ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Richard Hatch
Posts: 1828
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » June 2nd, 2017, 3:13 am

Typo noted in the Learned Pig digital Erdnase available on the Genii site. While culling out selections from the book using this convenient digital edition, I ran across the following typo on page 100 of that edition:
"This can be alone perfectly..." should be "This can be done perfectly..." I'm guessing it can be corrected easily. I'm sure there are other such scanning errors and perhaps they would be worth noting and correcting as found.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 2nd, 2017, 11:17 am

There are companies that offer facsimile dust jackets for collectible books, but they don't seem to have many for conjuring books.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23749
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2017, 11:18 am

We got that from the now defunct Learned Pig a decade and a half ago. No way to fix it. I wasn't even aware it was still available here. Dick: where did you find it?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1828
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » June 2nd, 2017, 11:38 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:We got that from the now defunct Learned Pig a decade and a half ago. No way to fix it. I wasn't even aware it was still available here. Dick: where did you find it?


Here: http://geniimagazine.com/erdnase/

Found it in a google search for digital Erdnase...

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 2nd, 2017, 1:45 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:We got that from the now defunct Learned Pig a decade and a half ago. No way to fix it. I wasn't even aware it was still available here. Dick: where did you find it?

The Learned Pig Project is not defunct. It is housed at Lybrary.com http://www.lybrary.com/the-learned-pig- ... -a-21.html
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23749
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2017, 1:52 pm

Dick, that's our old website. It should not even be live.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23749
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2017, 1:54 pm

Chris, The Learned Pig IS defunct.

You are simply storing his old material.

It is not an ongoing concern, hence it is defunct.

And it has long been superceded by the Conjuring Arts Research Center.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 2nd, 2017, 2:03 pm

We are not only storing it but also maintaining it, reorganizing it, making changes, etc. Not a native speaker but defunct doesn't seem the right word to describe its current state. For example, the error Richard mentions has already been corrected.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23749
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2017, 2:23 pm

You are not adding to it. It is moribund.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 2nd, 2017, 3:16 pm

Doesn't feel the right word either. Many folks use it. Access statistics are among the highest of Lybrary.com pages.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time


Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 2nd, 2017, 10:18 pm

lybrary wrote: Many folks use it. Access statistics are among the highest of Lybrary.com pages.


People access the stuff you give away more than the stuff you charge for? Shocking.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 3rd, 2017, 7:40 am

Bill Mullins wrote:People access the stuff you give away more than the stuff you charge for? Shocking.

Not shocking, but not 'defunct' or 'moribund' either.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 10th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Potter and Potter sold a 1st edition copy today for $10,455.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 27th, 2017, 12:17 am

I wonder what Erdnase's cinnamon words are?

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 27th, 2017, 1:33 am

My guess is 'finger', 'blind', 'jog', 'shuffle', 'palm', and similar technical terms. But I don't think the concept makes a lot of sense for a book that largely consists of fairly repetitive technical descriptions where one has to constantly reuse words. To make the descriptions clear one is forced to use consistent terminology.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 28th, 2017, 2:29 pm

lybrary wrote: But I don't think the concept makes a lot of sense for a book that largely consists of fairly repetitive technical descriptions where one has to constantly reuse words. To make the descriptions clear one is forced to use consistent terminology.


Isn't this an argument against all forensic examination of the book?

I think the technique could be applied. What words stand out in Expert compared to other similar works (Sachs, Hoffmann, Roterberg, etc.)?

And for that matter, what words stand out in Gallaway's books compared to other works on print estimation? If the two sets of words have strong overlap, you'd have a much more convincing argument that Gallaway was Erdnase than you have shown elsewhere.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 28th, 2017, 3:04 pm

Another subject, so another post.

Despite my disagreement with Chris Wasshuber's conclusions about who Erdnase was (see above), I continue to follow with interest his thoughts on the subject in his weekly newsletter. The most recent one mentioned his belief that Figs. 99 and 100 in Expert (pertaining to the Card through Silk) were copied from similar illlustrations in Roterberg's New Era Card Tricks (as seen here).

The section on card tricks only has three illustrations, two of which I showed earlier were likely copies of illustrations in Roterberg - not facsimile copies but redrawn by somebody by looking at Roterberg's book. The third illustration I am still trying to find in another old magic book or magazine.


Some thoughts:
While the drawings are certainly similar, I'm not convinced that Smith was copying Roterberg's book. The two figures are simply the most appropriate ways to illustrate what is being describe. Plus, the book says the drawings are "from life", not copied from other books. When C. Lang Neil released The Modern Conjurer a few years later, he used a similar pose for the photographic illustrations. Other descriptions of the trick in print use similar illustrations -- these two views are the "money shot" of the trick, and demand to be shown.

I don't think any examples of Fig 101 from Expert will be found earlier elsewhere, as the consensus seems to be that this is the first place the trick appears in print.

While many of the drawings in New Era Card Tricks seem to be signed "Roterberg", they are not by him. The title page says they are by L. R. Gossett. I don't see any discussion of him in the magic literature -- he is not mentioned in Chuck Romano's book on magic artists.

Lee Roy Gossett (sometimes spelled "Leroy", 1877 - 1926) started out as a newspaper cartoonist in Iowa. About 1897, he moved to Chicago (this is when and where Roterberg's book was published), and worked in newspapers there. He also did book illustrations, including for Jamieson-Higgins, which company you may remember from the discussions of the McKinney bankruptcy files. (See, for example, p. 9 of this book; while you are at it, check the title page for yet another example of the inverted pyramid block of text that shows up in Expert and a number of other books.)

There is a photography and a short biography of Gossett here.

Sometime prior to WWI, he became associated with Carl Werntz at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. One of his pupils there was Walt Disney, and both Gossett and Werntz show up in biographies of Disney as having mentored him as a cartoonist. (I believe that Harlan Tarbell also studied there in the teens, and may have even been a student of Gossett.)

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 28th, 2017, 4:28 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:I think the technique could be applied. What words stand out in Expert compared to other similar works (Sachs, Hoffmann, Roterberg, etc.)?

And for that matter, what words stand out in Gallaway's books compared to other works on print estimation? If the two sets of words have strong overlap, you'd have a much more convincing argument that Gallaway was Erdnase than you have shown elsewhere.


The word 'subterfuge' is one such word. A quick check in Roterberg, Sachs, Evans, Kunard and Wilson does not show a single occurrence. I have not checked the estimating literature but I think it is safe to assume that it does not appear in any other print estimating book, yet Gallaway uses it and Erdnase has it in the title. It was certainly one of the big confirmations for me that Gallaway writes like Erdnase.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 29th, 2017, 1:24 am

"Subterfuge" does appear in Roterberg:
Latter Day Tricks (1896) p. 72 "The attempted balance of the glass on the edge of his knife is only a subterfuge . . ."
(Note that this book is priced on the title page, a feature which you claim to be very uncommon."I am certain that less than 1 in 1000 books had their price printed on the title page." I believe that in your newsletter, you claimed it to be even scarcer than that.)

If Google Books Snippet View is to be trusted, it appears in Kunard The Book of Modern Conjuring on p. 111. LINK

It appears in Evans, Hours with the Ghosts, (1897)
p. 184 "In all of these holding tests, the medium employs a subterfuge . . ."
p. 187 "I adopted the subterfuge of getting my right hand loose . . . "

The word also appears in Koschitz (1894), Quinn Fools of Fortune (1890), Hoffmann More Magic (1890), Houdini The Right way to do Wrong (1906) (further proof that Houdini was Erdnase), and other relevant books of the era.

Did Gallaway use it just the one time, and not at all in his other books?

I don't think that the word "subterfuge" is doing the job you want it to do. Expert is a book about deception, and Erdnase didn't use this word that means deception because it is peculiar to his own personal style, but because it is pertinent. Just as other authors of the period did.

Who knows why Gallaway used it, but it isn't a "cinnamon" word for him, a stylistic calling card, at least not unless you can show it being used more than the single example you've mentioned. That both authors used it is evidence of a coincidence, not that Erdnase and Gallaway were the same person.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » June 29th, 2017, 8:39 am

I don't agree at all with your characterization. Yes, the word subterfuge, being a synonym of trick and con, does not come unexpected in books of magic and gambling. Yet, Erdnase uses it 4 times and one of these 4 instances is in the title of his book!! The book is 50k words long. That is Erdnase is using it almost every 10k words. Please show us which other author uses it that frequently. Clearly a cinnamon word for Erdnase. For a book on print estimating the word subterfuge is completely foreign. It is like Erdnase standing there with a giant red flag waving.

But let's take this further. There are more words and phrases that Erdnase shares with Gallaway which are rare:

- "hard luck": again not unexpected in gambling books (found it in Devol for example) but completely foreign to the print estimating literature as far as I can tell. Why is Gallaway using all these gambling and magic terms like 'subterfuge', 'hard luck', 'vanish into thin air'? The obvious answer is he is a gambler/magician.

- "for all practical purposes": according to the Google Ngram Viewer this phrase is as rare as subterfuge. I have not been able to find it in any magic or gambling book so far.

- "imparting the knowledge/impart that knowledge": For me this is the most revealing phrase of all, because it appears in the preface of Erdnase as well as in the preface of Gallaway. Erdnase's preface is less than 200 words. Gallaway's is 600 words. And the phrase itself is 100 times rarer than the word subterfuge.

Take a look at the Google Ngram Viewer here https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... ge%3B%2Cc0

Subterfuge and "for all practical purposes" appears roughly every million words. "Hard luck" ever 2.5 million words, and "imparting the knowledge/impart that knowledge" every 100 million words. Since Gallaway's book has 30k words the appearance of subterfuge by chance has a 0.03 likelihood, as does "for all practical purposes". "Hard luck" has a 0.012 chance. "Imparting the knowledge", since it appears in the preface of 600 words is less than 1:100,000. Combined these give you less than 1E-10 or in words less than a 1-in-10-billion chance. (Yes I know, there are conditional probabilities I am ignoring and other assumptions but it is so low that 'for all practical purposes' it is an identity.)
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
F.Amílcar
Posts: 101
Joined: December 30th, 2010, 2:24 pm
Favorite Magician: J. N. Hofzinser
Location: Barcelona-Spain
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby F.Amílcar » July 2nd, 2017, 10:09 am

Dear friends,

Just aquestion. Is it possible that Dai Vernon met Erdnase?

Thanks beforehand, because is a possibility talking with spanish magicians.

Truly yours,



F. Amílcar Riega i Bello.

Roger M.
Posts: 1194
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 2nd, 2017, 11:05 am

Anything is possible.

In this very thread, Richard Hatch posted this a while back:

“Vernon also speculated that he might perhaps have met the mysterious author as a youth while studying magic books at the library in Ottawa. A stranger with a red beard engaged him in conversation about card work and gave him some fine points on the pass. Vernon never saw the man again and fantasized that perhaps it might have been the mysterious Erdnase.”

So generally speaking, it was entirely possible - although perhaps a bit unlikely.

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 818
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » July 2nd, 2017, 2:21 pm

a bit?

User avatar
F.Amílcar
Posts: 101
Joined: December 30th, 2010, 2:24 pm
Favorite Magician: J. N. Hofzinser
Location: Barcelona-Spain
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby F.Amílcar » July 2nd, 2017, 2:42 pm

Perhaps Mr. Vernon would like to keep, in a honour code, to preserve the identity of Erdnase also.

Well, it was just a question and I would like to say thanks.



F. Amílcar Riega i Bello.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1371
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 2nd, 2017, 2:51 pm

F.Amílcar wrote:Perhaps Mr. Vernon would like to keep, in a honour code, to preserve the identity of Erdnase also.

Well, it was just a question and I would like to say thanks.

F. Amílcar Riega i Bello.


No, Vernon shared whatever he learned about the identity of Erdnase with the rest of the magic community. Much of that is in the Vernon Touch book.

Roger M.
Posts: 1194
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 2nd, 2017, 8:07 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:a bit?


Perhaps I was being overly enthusiastic.

But seriously, their lives overlapped, there was a deep similarity in how they viewed playing cards, and perhaps most importantly - the world was a much smaller place in the early 1900's, inasmuch as folks with similar interests could, in a big city like New York or Chicago reasonably expect to bump into each other in the course of following their passions or interests.

Of course, the age difference makes the concept highly unlikely though, so "a bit" is perhaps too generous ;)

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 14th, 2017, 8:58 pm

From a letter by Martin Gardner to Jeff Busby, in Lot #97 of the current Potter and Potter auction:
My craziest conjecture (surely extremely unlikely) is that [Milton Franklin] Andrews and Mark Twain were friends. They both lived in Hartford at the same time, and we know Twain was fond of pool and that as a young man Andrews was considered to be a "pool shark." It is just barely possible that Andrews paid Mark to smooth out the text of his book, at a time when Mark was rather poor, and Mark was careful to never mention it. . . To me, the identiy [sic] of the collaborator, for surely there was one, is the most intriguing aspect of the whole mystery.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 19th, 2017, 3:26 pm

In Lybrary.com's weekly newsletter, Chris Wasshuber often discusses Erdnase and Gallaway. Despite my belief that the likelihood of Gallaway having been Erdnase is zero, Chris continues to probe the theory and bring up new ways of looking at it. If you are interested in this thread, you should get on his mailing list.

In the most recent one, he points out that Erdnase often used alliteration ("pretensions of piety", etc.) as did Gallaway, and suggests that this provides more evidence that they were one and the same. He closes the topic with "this is not something one will find a prominent feature with other authors in the magic world or the writing of other Erdnase candidates. I mean try to find alliterations in Sanders . . . "

As I have elsewhere mentioned, Roterberg was one to use alliteration. Hoffmann's very first line in More Magic reads "The present pages are intended . . . " and includes chapters titled "The Capital Q," "The Method of Marking," "Conjurer's Cress," and "Wine or Water."

Sanders was also a fan of alliteration. In the first piece of his writing I looked at, a short (<900 words) letter, we see:
"The work spoken of by you . . . quotes the following passages to prove the purely classic nature of the name . . . "
"proper pronunciation"
"feminine form of the adjective montáno meaning mountainous"
"It is a short, sightly, and simple name"
"magnificent mountain wall"

I showed earlier that Houdini was more likely to have been Erdnase than Gallaway. He passes the alliteration test as well; consider the introduction to The Right Way to Do Wrong. The first two paragraph includes "a world of cheat and crime" and "the laws of the land." The first line of Handcuff Secrets includes "clearly and concisely." The first sentence of Elliott's Last Legacy (alliterative title) includes "rather does its scintillating rays reflect realities." Heck, even the name he chose for himself was Harry "Handcuff" Houdini, and his screen roles included Heath Haldane, Howard Hillary, Harry Harper and Harvey Hanford.

observer
Posts: 260
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » July 19th, 2017, 6:05 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:People access the stuff you give away more than the stuff you charge for? Shocking.

Not shocking, but not 'defunct' or 'moribund' either.


Dormant.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 7th, 2017, 1:47 pm

As I mentioned above, Chris continues to develop his theory in his newsletter. The most recent one has a discussion about Ft. Payne, Alabama, where Gallaway lived for a short time in the late 1880s, and Lookout Mountain. Ft. Payne is about 50 miles ESE of me as I type this.

Lookout Mt is a chunk of the Cumberland Plateau that has not eroded away. It runs 90 miles or so between Attalla AL and Chattanooga TN. Sand Mountain is another chunk, west of Lookout Mt, and Ft Payne is in the valley between them.

Chris speculates in his most recent newsletter, and in the most recent update to his ebook, that "Erdnase" (meaning hill in German) refers to Lookout Mt, and that Ft Payne is southwest of it, and you can derive "S. W. Erdnase" from "southwest of the hill".

There are a couple of problems with this theory.

1. For it to make sense, you have to think of Lookout Mountain as a hill. Chris, being from Austria, parochially does so ("For me mountains start at 2000 meter"). However, Gallaway was not raised in the Alps. The highest point in Ohio, his home state, is only 1549 feet. To him, (and to anyone else in America east of the Rockies) Lookout Mt definitely would have been a "mountain", not a hill.

2. Even if you consider it to be a hill, you'd then have to decide that "Erdnase" is the proper German word to refer to it, which isn't likely. The only 19th century uses of the word that I'm aware of are a couple of times it is used to define an Ainu (obscure Japanese language) word in German (1851 and 1860). These books are quite obscure, and there's no reason at all to think that Gallaway would have been familiar with them. The uses are:
(1851) "schiri-itu, ein Vorgebirge, wörtl. [wörtlich] eine Erdnase." Meaning: "schiri-itu, a promontory, literally an Earth-Nose."
(1860) "schiri-itu, schiretu. Vorgebirge, eigentlich Erd-Nase." Meaning: "schiri-itu, schiretu. Promontory, actually Earth-Nose."

a. Note how "Erdnase" is actually used in this context. It's as if I was translating from French and said "'Pomme de terre': potato -- literally, earth-apple." In that case, "earth-apple" isn't so much a word, as it is a portmanteau I've just made up to help explain the French for potato. There is no other context in which it would make sense to say "earth-apple". Likewise, in these uses, "Erdnase" isn't a word that was otherwise of any use, it was just the German compound word for "Earth-nose" (German is notorious for stringing together words into one that other languages would keep separate into the constituent words). So thinking of "Erdnase" as an existing word to be adapted into other uses, such as a nickname for a German speaking person, isn't something that would likely would have happened.

b. Even if you allow for "erdnase" as a word that has uses in other contexts, it wouldn't apply here. Ft. Payne is located in a valley, and the Lookout Mt side of the valley is a more-or-less featureless slope up to the top of the plateau. See here. There are no promontories nearby. The north end of the mountain, south of Moccasin Bend in the Tennessee River, is a promontory, and the south end at Attalla is, but there isn't one around Ft. Payne. So a resident of Ft. Payne wouldn't have seen a promontory of Lookout Mt. Elsewhere, Chris has translated "erdnase" as "foothill". But that doesn't apply either -- the mountain has no foothills near Ft. Payne. There is no sensible way that Gallaway would have used the term "erdnase" in reference to the mountain. From his perspective, Lookout Mt is not a hill, has no promontories, and has no foothills.

It also makes no sense for "S. W." to mean southwest in this context. True, there are places on Lookout Mt. that Ft. Payne is SW of. But there are also places on the mountain that Ft Payne is north of, is west of, is NW of, is NNE of. If you look at Lookout Mt on a map, and ask yourself "which direction is Ft Payne," it makes far more sense to say "west" than any other direction. For most of Lookout Mt, the only thing SW of it is more Lookout Mt.

Chris closes out this part of the discussion by saying "That means at this point any plausible theory is as good as any other." Well, no. And he would be a much better advocate for his candidate if he recognized this. Often, it seems that the standard of evidence he uses is "you can't prove this is wrong." But to make his case, his standard should be much greater than that. Some of his "evidence" is appealing, and worthy of further examination. He (and Olsson) found very interesting similarities between the writings of Erdnase and Gallaway (of course, there are dissimilarities as well, which argues against them being the same person). But some of his "evidence" simply doesn't pass the guffaw test. The idea that the name "S. W. Erdnase" is explained by Gallaway's residence in Ft. Payne falls into that category.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 7th, 2017, 3:25 pm

Bill, you leave out some of the most important information from my newsletter and my ebook. I write regarding the south-west theory: "I am not saying that this is necessarily the correct interpretation of the name. It is merely one of many that have been offered."

For the record, it is not at all my favorite name theory. It isn't my theory at all. It was suggested to me by Jan Isenbart. I simply wanted to mention it and for the sake of argument develop it as much as I could. Currently I do have two name theories which I favor:

1) German nickname: Apparently you haven't read my ebook carefully enough. I document that the name Erdnase is indeed used in Germany and Switzerland as nickname, despite the fact that you try to argue otherwise. Also I have documented the use of the word 'Erdnase' or its plural form 'Erdnasen' in more than the dictionary case you mention above. Two instances are found in German books (one is from Austria) of the 19th century: "Im Fernen Osten, Reisen des Grafen Bela Szechenyi" and "Ober-Pinzgau oder Der Bezirk Mittersill". It is on page 18 in my ebook in case you want to check. Further I have documented two recent uses of 'Erdnasen' from Switzerland. One uses it in the foothill context, the other one in the nickname context. The facts are completely different to what you make them out to be.

2) Planted false lead of the reverse spelling of his cover name: I think it is plausible to assume that Gallaway used a cover identity to author Expert. Perhaps he used that same cover name also while gambling, particularly if he gambled in confederacy with his older brother in Fort Payne. To keep the confederacy secret it would make sense that they introduce themselves with different names. In this case I believe he chose the name E.S. Andrews and then used the reverse of it for the author name of his book.

Those are my two favorite theories at this point. However, I want to repeat that we have currently no information how Erdnase chose his name. We simply don't know. This means any theory is as good as any other theory. Of course, some theories fit certain candidates better. The two I mentioned above do fit Gallaway very well.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 7th, 2017, 4:38 pm

A while back Bill Mullins mentioned that Olsson's linguistic report identifies several similarities, I am guessing Bill agrees with them, but he argues that there are also dissimilarities. The only problem is that Bill makes errors both in fact as well as in reasoning:

Bill Mullins wrote:Erdnase uses the idiom "but for" to mean "only for":
p. 110 "the only hold out that we consider really safe is made by the dealer, and but for the moment of cutting."
p. 111 "and the palmed cards remain in the dealer's possession but for the moment."
Gallaway uses only the more common "only for":
p. 117 "Proposals are only for work according to the original specifications."

Not true. Gallaway also uses the 'but for' construct: "The terra “Pica” is still used but for type dimensions"

Most of Bill's 'dissimilarity' arguments evolve around Gallaway not using certain words or not using them often enough. However, the absence of usage is a rather weak argument. For one, Gallaway's book is barely above 28k words while Erdnase has 52k words. That is almost twice as long a text. Who says that if we would have more text from Gallaway that we would not find these words and phrases, or more of the ones Bill would like to see? Absence of words is not a strong indicator, if it can be used as indicator at all. Olsson thinks absence of words/phrases is not an authorship indicator. I agree, because absence cannot be proven absolutely. With presence of words there is no discussion. If an author uses a word, regardless of how short the text available, one can state with certainty that he uses it. With absence one never knows. Perhaps he would have used it in the next 10,000 words we uncover. Here is an example. Bill writes:

Bill Mullins wrote:Erdnase uses three different ways to express "that is to say" or "namely": "that is" (pp. 9, 11, 19, 29, 26, 70 (2), 71, 90, 113, 119), "i.e.," (pp. 29, 33, 55, 76, 110, 116, 178, 179, 182, 204), and "viz." (pp. 9, 30, 179, 184). Gallaway, otoh, uses them thusly: "that is" (pp. 6(2), 7, 9, 11, 19, 23, 24 ), "i.e.," (pp. 44), and "viz." (11, 36, 53, 59). So, relatively speaking, Gallaway dislikes "i.e.," compared to Erdnase.

Yes, Gallaway only uses 'i.e.' once in his first book. However, in his second book, which only has 2800 words of text, he uses 'i.e.' once again. So you see that with barely 3000 more words we have another instance. Add another 30k words and there might be even more. One can't use the absence of words as authorship indicator unless perhaps one has extensive amounts of text, millions of words, but we don't have that luxury.

Bill goes on to mention differences in the use of personal pronouns (you, yours). If Bill would have read the available stylometry literature he would have found out that the use of personal pronouns as function words is not recommended, because they do not necessarily indicate authorship but genre, intended use of text, and other non-author specific reasons.

Bill Mullins wrote:There is an idiosyncratic sentence structure used by Erdnase that has stuck out to me as a reader ever since I first encountered the book:
[Erdnase] [transitive verb] "no" [object].
p. 3 "writer uses no sophistry"
p. 14 "We betray no confidences"
p. 14 "We . . . censure no one"

A more regular construction might have been "writer does not use any sophistry", "We do not betray any confidences", and "We . . . do not censure any one."

I don't see any sentences similarly constructed in the Gallaway book.

Again Bill is wrong. Perhaps the best example of this usage is in Gallaway's booklet on problems where he writes: "The student ... is deceiving no one but himself". But he also uses it in his book: "printer assumes no responsibility". While he is not exclusively referring to himself, the writer clearly was at one point a student himself and he certainly considers himself part of the printer profession.

So if one goes point by point through Bill's list then his entire thesis falls apart as either being explicitly wrong as in the 'but for' and the [transitive verb] "no" [object] case, or just not relevant at all as in the personal pronoun cases, or where Gallaway, having written a lot less than Erdnase, is not using a word or phrase, or not using it as often as Erdnase.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 7th, 2017, 6:00 pm

If you don't support the argument, and it isn't yours, then I don't understand why you include it in your ebook and newsletter. It makes it look like you are throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall in the hope that something sticks, rather than making a reasoned, logical argument that Edward Gallaway was Erdnase. All the implausible arguments you include (and there are several) weaken the few plausible ones.

I like, and continue to like, the name reversal theory, for a reason that was outlined (I think) by [url]Bob Coyne[/url]: If you have what is obviously a contrived pseudonym, which reverses to a common American name, then the strong odds are that the person who invented the name based it on the original (unreversed) American name.

The internet is full of lists of pseudonyms, pen names, stage names, and aliases used by actors, authors, artists, and other creative people. I can't find or think of a single other instance that corresponds to what you are proposing for Erdnase: that an American contrived a pseudonym based on an obscure foreign noun. There are cases where Americans used foreign names, but nothing like a foreign cognate for "earth nose", and they typically have an obvious reason in their background to have done so, not a speculation of facts not in evidence.

On the other hand, as has been documented in depth on this thread, the used of a reversed name is not at all unusual, and dozens of occasions where that was done have been mentioned.

Of course, some theories fit certain candidates better.


Yes. And if you are evaluating a theory based on how well it fits a candidate, then you aren't making a logical argument, because this is putting the cart before the horse. The steps should be:
Examine the evidence.
Form a theory that matches the evidence
Test the theory with a candidate.

From reading your book, it sounds like you are doing:
Select a candidate (Gallaway)
Form a theory that matches the candidate (German speaking people were given German nouns as nicknames)
Assert that the candidate matches the theory. (Note that an assertion is not a test.)

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 7th, 2017, 6:22 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:And if you are evaluating a theory based on how well it fits a candidate, then you aren't making a logical argument, because this is putting the cart before the horse. The steps should be:
Examine the evidence.
Form a theory that matches the evidence
Test the theory with a candidate.

From reading your book, it sounds like you are doing:
Select a candidate (Gallaway)
Form a theory that matches the candidate (German speaking people were given German nouns as nicknames)
Assert that the candidate matches the theory. (Note that an assertion is not a test.)

And again Mullins is wrong. It gets tiresome. I have to conclude you did not read my ebook which you bought. Please go back to my ebook and find out that I came up with the nickname theory many months before I found Gallaway. (Actually the evidence is also present on this thread.) I am following your approach:

- Examine the evidence.
The word Erdnase(n) is used in the 19th century in German literature (several instances).
The word is used as nickname for kids.

- Form a theory that matches the evidence
Perhaps Erdnase is a nickname for somebody who grew up surrounded by German speaking folks in the 19th century.

- Test the theory with a candidate.
Gallaway not only spoke German (was an honor student in German in Middle School, typeset for a German newspaper in Indiana), but he was also surrounded by German speakers (his teachers in German school, other kids that spoke German, his German relatives, his German colleagues at the newspaper, ...)

I think it is an absolutely plausible theory. Beside the fact that it fits Gallaway very well I have no evidence if it is true or not. Neither do we have evidence if the name E.S. Andrews was the basis of his pseudonym.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1194
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 7th, 2017, 6:54 pm

This is all so similar to the Gardner/Busby/Whaley declaration that Milton Franklin Andrews was "for sure" Erdnase ... only to have that theory dismissed out of hand on multiple occasions by those who bothered to actually examine the writing style of both parties.
Even Gardner began to have doubt once he realized that his (Gardner's) entire premise about Andrews hinged totally on Pratt being an honest man - something Gardner determined over time wasn't even remotely Pratt's chosen path in life.

I suspect Chris too will one day admit that his premise here in this thread was nothing more than a random exploratory avenue, ultimately leading nowhere.

When it comes to S.W. Erdnase, the only "factual" comment that can be made about the man is that we (all of us) have absolutely no idea who he was, nor are we any closer to finding out who he was than we were 10 years ago.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 8th, 2017, 5:46 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Erdnase uses the idiom "but for" to mean "only for":
p. 110 "the only hold out that we consider really safe is made by the dealer, and but for the moment of cutting."
p. 111 "and the palmed cards remain in the dealer's possession but for the moment."
Gallaway uses only the more common "only for":
p. 117 "Proposals are only for work according to the original specifications."

Not true. Gallaway also uses the 'but for' construct: "The terra “Pica” is still used but for type dimensions"


You've truncated the quote. What Gallaway actually said was, "The term "Pica" is still used but for type dimensions only. . . " If he had intended the phrase to mean "only for" as Erdnase did, the sentence could be rewritten as "The term "Pica" is still used only for type dimensions only", which is awkward and non-grammatic. Gallaway's sentence should be read as "The term "Pica" is still used, but for type dimensions only", where "but" is used as a conjunction, and not as an adverb (as Erdnase used it). This occurrence of "but for" is happenstance co-location, and not an example of the idiom I was investigating. It is not relevant.

Most of Bill's 'dissimilarity' arguments evolve around Gallaway not using certain words or not using them often enough.

This is a misreading of the discussion. The dissimilarity arguments revolve around the relative usages of certain words, when one compares Erdnase and Gallaway. Note that this is the exact same process you go through to get the table in the "Cinnamon Words" section of your ebook.

Who says that if we would have more text from Gallaway that we would not find these words and phrases, or more of the ones Bill would like to see?


I thought the whole argument behind forensic linguistics is that authors have consistencies that can be measured, and compared against other authors. If you are saying that how much Gallaway uses words/phrases relative to one another changes based on how big the sample size is, that casts doubt on Olsson's whole study. If you are saying that "Estimating for Printers" is too small a work for word counts to be useful, and that more of Gallaway's work should be included, then that says that Chapter 5 of your book is not valid.

With respect to "i.e.," the discovery that he used the abbreviation once more in another book does not change the truth of the conclusion: "relatively speaking, Gallaway dislikes 'i.e.,' compared to Erdnase."

Bill goes on to mention differences in the use of personal pronouns (you, yours). If Bill would have read the available stylometry literature he would have found out that the use of personal pronouns as function words is not recommended, because they do not necessarily indicate authorship but genre, intended use of text, and other non-author specific reasons.


I'd welcome the specific references to the stylometry literature. Particularly since, again, Olsson has a table of the frequency of use of phrases containing personal pronouns on p. 51.

Regardless, though, since the genre and intended uses of the texts are the same (instruction of the student), you haven't necessarily demonstrated that the discussion of how "you" is used in both texts is invalid.

Bill Mullins wrote:There is an idiosyncratic sentence structure used by Erdnase that has stuck out to me as a reader ever since I first encountered the book:
[Erdnase] [transitive verb] "no" [object].
p. 3 "writer uses no sophistry"
p. 14 "We betray no confidences"
p. 14 "We . . . censure no one"

A more regular construction might have been "writer does not use any sophistry", "We do not betray any confidences", and "We . . . do not censure any one."

I don't see any sentences similarly constructed in the Gallaway book.

Again Bill is wrong. Perhaps the best example of this usage is in Gallaway's booklet on problems where he writes: "The student ... is deceiving no one but himself". But he also uses it in his book: "printer assumes no responsibility". While he is not exclusively referring to himself, the writer clearly was at one point a student himself and he certainly considers himself part of the printer profession.


I'd disagree that these are examples of what I was discussing. In the first, "the student" is not the one making the statement, as happens in the statements I quoted from Erdnase (and specifically called out). And further, "is deceiving" is not a transitive verb. In the latter, "the printer" is not the person making the statement, he is the person the statement is being made to. The verb usage is consistent, though, so you get partial credit.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4359
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 8th, 2017, 5:52 pm

The Tuscaloosa Weekly Times 30 Oct 1889 p 3 col 1.
"Fort Payne has a new candidate for public favor in "The People," a 4-column paper published by Edward Galloway. It is a neat and spicy little sheet, and no doubt will succeed."

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 8th, 2017, 6:58 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:I'd welcome the specific references to the stylometry literature. Particularly since, again, Olsson has a table of the frequency of use of phrases containing personal pronouns on p. 51.

I am not seeing that table. On page 51 is a table for synonyms of 'learn', 'study', etc. No personal pronouns I can see. Read: D. L. Hoover, “Delta prime?,” Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 477–495, 2004, and D. L. Hoover, “Testing Burrows’s Delta,” Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 453–475, 2004.

Here is a quote from Patrick Juola, another stylometrist:

"For example, if the document of interest is a novel written in third person, the distribution of pronouns will be radically different than that of a novel written in first person, not by virtue of an authorship difference, but simply from genre."

"David Hoover has made extensive study of such variations. Examples of the variations that he has studied include changing the
number of words studied (ranging from 20 to 800 and beyond), eliminating contractions and/or personal pronouns from the set of word variables, and “culling” the list of word-variables by eliminating words for which a single training document supplied most (70%) of the words. He found the greatest accuracy occurred in a 700-dimensional space, eliminating personal pronouns but not contractions, and applying culling at the 70% level. By contrast, eliminating contractions “generally reduces the accuracy of an analysis overall,” indicating perhaps that the use of contractions is an important indicator of authorship —while personal pronouns are more about the subject of the document than the author."

You also want to note that the best results where achieved with 700 function words. Most of your examples aren't function words to begin with, but you are quite a way off from 700. Keep going.

A card trick with direct speech patter is a completely different genre than a textbook on print estimating. The books Gallaway wrote were primarily meant as the textbooks for his Print Estimating School, which is quite different from a book on moves and card tricks for the interested public.

However, the more fundamental problem is that function word analysis doesn't work for texts of such different subject and 25-30 years apart. Some authors do modify their style over time. So far I have not found, and no stylometrist could point me to, a case where stylometry was successfully used for such widely differing texts. Stylometry is the wrong tool here. Focusing on rare words and phrases is much more promising. Think Unabomber. The phrase "you can have your cake and eat it, too" was the one that convinced the judge to issue the search warrant and brought down Kaczynski. That one rare phrase withstood time and genre of the texts they were used in. (One was a letter, the other the manifesto.) Matches in rare words and phraseology is much more applicable in the Erdnase case where we have very different types of texts to work with (alibi notes, personal notebooks, science articles, magic books, gambling books, print estimating text books). The fact that Gallaway and Erdnase both share the use of 'subterfuge', 'hard luck', 'end for end', 'imparting the knowledge', the use of religious vocabulary in the preface, and a lot more is much more relevant than a somewhat different use frequency of five words you have found.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 700
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 9th, 2017, 9:42 am

Bill Mullins wrote:There are some elements of a written work that can be objectively measured, however, and computational linguists use stylometry to attribute works to authors by counting the relative frequency of words and phrases within works. These techniques are particularly applied to common functional words, rather than specific technical terms that may be directly related to the subject of a book or essay.

Below are some comparisons of the relative use of several functional "building block" words and phrases that could be expected to be similarly used in works of different subjects, like card table expertise vs. print job estimating.
...
Erdnase uses three different ways to express "that is to say" or "namely": "that is" (pp. 9, 11, 19, 29, 26, 70 (2), 71, 90, 113, 119), "i.e.," (pp. 29, 33, 55, 76, 110, 116, 178, 179, 182, 204), and "viz." (pp. 9, 30, 179, 184). Gallaway, otoh, uses them thusly: "that is" (pp. 6(2), 7, 9, 11, 19, 23, 24 ), "i.e.," (pp. 44), and "viz." (11, 36, 53, 59). So, relatively speaking, Gallaway dislikes "i.e.," compared to Erdnase.

You have a completely flawed and incorrect understanding of what stylometry is and what it can do. What you have done is taken an author A (Gallaway), calculated some word frequencies, then taken the document/author in question X (Erdnase), calculated the frequencies of the same words, and then concluded that A is not equal X, or A is unlikely X, or some other statement about the likelihood of A being X. Stylometry cannot do that! In other words, stylometry cannot make an absolute author comparison between two authors and then derive from that some kind of similarity statement or conclusion. All stylometry can do is take a group of authors, say A, B, C, D, compare this group to X and then concluded that for example A, among the group of A-D, is the most likely X. That is all. It can't even tell you with what likelihood A is X in that case.

What you would therefore have to do is repeat your analysis with a bunch of other authors and then use one of many available statistical methods to determine who is the closest to Erdnase, because nobody will exactly match the frequencies of Erdnase. If you actually do that you will quickly encounter another one of the fundamental problems of stylometry, something stylometrists don't like to talk about. Depending on which method of comparison you use, you will get different results. A support vector machine will not necessarily match the results of a principal component analysis, or a Burrow's Delta analysis, or a multilayer perceptron's results. And that is just one of many issues that plague stylometry.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/
preserving magic one book at a time


Return to “General”