireballs

It is a commonplace occurrence for Multistate / Country Fireballs to be reported as huge events because a huge event occurs when 100 or more eyewitness observers report a huge fireball event.

Huge Event Fireballs 1/2015 to 10/2018

As with AMS Multistate / Country Fireballs, we again are seeing we see parity between this year and the previous year for AMS Huge Event Fireballs.  This parity could be a statistical anomaly or the beginning of a disturbing trend.  Again, we need to wait for the reporting for November and December to decide.

AMS Monthly Total Fireballs

The monthly total fireballs are the most critical category in this dataset. When we look at the monthly total of fireballs for October 2018, we see the highest monthly number for this subset for October going back to 2015.

Total Monthly Fireballs 1/2015 to 10/2018

What is most disturbing about this subset, that we see a steady uptick in the number of monthly fireballs for the fourth straight month in a row, which is statistically significant, because we’re now observing more fireballs each month than ever before.

AMS Total Yearly Fireballs

The total number of reported fireballs of all sizes is where the big picture moves from monthly to yearly, and here the news is predictable.

Total Yearly Fireballs 1/2015 to 10/2018

The number of total yearly fireballs for 2018 now tops that of 2011 through 2015.  Given that November and December are the two months of each year with the highest levels of reporting, it looks to be horse race as to which year holds the highest numbers of all time.  Well reader, do you feel lucky?

Earthquakes Since 1997

At the outset of our Signs series, J. P. Jones created a dataset spreadsheet that tracks the total number of earthquakes each month beginning with 1997. The updated spreadsheet below has been updated with the October 2018 results.

Earthquakes 1/1997 to 10/2018

Although June and July of 2018 were ballistically high, October 2018 has a unique attribute.  October 2018 is the first October since 1997 to report a five digit value (10,348) for the total number of earthquakes of all magnitudes. Sometimes, these subtle differences are too simple to be grasped.

Global Earthquakes of all Magnitudes 1/2015 to 10/2018

When we look at annual global earthquakes for the entire dataset, October 2018 shows a statistically significant increase over the data for previous months dating back to 2015.

Earthquakes 1/2015 to 10/2018

What we now see with this subset is a clear and alarming trend.  Beginning in May 2018, we have a 6-month period where each month (save for September 2018) is setting a new record.   This trend is not a wait-and-see result.  It is a “wake-up and smell the coffee” result, but regrettably, many are more afraid of the politics of personal destruction than what is happening beneath their feet.

Is Political Correctness an Earth Changes Disease?

Given that Americans are distracted as our planet slips into turmoil, one must ask, is political correctness an earth changes disease?  Reader, this is not an attempt at humor, but rather, a genuine concern.

Could it be that we all sense that our physical world is changing for the worse but because we feel hopeless to do anything about, we can only channel our concerns into pointless jousting where both sides can stop whining enough to agree on one thing: the need to mix each other with crap.

Or to paraphrase T. S. Eliot, This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a smear.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Signs

Comments are closed.