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The dangerous discourse of Mexican "influencers" who believe that the mind can attract earthquakes

The dangerous discourse of Mexican “influencers” who believe that the mind can attract earthquakes

Actor Jose Ron, “influencer” Barbara de Rigel, and comedian Sofia Nino de Rivera are some of the celebrities who have propounded this theory.RR h h. / IMDB

Mexican actor Jose Ron tweeted on September 19 to his 1.5 million followers: “I don’t know about you, but to me you shouldn’t exercise, it attracts energy! We are energy! Thinking and doing exercises take away that energy!” a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook The country’s score after just 45 minutes of national drills, which commemorated the two most dangerous earthquakes that crossed Mexico, in the S-19 in 1985 and 2017. At the time, everyone was posing the same question: How could three major earthquakes occur on the exact same date? A physicist went to calculate the probability – he said 0.000751% – that goes viral on social networks. Scientists came timidly to assert that all this was just a coincidence. However, the ingredients have already been prepared for the rapid spread of discourse without scientific backing claiming that we humans are the magnets of what happens, and we can even make the earth shake with our minds and energy.

On the other end of the phone, seismologist Carlos Valdes laughed softly: “I find it interesting, I hope the brain works this way and then with this energy we can solve many problems.” The researcher from the Geophysics Institute of UNAM University does not lose his temper before these magical theories and explains with the data: “The energy that accumulates to generate an earthquake like the one that happened on Monday is brewing for 40 or 60 years,” he points out, “The area that finally cracks has extraordinary dimensions, it is An underground elliptical, 70 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide We’re talking about really cool stuff, I don’t think human power, even with us all together, has the power to get to this point.

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Actress Barbara de Rigel wanted to know on Monday if her 8.4 million followers agreed with her new earthquake theory: “Why like that? It’s going to be energy. You see we’re all energy.” The influential Yos Hoffmann, better known as Yosstop, denied any coincidence: “And history repeats itself, this is not a coincidence, the universe reminds us of something, something that wants to remind us, on the same day, about the same time, at the same moment, it’s a cannon.” Host Martha DeBale brought the Law of Attraction to the fore: “Do we attract what we attract because of who we are?”

If you are looking for a comparison: The energy of the September 19 earthquake The equivalent of 20,000 atomic bombs like those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And they are not the strongest, as Carlos Valdes says, seismic waves from “magnitude 9.5 monsters” that occurred in Chile orbited the Earth for several days. “Can the power of the mind do that? Not now. But you can do something: check structures, do exercises to study where we have to go and plan evacuation strategies,” says the researcher without sarcasm.

Follow posts influencersTarot readers appeared and coaches which referred to the same term: egregor, a pseudo-scientific concept according to which collective thought constitutes a psychological entity capable of influencing reality. “It is naive to think that earthquakes can be ‘attracted’ by thought, as with any other collective desire. If it were gravity and thought, it would rain in countries where drought rages, rains would cease in countries with floods, and it would be less cold in the seasons harsh winters and less hot summers,” answers seismologist Gina Villalobos.

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The danger of these anti-science discourses is that they are not innocuous, but under which lies the rejection of mimicry, for example. “I feel like it’s through exercise always called tremor,” comedian Sofia Nino de Rivera unabashedly tweeted, in a post shared by thousands of people.

Villalobos, who is also a professor at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, leaves no doubt about the risks involved in not conducting the exercises: “Failure to train residents in correct evacuation practices may result in a greater number of injuries or deaths in an event in the future.” “It is not a matter of ideas or energies, not pseudoscience that saves lives during an earthquake, but rather strict earthquake-resistance rules, properly designed and built structures and preventive practices,” he adds.

Luis Antonio Dominguez, Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of California, speaks in the same vein: “Exercises allow us to see what we might do wrong in the event of an earthquake.” Especially in the two places we’re most likely to be: in the bedroom and in the office. “To stop the exercises is to ignore that there are earthquakes and that they do so frequently. If we look at the last 2,000 years, since the birth of Christ, which would still be a very short time relative to the Earth, There were several earthquakes every day of the year‘,” notes a researcher at UNAM, who worked for the National Seismological Service.

Mexico has a catalog collecting earthquakes since 1900, and since then 315 larger than 6 have been recorded. 1998 and 2016. On the marked September 19 day, there were not only three large earthquakes, but four, one also occurred in 1993 (magnitude 6.3). On September 23 there were five of the last century. Thus Niño de Rivera’s suggestion, which has become a popular request: “We have to skip September 19 on the calendarlike lifts that cross 13, they lose their meaning.

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Earthquakes are unpredictable, random and very frequent phenomena in Mexico. “We associate September with the month of earthquakes, so it looks like they all happened in September,” adds Luis Antonio Dominguez, “but even from the most recent earthquakes we had one of the more than 7 earthquakes in 2018 in February, in 2020 in June and we didn’t give it importance “. In the early hours of Thursday, September 22 Mexico shook again: a 6.9-magnitude earthquakeHe didn’t need simulation or group thought.

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