ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 5:33 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Is that a no?

It is a don't expect to be spoon fed. Read the book and then we can have a conversation about it.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 26th, 2017, 6:01 pm

lybrary wrote:Dude, you should read more carefully


Perhaps you should read more carefully as well...dude. You still haven't answered my question(s): Is there any scholarly evidence to support your assertion that Eugene Edwards was Gallaway beyond any linguistic comparisons or your hunch? Do you consider scholarly evidence an archaic bourgeois detail? Did Gallaway have any magic books in his library beyond the The Expert? And what exactly did Gallaway do at the circus for three years?

Questions, and yet no answers from Dr. Wasshuber....

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:And what exactly did Gallaway do at the circus for three years?

Gallaway says he was the orator and worked in front of the tent. We also have evidence of him managing a sideshow at a county fair. Given Gallaway's background in the print industry I would assume he was involved with marketing the circus, perhaps wrote ads and announcements, got tickets and programs printed.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 26th, 2017, 6:28 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:And what exactly did Gallaway do at the circus for three years?

Gallaway says he was the orator and worked in front of the tent. We also have evidence of him managing a sideshow at a county fair. Given Gallaway's background in the print industry I would assume he was involved with marketing the circus, perhaps wrote ads and announcements, got tickets and programs printed.


Which suggests that Gallaway did not perform magic at the circus for those three years and instead handled other duties. Had he performed magic under the tents, it certainly would have strengthened the case that he was a magician. Unless he was a member of the SAM or there is a documented performance, I don't see any connection to magic with the exception of his copy of The Expert.

For the moment, it appears that no answers are forthcoming about Gallaway's supposed magic library or any evidence linking Edwards to Gallaway.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 6:40 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Which suggests that Gallaway did not perform magic at the circus for those three years and instead handled other duties.

That is a misunderstand of the role of the orator. Magic was also performed outside the tent. A circus historian said that it would not be uncharacteristic for an orator to perform a magic trick as part of his oration. The direct quote is: "It would not be unusual for a talker to present acts of his own in the side show, magic, playing cards and the like." http://www.circushistory.org/Query.htm

Leonard Hevia wrote:or there is a documented performance

There is a documented performance of Gallaway at the 1924 R.R. Donnelley show, but not everybody agrees that this involved magic. I think it did. The act was called "The Magic Wand".
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 26th, 2017, 6:51 pm

Leonard -- In other words, Chris still has no evidence that Gallaway performed magic as part of his circus career. But you knew that, didn't you.

Jack Shalom
Posts: 464
Joined: February 7th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » November 26th, 2017, 6:59 pm

lybrary wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:Is that a no?

It is a don't expect to be spoon fed. Read the book and then we can have a conversation about it.

I'll take that as a no.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 26th, 2017, 7:12 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Leonard -- In other words, Chris still has no evidence that Gallaway performed magic as part of his circus career. But you knew that, didn't you.


Yeah--pretty much. Having recently looked at Chris's website I saw a runaway statement that Eugene Edwards is Gallaway, on top of the claims that Gallaway is unequivocally Erdnase. Since I don't subscribe to Chris's newsletters, his claim that Edwards was Gallaway came out of left field. A university professor would mark that with a red pen and request a citation for that statement.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 7:18 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:A university professor would mark that with a red pen and request a citation for that statement.

Boy am I lucky you are not a university professor.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » November 26th, 2017, 7:35 pm

lybrary wrote:That is a misunderstand of the role of the orator. Magic was also performed outside the tent. A circus historian said that it would not be uncharacteristic for an orator to perform a magic trick as part of his oration. The direct quote is: "It would not be unusual for a talker to present acts of his own in the side show, magic, playing cards and the like." http://www.circushistory.org/Query.htm


It's interesting Chris provides this link, as it provides a very telling bit of insight as to how he performs his "research", and then how he subsequently presents it (usually as a fact, when it's actually nothing of the sort).

Let's examine first of all exactly what Chris asked of the website he posted to enquiring about Gallaway:

4653. Edward Gallaway, 11 Jul 2016 - From a biographical sketch of Edward Gallaway (born 1869 in Delphos, OH, died 1930 in Chicago, IL) it says:
"Following this editorial adventure, Gallaway embarked upon a circus career. For three summers he travelled as the "Orator" for various small circuses; his field of action was the front of the tent where his oratorical powers reached a high state of perfection."
The time frame of his circus career would be somewhere 1895-1899. Before that time he worked in Fort Payne, AL. He spent most of his life in Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. I am wondering if it is possible to find out which circuses Edward Gallaway was the orator for? Among others, he may have worked under the names: (Peter) Edward Gallaway, S.W. Erdnase, E.S. Andrews, Bustin Homes. Best, Chris


Note how Chris has presented Edward Gallaway as the topic of discussion very specifically, and provided some of his own details, which the "historian" may or may not have accepted at face value ... but what's important is that Chris has very clearly made this all about Edward Gallaway ... and only about Edward Gallaway.
There isn't even a hint that the question is about circus barkers in general, nor does Chris write anything that could be mistaken for a general enquiry about barkers.

Now let's take a look at what the circus historian wrote in reply to Chris's Gallaway enquiry:

"Mention of Gallaway in the Jay Marshall collection compilation as the possible binder of the Erdnase books makes sense. It would not be unusual for a talker to present acts of his own in the side show, magic, playing cards and the like. As a possible consumer of "how to" books and such it may have connected Gallaway to that realm of activity."

Note that, despite Chris presenting the evidence to the Genii Forum thread as if the historian was speaking in general terms about circus barkers, the historian was actually responding to Chris very specifically about Gallaway, (Chris conveniently left this part out) this after the historian determined that Gallaway was already associated with Jay Marshall, and EATCT ... with the historian making his statement with that detail very clearly in the forefront.

So when the historian notes "a talker", he's not at all speaking in general terms about barkers, he's responding very specifically to information he has on Gallaway, this AFTER knowing of Gallaway's association with the EATCT printing, and Jay Marshalls eventual ownership of Gallaways copy of EATCT.

As well, what's missing is any other correspondence that Chris may have had with the historian, any bit of which could impact his response immensely. For example the historian just pops up with the reference to Jay Marshall, with no prior mention of it in the post Chris linked to - which does cause one to wonder if there is an unshared exchange of correspondence designed specifically to get a statement that Chris feels meets his agenda.

Not only is Chris's research at times suspect, it's also highly questionable in terms of where many of his reported findings are actually coming from, and who (specifically) is offering this information to Chris in the capacity of "an expert in the field".

It becomes apparent that very little of Chris's "research" seems to stand up to critical examination, and that the evidence confirmed to date as relates to Gallaway in no way supports that Gallaway may have been Erdnase ... or indeed that Gallaway ever even held a deck of cards in his hands.

Gallaway is, ultimately (and as I believe most who participate in this thread have long known) - a printer who simply took a copy of one of his many printing projects home to put on his bookshelf, with no intent beyond thinking that he perhaps may some day read it.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 7:48 pm

Roger M. wrote:As well, what's missing is any other correspondence that Chris may have had with the historian, any bit of which could impact his response immensely.

There was no other communication. I asked a question and that was his response.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 26th, 2017, 8:12 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:A university professor would mark that with a red pen and request a citation for that statement.

Boy am I lucky you are not a university professor.


But you don't need luck in your scholarly efforts. The only thing required is to preface your statements with "So and so might possibly be..."

Circumstantial evidence alone isn't enough to make definitive statements. Eugene Edwards may very well be Gallaway, but a shared interest in gambling from both men is the beginning, and not the end. In hindsight Busby and Whaley were wrong about MFA. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 8:44 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Circumstantial evidence alone isn't enough to make definitive statements. Eugene Edwards may very well be Gallaway, but a shared interest in gambling from both men is the beginning, and not the end.

Before you make any big statements about my work you should at least read my free newsletter, and better yet my ebook "The Hunt for Erdnase: and the path to Edward Gallaway" https://www.lybrary.com/the-hunt-for-er ... 73843.html
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 26th, 2017, 9:26 pm

lybrary wrote:Before you make any big statements about my work you should at least read my free newsletter, and better yet my ebook "The Hunt for Erdnase: and the path to Edward Gallaway" https://www.lybrary.com/the-hunt-for-er ... 73843.html


What for? Having read the nonsense on your website such as, "Eugene Edwards is another pseudonym of Edward Gallaway. His more famous pen name is S. W. Erdnase" is off putting. The contents of your ad copy for the Gallaway /Erdnase PDF, and the way you refer to yourself in the third person as Dr. Wasshuber, like a politician running for election, disgusts me.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 9:36 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:What for?

Because you will learn about a subject you are interested in. At the very least it will give you more fodder for your vitriol and uncalled for and unfair attacks. You are sitting on a mighty high horse without having contributed one iota to the search for Erdnase. You can disagree with every of my opinions, assumptions and conclusions. I am fine with that. I have faced much stiffer winds professionally and proven entire companies wrong. But to talk like you know so much without even informing yourself is the only disgusting thing and it comes from you.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » November 26th, 2017, 10:21 pm

lybrary wrote:You are sitting on a mighty high horse without having contributed one iota to the search for Erdnase.


Just a quick clarification, anybody participating in this thread over any length of time, is participating in the search for Erdnase.

There is no requirement to propose a candidate before one is welcome to critique candidates proposed by others, or ask questions of those who have put a new (or old) candidates name forward.

This is the Genii Forum Chris, where Richard makes everybody who posts and participates in the forum feel welcome, which of course means it's not your personal blog and bully pulpit.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 26th, 2017, 10:37 pm

It is funny when Roger M. calls for better and higher quality research when he hasn't made a single contribution or offered a single new thought himself, or when Leonard Hevia throws around the word 'scholarly', but he is not even willing to read a free newsletter which would answer a lot of the questions he has asked here. It sounds very hollow, false, and hypocritical - certainly not how scholarly quality research is done. At the same time you dish out unfair, vitriolic, and mean spirited insults and attacks. I guess you can call this participation, but it is definitely not a contribution that adds to the search.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 27th, 2017, 12:28 am

For the past two years, much of the traffic on this thread has been driven by Chris contending that Gallaway was Erdnase, and every other sentient being who cares going, eh, not so much. If you find this interesting (in any sense of the word -- something worth thinking about, or like a traffic wreck which ends in a massive fire), you should subscribe to his newsletter.

Jack Shalom
Posts: 464
Joined: February 7th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » November 27th, 2017, 12:29 am

Chris you have done some interesting research, so kudos for that.

However, there is no requirement for someone to have done original research in order to criticize your awful jumping to conclusions about what you have found.

Your appeal to Freud was ridiculous. There is no case in hundreds of examples in Pathologies of Everyday Life where a person substitutes their own name for someone with a similar name. You totally misunderstand how the repression mechanism works. And yet you create out of whole cloth a non-event that you call a strong indication that Gallaway must be Edwards. MUCH more likely is that Edwards just didn't know the Senator's correct name. Period.

But much worse in my opinion is your statement "The independence I have assumed is also an estimate." It's not an estimate, it's an assumption of large implications, not something to be shrugged off. When you don't know, the course here is to do nothing or get more data. You don't just start massaging the numbers any way that seems to support your preconceived notion. An honest researcher says, "I just don't know yet."

That's why your hard work is not getting the positive attention you wish--because you make large unsupported claims, full of "could have beens" and post hoc explanations which obscure the actual real contributions you have made.

User avatar
magicam
Posts: 861
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 8:40 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 27th, 2017, 1:34 am

Chris,

Either you don’t understand what scholarship is, or you have knowingly conflated advocacy and publicity with scholarship. Scholars are, on the whole, credible, and their work is respected and has intellectual integrity. When an Edwin Dawes or a Ricky Jay makes a statement of fact, I am inclined to believe him, because his track record of veracity is excellent and long-established. Sad to say, however, when you make statements of “fact” on the Erdnase authorship issue, I am not inclined to believe you. Too often you have ignored reasonable questions on your claims (e.g., what Dr. Olsson means by “strong possibility” that Gallaway is Erdnase, proof that Gallaway had more than one magic book (The Expert[ in his library), or jumped to absolute conclusions which strain credibility (“We know that Gallaway had an interest in sleight of hand card manipulation, evidenced by his card magic and gambling books in his library. That means he certainly ‘had a deck of cards in his hands.’”), among other things that do not reflect the spirit of scholarship.

In essence, a number of claims and conclusions you have made are an embarrassment in the context of bona-fide scholarship. This is especially unfortunate because you have made some significant contributions in the Erdnase field.

On the other hand, if the over-bloated claims are intended simply to drive sales and interest in your work on Erdnase, that’s your prerogative. But such claims and the extremes to which you sometimes go in your advocacy should not be confused with, or characterized as, scholarship.

Clay

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 27th, 2017, 9:35 am

The level of negativity, and the often completely baseless and ridiculous critique, Edward Gallaway's case and my work has created on this forum is the best measure for the strength of the Gallaway case. He is a threat to the old opinions. If he wouldn't make such a good case there wouldn't be the need for the amount of response he has received. My all time favorite quote, which perfectly applies here, is from Arthur Shopenhauer who said:
All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » November 27th, 2017, 10:17 am

lybrary wrote: If he wouldn't make such a good case there wouldn't be the need for the amount of response he has received.


No, that's not true at all Chris ... it's just not at all a good case, and people are pointing that out to you repeatedly, with you choosing not to listen to what folks are saying to you ... which of course is your prerogative.

Comparisons between your posts here in the Genii Forum, and your writing in your Library newsletter highlight that the reason you're posting here is either to drive traffic to your website, or to seek acceptance of your Gallaway theory from the one group of people you need to convince in order to be widely accepted as the person who discovered the identity of Erdnase.
I suspect you're actually posting here for both reasons noted above.

But Gallaway was ultimately just a guy with a copy of EATCT in his library, nothing more. Despite your efforts, you've not convinced anybody to join you in even contemplating that Gallaway might be Erdnase.

As well, because I believe that you're a pretty smart guy, I think you too realize that your case is too weak to move Gallaway forward, but I also think that, based on your repeated declarations that you've "found Erdnase" ... you've simply got yourself into too deep of a hole to get yourself out of.

Climb out of the hole Chris, and remember that pretty much nobody who posts to this thread is ever going to fall for your ad hominem attacks on those who critique your posts.
Nobody posting in the Genii Forum Erdnase thread needs to have proposed a candidate in order to participate, and everybody posting here is knowledgable enough to be considered a contributor to the search for Erdnase.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 27th, 2017, 10:57 am

Roger M. wrote:Despite your efforts, you've not convinced anybody to join you in even contemplating that Gallaway might be Erdnase.

This is a good example of the overblown negativity, the violent opposition as Shopenhauer calls it. You somehow have an agenda to destroy Gallaway's case, and to try to discredit my work, not to discuss it. Another good example is your post on the response of the circus historian where you tried to imply that I somehow falsified or engineered his statement. You could have contacted him directly, asked him a clarifying question, and moved the discussion forward, but instead you chose to launch a below the belt attack insinuating some less than honest motive. [edited].

Your quoted statement above is completely wrong. There are several who either agree with me or at least think Gallaway makes a pretty good case:
Jeff Pierce Magic wrote:I think that Chris has provided more evidence, if only circumstantial that Gallaway is Erdnase. But that's more evidence than most, so yes, Gallaway is a viable candidate.

S. Tauzier wrote:I believe Chris is right. You guys - you’ve spent too much time in love with the wrong angle.

Richard Hatch wrote:I think Chris' research and arguments as laid out in detail in his Hunt for Erdnase book make Gallaway viable. He was "at the scene of the crime" (McKinney's print shop), owned a copy of the first edition, sounds (to some) like Erdnase when writing, self published books in Chicago that bear some resemblance to the first edition (price on title page, for example). Chris makes a good circumstantial case for Gallaway, in my opinion.

Even Tom Sawyer, whom I consider one of the more balanced commentators, writes in his most recent blog post on Gallaway:
Poor Ed has taken a lot of heat on the Erdnase thread, but even if you throw out all the evidence that people are unhappy with, there are some very basic facts that will probably keep him in the running ... To my way of thinking the linguistic case looks “okay,” ... But I’ve always liked the fact that Gallaway owned a copy of Erdnase. The fact that he worked with McKinney is good, and the fact that he was self-published is good.

Privately I have received many and much stronger confirmations that the Gallaway case is good or even the best that has been offered so far. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the handful of people who post to this thread is the critical quorum to decide what the general opinion is on Erdnase.
Last edited by Dustin Stinett on November 29th, 2017, 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Childish name calling.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » November 27th, 2017, 12:16 pm

lybrary wrote: Shame on you. You are despicable.


"Despicable Me" :lol:

Man-up Chris [edited]
Deal with the critique such that your temper tantrums don't permanently mar your otherwise interesting pursuit of Gallaway.

Gallaway wasn't Erdnase, and didn't write EATCT ... now prove me wrong.
Last edited by Dustin Stinett on November 29th, 2017, 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: name calling

User avatar
AJM
Posts: 1071
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: ERDNASE

Postby AJM » November 27th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Can’t we just agree that Gallaway is/was Erdnase so that Chris can go away and concentrate on something important for a change, [edited].

S W Erdnase was either:
1. E S Andrews or
2. Someone who wished to remain anonymous and was successful in doing so.

Just sayin’

Peace and Love

Andrew
Corner-boy Begrudger

Bob Coyne
Posts: 299
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Montclair, NJ

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » November 27th, 2017, 5:15 pm

It seems that things have gotten a bit vitriolic on this thread recently, with personal insults and disparaging remarks about opposing arguments.

Everyone who participates here has a strong common interest in the Erdnase authorship question, so there's ultimately much more that unites than divides. This thread has been very productive over the years, and while there have been various disagreements, it has been mostly civil. So I hope it can return to that norm.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 27th, 2017, 10:01 pm

lybrary wrote:The level of negativity, and the often completely baseless and ridiculous critique, Edward Gallaway's case and my work has created on this forum is the best measure for the strength of the Gallaway case. He is a threat to the old opinions. If he wouldn't make such a good case there wouldn't be the need for the amount of response he has received. My all time favorite quote, which perfectly applies here, is from Arthur Shopenhauer who said:
All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.


You have made statements on your website that your research has to wit been unable to support without equivocation:

1. Eugene Edwards is another pseudonym of Edward Gallaway. His more famous pen name is S. W. Erdnase.

2. We are now certain that S. W. Erdnase was Edward Gallaway.

3. Edward Gallaway had another pseudonym, Eugene Edwards, under which he published the book Jack Pots.

4. Every new piece of evidence found about Gallaway further confirmed that he was S. W. Erdnase.

5. A century old mystery has been solved. Erdnase has been found.


And yet you don't know whether or not Gallaway had any magic books in his library. You have already made your case for Gallaway and the evidence isn't strong enough yet to support those statements above. That is self-evident.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 27th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:And yet you don't know whether or not Gallaway had any magic books in his library.

He did.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

observer
Posts: 289
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » November 27th, 2017, 10:59 pm

AJM wrote:Can’t we just agree that Gallaway is/was Erdnase <>

Just sayin’
Peace and Love
Andrew


Was Erdnase ... Spartacus?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKCmyiljKo0

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » November 27th, 2017, 11:31 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:And yet you don't know whether or not Gallaway had any magic books in his library.

He did.


One text? The Expert? Surely even you would agree that a well rounded magician would have more than just one magic book in his library.

Jackpot
Posts: 86
Joined: June 8th, 2016, 12:38 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » November 27th, 2017, 11:39 pm

observer wrote:
AJM wrote:Can’t we just agree that Gallaway is/was Erdnase <>

Just sayin’
Peace and Love
Andrew


Was Erdnase ... Spartacus?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKCmyiljKo0


Perhaps so. This picture does put a deck of cards in his hands.
https://outlet.historicimages.com/products/rse96821
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 27th, 2017, 11:47 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:One text? The Expert? Surely even you would agree that a well rounded magician would have more than just one magic book in his library.

How many magic books did E.S. Andrews and W.E. Sanders have in their library?
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2017, 12:50 am

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:One text? The Expert? Surely even you would agree that a well rounded magician would have more than just one magic book in his library.

How many magic books did E.S. Andrews and W.E. Sanders have in their library?


Irrelevant, since no one is building a case for Andrews or Sanders based on their magic libraries.

It is not unusual for you, when challenged on something you've said about Gallaway, to respond "what about Andrews? what about Sanders?" That's ducking the question; you haven't written a book the thesis of which is "Gallaway is a stronger candidate for Erdnase than Andrews or Sanders". Your thesis is "Gallaway is Erdnase", and you won't/can't prove that by comparison to Sanders and Andrews (particularly when the comparison is with respect to issues that are irrelevant to the case for either of them).

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2017, 1:14 am

Thomas Sawyer recently posted some thoughts on the relative strengths of the various candidates for Erdnase, and how to measure that.

Normally, when a discussion occurs on his blog, I'd respond over there. But I'm going to post here in this case. The reason is that sometimes Tom takes posts, discussions, and even whole blogs off line, and the things that were written and posted there are then lost. For most of my comments over there, I think we all could agree "no loss". In this case, however, I'd like to make sure it sticks around for a while. The following is in response to a comment made by Chris Wasshuber; and the quotes below are not from the Genii Forum, but from comments at Sawyer's blog.

[the discussion is about numerically quantifying how much a candidate is or is not like Erdnase]

Chris Wasshuber wrote:"With some thought one can make a pretty good estimate about many facts . . .To ignore these quantitative aspects . . . "

When you make an "estimate", like your recent (Nov 12) statements "Not everybody who buys a book is an author. About 1 out of 10 is an author. ", you aren't doing anything quantitative, even though you are putting numbers into the mix. How do you determine that 1 book buyer in 10 is also an author? There's no data to back that up -- it's a number you've pulled from thin air. It is a completely subjective opinion. You have no way of showing that 1 in 100 is less (or more) accurate, or 1 in 5. But you later use that ratio to "calculate" the odds of Gallaway having been Erdnase. The answer you get isn't quantitative -- you've used the wrong formulas, and the wrong numbers in those formulas. The number that results is meaningless, because nothing that came before it has been quantified in any meaningful sense of the word.

You do it again, when you say [in your comment at Sawyer's blog] "most everybody played cards back then. Any person taken randomly would by a very high likelihood have played cards in the 19th century." How do you know this? How can you say "most everybody" (which I take to mean significantly greater than 50%)? There were huge swaths of the populace who thought that playing cards were the tools of the devil, and wouldn't touch them. Where are the numbers? An 1894 article about the new tax on playing cards said that US annual production was 30,000,000 decks. What does this say about how many people played cards regularly? There were ~70 million people in the US in 1895; enough cards for half of them to have a new deck. But serious card players use multiple decks in a year; it might be that 5% of the people used half of all new decks produced. So the average citizen didn't play much. There are other statistics that might come into play if you are trying to figure out how many people played cards -- how many decks were taxed in a year? How many copies of Foster's Hoyle sold in a year? How many cities banned playing cards -- was 1/2 of the population subject to "blue laws"? If you are going to call your numbers "pretty good estimates", you've got to put some real data behind them, instead of just asserting something to be so.

It would be great if there was some formula into which we could plug the facts we have (Gallaway had a 1st ed copy; Sanders knew Mutus Nomen; Andrews was related to Dalrymple; etc.) and out would come a ranking of who was strongest and weakest. But we don't have the data to support doing that. Even when we know something about a candidate, we don't know enough about everyone else to judge a context for what we do know. Gallaway worked with McKinney? How many other people did? 32? 100? 1000? Andrews was a distant cousin of Dalrymple? How many other people were related that closely to him? W. E. Sanders is an anagram for S. W. Erdnase? How many other American middle-aged men had a name that also anagrammed to Erdnase? You've suggested we can "estimate" some of these numbers, but no one is doing that -- they are guessing. And "quantitative evaluation" based on guesses is still just a guess, even if it's been gussied up in formulas and numbers.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 28th, 2017, 10:58 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Irrelevant, since no one is building a case for Andrews or Sanders based on their magic libraries.

If you want to be objective about it, if you want to be scholarly about it, then you have to compare candidates side by side. On the subject of interest in sleight-of-hand, interest in magic, Gallaway presents a much better case than E.S. Andrews or W.E. Sanders. And all of them present a much worse case than M.F. Andrews on that point. You can now continue to compare other aspects side by side, and eventually you will create an entire matrix which will allow a much more objective comparison of the various candidates.

Bill Mullins wrote:Your thesis is "Gallaway is Erdnase" ...

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.


Bill Mullins wrote:You do it again, when you say [in your comment at Sawyer's blog] "most everybody played cards back then. Any person taken randomly would by a very high likelihood have played cards in the 19th century." How do you know this?

I know this by studying history. Read about what people did in their leisure time. Card playing was widespread. Every social club had a card room. Every pub and restaurant had cards available for play. Card games were played at home. Even Erdnase writes: There is no amusement or pastime in the civilized world so prevalent as card games, ..." Even just looking at poker you will find that it was widespread and played across the US. Knowing this, one can start to put boundaries on how many people played cards. It wasn't only 1% of the population who played cards. Rather than give up and say we cannot put any bounds on the estimate, why not bring in playing card historians, or people who have studied the history of card games? The very fact that taxes were levied on playing cards tells one that it was widespread. The very fact that some organizations campaigned against gambling and card play was exactly because it was so widespread. My personal estimate which is informed by reading about the history of cards and card play is that about 50%-80% of people in the US played cards in the late 19th century. That is an estimate and you are free to argue the number was smaller or higher.

Bill Mullins wrote:Gallaway worked with McKinney? How many other people did? 32? 100? 1000?

When you read the McKinney bankruptcy files you know it was more than 32. It was at least in the hundreds. My best estimate, which is informed by studying how print shops operated during that time, how they worked, and seeing how large McKinney's operation was, is in the thousands. And we know it was not millions and not even hundreds of thousands, because that was not physically possible given the size of his operation and the number of hours in a day. So you can indeed put reasonable good bounds on such an estimate, which I put at < 10,000 for the rough time frame we think the book was printed there.

What you will find when you start to develop such estimates is that the exact numbers do not matter, because you are mostly working with orders of magnitudes (factors of 10 in case you do not understand what an order of magnitude means). Perhaps it is a difference in education. I went through a rigorous engineering and science education and we did learn to estimate many things. It was a skill that was taught and tested. It is a scientific process and it is not guessing. Estimating is to apply facts and data we know and then to extrapolate and infer by means of reason and calculation and develop estimates for the quantities we care about. Not every aspect will lend itself to quantification, but those that are should be studied quantitatively.

But my bigger and overarching point is that the numbers, the estimates, I have put forth is only a start. So far nobody has even attempted that much. Feel free to argue and provide data that suggests the numbers are very different, higher or lower, or that the boundaries need to be adjusted one way or another. Once we have decent estimates for a couple of facts we can start to put them together. The independence assumption is only a first step. Once we understand dependencies better we can account for them. For example, you have argued that writers are more likely to have owned more books. I think that is a fair point, but one can also argue that there are book collectors who had many books, who were not writers. These will move the estimate in the other direction. Nevertheless, despite these dependencies we can still come up with good estimates which will help us better understand the relative importance of facts, because we do not need to be concerned with factors of 2 and 3, but with factors of 10, 100, and 1000 - and those can in many cases be estimated quite accurately.

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.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2017, 12:10 pm

But to what end? Suppose we have a bunch of numbers. What do you do with them? Are you trying to calculate the probability that Gallaway was Erdnase? Probabilities are useful for examining random processes, and whether or not Gallaway (or Sanders, or Andrews) was Erdnase isn't the outcome of a random process. He either was Erdnase (p = 1) or he wasn't (p= 0).

Tom Sawyer
Posts: 307
Joined: January 7th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 28th, 2017, 3:00 pm

Bill, I tend to view the Erdnase problem as I might view a horse race. (I was formerly extremely interested in perimutuel betting. And actually that interest is merely napping; it isn't dead.)

Anyway, I can look at the Erdnase candidates as I might horses a race. The bettor (within his skill level) can come up with his own odds that a horse will win, even though the horse ultimately will win (or tie) or on the other hand will lose.

The foregoing is a simplification, but it shows the general idea.

--Tom

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 844
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 28th, 2017, 3:31 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:But to what end? Suppose we have a bunch of numbers. What do you do with them? Are you trying to calculate the probability that Gallaway was Erdnase? Probabilities are useful for examining random processes, and whether or not Gallaway (or Sanders, or Andrews) was Erdnase isn't the outcome of a random process. He either was Erdnase (p = 1) or he wasn't (p= 0).

The purpose is to judge the relative strength of cases, and the relative strength of various facts supporting those cases. Even if one cannot conclusively proof that somebody is Erdnase, one can estimate the likelihood that he is. Think about a bag of balls, 99 white balls one black ball. Even though a ball can only be white or black, one can calculate the probability of finding the black ball with one random selection, which is 1/100 in this case. Here are some Erdnase examples:

Assume a hypothetical case where all we know of the candidate is that he lived in the US nothing else. Since we had about 80 million people live in the US during that time the probability that this one is Erdnase is 1/80million - a random pick of somebody out of that group of people in the US. It is an extremely weak case, I am sure we all agree, and we can express that weakness as a probability which we can readily calculate.

Assume a second hypothetical case where all we have is a documented connection with McKinney. My estimate for the number of people who had a connection with McKinney during the time in question is <10,000. That case would therefore have odds of 1 out of 10,000 to be correct. That is almost four orders of magnitude better than the above case. Still a fairly bad case but dramatically better than the first one.

Assume a third hypothetical case where all we know is that the candidate did sleight-of-hand with cards. How good is his case? That is perhaps harder to estimate but given the numbers of magicians today I estimate that not more than a couple of thousand people were magicians who did sleight-of-hand with cards back then. Add to those cardsharks who also did sleight of hand and you may get a group of say 10,000 people. (I don't know how good that is as estimate, but it is simply an example.)

Assume a fourth hypothetical case where all we know is that the candidate was a good writer. I haven't studied the numbers in detail, but let's take Roger's estimate that there were about 100,000 good writers in the US at that time. This hypothetical case would have odds of 1 out of 100,000 to be correct.

Assume a fifth hypothetical case where all we know is that the candidate played cards. No knowledge of sleight of hand, nothing else known. I believe that at least 1 out of 2 played cards in some form. that means that about 40 million people in the US played cards during that time. Compared to the knowledge of sleight-of-hand, or a connection to McKinney, or to the fact that somebody was a good writer, the fact that he played cards is a very weak indicator for Erdnasehood. The often stated notion "that one has to put a deck of cards in the candidates hands" turns out to be a rather weak indicator for Erdnase.

If these estimates are correct then we can further conclude that the fact that somebody had a proven connection to McKinney, and the fact that somebody did sleight-of-hand with cards, is about equally strong as individual factors in an Erdnase case, because they both restrict the pool for Erdnase to about 10,000 people. The fact that somebody was a good writer is on its own not as good by about a factor 10. And the fact that somebody played cards is about 4000 times less restrictive than if that person would have done sleight-of-hand.

So even without putting facts together one can get, through estimating these odds, a sense of how important each one fact is. And then one can combine facts by studying if there are any major dependencies and if there are none then they can be combined as independent factors, which allows one to derive a sense of how strong the combination of certain facts are. For example, we can assume that most who did sleight of hand with cards also played cards. That means the sleight-of-hand with cards folks are pretty much a subgroup of card players. The knowledge of such a candidate playing cards would not improve his odds at all.

Coming back to the colored ball analogy, we are dealing with balls that have different colors and patterns. For example, imagine Erdnase is a black ball but with red dots and green stripes. Each of these colors stands for one of the traits and characteristics we know about Erdnase. The red dots could indicate sleight-of-hand, the green stripes could indicate a connection with McKinney and so on. By understanding how many balls there are with red dots and how many balls there are with green stripes, etc., we can then calculate how strong a case becomes if certain facts are known about that candidate.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

observer
Posts: 289
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » November 28th, 2017, 3:37 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:<>When you make an "estimate", like your recent (Nov 12) statements "Not everybody who buys a book is an author. About 1 out of 10 is an author. ", you aren't doing anything quantitative, even though you are putting numbers into the mix. How do you determine that 1 book buyer in 10 is also an author? There's no data to back that up -- it's a number you've pulled from thin air. It is a completely subjective opinion. You have no way of showing that 1 in 100 is less (or more) accurate, or 1 in 5. But you later use that ratio to "calculate" the odds of Gallaway having been Erdnase. The answer you get isn't quantitative -- you've used the wrong formulas, and the wrong numbers in those formulas. The number that results is meaningless, because nothing that came before it has been quantified in any meaningful sense of the word.

.


Somewhat relevant, and (to me anyway) kind of fascinating, is this statistical info re the occupation "Author", from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273043.htm#st

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2017, 5:06 pm

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.

Look at writing ability. Let's use the estimate of 100,000, and that Gallaway was 1 of them. If the estimate was 10,000, or 1,000,000, how would things be different? They wouldn't -- we'd still know that Gallaway was a writer, and that his writing ability, like that of Sanders, Robert Foster, Hilliard, and others, checks a box "yes". On the other hand, we can't check the box for Edwin Andrews "No", because we don't have any data with respect to writing skills. There is no way to apply the number "100,000" to the problem of "who was Erdnase" in a quantitative way.

All we can do with knowledge of writing ability is:
"Can write well" => keeps them in the pool;
"Can't write well" (like MFA, unless he had help*) => pushes them out of the pool;
"No knowledge of writing ability" => can't use this factor to evaluate a candidate.

This isn't a problem with a continuous distribution of answers, from 0.0 to 1.0 (as a probability problem would be). The answer isn't "1 chance in 10" or "2 out of 3". It is a 3 state logic problem: yes, no, don't know. (and for most of the questions and most of the candidates, the answer is "don't know".) The fact that 99,999 other people besides Erdnase could write doesn't affect it.

*Note how the possibility of MFA having had help changes the answer for him. For most of the characteristics that we assume to be important, there might be an initial "yes/no" answer, but there might be a secondary issue that modifies that initial answer. For example, I think that names that anagram to S.W. Erdnase is important, and based on that I'd check "No" with respect to Gallaway -- he's out of the pool. But if there is another reason someone to use that pseudonym (a pun on the candidate's occupation, or a childhood nickname), the answer changes.

We know very little about Erdnase, and most all of what we know has big error bars. We know very little about a few candidates, and some of that has error bars. It is very difficult to have confidence in any conclusions other than "this guy is interesting".


Return to “General”