ERDNASE

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Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 16th, 2016, 11:23 am

Yes, Gallaway was working for McKinney, and thus had "opportunity" to write the book. But working for McKinney isn't a requirement for opportunity -- the vast majority of books published are written by people who do not work for their respective printers.

Look at 1000 random books published in 1902. How many of them were written by people who worked for the printer? Lets say 1 in 1000 (a number which I am sure over-estimates the probabilities). So the chances of any given book having been written by an employee of the printer are remotely small. The chances of Expert having been written by someone who worked for McKinney are very small.

Approach it from the other direction. How many employees of print shops were also published writers? Again, the overlap is vanishingly small. If the fact that Gallaway worked for McKinney is indicative of his having written a book printed by McKinney, then you would expect that other people who worked for printers would be more common as published authors than the general population.

I just don't see why Gallaway having worked for McKinney make him more likely than any other person to have written the book. But if you can show that any other of the listed employees of McKinney also wrote books which were printed by McKinney, then I would have to seriously reconsider this.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 16th, 2016, 12:25 pm

Look at it this way.

Image

You seem to be saying that since Gallaway is in Set E, the probabilities of him also being in Set A are enhanced.

If this
Image

is a realistic view of the relationship between employees and printers and authors, then you are probably right.

But I think this

Image

is more accurate. So the fact that Gallaway is in Set E means nothing as to whether he is also in Set A.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 16th, 2016, 12:38 pm

My point is not that In order to have opportunity you need to be employed by McKinney. To have opportunity you need to be at the crime scene at the time of the crime. Gallaway satisfies this by being employed there. Others would satisfy it if they could demonstrate some contact as supplier, customer, relative etc of McKinney or people working there. The opportunity needs to clear a certain threshold. Being in Chicago is not enough. Being employed at James McKinney is certainly enough but it is not the only way to clear that threshold.

And yes, there is evidence in the bankruptcy files that employees had their own print projects. You will find an employee named Thorpe (I don't have my records with me, but I think his first name was Harry, not sure though) he is also listed as the owner of a set of printing plates. It doesn't give us the title of the book or even if it was a book or something else. If it was a book it does not have to be one written by Thorpe. Maybe a relative or friend's project. But it clearly demonstrates that employees did have their own personal projects. I have also spoken with old printers and they all have confirmed to me that it was a common practice for employees to run their own projects. Some printed wedding invitations, others printed business cards, my father for example printed an entire line of his greeting cards while he was a printer, and yes, some printed books they or family members wrote. It was a common practice in the print profession.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 16th, 2016, 12:56 pm

Here is an interesting list of 5 famous authors who were also printers https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/blog/go ... -printers/

Particularly interesting is Mark Twain who was a so called 'devil' in printers parlance. Gallaway was also a devil at the Delphoes Weekly Herald (from his bio - it says he was a 'devil' there). Gallaway is in great company.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 16th, 2016, 5:35 pm

Completely off subject: name the TV series (without Googling) that had an episode called "Printer's Devil."
NO GOOGLING.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » July 16th, 2016, 7:17 pm

I don't want to give away the answer, but if I am not mistaken, it was a tale from a show whose creator's first name starts with an R.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 16th, 2016, 11:09 pm

lybrary wrote:My point is not that In order to have opportunity you need to be employed by McKinney. To have opportunity you need to be at the crime scene at the time of the crime. Gallaway satisfies this by being employed there. Others would satisfy it if they could demonstrate some contact as supplier, customer, relative etc of McKinney or people working there. The opportunity needs to clear a certain threshold. Being in Chicago is not enough. Being employed at James McKinney is certainly enough but it is not the only way to clear that threshold.


I think you are cherry picking criteria here. You want a candidate to jump over a very high bar for "presence at the scene of the crime" because Gallaway was there, and we know it. You are willing to tolerate a non-existent bar for "skill with cards" because we don't know that Gallaway had any. But realistically, Erdnase absolutely had to have skill with cards, and he didn't need to have an ongoing professional relationship with McKinney. If you assigned weights to the various criteria (was he an author? was he skilled with cards? was he in Chicago at the right time? did he match Smith's descriptions closely? did he work for the circus? did he speak German?) in terms of their actual relevance to what we know about Erdnase, instead of what we know about Gallaway, then Gallaway doesn't look nearly as likely to have been Erdnase.

Here is an interesting list of 5 famous authors who were also printers https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/blog/go ... -printers/


A little closer to "home": Dave Solomon, Guy Jarrett, Julien Proskauer, Richard Buffum, Lewis Davenport, Carl Ballantine, Percy Naldrett, Jack Avis -- all of them have worked as printers at one time or another.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 17th, 2016, 1:34 am

Tom, you are correct!
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 18th, 2016, 2:00 pm

Bill, I don't cherry pick, because I have not defined what I think clears the bar for the opportunity. All I am saying being in Chicago does not clear it. It is not narrow enough. There are many ways to show a real opportunity, but none has been shown so far for anybody, except for Gallaway.

A similar situation happens with motive. The only motive that has been shown for other candidates is a financial motive. That is very easy, because pretty much any person can be shown to need the money. I mean who would say they don't need more money? But one then has to also ask why would somebody write a book to make money? Most people would take another job, or live more frugal. Gallaway has a good reason. He is a writer, and he is an educator. After all he wrote textbooks and founded a school for print estimators later in his life. So he has demonstrated the profile of somebody who could and would write books and educate others about a particular subject he is an expert in. Additionally with Gallaway, we have a big change in his live in 1901. He got married and had to take care of his wife and her daughter from a prior marriage. So we have a perfectly valid motive/event at the perfect time. It all makes sense why Gallaway would write/publish EATCT at that time. I don't see any such motive for E.S. Andrews or W.E. Sanders or M.F. Andrews. For MFA the motive is actually a negative one. MFA was an active cheat after EATCT came out. Why would he wise up the public about his methods? Why create more cheats who use his methods? Makes no sense for an active cheater. So not just with opportunity, but also with motive Gallaway is the best candidate. That is not cherry picking. That is simply reality staring you in the face.

For the means part on card skill you are correct, Gallaway has not much to offer, but also E.S. Andrews or W.E. Sanders have nothing to offer. With Gallaway we at least know that he had gambling books in his library (from research by Jay Marshall), and we know he performed magic in an amateur theater production. So he clearly could perform magic and not only had an interest. While I agree this does not come close to being Erdnase, it is a lot more than Sanders or E.S. Andrews have to offer. Where do they perform magic in public? Don't forget that a good part of EATCT is about magic with cards and Smith reported that Erdnase performed some card tricks for him. So clearly, Erdnase was not a single minded cheat but had a broader interest which included magic. I know the Sanders folks will now come out and point to this one simple self-working card trick in his diaries, but this does not mean that he actually performed any magic. So even the very thin means on gambling and magic we have on Gallaway, he offers more than many of the other top candidates. And even with MFA what can you tell us that shows that he was on the level of Erdnase when it comes to cards?

The means for writing the book Gallaway clears with flying colors. MFA could not have written it. WE Sanders, while he was a published author, wrote in a very different dry and uninteresting style. And from E.S. Andrews we don't know anything. So again Gallaway trumps them all in terms of being able to write it. And you think that is cherry picking? Gallaway is the only one who would actually clear the necessary hurdles for a criminal case.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 21st, 2016, 8:48 am

Apparently Wald-Erdnase is a type of mushroom. http://up.picr.de/19323381iz.jpg (does look a bit like a nose)
Found on a German mushroom forum: http://www.pilzforum.eu/board/thema-stammtisch?page=657 (scroll down about a third)
More food for the nickname theory.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2016, 10:20 am

lybrary wrote:More food for the nickname theory.


Because Gallaway was not only a printer, a magician, a gambler, and a circus barker, he was also a mycologist?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 21st, 2016, 1:37 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Because Gallaway was not only a printer, a magician, a gambler, and a circus barker, he was also a mycologist?

No I am not saying he was interested in mushrooms. Sure, he could have been. After all he was widely read and interested. Actually his primary hobby per his bio in 1923 was astronomy. But what I am establishing here is that 'Erdnase' is a possible nickname. Let me remind you that we have the following uses of Erdnase(n)

1) Meaning foot hills (from German books 1841, 1860, 1881; also used today to describe terrain)
2) Describing kids interested in nature (from 2009 Swiss brochure "Erdnasen und Mooshände")
3) Nickname for pets (dogs, pigs, horses, - do an Internet search)
4) Name/description for a particular type of mushroom (Wald-Erdnasen)

All I am establishing is that the term Erdnase did exist at least since the middle of the 19th century and that it has been used as nickname and descriptive term before.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2016, 3:07 pm

I don't think I've ever disputed that there are rational uses for the word "Erdnase". I just don't think that referring to Edward Gallaway is one of them.

On another note -- is H. A. Canar the first person to note that the Erdnase color change 1st method was the same one as had been attributed to Houdini by Selbit?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Denis Behr » July 21st, 2016, 4:45 pm

lybrary wrote:Apparently Wald-Erdnase is a type of mushroom. http://up.picr.de/19323381iz.jpg (does look a bit like a nose)
Found on a German mushroom forum: http://www.pilzforum.eu/board/thema-stammtisch?page=657 (scroll down about a third)
More food for the nickname theory.

I don't think there is a mushroom with this name. To me it reads like the poster is jokingly writing the made-up "Erdnase" caption to the picture because, well, the mushroom looks like a nose.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2016, 4:56 pm

Denis, you might be more interested in one of the posts following the picture of the mushroom.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 21st, 2016, 5:06 pm

Denis Behr wrote:I don't think there is a mushroom with this name. To me it reads like the poster is jokingly writing the made-up "Erdnase" caption to the picture because, well, the mushroom looks like a nose.

That is exactly my point. Erdnase has been used as descriptive term. Nicknames are often descriptive highlighting a particular characteristic like a caricature.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Denis Behr » July 21st, 2016, 5:10 pm

lybrary wrote:
Denis Behr wrote:I don't think there is a mushroom with this name. To me it reads like the poster is jokingly writing the made-up "Erdnase" caption to the picture because, well, the mushroom looks like a nose.

That is exactly my point.

You wrote: "Apparently Wald-Erdnase is a type of mushroom." I obviously did not get your point that there is not such a mushroom.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 21st, 2016, 5:33 pm

If you read my post after that it should have been clear:
4) Name/description for a particular type of mushroom (Wald-Erdnasen)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 21st, 2016, 7:22 pm

"Erdnase" is not the author of the book, S.W. Erdnase is the author of the book.

Where does the "S.W." fit as relates to the nickname angle?

It seems awfully bold to simply ignore the initials the author used for a purpose related to a specific candidate, especially in light of the fact that our author went on to name perhaps his most difficult shift by the very same initials - "S.W.E."

It seems the leaps of faith are getting to the point where we're going to soon need a bigger net - or perhaps we're already well past that point? :)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 21st, 2016, 9:29 pm

Very simple explanation for Gallaway. These could very well be the initials of his parents, mother Sarah, father William.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2016, 11:14 pm

lybrary wrote:Very simple explanation for Gallaway. These could very well be the initials of his parents, mother Sarah, father William.


Given the respective roles of men and women in society at the turn of the century, he would have used his father's initial before his mother's. The book would have been written by W. S Erdnase if that was the explanation.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 22nd, 2016, 12:41 am

So, let me see if I have this - S.W. Erdnase is basically comprised of the initials of his Mothers given name, his Fathers given name - and is then followed up by some form of shorthand for "pigs nose" or "mushroom"?

I guess some folks might mash-up their two loving parents initials with pigs noses or mushrooms for no reason whatsoever, and then take that mash-up for their moniker as the author of the Expert at the Card Table.

But seriously, most folks do things for reasons.
In Erdnase's case, the assumption of a pseudonym would seem to require a much more interesting, or rationale reason than to choose his parents initials and then reference a pigs nose, mushroom, or family pet.

The extremely high quality of Erdnase's writing would seem to suggest that the author would simply not create such a disjointed combination of letters and nouns, done for no personal or literary reason whatsoever.

E.S. Andrews on the other hand ...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 22nd, 2016, 8:27 am

Bill, Roger, I know you guys enjoy being difficult. You like to postulate requirements out of thin air. Like that the father's initial HAS TO BE FIRST, like there is some kind of rule everybody follows. Have you heard anything about 'ladies first'? Or that a son may feel a lot of gratitude to his mother who carried him for 9 months, and then under labor and pain delivered him? What do you guys know about the relationship between Edward and his parents? You guys know nothing.

And Roger seems to still not comprehend the essence of the nickname theory. It is not about mushrooms or pigs. It is about the possibility that Edward Gallaway, received the nickname Erdnase either from his teachers in German school, a classmate in German school, a German relative, or perhaps during his time typesetting for a German newspaper. When he decided to write EATCT he chose Erdnase as his pen name. To complete the name with initials, being the good and grateful kid he is, he uses the initials of his mother and father. He ends up with S. W. Erdnase.

But you know, it is called a theory for a reason. It is a plausible explanation that fits what we know about Edward Gallaway. At this point it cannot be proven, just as the reverse spelling theory cannot be proven either.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 22nd, 2016, 12:12 pm

library wrote:... just as the reverse spelling theory cannot be proven either.


I think questions from the floor can only advance your candidate Chris, especially if those questions are responded to with simple, logical answers - answers that make sense and don't seem tailored specifically to Gallaway such that they become a little silly.

But with regards to the reverse spelling scenario, I would only note (as has been noted in this thread a few times before) that Occams Razor makes for a nice application here.
Although folks often shorten the meaning of OR to state that the simplest of explanations is the most likely explanation to be true - indeed the more detailed meaning of OR is that one make the least number of assumptions in order to arrive at a most logical answer to the question being asked.

Arriving at the name S.W. Erdnase from E.S. Andrews requires only a single assumption - and that assumption is that the author simply reversed his actual name.

Arriving at the name S.W. Erdnase from Gallaway requires at least five assumptions:
1) that Gallaway had a nickname as a child, or as an adult.
2) that Gallaway's nickname was "Erdnase".
3) that Gallaway decided to use his childhood nickname as his (pseudonym) surname for EATCT.
4) that Gallaway decided to use the first letter of his Mothers given name for the first initial of his pseudonym.
5) that Gallaway decided to use the first letter of his Fathers given name for the second initial of his pseudonym.

So, unless you intend to infer that Occam's Razor doesn't apply in your case, it would seem highly logical that the simple name reversal of E.S. Andrews is much more likely to be "true" than the hoops you jump through to get from Gallaway to "S.W. Erdnase".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 22nd, 2016, 1:20 pm

lybrary wrote: Like that the father's initial HAS TO BE FIRST, like there is some kind of rule everybody follows.


Chris, it was a joke. And if I have to explain that, then it must not have been a very good one.

But seriously, your "explanation" of Gallaway using Erdnase as a pseudonym boils down to the fact that Gallaway spoke German. So did 2-1/2 to 3 million other people in the United States in 1900. If that is a legitimate explanation for using Erdnase as a pseudonym (or a nickname) one would expect to find someone else with it as well in a population that large. You can't, so it doesn't really explain it.

For me, a legitimate candidate for being the author of EATCT has to have two things going for him -- demonstrated skill with cards, and a reason to use the contrived "S. W. Erdnase" as a pseudonym. Look at the candidates:

M. F. Andrews -- 90%, 20% (although he fails for other reasons -- these are necessary, but not sufficient)
E. S. Andrews -- 10%, 100%
W. E. Sanders -- 10%, 100%
Harry Thompson (Peter Zenner's guy) -- 0%, 0%
Edward Gallaway -- 0%, 0%

There are certainly other things to consider: was a candidate literate and a good writer (although this may not be necessary, as the card shark behind Erdnase may not have been the actual writer -- it could have been ghost-written or extensively edited); does he match Smith's recollections (physical appearance, related to Dalrymple, etc); could he be placed in Chicago ca. 1900-1901 (although this again may not be necessary -- the author may have conducted business with Smith by mail, or though an intermediary -- both of which might explain why Jamieson filled out the copyright application, instead of Erdnase); internal evidence of the book (did he go from rich to poor -- "cub with fat bank roll" to "needs the money"). But I judge these as "second tier" factors, compared to those other two.

Now it could be that Gallaway was an expert at cheating at cards, and that there is a strong but currently unknown and undocumented reason that he would have used "S W Erdnase" as a pseudonym. Just because we aren't aware of a fact doesn't mean that the fact isn't so. But right now, we don't have any evidence that supports scoring him highly with either factor. Without those necessary facts, a candidate can't be a strong candidate; at best, he is just a person who is interesting.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 22nd, 2016, 2:11 pm

Bill, it is evident that we disagree on what makes a good Erdnase candidate. For me the linguistic match is ultimately the most important, because the book is really the only hard evidence we have for Erdnase. Anybody who can't be shown to write as well as Erdnase simply can't be him. The linguistic comparison allows for a scientific and objective comparison and identification. Once you start to bring in ghost writers and editors and middlemen you would have to offer additional very strong evidence to support such complications. Gallaway does not require these complications. He is Erdnase and he wrote the book.

To make the same comparison with skill of cards is impossible, unless the candidate is somebody from whom we know how good he was with a deck of cards. With a cardshark as skilled as Erdnase we have to assume we would never find out. Even with somebody like MFA, from whom we know he was a cardshark, we don't know if he was on Erdnase's level. The fact that you give 10% to Sanders and E.S. Andrews on the cards element shows a lack of understanding and judgement what it takes to be a cardshark. But that is no surprise since your lack of judgement has been shown again and again. I may remind you that you fought long and hard against my point that Gallaway was fluent in German. You even had the audacity to compare his German experience with your couple of years studying German. Now we know Gallaway was fluent in German into adulthood. Wrong judgement on your part. You were adamant that the printer Gallaway could not possibly be the same who had a 3 year circus career. This is proven to be the case from his bio. Wrong judgement on your part. You ridiculed me that he could not possibly be the same who performed magic in 1924 in a theater production. Also this is proven and documented in the press. Again wrong judgement on your part. Why should anybody believe your judgement? You and Roger decided, for no good reason, that a printer would not have the time to practice sleight-of-hand. Now we know Gallaway spent years using the railways working as travelling typesetter. You were wrong AGAIN!

The requirement to explain the name Erdnase is again a lack of judgement, because there are literally hundreds of ways how the author could have derived it. You probably not only lack judgement but also imagination. Reversing his real name is only one possibility of many other possibilities, and it is one that goes counter to hiding his identity, which most believe he indeed wanted to. The nickname theory for Gallaway is just as good an explanation as a complex anagram for Sanders or a reverse spelling for the various Andrews. But in the end I don't consider it a particularly important ingredient for an Erdnase candidate to conform to any particular name theory, because there are literally hundreds of other ways it could have happened.

Since it seems the only folks interested in discussing here are Roger, Bill and me, I will leave you two alone and start writing my book.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » July 23rd, 2016, 7:57 am

Chris in part wrote: ... For me the linguistic match is ultimately the most important, because the book is really the only hard evidence we have for Erdnase. ...
nearly a year ago magicam wrote:
DChung wrote:… Moreover you completely sidestepped my question about what "strong possibility" means. …

Still waiting, Chris, for an answer to DChung’s reasonable – and quite pertinent – question. Perhaps it’s too much to demand a precise probability (e.g., 47.5%), but as an expert Dr. Olsson must surely be aware of the evidentiary vagueness/malleability of “strong possibility” – without clear context and explication, I find the weight of his expert opinion to be slight.

I haven't read the last 20-something pages of this thread, so perhaps you've answered the question. But if not, it seems problematic that you consider as "most important" what is now a "linguistic match," yet have failed to answer Derrick’s simple question. (Has “strong possibility” now morphed into a “linguistic match”?)

Chris in part wrote: ... Since it seems the only folks interested in discussing here are Roger, Bill and me, I will leave you two alone and start writing my book.

A paucity of participants can certainly result when you dodge basic questions which seem central to your theories. DChung tried to engage you with very reasonable points, but you essentially told him to piss off because he hadn't hired his own expert. So why should guys like him bother any further in the face of such irrational responses, or the failure to respond to fairly basic questions?

BTW, since you're investing your time and money into investigating your candidate, if you want to share certain information via your newsletter instead of this thread, IMO that is certainly -- and quite fairly -- your prerogative. I do not understand any criticism of the means by which you've decided to share such information without charge to our community.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 23rd, 2016, 10:40 pm

lybrary wrote:Bill, it is evident that we disagree on what makes a good Erdnase candidate.

Ya think?
Anybody who can't be shown to write as well as Erdnase simply can't be him. The linguistic comparison allows for a scientific and objective comparison and identification. Once you start to bring in ghost writers and editors and middlemen you would have to offer additional very strong evidence to support such complications. Gallaway does not require these complications. He is Erdnase and he wrote the book.
It's obvious you reject the possibility that the person with the card skills and the person who wrote the words in the book were two different people, and it looks like the reason you do is that it makes it easier to settle on a candidate. I think that is putting the cart before the horse, which is what much of your analysis looks like – you've identified Gallaway as possibly being the writer, and then you structure your arguments and accept and reject evidence based on whether they support that conclusion.
FWIW, I do think that the card guy and the writer were the same person, but I don't have evidence to support that conclusion. Therefore I won't reject out of hand the possibility that they are different people, and I won't settle on a particular candidate because assuming that he might not have written the book takes support away from that candidate.
To make the same comparison with skill of cards is impossible, unless the candidate is somebody from whom we know how good he was with a deck of cards. With a cardshark as skilled as Erdnase we have to assume we would never find out.

All this means is that it is much more difficult to prove that anyone is or is not Erdnase. It doesn't mean, since evidence of card skills is difficult to locate, that we don't have to consider it, and that we can just assume that anyone who checks other boxes will have the necessary card skills.
The fact that you give 10% to Sanders and E.S. Andrews on the cards element shows a lack of understanding and judgement what it takes to be a cardshark.

Look, if you want to take the 10% and change it to 1%, or even 0.1%, I have no problem with that. I wrote "10%" as shorthand for "significantly less than probable, but there is still some small evidence." I'm okay with 0.1% in this context because it is still infinitely higher than zero, which is how much evidence we have for Gallaway.
But as far as understanding what it takes to become a cardshark, at least I'm not trying to make the case that a person who was only 33 years old and had worked most of the previous 20 years at being a printer, editing newspapers, and being a barker at circuses also had the time to develop the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge evidenced in Expert.
I may remind you that you fought long and hard against my point that Gallaway was fluent in German.

Not so. What I said was that the evidence at the time did not support Gallaway being fluent. And for that matter, it still doesn't. While I don't believe you are lying, until you release whatever articles you have found, the evidence doesn't exist. Scholarship doesn't mean "Chris said so". It involves examination of evidence with a critical eye.
Now we know Gallaway was fluent in German into adulthood.

What do you mean "we", kemo sabe? I know no such thing.
You were adamant that the printer Gallaway could not possibly be the same who had a 3 year circus career.

Check the posts. I was not adamant about any such thing. I questioned it based on it seeming very unlikely. Release the articles and if they support assertions that you make, I'll back off and agree with you.
Why should anybody believe your judgement?

Because I draw conclusions based on logical arguments? Because I use evidence rather than hearsay? Because I don't confuse "something is plausible" with "it must be so"? Because I think "showing skill with cards" is important and "worked for a circus" is meaningless?
You can disagree with my judgements, Chris, but I'm comfortable with my reputation on the subject. What I have done on this thread for the last decade seems to stand up pretty well. Ten years from now, we'll see what the consensus is about Gallaway.
magicam wrote:BTW, since you're investing your time and money into investigating your candidate, if you want to share certain information via your newsletter instead of this thread, IMO that is certainly -- and quite fairly -- your prerogative.

Actually, the newsletter doesn't really have much more in it than his posts here on the forum do. He's holding back the good stuff for his book.
And I, too, have defended his right to do so -- he's under no obligation to post anything here that he doesn't want to. But it is rather tiresome to be criticized for not accepting the conclusions he's drawn from his sources, when he won't (or hasn't yet) shared the sources themselves.
I do not understand any criticism of the means by which you've decided to share such information without charge to our community.

When the book comes out, and he does actually share the information, I anticipate there will be a charge.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jason England » July 24th, 2016, 2:13 am

"He is Erdnase and he wrote the book."

Wow.

Jason

Roger M.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 24th, 2016, 10:21 am

Yes, it's comments like this, and others from Chris's newsletter - like "Erdnase has been found!" make it extremely difficult to have a productive conversation about Gallaway as a candidate.

Although some folks have tried to have just that kind of productive conversation, the discussion never seems to get very far before Chris simply states that Gallaway is Erdnase, and that further questioning isn't needed or wanted.

Although some historical paperwork has been offered as evidence (by Chris and/or Conjuring Arts) to date the majority of the evidence in support of Gallaway has simply been Chris requiring readers accept his theory at face value, and to do so without question.

Even with the solid evidence Chris suggests he has in his research files (most of which he's shared the substance of in this thread), what has failed is the placing of a deck of cards in Gallaway's hands, and nowhere is it shown that Gallaway possessed even the slightest skill (or any skill) with a deck of cards.

In one post Chris notes that his is only "a theory", yet in his newsletter (and the post Jason quotes above) he notes that Gallaway IS Erdnase.
It's a nebulous position to take, and one that doesn't always inspire constructive conversation.

Beyond associating Gallaway with the printer of EATCT, nothing else that could be considered actual evidence has been offered to date in support of Gallaway as Erdnase.

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magicam
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » July 24th, 2016, 10:29 pm

Roger M. in part wrote:... Beyond associating Gallaway with the printer of EATCT, nothing else that could be considered actual evidence has been offered to date in support of Gallaway as Erdnase.

Roger, I think you’ve used the term before in this thread, but there is really no such thing as “actual evidence,” at least in the sense of a commonly understood phrase. There are only two kinds of evidence that exist and have fairly common and universal meanings: “direct evidence” and “circumstantial evidence.”

Let’s say the ultimate fact to be proven is whether or not John Doe shot a gun. If you saw Doe shoot the gun, then your experience could be used as direct evidence in support of that ultimate fact. But if you only heard a gunshot sound, and then turned the corner of the room seconds later to see Doe holding a smoking gun, then your experience of seeing him holding the smoking gun would be circumstantial evidence in support of that ultimate fact. (However, your experience of hearing the gunshot would be direct evidence if the ultimate fact to be proven was that a gun was fired.)

Circumstantial evidence requires that one or more inferences be drawn in order to prove the ultimate fact. In the example above, the inference that Doe shot the gun must be drawn from the fact that you saw Doe holding a smoking gun only seconds after you heard the gunshot.

Circumstantial evidence is not necessarily inferior to direct evidence (people have been convicted of murder based solely on circumstantial evidence), and the quality of either kind of evidence depends on relevancy and witness credibility, among other things. It all boils down to the weight one gives to a particular piece of evidence. A jury might give little weight to a convicted criminal who says he saw Doe shoot the gun (direct evidence of the ultimate fact) if the jury knows the criminal’s testimony is given in exchange for leniency on another charge, whereas the jury might give great weight to a disinterested, otherwise seemingly credible person who says she saw Doe with the smoking gun seconds after the gunshot was heard (circumstantial evidence of the ultimate fact).

One general concern I have with Chris’ arguments is that he often seems to place far too great a weight on certain pieces of circumstantial evidence, or that his inferences therefrom can often seem logically flawed or too tenuous.

Roger M.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 24th, 2016, 11:24 pm

I'm not a lawyer, but my reference is to direct evidence - thanks for the correction.
"Actual" works fine for me personally, but for accuracy in the thread I'll use "direct".

My problem with Chris's evidence is that much of it isn't really even circumstantial, it's the result of a leap of faith or an otherwise highly personal interpretation.
I'm more than willing to accept circumstantial evidence as relates to Erdnase, indeed it may be all we ever have a hope of discovering - but huge leaps of faith (IMO) don't qualify as direct or circumstantial evidence.

Leaps of faith are, by design, highly personal and specifically designed not to require any evidence to support wherever the leaper is jumping to.

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 25th, 2016, 12:08 am

Roger M. wrote:Leaps of faith are, by design, highly personal and specifically designed not to require any evidence to support wherever the leaper is jumping to.


Or, as faith was described a couple thousand years ago, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jack Shalom
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » July 27th, 2016, 12:31 pm

I think Chris has done some very good investigative work, but his latest newsletter has my eyes rolling at the mess of illogical arguments.

Please sign up for his newsletter and read for yourself (Chris's lybrary should be supported), but his basic argument is this:

We have evidence for Gallaway having a motive for writing EATCT because:

1) In 1901, he joined the Odd Fellows, a do-gooder organization and quickly rose through the ranks,

2) And so Chris concludes, "We even see a visible change of heart from cheating to doing good. Nothing of that sort is known for
anybody else."

Whut??

What kind of post hoc circular reasoning is this? Uh, maybe the simplest reason for "nothing of that sort is known for anybody else" (that is, going from cheater to reformed cheater) is because it's a made-up Gallaway supposition to begin with. Where have you shown that Gallaway ever cheated at cards in the first place? That's what you're trying to prove.

Imagine someone became head of the FBI; would we say that that was evidence that the person was a serial killer who went straight, and proudly proclaim the uniqueness of that attribution, saying "nothing of that sort is known for anybody else"?

Chris, I really think you need to take a break, and get some perspective. This is not evidence; this is after-the-fact justification.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 27th, 2016, 2:08 pm

maybe the simplest reason for "nothing of that sort is known for anybody else"


that's where the authorship question starts.

How many such cutely "anonymous" books of were published that year etc?

reflecting on text flashing by while in a rush to add a name,

JonT
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 27th, 2016, 3:14 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:2) And so Chris concludes, "We even see a visible change of heart from cheating to doing good. Nothing of that sort is known for anybody else."

Except it is known for someone else. Houdini worked as a spirit medium for a while in the mid-1890s, while with a travelling medicine show. He later worked to expose spirit mediums.

Also, his real name had a "W" in it (Erich Weiss), conforming with Smith's recollections.

#HoudiniWasErdnase -- pass it on.

Jack Shalom
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » July 27th, 2016, 5:27 pm

The reformed gambler, indeed, is an ancient trope; my objection is not even that.

It's that Chris posits that anyone who joins a do-gooder organization must have been a sinner--and specifically of the gambler sort. Unless that is true, his logic chain makes zero sense.

Under this latest, that now means we can now tick off the reformed gambler box for anyone who ever went to church or helped an old lady across a street.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » July 27th, 2016, 6:45 pm

I have not examined Chris’s most recent newsletter in detail, but my impression is that he is simply using inductive reasoning, which supports his position but doesn’t prove it conclusively. Whether the support is strong or weak is another question. Chris is free to contend the support is strong, or weak, or something in between.

Jack Shalom
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » July 27th, 2016, 8:22 pm

he is simply using inductive reasoning, which supports his position...

I'm at a total loss to understand how.

My understanding of inductive reasoning in non-mathematical discourse is that one takes many specific instances and generalizes from those specifics. For example, broccoli is green, lettuce is green, peas are green, hence inductively we might say that supports the general principle that "All vegetables are green." The more examples we can find, the stronger the support. In theory this can never be used to prove a general proposition, but as the number of examples increase, reasonable people in casual conversation start accepting the proposition.

Nothing about the Gallaway Odd-Fellow contention is remotely like this.

Roger M.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 28th, 2016, 12:54 pm

There may be a Gallaway/Oddfellows connection, but to state (or presume) that there's an Erdnase/Oddfellows connection is simply ridiculous.

One may as well state that there's an Erdnase/Charlie Chaplin connection - which makes about as much sense.


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