ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 28th, 2017, 6:58 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Chris -- again, so what? Most here had already agreed that sleight of hand with playing cards, that some contact with McKinney, that the ability to write, were all important characteristics that Erdnase would have been required to have. An estimate of how many people had those characteristics doesn't change their importance.

It does change the relative importance. If a characteristic is only shared by a small group it is certainly more significant than another one that many more exhibit. Do you still think that 'putting a deck of cards in the candidate's hands' is more important than say a contact with McKinney?

Your check-box-stays-in-the-pool method isn't working, because it doesn't allow you to make any relative judgement about the candidates still in the pool. Per your logic a candidate about whom we know nothing is just as good as any other candidate in the pool. We know nothing about him and therefore he is still in the pool. There is nothing that allows you to disqualify him with. So how is that candidate about we know nothing worse than others in the pool?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 28th, 2017, 9:10 pm

lybrary wrote:I find this a much more productive discussion, something that will move the search forward, than to argue about what we feel is an important fact and what is not. You or my feelings shouldn't matter. If we can develop estimates, reasonable boundaries, informed by whatever numbers and historical facts we can find, then a much more objective picture about the strength of various candidates will emerge. And that would indeed be progress and advance the hunt for Erdnase.


What for? You have already stated on your website that you solved the mystery. Contrary to that you now write here about advancing the hunt for Erdnase. What is the point of that rubbish on your website? To attract uninformed newbies so that you can make a buck?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 28th, 2017, 9:55 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:What for? You have already stated on your website that you solved the mystery. Contrary to that you now write here about advancing the hunt for Erdnase. What is the point of that rubbish on your website?

As I stated I am convinced that Gallaway is Erdnase and I am certainly within my rights to express this opinion on my website and in my newsletter. But that doesn't mean I am not allowed to engage in a discussion here. I consider it advancing the hunt if people think more critically and more clearly about the Erdnase case. That is advancement in my opinion, regardless if I can convince more to consider Gallaway being Erdnase.

Leonard Hevia wrote:To attract uninformed newbies so that you can make a buck?

That comment is a real beauty. You have no idea. I have spent more than 10x the money on direct fees to get things digitized, acquire documents and books, and hired experts for my Erdnase investigation, than I have taken in with my ebook and other Erdnase related products. I expect that I will never break even let alone make a profit. And that is not counting any of my own time which I consider free because it is fun - a passion I don't charge for. I am sure Tom Sawyer will second that he isn't making much from his Erdnase book. My guess, strictly speaking, he is loosing money with it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 28th, 2017, 10:57 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:What for? You have already stated on your website that you solved the mystery. Contrary to that you now write here about advancing the hunt for Erdnase. What is the point of that rubbish on your website?

As I stated I am convinced that Gallaway is Erdnase and I am certainly within my rights to express this opinion on my website and in my newsletter. But that doesn't mean I am not allowed to engage in a discussion here. I consider it advancing the hunt if people think more critically and more clearly about the Erdnase case. That is advancement in my opinion, regardless if I can convince more to consider Gallaway being Erdnase.


But you are not expressing it as an opinion on your website. On the contrary, you attempt to pass it off as fact that Gallaway is Erdnase. You state that on your website as unequivocal truth. Of course you are allowed to discuss Erdnase here on this forum, but if you consider that advancing the hunt, then it clearly goes against the impression you give on your website, that you have solved the mystery. You wear two masks in this game.

Leonard Hevia wrote:To attract uninformed newbies so that you can make a buck?

lybrary wrote:That comment is a real beauty. You have no idea. I have spent more than 10x the money on direct fees to get things digitized, acquire documents and books, and hired experts for my Erdnase investigation, than I have taken in with my ebook and other Erdnase related products. I expect that I will never break even let alone make a profit. And that is not counting any of my own time which I consider free because it is fun - a passion I don't charge for. I am sure Tom Sawyer will second that he isn't making much from his Erdnase book. My guess, strictly speaking, he is loosing money with it.


You better believe that comment is a real beauty, but it doesn't compare to your efforts to recoup your investment, or profit for that matter, with the outlandish statements on your website. You seem to believe that you can only recoup your money with bombastic claims on your website of your superior ability to solve the case. In the end the hunt for Erdnase should be a labor of love, and not a means to transform you into the prophet of profit.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 28th, 2017, 11:30 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:You better believe that comment is a real beauty, but it doesn't compare to your efforts to recoup your investment, or profit for that matter, ...

For a matter of fact, I will never recoup the money I have spent on the search. But I take pride in my work and will not tire to make my case. On the other hand you haven't read my ebook, not even my free newsletter, and thus are not familiar with the details of my case. You haven't even read the highly regarded "Artifice, Ruse and Erdnase" by Hurt McDermott https://www.lybrary.com/artifice-ruse-e ... 51122.html Yet you are lecturing me what I can and cannot do, and how good or bad my case is. You are a fake, an imposture who somehow tries to matter in this discussion, but you are not willing to put in the work to at least inform yourself to the fullest extent possible.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 29th, 2017, 3:15 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Chris -- again, so what? Most here had already agreed that sleight of hand with playing cards, that some contact with McKinney, that the ability to write, were all important characteristics that Erdnase would have been required to have. An estimate of how many people had those characteristics doesn't change their importance.

It does change the relative importance.


Only if you properly characterize the various factors. You've suggested that "knowledge of sleight of hand with cards" (which is a small pool) should be viewed as a subset of "played cards socially" (which is a large pool). Therefore using "played cards socially" as a ranking factor doesn't correctly change the relative importance, because it asks (and answers) the wrong question. I think your emphasis on documenting a relationship with McKinney is a subset of "people who could get to Chicago for a few days in 1900-1901", and that the latter is really the category that should be examined. So if you use the ~10,000 number you've suggested WRT McKinney, rather than the few million that is probably the right number for how I view the issue, it won't correctly change the relative importance.

In other words, theoretically, good numbers can conceivably help rank the characteristics. But in general, we don't have good numbers, we don't know how to ask (or at a minimum, we don't agree that we are asking) the right questions, and we don't often have enough information about the candidates with respect to the characteristics to say whether or not we can answer those questions. Consider 4 important factors:
1. Reason to use Erdnase as a pseudonym;
2. Skilled with playing cards/magic
3. Access to McKinney.
4. Skilled writer
and 3 candidates:
A. MFA
B. Gallaway
C. Edwin Sumner Andrews

I'd answer the questions as follows (Yes, No, No Data):
1A N 1B N 1C Y
2A Y 2B ND 2C ND
3A ND 3B Y 3C Y
4A N 4B Y 4C ND

So no matter how well you calculate the size of the various pools (100,000 writers, 10,000 people with professional association with McKinney, etc.), there are still too many holes in the data for the strongest candidates we have to make any sort of ranking judgements. And don't even get started on the minor candidates, like Foster, and Benedict, and Karr's conman E S Andrews.

Quantitative analysis does not help solve the problem. And if you do it, and say that it shows that so and so is a good candidate, what you are really doing is qualitative analysis about the things that you know about that candidate, and saying that those factors are important. You've used association with McKinney as a numeric reason to justify Gallaway compared to others. I think your conclusion doesn't result from a calculation involving 10,000 professional associates, it comes from the fact that you judge that issue to be important. And that's qualitative, not quantitative.

Per your logic a candidate about whom we know nothing is just as good as any other candidate in the pool.


No, because a candidate we know nothing about would never be a candidate in the first place. You've got to have some knowledge about them that associates them with the possibility of being Erdnase (historically an anagrammable name) for them to even be in the running to begin with. If we didn't have knowledge that Gallaway owned a first edition copy, I doubt you'd have ever considered him as a candidate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 29th, 2017, 8:45 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Per your logic a candidate about whom we know nothing is just as good as any other candidate in the pool.

No, because a candidate we know nothing about would never be a candidate in the first place. You've got to have some knowledge about them that associates them with the possibility of being Erdnase (historically an anagrammable name) for them to even be in the running to begin with.

The know-nothing candidate was an extreme example to clearly demonstrate the problem with your method. The argument still stands. Imagine I have somebody with the name Drew A. Ness, which is an anagram of S.W. Erdnase. Per your requirement he is in the running. Besides that I know nothing. I think he is a good writer but I have no info about it. I even think he was related to Dalrymple, but the data is inconclusive. He could be a sleight of hand magician but there is no concrete information about it. How does your check-box-stays-in-the-pool allow one to differentiate this candidate from the other candidates? Per your logic they would all be equally good, because they are all still in the pool. If a method can't differentiate between such candidates it is not an adequate tool.

Bill Mullins wrote:I think your emphasis on documenting a relationship with McKinney is a subset of "people who could get to Chicago for a few days in 1900-1901", and that the latter is really the category that should be examined.

Which includes everybody in the world. Everybody could get to Chicago for a few days. In other words you don't consider this at all relevant. I think a documented link to McKinney is highly relevant.

Bill Mullins wrote:If we didn't have knowledge that Gallaway owned a first edition copy, I doubt you'd have ever considered him as a candidate.

Not true. I considered all names in the bankruptcy files as possible suspects. My first hot lead was another employee of McKinney named Thorp. But once I found out that Gallaway wrote, self-published, and copyrighted two books and founded his own school he moved to the top of my list. That we know he owned a first edition was great but even without that knowledge he would have moved to the top of my list. And once I read how he wrote, the deal was sealed for me, because the odds of having somebody so close in time and place to the publication of Expert who writes so similarly and is not Erdnase is extremely unlikely. The rest, Olsson's analysis and confirmation that Gallaway writes like Erdnase, and all the other things we found out about Gallaway, were only additional confirmation.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 29th, 2017, 2:47 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
Per your logic a candidate about whom we know nothing is just as good as any other candidate in the pool.

No, because a candidate we know nothing about would never be a candidate in the first place. You've got to have some knowledge about them that associates them with the possibility of being Erdnase (historically an anagrammable name) for them to even be in the running to begin with.

The know-nothing candidate was an extreme example to clearly demonstrate the problem with your method. The argument still stands. Imagine I have somebody with the name Drew A. Ness, which is an anagram of S.W. Erdnase. Per your requirement he is in the running. Besides that I know nothing.


You just described Todd Karr's conman E. S. Andrews. The only thing that ties him to this mystery is his name. Nothing else we know about him suggests any connection to Erdnase. Yet this Andrews has been taken seriously as a candidate ever since Karr introduced him. I don't think he is a strong candidate, and I don't think most of the rest of the community does either, but there he is.

How does your check-box-stays-in-the-pool allow one to differentiate this candidate from the other candidates? Per your logic they would all be equally good, because they are all still in the pool.

Obviously, if you can check more boxes, they become better candidates. W. E. Sanders has an anagrammable name, was a writer, knew magic. He is a better candidate than conman E. S. Andrews.

Bill Mullins wrote:I think your emphasis on documenting a relationship with McKinney is a subset of "people who could get to Chicago for a few days in 1900-1901", and that the latter is really the category that should be examined.

Which includes everybody in the world. Everybody could get to Chicago for a few days. In other words you don't consider this at all relevant. I think a documented link to McKinney is highly relevant.


A documented link to McKinney is a poor tool because it actively excludes people who should be included in the pool, like Edwin Sumner Andrews, who clearly was in a position to have hired McKinney to print a book, having worked only a few elevated train stops away from Printer's Row. Most people who self-publish books don't have an employer-employee relationship with the printer, so the fact that one existed with Gallaway doesn't indicate anything beyond a general proximity, which is a much "looser" criterion.

Bill Mullins wrote:If we didn't have knowledge that Gallaway owned a first edition copy, I doubt you'd have ever considered him as a candidate.

Not true. I considered all names in the bankruptcy files as possible suspects. My first hot lead was another employee of McKinney named Thorp. But once I found out that Gallaway wrote, self-published, and copyrighted two books and founded his own school he moved to the top of my list. That we know he owned a first edition was great but even without that knowledge he would have moved to the top of my list.
Fair enough. You would have included him without the 1st edition copy.

Olsson's analysis and confirmation that Gallaway writes like Erdnase


How about you quit exaggerating what Olsson said about Gallaway?

He said "In my opinion, given the foregoing tests and the last commentary section, Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the candidates presented in this analysis for the authorship of Expert." To paraphrase, Gallaway writes more like Erdnase than does Hilliar, Roterberg, Wilson, or Sanders. He did not say that "Gallaway writes like Erdnase".

And if you look at the actual report, he excluded Hilliar and Sanders for reasons other than dissimilarity of language. He ruled out Hilliar for reasons of plagiarism ("any form of plagiarism is of itself despicable, and this discredits Hilliar completely in my view"), and he ruled out Sanders for reasons of genre and age difference ("It is not possible to make a direct comparison between Expert and Sanders"). So the actual analysis only applies to Roterberg and Wilson -- two people who have never, to my knowledge, been proposed as candidates for Erdnase. He might has well have compared Gallaway to two random authors from the Chicago Tribune. Olsson's report is not the strong validation of Gallaway you've been making it out to be.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 29th, 2017, 3:40 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Obviously, if you can check more boxes, they become better candidates. W. E. Sanders has an anagrammable name, was a writer, knew magic. He is a better candidate than conman E. S. Andrews.

Very good Bill, you are finally starting to quantify - you are counting boxes. You are not completely against quantification after all. That is a good first step. However, counting boxes is a very crude way of measuring, because it implies that each box is equally important, which we have found out earlier is not the case. Some aspects of a candidate are more important than others. And since we can estimate the relative importance of many of these boxes we can attach weights to each box. These weights are related to the probabilities from earlier.

The other reason why boxes are too crude a measure is, because some aspects of a case are not always black and white. There are degrees of how good a fit to Erdnase exists. For example:

not a wirter - a writer - a good writer - a writer that sounds like Erdnase
no sleight of hand with cards - sleight of hand with cards - very good sleight of hand with cards - cardshark
no publishing activity - publishing activity - self-publishing activity

Bill Mullins wrote:A documented link to McKinney is a poor tool because it actively excludes people who should be included in the pool, like Edwin Sumner Andrews, who clearly was in a position to have hired McKinney to print a book, having worked only a few elevated train stops away from Printer's Row. Most people who self-publish books don't have an employer-employee relationship with the printer, so the fact that one existed with Gallaway doesn't indicate anything beyond a general proximity, which is a much "looser" criterion.

You are misunderstanding what I mean with 'documented link'. It is not limited to employment. I mean any evidence that the candidate had contact with McKinney. Just saying E.S. Andrews could have done business with McKinney is much less strong than having a document that shows that he did business with McKinney, or visited their premises, or delivered something there, or sent a letter to McKinney, or something else that proves he had contact with McKinney. Being able to prove a contact is certainly stronger than the mere possibility of it. Once you have such proof, as we have in the case of Gallaway, the case becomes a lot stronger. I demonstrated earlier how one can even estimated quantitatively how much stronger it becomes.

Bill Mullins wrote:How about you quit exaggerating what Olsson said about Gallaway? He said "In my opinion, given the foregoing tests and the last commentary section, Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the candidates presented in this analysis for the authorship of Expert." To paraphrase, Gallaway writes more like Erdnase than does Hilliar, Roterberg, Wilson, or Sanders. He did not say that "Gallaway writes like Erdnase".

He also said that Gallaway "is a strong possibility of identity of authorship" with Erdnase.

Bill Mullins wrote:And if you look at the actual report, he excluded Hilliar and Sanders for reasons other than dissimilarity of language.

That is completely false. He only excluded them for the comparison of the Charlier Pass. He also excluded Gallaway from that comparison simply because Gallaway didn't write about the Charlier Pass. All other tests and comparisons included Sanders and included Hilliar, and thus his overall assessment does include both of them.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 29th, 2017, 4:09 pm

I am NOT a school yard referee. ALL of you, including those who have complained about the name calling—and then name called—need to grow up and debate the issue: or ignore it. I am not here to clean up sh!t or measure d!cks.
PLEASE KNOCK IT OFF, ALL OF YOU!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 29th, 2017, 4:24 pm

Some of you have noticed that I am unhappy. How unhappy? I am seriously considering making you all take a timeout by temporarily locking this thread.

How well would that go over with you?

Yeah, I didn't think so, so play nice, please!

Neither Richard nor I have the time to read every word of this. We are NOT playing favorites or supplying a "bully pulpit" for some as has been suggested. We expect adults to act like adults and police themselves, ESPECIALLY on this thread.

Thank you for your cooperation.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » November 29th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Dustin is referencing me folks, and doing so in response to my request made earlier today that he delete Chris's reference to me as "despicable" in a post Chris made a couple of days ago ... not because I'm in any way thin skinned (I'm not at all), but because I thought it degraded the thread itself to keep such a reference made by one poster (Chris) to another poster (me). Logic would dictate that Dustin would delete my followup comment as well.

I'm sorry I asked Dustin, I thought you were the moderator here - and that asking you to moderate wouldn't be taken as an insult worthy of a complete online melt-down.

That a moderator doesn't want to moderate the thread is an issue for moderators to solve, and has nothing at all to do with the people who post here, least of all me.
An experienced moderator would have deleted that comment (despicable) immediately upon reading it (while monitoring the thread, which isn't difficult ... I do it every day and it takes but 5 minutes or less), regardless ... that didn't happen.

I get that I'm hardly a passive participant in this thread Dustin, and don't often (if ever) hold back on posting exactly what I think about any given post or missive related to the search for Erdase. I also get that some might read my posts and see them as too aggressive - some to the point of taking a dislike to me personally (at least my online personality).

I also get that I rub Chris entirely the wrong way, and that because I'm more than willing to go back and forth with him ... he has, on more than one occasion resorted to strong, personal insults as a result of his obvious frustration with what I'm posting.
That I've responded to Chris's insults with additional insults is also obvious - I'd never deny it.

But Dustin's childish threat to lock the Erdnase thread as a "punishment" to the people to contribute to it, and his obvious reference to me personally in his juvenile missive above is the last straw for me.
It's no big deal, and I'm not particularly heartbroken at the thought ... but I'm done with this thread, and the Genii forum.
I'm tired of participating in an un-moderated thread of historic importance, and then being chastised by those presumed to be moderating the thread when as a participant in the thread for 8 or 9 years, I ask for a small bit of moderation to take place.

It's probably a past due decision on my part, as the Genii Erdnase thread has in recent times turned into the Chris Washuber Show in order for Chris to further his personal agenda, and steer traffic to his website, a site designed to monetize the search for Erdanse ... and to promote his his "Gallaway is Erdnase" bit, which has rubbed me entirely the wrong way (probably because Gallaway isn't Erdnase, but I digress).

I started posting to this thread in 2009, and would be lying through my teeth if I said anything other than I've enjoyed it immensely. Indeed it was this thread that led to a lengthy, enjoyable exchange of emails with David Alexander on Erdnase, this thread, and the search in general.

But Dustin's response is way over the top, terribly juvenile, and is the clear signal that it's time to leave.
Dustin or Richard will likely delete this post, and all will be forgotten ... that's fine too.
Ciao.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 29th, 2017, 8:28 pm

Did anyone here know my reference was to Roger except for Roger until he pointed it out?

First of all, I did delete the passage he whined about. So much for him checking that first.

Second, this thread had adults on it at one time. We didn't need to hover over it. Apparently we were wrong. The children have taken over. But now one, or so it appears, is gone.

Good.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 29th, 2017, 8:50 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:How about you quit exaggerating what Olsson said about Gallaway? He said "In my opinion, given the foregoing tests and the last commentary section, Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the candidates presented in this analysis for the authorship of Expert." To paraphrase, Gallaway writes more like Erdnase than does Hilliar, Roterberg, Wilson, or Sanders. He did not say that "Gallaway writes like Erdnase".

He also said that Gallaway "is a strong possibility of identity of authorship" with Erdnase.

Bill's observation hits the bull's-eye. Olsson merely reported an opinion that Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the other 4 or 5 candidates, which is an extremely small sample.

As for the "strong possibility" statement, Olsson wrote that in private correspondence to you and did not include that claim in his official report. I suspect Dr. Olsson knew exactly what he was doing and was careful when writing his report. More to the point, on the subject of scholarship, you have ignored numerous (and polite) requests to have Dr. Olsson explain what he means by "strong possibility" -- is that a roughly 10% chance, 20%, 40%, 90%? Etc. As a forensic linguist, Dr. Olsson knows full well that if he testified in court that there was a "strong possibility" of authorship, on cross-examination he would be asked to both qualify and roughly quantify exactly what he means by "strong possibility," and that if he failed to do so (as thus far has been the case), then his expert opinion would carry little weight in the eyes of the judge and jury.

Chris, I don't mind your strong advocacy of Gallaway and some of the advertising hype. What I do find highly regrettable is when someone cloaks himself in the aura of scholarship yet fails to be objective and honest like a true scholar would be. If you want to be respected as a scholar, then behave like one with integrity, intellectual honesty, and objectivity. Part of being a scholar is answering reasonable questions, and your refusal to answer the "strong possibility" query, and to acknowledge that (outside of The Expert), you have no evidence that Gallaway owned any magic books, are two examples of behavior that is antithetical to scholarship.

P.S. FWIW, I did not think of Roger M. when I read Dustin's posts. When it comes to name-calling, I thought of Chris Wasshuber.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby performer » November 29th, 2017, 10:44 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:I am NOT a school yard referee. ALL of you, including those who have complained about the name calling—and then name called—need to grow up and debate the issue: or ignore it. I am not here to clean up sh!t or measure d!cks.
PLEASE KNOCK IT OFF, ALL OF YOU!


Dearie me! What perfectly dreadful language and vulgarity! I am in a state of absolute horror over the matter and feel like complaining to the moderators. In my capacity as a psychic reverend and holy man of the cloth I cannot possibly approve. However, in my spiritual advisory capacity I would recommend peppermint tea. It does calm the nerves somewhat.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 29th, 2017, 11:36 pm

You know, Mark, I actually appreciate this. When I wrote it, I had three different "reports" on three different acts of name calling, two of which by people who subsequently name called. Then, to top it off, in one we (Richard and I) were accused of giving Wasshuber a "bully pulpit" apparently so he could sell things on our dime, so, apparently, we were allowing him free reign on the thread. Such baseless stuff literally infuriated me. It was all reminding me of children in the back seat of a car whining, "He's touching me! He's touching me!" Peppermint tea is not my thing, but I do have a nice lemon ginger ...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby performer » November 29th, 2017, 11:47 pm

Lemon Ginger works too!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 30th, 2017, 12:02 am

Three days ago, I suggested some of the copyright paperwork for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz looks like it may have been filled out by Jamieson. I just noticed that in the associated correspondence from the Wizard's author, L. Frank Baum, his address was 356 Dearborn -- the same address Drake was operating from when he started selling copies of Expert.

It's interesting to speculate that L. Frank Baum may have actually met Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 30th, 2017, 8:15 am

I gather that Baum edited a periodical on window decorating, out of that address, for at least a time. (N.W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual, 1901, via Google Books, from an example at the University of Michigan [digitized by Google].)

Not sure whether his time there overlapped with Drake's. I don't think so, because I believe Drake was there starting in early 1902. And it looks like Baum gave up the editorship in October 1900 or thereabouts.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 30th, 2017, 11:05 am

magicam wrote:Olsson merely reported an opinion that Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the other 4 or 5 candidates, which is an extremely small sample.

That is a very misleading way to put it. Who are all those other strong candidates which should have been included in the study? Judging by the posts on this forum the two favorite candidates are W.E. Sanders and E.S. Andrews. W.E. Sanders was included by Olsson and he rejected him. He is not Erdnase. No writing of any substance was ever found for E.S. Andrews. Therefore he cannot be included in any linguistic study. If one would think objectively about it, E.S. Andrews just doesn't look like he is a writer. He is a guy who has been researched for many many years, but no writing sample has turned up, not even the knowledge that he did write something - anything. He is not a writer. He is not Erdnase.

Olsson did study Gallaway and he concluded that there is a strong possibility of him being Erdnase, or as Olsson sometimes likes to put it he cannot be excluded from being Erdnase. W.E. Sanders can be excluded.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 30th, 2017, 6:21 pm

lybrary wrote:
magicam wrote:Olsson merely reported an opinion that Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the other 4 or 5 candidates, which is an extremely small sample.

That is a very misleading way to put it. Who are all those other strong candidates which should have been included in the study? Judging by the posts on this forum the two favorite candidates are W.E. Sanders and E.S. Andrews. W.E. Sanders was included by Olsson and he rejected him. He is not Erdnase. No writing of any substance was ever found for E.S. Andrews. Therefore he cannot be included in any linguistic study. If one would think objectively about it, E.S. Andrews just doesn't look like he is a writer. He is a guy who has been researched for many many years, but no writing sample has turned up, not even the knowledge that he did write something - anything. He is not a writer. He is not Erdnase.

Olsson did study Gallaway and he concluded that there is a strong possibility of him being Erdnase, or as Olsson sometimes likes to put it he cannot be excluded from being Erdnase. W.E. Sanders can be excluded.

Clay wrote:Olsson merely reported an opinion that Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the other 4 or 5 candidates …
Dr. Olsson wrote:In my opinion … Gallaway is the likeliest candidate of the candidates presented in this analysis for the authorship of Expert.

Chris, in comparing what Dr. Olsson and I wrote, I’m at a loss to understand how my characterization of his conclusion could be honestly viewed as “very misleading.” I suspect that most people would regard those statements as equivalent.

But perhaps you’re objecting to my comment that Olsson’s linguistic comparison is based on an extremely small sample? I think such observation is pretty self-evident, but do understand your “well who else should be included in the comparison?” comment. Alas, we know so little about Erdnase that it’s very difficult to propose candidates who are known authors. And in my view that speaks to a significant weakness in the implicit premise of Dr. Olsson’s linguistic analysis: that other Erdnase writing samples are available for comparison. But if The Expert is the only thing ever written by Erdnase (outside of, say, private correspondence), then Dr. Olsson’s analysis becomes meaningless. It seems quite reasonable to contemplate that The Expert was the only book ever written and published by Erdnase.

The foregoing has relevance to your statement that E.S. Andrews “is not a writer” and therefore “he is not Erdnase.” If Andrews was the author of The Expert and it was the only book ever written and published by him, then the relevance of the absence of such other writing is nil. I’m not saying that Andrews is a strong candidate, but in my view it’s precarious logic to argue that since we’ve (thus far) found no evidence that Andrews was an author of works other than The Expert, we must exclude Andrews from consideration.

As for your comment that “Olsson … concluded that there is a strong possibility of him being Erdnase, or as Olsson sometimes likes to put it he cannot be excluded from being Erdnase,” those are two very different statements in my opinion. If Olsson is really just opining that he can’t exclude Gallaway from being the author of The Expert (i.e., “strong possibility” actually means “I can’t exclude Gallaway”), then that seems a pretty weak endorsement of Gallaway as the possible author.

Spraying to different fields …

Some folks find it significant (or at least intriguing or interesting) that Gallaway’s bookplate is in a copy of The Expert. For me, this fact raises some issues that muddy the waters re the significance of Gallaway’s apparent ownership of The Expert. A Lakeside Press article quoted in Chris’ book states that Gallaway “has a large library of his own and includes in it many rare and old books of considerable value.” If we accept that claim as fact, then the questions are “what was in Gallaway’s library and how did it become so large?” Unfortunately, we don’t know the answers to either question (at least I don’t). But it seems entirely plausible that one source of books for Gallaway were the ones that he helped to produce over a lengthy printing career, and in point of fact, amongst printers it was a tradition of hundreds of years that each person who helped produce a book received a free copy of that book. So for all we know, Gallaway kept a copy of all the books he helped produce, and if that’s the case, then his ownership of The Expert has no appreciable significance when considering Gallaway’s candidacy as the author of The Expert.

The similarities in the tone of the introduction to Gallaway’s book and The Expert are compelling, i.e., such similarities command attention. But there’s a temporal (cause and effect) problem. Gallaway’s estimating book was written long after The Expert, so was Gallaway simply enamored with the tone of The Expert’s introduction, and decided to emulate it in his book? Or could Gallaway have suggested that tone to the author of The Expert? Another problem seems to be that such “tone” would need to be researched in (hundreds of?) thousands of books published in the first couple decades of the 20th century in America – for all we know, such tone was common in the books of that era.

Chris W. argues that the pricing information on the title page of Gallaway’s book and The Expert are significant. As others have pointed out, such pricing information was not unique to those two books in that era. But perhaps more importantly, if Gallaway had a hand in designing The Expert – which seems probable or at least quite possible for another’s self-published book – then the “pricing” parallels between Gallaway’s book and The Expert don’t seem very significant.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 30th, 2017, 7:35 pm

magicam wrote:Alas, we know so little about Erdnase that it’s very difficult to propose candidates who are known authors.

On one hand you critique that only 5 candidates were studied by Olsson, on the other you can't suggest a single one which should have been included. Do you understand that your critique was silly?

magicam wrote:But if The Expert is the only thing ever written by Erdnase (outside of, say, private correspondence), then Dr. Olsson’s analysis becomes meaningless. It seems quite reasonable to contemplate that The Expert was the only book ever written and published by Erdnase. The foregoing has relevance to your statement that E.S. Andrews “is not a writer” and therefore “he is not Erdnase.” If Andrews was the author of The Expert and it was the only book ever written and published by him, then the relevance of the absence of such other writing is nil. I’m not saying that Andrews is a strong candidate, but in my view it’s precarious logic to argue that since we’ve (thus far) found no evidence that Andrews was an author of works other than The Expert, we must exclude Andrews from consideration.

I am not the only one to note that the high quality of Erdnase's writing requires practice. You don't just wake up one day and write like Erdnase. You need a good amount of writing experience to achieve that level. That does not necessarily mean other published books prior to Expert. Writing can be ad copy, or political writing, or technical writing, extensive letter writing and personal journal entries, writing for newspapers, play writing, etc. Erdnase was a writer, a damn good writer. A viable candidate needs to demonstrate this one way or another. E.S. Andrews does not demonstrate it at all. He is not a writer. And therefore he can't be Erdnase.

magicam wrote:... amongst printers it was a tradition of hundreds of years that each person who helped produce a book received a free copy of that book.

That was not the case. I can inform you that not everybody in Gutenberg's print shop received a Gutenberg bible. I have spoken with a number of printers about this question over the two years I investigate Gallaway, because it was a point raised early on. The result of my questioning is that folks working in a print shop would only take those books home which they have an interest in, or they have somebody in the family who has an interest in, to give it to them. Keep in mind that people working in a print shop which prints books, see books every day - hundreds of them - thousands of them. It is nothing special to them. They would not fill up their house with every book printed in their shop. The first edition of Expert is also not a particularly special book in terms of its production values. If it would be some kind of specially produced book, then you have a point. Workers may have kept it simply because it was so beautiful, or such a rare exhibit of the printer's art. Expert is a pretty typical small book with a topic most would find really boring. It is not a subject of general appeal.

magicam wrote:The similarities in the tone of the introduction to Gallaway’s book and The Expert are compelling, i.e., such similarities command attention. But there’s a temporal (cause and effect) problem. Gallaway’s estimating book was written long after The Expert, so was Gallaway simply enamored with the tone of The Expert’s introduction, and decided to emulate it in his book?

Do you agree that this argument is mutually exclusive to your argument in the above paragraph? Do you agree that if he emulated the tone of the introduction then he certainly must have read Expert and thus have had at least an interested in the subject and not randomly collected the book just because it was printed in the shop he worked? That was just to show your internal inconsistency of your argumentation. I find it extremely far fetched to suggest that an author of a book on print estimating wants to emulate the tone of a book on cheating at cards. On top of this the linguistic similarities are not limited to the prefaces.

magicam wrote:– for all we know, such tone was common in the books of that era.

Examples please. If it was common you should have no problem producing a handful of examples.

magicam wrote:Chris W. argues that the pricing information on the title page of Gallaway’s book and The Expert are significant. As others have pointed out, such pricing information was not unique to those two books in that era.

Not unique, but uncommon, and thus significant. If it would be unique it would be proof that Gallaway is Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » December 1st, 2017, 2:20 am

lybrary wrote:
magicam wrote:Alas, we know so little about Erdnase that it’s very difficult to propose candidates who are known authors.

On one hand you critique that only 5 candidates were studied by Olsson, on the other you can't suggest a single one which should have been included. Do you understand that your critique was silly?


He did not critique that only 5 candidates were studied -- he critiqued (like I have) your misrepresentation of the results of the study.

Erdnase was a writer, a damn good writer. A viable candidate needs to demonstrate this one way or another. E.S. Andrews does not demonstrate it at all. He is not a writer. And therefore he can't be Erdnase.


Erdnase was a card expert, a damn good card expert. A viable candidate needs to demonstrate this one way or another. Gallaway does not demonstrate it at all. He is not a card expert. And therefore he can't be Erdnase. (See how easy it is to confuse absence of evidence with evidence of absence?)

magicam wrote:Chris W. argues that the pricing information on the title page of Gallaway’s book and The Expert are significant. As others have pointed out, such pricing information was not unique to those two books in that era.

Not unique, but uncommon, and thus significant. If it would be unique it would be proof that Gallaway is Erdnase.[/quote]

You seem to be suggesting that
A. Expert has a price on the title page.
B. Estimating has a price on the title page.
C. A minority of books have the price on the title page.
C. Therefore, they were written by the same author.

If that is true, then this book must also be written by Erdnase. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. (Who would have thought that Erdnase would have cared about raccoon husbandry?) And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » December 1st, 2017, 12:46 pm

Hi All,

I find the "bookplate in the book" issue and the "price on the title page" issue to be of continuing fascination, because in both instances the facts are rather complex, and it is difficult to discern precisely how those items of proof should be interpreted and applied.

The manner in which the “price on the title page” issue is discussed in the preceding post reminds me of the so-called “Monty Hall problem.”

It appears to me that the MHP (or its solution) would imply that “for each of those price-on-title-page authors you can eliminate (from being Erdnase), the probability that Gallaway is Erdnase increases.”

Granted, the way Bill poses the problem (or, rather, the way Bill construes Chris’s position for purposes of the preceding post), this doesn’t work.

But the way Chris would pose the problem, I think it does work. After all, Chris relies on other evidence in addition to the existence of prices on the title pages of two books by Gallaway.

(Regardless of this analysis, it appears to me that the title-page prices are never going to be particularly important for Gallaway's case.)

—Tom Sawyer

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 1st, 2017, 1:18 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:He did not critique that only 5 candidates were studied -- he critiqued (like I have) your misrepresentation of the results of the study.

The study included all major candidates who could be included in a linguistic study. Exactly what is your problem with my characterization? Who else should have been included to make the study that much better?

Bill Mullins wrote:Erdnase was a card expert, a damn good card expert. A viable candidate needs to demonstrate this one way or another. Gallaway does not demonstrate it at all. He is not a card expert. And therefore he can't be Erdnase. (See how easy it is to confuse absence of evidence with evidence of absence?)

Except you are missing important differences. First, Gallaway had magic and gambling books in his library. That means we have information that suggests he was interested either in card magic or card sleight-of-hand. At the very least there is something there to allow that argument. Second, information about writing is generally not kept secret and is fixed on paper which has a good chance to survive over long time periods, but information about sleight-of-hand is kept secret, particularly for a cardshark, and is usually not fixed but fleeting, a type of performing art. That means we have to expect to not find a whole lot on sleight-of-hand for anybody, but we can expect to find information about writing activity if it was present. In other words, it is not particularly surprising not to find any evidence of sleight-of-hand for a cardshark who wants to hide it, but it is surprising to not find any evidence of writing for a candidate who needs to be a damn good writer. That means the fact that we have no knowledge about E.S. Andrews having written anything of substance is a disqualifying deficiency, the fact that we have no knowledge of him doing sleight-of-hand is not.

Bill Mullins wrote:You seem to be suggesting that
A. Expert has a price on the title page.
B. Estimating has a price on the title page.
C. A minority of books have the price on the title page.
D. Therefore, they were written by the same author.

No, that is not what I am suggesting. A, B, and C I agree. D I don't. All I am saying is, because it is uncommon, it is yet another fact that supports that Gallaway is Erdnase. It is not unique and therefore by itself it does not allow one to say Gallaway is Erdnase. But it definitely supports his case.

Wonderful, you have found 20+ books that had their price on the title page. You can find another 20+. It doesn't change the fact, because many tens of thousands of books were published without the price on the title page. That means both Estimating and Expert belong to a small group of books, measured on all books published during that time, who do have the price on the title page. Do you think Erdnase was the only cardshark? No there were many, hundreds, probably thousands of cardsharks. So finding a cardshark is not proof that he was Erdnase, but it helps the case. Printing the price on the title page is like that. It is not by itself proof that Gallaway is Erdnase, but it helps his case quite a lot, as is the fact that he also self-published and copyrighted his books. Again, not unique characteristics, but all characteristics he shares with Erdnase. The more characteristics he shares the more likely he is Erdnase. Gallaway shares a lot with Erdnase. E.S Andrews and W.E. Sanders not so much.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 1st, 2017, 8:40 pm

lybrary wrote:Who else should have been included to make the study that much better?


Perhaps not "who else" but what else should have been included to make the study that much better. I don't believe that Sanders was given a fair shake in the writing sample submitted to Dr. Olsson. If nothing more than samples from his mining textbooks were submitted, then I can imagine that the Dr. Olsson would have been misguided.

Demarest noted in his Genii essay that Sanders was capable of switching his writing style. He was that good. If Dr. Olsson had read other writing samples such as the humorous dialect or his historical writing, he might have arrived at a different conclusion. Beyond the published mining texts, samples of Sanders' writing are not easy to obtain, but it would be the fault of the compiler of the samples for failing to submit them for analyses.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 1st, 2017, 9:36 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Perhaps not "who else" but what else should have been included to make the study that much better. I don't believe that Sanders was given a fair shake in the writing sample submitted to Dr. Olsson. If nothing more than samples from his mining textbooks were submitted, then I can imagine that the Dr. Olsson would have been misguided.

Demarest noted in his Genii essay that Sanders was capable of switching his writing style. He was that good. If Dr. Olsson had read other writing samples such as the humorous dialect or his historical writing, he might have arrived at a different conclusion. Beyond the published mining texts, samples of Sanders' writing are not easy to obtain, but it would be the fault of the compiler of the samples for failing to submit them for analyses.

Since you haven't read Olsson's study you do not know which of Sander's texts were included. It is laughable that you continue to attack a study you don't know. Your credibility is zero.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 1st, 2017, 10:37 pm

lybrary wrote:If anybody can pull together a portfolio of W.E. Sanders writings I am more than happy to include it in my ongoing textual analysis. I do have parts of his diaries and two of his mine timbering articles.


"Since you haven't read Olsson's study you do not know which of Sander's texts were included. It is laughable that you continue to attack a study you don't know. Your credibility is zero." library

By your own admission--and you do recognize your own writing...don't you?--you are asking for a portfolio of Sanders' writing. This is a clear indication that you don't have much in your filing cabinet. You only have parts of his diaries and two of his mine timbering articles. What else could you have possibly utilized for the study as a sample of Sanders' writing? There is more of his writing to mine--pardon the pun. That small sample does not do Sanders justice.

You need to worry more about your credibility, which isn't far above mine. You have presented yourself here as Chris the Scholar, open to more study, ongoing analyses, and research in the hunt for Erdnase. On the other hand, on your website you are Chris the Businessman and the Prophet of Profit who has solved the mystery of Erdnase and will tell the whole story--once the mark remits $45.00.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 1st, 2017, 11:51 pm

You should really read Olsson's report which quite frankly leaves no room for Sanders being Erdnase. He writes: "In my opinion, Sanders is a most unlikely candidate for authorship of Expert." Any linguist will tell you that poems can't be compared to technical prose. Whatever funny poems Sanders wrote has no bearing on his ability to write prose. Expert is for the most part technical prose. Card moves is a boring subject for anybody except magicians and cardsharks. Yet Erdnase writes clear, lucid and with flair. His vocabulary is rich. Sanders is devoid of rich vocabulary. His diaries show a guy who is interested in outdoor activities and sport with little reading which would have built his vocabulary. This lack of vocabulary shows both in his diaries and his mine timbering texts, which are also technical prose. But they are not at all Erdnase like. Compare this to Gallaway who wrote on another generally speaking very boring subject - print estimating. Yet, he uses colorful expressions like "the mystery of imposition" and "vanished into thin air" and "every-day horse sense", "hard luck" and "subterfuge", "it is not padded with ponderous editorial homilies" and "platitudinous dissertations". He displays a similar richness in vocabulary and flair for interesting expressions as Erdnase does, even though he writes on a boring and technical subject.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 2nd, 2017, 12:44 am

lybrary wrote:You should really read Olsson's report which quite frankly leaves no room for Sanders being Erdnase. He writes: "In my opinion, Sanders is a most unlikely candidate for authorship of Expert." Any linguist will tell you that poems can't be compared to technical prose. Whatever funny poems Sanders wrote has no bearing on his ability to write prose. Expert is for the most part technical prose. Card moves is a boring subject for anybody except magicians and cardsharks. Yet Erdnase writes clear, lucid and with flair. His vocabulary is rich. Sanders is devoid of rich vocabulary. His diaries show a guy who is interested in outdoor activities and sport with little reading which would have built his vocabulary. This lack of vocabulary shows both in his diaries and his mine timbering texts, which are also technical prose. But they are not at all Erdnase like. Compare this to Gallaway who wrote on another generally speaking very boring subject - print estimating. Yet, he uses colorful expressions like "the mystery of imposition" and "vanished into thin air" and "every-day horse sense", "hard luck" and "subterfuge", "it is not padded with ponderous editorial homilies" and "platitudinous dissertations". He displays a similar richness in vocabulary and flair for interesting expressions as Erdnase does, even though he writes on a boring and technical subject.


Olsson's opinion, huh. Little reading? Devoid of rich vocabulary? As I pointed out, you turned in insufficient examples. Sanders was a college educated man and had studied Latin. It seems Chris that you are in denial of Sanders' articulate writing skills. I have already pointed out Sanders' writing ability but will do so once more from Demarests' Genii article:

From 1899 on, W.E. wrote and published, under his own name, approximately 42 pages of poetry and 202 pages of prose that range from histories and biographies to technical essays, public reports, and patents. His college theses runs to 219 pages, and he filed an uncounted number of reports for the mining companies that employed him later in life. His surviving diaries are scattered throughout 12 volumes.

What is interesting when looking at this body of work is how diverse both the subjects and the styles are. Whatever he decided to understand, whether it was etymology or regional history, W.E. tackled his subjects with comprehensive attention...And W.E. was not merely a journeyman writer. He was an expert who knew how to vary his text to suit his subject and his audience. When writing for mining engineers, he was exact and unspeculative...When he discoursed on the history of Montana, he was grandiloquent and classical, delivering an oration inspired by Livy. And when he wrote of his college friends, he was sarcastic and playful, using slang, humor, and dialect.

When he wanted to, W.E. Sanders could write as stylishly and cleverly as S.W. Erdnase--or as he put it in a letter to his parents, "in my own and inimitable facetious style." Both authors tend to express wry sarcasm by injecting a question mark into a sentence. "The hypocritical cant of reformed (?) gamblers, or whining mealymouthed pretensions of piety..." and "...when the careless dealer (?) turns to expectorate..." are samples provided by Erdnase. W.E. wrote We were fed fit for princes (?) stuffed veal without the veal..." and "...I am becoming quite a professional (?) cuisiner."

They both favor the verb "employed" and speak loftily of the "nature" of things. They both colored their writing with French, and were both comfortable enough with English to make fairly sophisticated puns. Erdnase wrote concerning the Longitudinal Shift, that "This shift, for which we have to thank no one, is given a very long name, but the reader who is interested sufficiently to practice the process, will find it a very short shift and comparatively an easy one." W.E., while working in the mines, "shifted some more cars up the platform...Glad to hear the noon whistle and still more so to hear the hear the evening's signal for the end of the 'shift.' Am sore all over, blisters on hands, boots which I am trying to break in are breaking me up..."

Both Erdnase and W.E. captured the vernacular speech very well in print. Erdnase quotes "a colored attendant of a 'clubroom'" as saying, "'Don't trouble 'bout no two han's, Boss. Get yo' own han.' De suckah, he'll get a han' all right, suah!" W.E. recounted a conversation with an old Irish miner: "To my question as to the distance to Smith's he said 'If yez ride it's 8 miles bu if yez walk it's tin. 'Then it's ten with this plug,' I retorted. 'Bejasers yer rit that time,' he said."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » December 2nd, 2017, 12:48 am

why would a man who wanted to distance himself from the authorship of a book place his bookplate in a copy?

and the gutenberg reference by chris is the kind of nonsense that suggests an attempt to deflect rather than address.

to compare book practices of that era with those of the mass produced printing houses is simply ridiculous.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » December 2nd, 2017, 2:40 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:And if you look at the actual report, he excluded Hilliar and Sanders for reasons other than dissimilarity of language.

That is completely false. He only excluded them for the comparison of the Charlier Pass. . . . All other tests and comparisons included Sanders and included Hilliar, and thus his overall assessment does include both of them.


Chris, Olsson's own words contradict what you just said.
With respect to Sanders, he said: "It is not possible to make a direct comparison between Expert and Sanders." And in Table 21, with respect to Sanders' diary he says: "Not a viable comparison because diary written during adolescence". He could not and did not do a comparison with Sanders, and thus his "overall assessment" cannot include him. His conclusion says "I would specifically rule out Hilliar, Roterberg and Wilson." -- Note the omission of Sanders. The only mention of Sanders in the conclusion is with respect to some hand-written letters, about which there is no discussion or analysis given other than a statement that the language is different.

And about Hilliar: "any form of plagiarism is of itself despicable, and this discredits Hilliar completely in my view." [bold emphasis mine]. Hilliar is discredited completely, not just with respect to the Charlier Pass.

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:He did not critique that only 5 candidates were studied -- he critiqued (like I have) your misrepresentation of the results of the study.

The study included all major candidates who could be included in a linguistic study. Exactly what is your problem with my characterization?


That when you describe the results you significantly exaggerate how good a match Olsson found between Gallaway and Erdnase.

Let's suppose that "match-ness" can be described on a scale of 0-100, and that we normalize it so two samples known to written by the same author on the same subject/genre around the same time under the same circumstances would get a score near 100. For example, two different sections of the same book written by a single author ought to score high, if there even is such a thing as an author's style that stays consistent and can be measured. Richard Kaufman's "Genii Speaks" for Jun 2017 ought to match his "Genii Speaks" for April 2017 pretty closely.

The first parts of Gallaway's book ought to match later parts to a high level. The first parts of Expert should match the latter parts to a high level. If they don't, that says that the whole concept of studying the works for similarities of style to show common authorship is bogus.

Olsson did not say that the score comparing Gallaway and Erdnase was in the high 90s. He just said that the score for G-E was higher than the score for Wilson-E, or Hilliar-E, or Roterberg-E, or Sanders-E. It could be that G-E was 37, and that W-E, H-E, R-E and S-E were all in the 20s, and that you can't count any of these as a "match" unless the score is greater than 75.

Ever since you announced on the Forum that you'd hired an analyst and that he found similarities, people have been asking for details -- how good is the similarity score, and how high should it be to say that the two works come from a common author? You never answered that, and when you released Olsson's report, it didn't answer it as well.

Olsson says that X > Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4. He never says what M is, that X should be greater than to be a match, and he never says that X > M. You, on the other hand, say that X is very high, near 100. Olsson's report does not support that conclusion.

And Clay brought up this same issue on 11/29, and you have not addressed it.

Who else should have been included to make the study that much better?


1. He should have used samples of the same size. Look at the note for Table 3: "Values not adjusted for length." Why not? "Gallaway . . . has more very long words in common with Expert than any of the other candidates. However, it should be noted that Gallaway’s book is longer than some of the other books and so, proportionately, we should expect this result to at least some extent." So Olsson admits that length skews results. Why did he not correct for this?
2. In the cases where an author had more than one work available (Roterberg, Sanders, Hilliar, Gallaway) he should have compared them against each other to get a sense of how consistent in style each author is. For cases where only one work was available (Wilson, Erdnase) he should have broken the work into parts, and compared part vs part, for the same reasons.
3. He used a number of different tests without giving us any validation of them. Why did he use the particular tests? Have they been show to be more effective than others? Have they been shown to be effective at all?
4. He should have used more and better samples of writing from Sanders. Olsson analyzed two Mining Articles, and a few years of adolescent diaries -- both of which he admits so different in genre to be problematic to do a good analysis on. He says he had late access to some handwritten letters, but did no substantial analysis of them, other than reading them. As Leonard and I have pointed out, Sanders had the ability to write in a substantially different register than he used in his technical mining work. When you were putting samples together for Olsson to analyze, you should have asked me. I've got tons of stuff on him.

Gallaway had magic and gambling books in his library.

Again with the exaggerations. You continue to assert without any evidence that Gallaway had magic "books". He had a copy of Expert, which is a book with some magic content. If you know that he had any other magic books, you should say why or back off this claim. When you continue to repeat something so demonstrably, obviously wrong, it really dilutes the rest of your arguments.

That means the fact that we have no knowledge about E.S. Andrews having written anything of substance is a disqualifying deficiency

Implicit in this statement is that since we don't know of other writings by Andrews, they must not have ever existed. Which is not a valid argument. Most things written 115 years ago are lost. If you look at the of the copyright registry issued by the Library of Congress in 1902 that includes Erdnase, some of those books are currently findable online or in worldcat. But many of them are not available for review anywhere as far as we know. Andrews may have written letters or other private documents that allowed him to build his skill. He may have written regular reports to the railroad while he was on the road. Your own research into Gallaway should show you that works that you cannot find still exist -- where are Gallaway's many newspaper articles? Where is his Ft Payne newspaper? Most 19th century newspapers might as well not have ever existed, for all that we can research them now. I myself have published many tens of thousands of words that neither you nor the general public will ever see - they are classified technical reports that are not for release.

Also implicit is the idea that a writer can't have only one publication, which is wrong. Anna Sewell wrote only one thing -- "Black Beauty." Closer to home, Gerritt M Evans wrote only "How Gamblers Win". Koschitz wrote only his "Manual of Useful Information." By your logic, each of these must have actually been written by someone else, who has other publications.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » December 2nd, 2017, 9:30 am

Mr. Mullins writes: "Again with the exaggerations... When you continue to repeat something so demonstrably, obviously wrong, it really dilutes the rest of your arguments."

I agree with the above statement and would like to add: There are things about which I don't have much knowledge and in most cases I initially take statements about those things at face value. There are other areas about which I posses a great deal knowledge and experience. When someone makes exaggerated or incorrect statements about those areas where I posses solid knowledge it causes me to be skeptical about all of their other statements.

Who was Erdnase? We will probably never know. Maybe it was Peterson. Who's Peterson? When I was in high school in the mid-70s, a magician who was pushing 80 gave his copy of Erdnase. I thought so much of Al that I still have the book he gave me. Al never referred to the book as Erdnase or anything else but "Peterson's book". Why? I never asked. Perhaps Peterson wrote the book. More likely Peterson sold or gave the book to Al, sessioned with with Al using the book, or something else. It would be foolish to say Peterson was Erdnase because Al Thompson told me it was Peterson's book. While I appreciate passion, at this point it is foolish for anyone to make exaggerated claims about who Erdnase was. No one knows enough.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » December 2nd, 2017, 10:22 am

Indeed, I am convinced Gallaway is Erdnase. But you and others have said Gallaway has zero chance of being Erdnase, and that he has no case whatsoever. I am arguing against that. To show that you are wrong I do not need to prove that Gallaway is Erdnase. All I need to show is that he had a case, or a case better than other candidates, which are considered to have good cases. If we put it in probabilities of being Erdnase, you are saying Gallaway = 0. To prove you wrong all I need to show is that Gallaway > 0 not that Gallaway = 1.


Here is another case where you have things entirely backwards. It is you who claims that the probability of Gallaway being Erdnase =1. The search is over according to you. Therefore, it is only necessary for others to show that there is not 100% certainty to disprove what you say. Your post hoc "explanations" of what might have been, in order to plug the holes of your case are not sufficient when you claim 100% certainty.

R. Paul in his deleted posts here, in his own mischievous way, was building a case (tongue in cheek? You'll have to ask him) for a syndicate of writers including Oliver Wendall Holmes. When challenged by the fact that Holmes had died in 1894, he hypothesized then that Expert was really written before 1902, and Holmes had cleverly arranged it to be published later.

See, these post hoc rationalizations are always possible.

This is the heart of the problem, Chris. You act, research, and communicate as if you have already proven that the probability of Erdnase being Gallaway is 1. But it's not. And because of that you lose credibility and credit for the real contributions you have made.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 2nd, 2017, 10:43 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
W.E. Sanders wrote:Am sore all over, blisters on hands, ...

Are those the blisters that create those smooth hands Smith is talking about?
Brad Henderson wrote:why would a man who wanted to distance himself from the authorship of a book place his bookplate in a copy?

It was his personal copy from his personal library. It only emerged after his death.
Brad Henderson wrote:and the gutenberg reference by chris is the kind of nonsense that suggests an attempt to deflect rather than address. to compare book practices of that era with those of the mass produced printing houses is simply ridiculous.

This was in reply to Clay's claim that this was a practice for hundreds of years in the print industry. It was not.
Bill Mullins wrote:He could not and did not do a comparison with Sanders, and thus his "overall assessment" cannot include him.

You are imagining things. Look at all the tables and vocabulary tests Olsson applies. Sanders and Hilliar are included. All 5 candidates are included. Again I remind you that he writes: "In my opinion, Sanders is a most unlikely candidate for authorship of Expert." I don't know what 'most unlikely' means to you, but to me it means he is the most unlikely candidate for Erdnase in the group of people Olsson tested. All of the things you note about Sanders mine timbering writings, that they are not ideal as comparison to Expert, do equally apply to Gallaway's texts, yet he does provide a remarkable similarity. How come?
Bill Mullins wrote:When you were putting samples together for Olsson to analyze, you should have asked me. I've got tons of stuff on him.

I asked Marty Demarest and he was not interested to provide any texts from Sanders. As I suggested earlier, if you have more on Sanders then make it available, so that folks can read it and draw their own conclusions. Pretty much everything Gallaway has written and that has survived has been made available. I even paid for it out of my own pocket to make it generally available through the Harvard Library.
Bill Mullins wrote:If you look at the copyright registry issued by the Library of Congress in 1902 that includes Erdnase, some of those books are currently findable online or in worldcat. But many of them are not available for review anywhere as far as we know. ... where are Gallaway's many newspaper articles? Where is his Ft Payne newspaper?

But we know of the existence of all of these writings. We know of no existence of any writing by E.S. Andrews regardless of if it has survived or not. It is again a matter of probability. The likelihood that E.S. Andrews was a writer of the capacity of Erdnase is exceedingly small. E.S. Andrews is the know-nothing-about candidate. No proven contact with McKinney, no writing we know about, no sleight-of-hand we know about. We literally know nothing of him that confirms any of the hard facts of the case.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 2nd, 2017, 11:47 am

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:
W.E. Sanders wrote:Am sore all over, blisters on hands, ...

Are those the blisters that create those smooth hands Smith is talking about?

No--blisters do not create smooth hands. They heal fairly quickly and leave no visible scars. Hands that were smooth become smooth once again. Having competed in my high school gymnastics team, I suffered painful blisters on my hands from the apparatus like the parallel and high bars. Practicing card magic by that time, I was afraid it would leave roughness and scarring, but that never happened. I completely understand the agony that Sanders must have experienced.

All of the things you note about Sanders mine timbering writings, that they are not ideal as comparison to Expert, do equally apply to Gallaway's texts, yet he does provide a remarkable similarity. How come? library

If the Gallaway texts that you submitted to Dr. Olsson were the ones published way after The Expert, then the likeliest explanation is that Gallaway adopted Erndases's writing style and amalgamated it into his own. In effect, Gallaway's writings would look more like Erdnase's own work than Erdnase himself. After all, he had the book on his shelf and enjoyed plenty of time to absorb its writing style. If you submitted Gallaway's later published works, you gave him an unfair advantage.

I have yet to see examples of Gallaway's humorous work, his puns, or even any vernacular that attempts to the replicate the spoken language of minorities like the Irish and colored folks, as we see from W.E. Sanders and Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » December 2nd, 2017, 1:14 pm

again chris, if you don't want to be associated with a book - why would you put your bookplate in it?

saying it's a personal copy doesn't answer
the question. i knew it was his personal
copy. that's why i ASKED the question.

you yourself are using the presence of the book to tie him to it. you don't think an gambler expert in the ways of allaying suspicion wouldn't have realized that someone would draw that conclusion????

if i'm a murderer i don't think it would be wise to keep a book on 'how to murder' on my shelves, let alone with my bookplate in it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » December 2nd, 2017, 1:16 pm

re gutenberg.

so your responding to a semantic issue to deflect for an actual point. a hundred/hundreds. the point is if it's common for books to be taken by print shop workers during the time or erdnase then occam suggests that's what likely happened

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 2nd, 2017, 1:19 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:No--blisters do not create smooth hands.

Agreed, another reason why Sanders is an unlikely Erdnase. According to Smith he had skin smoother than any woman.

Leonard Hevia wrote:In effect, Gallaway's writings would look more like Erdnase's own work than Erdnase himself.

Very happy that you agree that Gallaway writes like Erdnase. I am counting now at least 5, excluding myself, who stated on this forum that Gallaway writes like Erdnase. Given the few people who post here that could very well be a majority.

Leonard Hevia wrote:I have yet to see examples of Gallaway's humorous work, his puns,...

Yet another thing you would know if you would have read my wonderful ebook "The Hunt for Erdnase: and the path to Edward Gallaway". Here a little quote from something that has been written about Gallaway:
Such a trio as Tom Quin, Theodore Regensteiner, and Edward Gallaway surpass anything in wit and humor that Flo Ziegfeld or Earl Caroll so far has produced.

It would be great if Demarest would have his personal opinion confirmed by an independent linguist. I did that. It is not only my personal opinion, and those of several who have posted here, and many more who have not posted here, that Gallaway sounds like Erdnase, but also a renowned and recognized authority on forensic linguistics - Dr. Olsson. Unfortunately he also found Sanders is a most unlikely Erdnase. He feels he cannot be Erdnase. Please do check out his credentials, do read his books. I think for somebody like yourself who is so keen on scholarly inquiry you will understand that it is very important to get independent confirmation.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 2nd, 2017, 1:39 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:the point is if it's common for books to be taken by print shop workers

It wasn't common before Erdnase, it wasn't common during Erdnase's time, it wasn't common after Erdnase, it is not common today. It only happens if a worker has an interest in the subject. I have spoken with several printers and people working in print shops about that. One was a 97 year old son of a print shop owner. His father operated a shop back during the early nineteen-hundreds. His father even printed a gambling book he gave to me as present. It was not common, customary, nor did it happen often.

Brad Henderson wrote:again chris, if you don't want to be associated with a book - why would you put your bookplate in it?

I am sure he didn't care what happened after his death. As long as he lived it was well hidden in his library. He pasted bookplates into all books in his library. We don't know when he pasted these bookplates. Perhaps he pasted them just short before his death. We do not know. By that time he might not have cared anymore.

Brad Henderson wrote:you yourself are using the presence of the book to tie him to it.

I am not using it as my primary argument. I think it is a further confirming fact that supports Gallaway's case. My primary arguments are his proven contact with McKinney, and his proven writing and publishing similarities with Erdnase. The presence of the book shows among other things that he was interested in the subject. We can also assume that an author would keep a copy of the books he wrote.
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