ERDNASE

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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 6:23 am

Bill Mullins wrote:I am _not_ presuming that the Census spelled things correctly -- I've seen too many errors that they have made to believe they are 100% accurate (your own genealogy of Peter Edward shows the census misspelled his last name in 1870 as "Fallonay" and his first name in 1880 as "Etta").

So, the 1940 Census has
Edward M Galloway b 1867
Edward W Galloway b 1882
Edward R Galloway b 1900
Edward Galloway b 1912
Edward L Galloway b 1914
Edward Gallaway b 1914
Edward Galloway b 1915

all from Chicago or Cook County. Add to this list "our" Edward Gallaway who had been dead for 10 years, plus possibly others I've found in City Directories, etc., and there are any number of people who could be the Gallaway behind the bookplate.


There are lots of problems with this. First it is not MY genealogy. It is the one shown on the Adkins family tree to which we have contributed. Turns out that our Peter Edward Gallaway isn't even related to the Adkins because there was an error and two families got mixed up. The 'Etta' has been resolved and is a transcription error of the abbreviation 'Edw'. What you forget is that we also have Gallaway's signature and know that he spells it Gallaway. The ones you list are all with an 'o' except the one born 1914. You would have to show that these are all spelling errors and that their real names are with an 'a'. Otherwise why would they write it on their bookplate with an 'a'.

For Peter Edward Gallaway we also have a good reason why his books are being sold. He died in 1930.

Keep in mind that Jay Marshall was in contact with the daughter-in-law of Peter Edward Gallaway. Imagine how that conversation started. Jay only had a book with the bookplate. He would certainly mention this and find out if he had the right family. I would expect them in some way confirming that he had found the right family.

Bottom line is that we have a lot of mutually confirming information that the Peter Edward Gallaway we have found in the census is the same Edward Gallaway from the obituary, the same we find in the OddFellow doing his library thing asking people to donate their books, who is the same employed at McKinney, the same whose family Jay Marshall tracked down, and who owned the three books we now know he had in his library based on the bookplate.

Lots of things are possible. It is possible that the census is consistently wrong. It is possible that this is all a hoax and there never was an Edward Gallaway. It is possible that the bookplate is a forgery and somebody wanted to have fun with Jay Marshall. All kinds of possibilities. But unless you have data that calls any of the mutually reinforcing data we have about Edward Gallaway into question I will maintain that Peter Edward Gallaway is the one in the bankruptcy files, who owned the EATCT with the bookplate, who sounds like Erdnase and thus is very much, more than any other, Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 1st, 2015, 11:04 am

lybrary wrote:I will maintain that Peter Edward Gallaway is the one in the bankruptcy files, who owned the EATCT with the bookplate, who sounds like Erdnase and thus is very much, more than any other, Erdnase.


That seems a fairly scant list of credentials to declare "Erdnase found".

Gallaway seems to be still firmly rooted in the interesting candidate category.

I applaude Chris's willingness to engage in discussion regarding his candidate, and hope it continues with an open mind.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 11:49 am

Roger, I will at a later time share my quantitative analysis, but just to offer one point for consideration. The fact that we can firmly link Gallaway to McKinney is a huge point that we can't say about anybody else. How many people do you think had a business relationship with McKinney in 1901? 100? 200? 300? Whatever your number is it means Erdnase must be among them. Gallaway is also among them. My own number for this is no more than 300. So this fact alone means that Gallaway is one out of 300 who could potentially be Erdnase.

As a comparison take for example WE Sanders. What do we know about him? Well we know he was an adult male who played cards. My guess for the number of adult male who played cards in the US is about 5 million. What else do we know about him that allows us to narrow it down statistically? We don't even know he was in Chicago at the right time let alone had any business with McKinney. He doesn't sound anything like Erdnase, which is a big point against him.

A similar situation is for E.S. Andrews. Again, he has been linked to card play which makes him one out of 5 million. Everything else we know is too weak to allow us to establish any statistical confidence.

When I compare 300 against 5 million I see a big difference. The evidence for Gallaway is statistically speaking much more significant than all the other things we know about all the other candidates. I will post more thoughts along this line later.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 12:09 pm

lybrary wrote:
As a comparison take for example WE Sanders. What do we know about him? Well we know he was an adult male who played cards. My guess for the number of adult male who played cards in the US is about 5 million. What else do we know about him that allows us to narrow it down statistically? We don't even know he was in Chicago at the right time let alone had any business with McKinney. He doesn't sound anything like Erdnase, which is a big point against him.


There are many strong connections with Sanders. First off, Sanders not only played cards but wrote down a magic trick! And he brought several boxes of playing cards with him on a packing list for a trip. Not to mention the Erdnase/earth-nose/mining connection, the history of playing around with anagrams, interest in dialectical speech patterns, and several other strong links.

And I *totally* disagree that Sanders sounds nothing like Erdnase. Unlike Galloway his writing style and word choice is very similar to Erdnase. To me this is one of the strongest of the many pieces of evidence for Sanders. Here's a sampling (i posted many of these sometime ago in this same thread):

Erdnase: he coolly proposes to "MAKE GOOD" by transforming the wrong card
Sanders: Has "MADE GOOD" at the bar, where he shines

Erdnase: It is almost AN AXIOM that a novice will win his first stake.
Sanders: this latter is AN AXIOM in mining during this period of development, and should be invariably followed where possible.

Erdnase: it may enable the skilled in deception to take A POST-GRADUATE COURSE in the highest and most artistic branches of his vocation
Sanders: during the following year he took A POST-GRADUATE COURSE in Civil Engineering

Erdnase: the average card player
Sanders: the average mining engineer

Erdnase: The first described is AN EXCELLENT ONE for retaining either the top or bottom stock...
Erdnase: The position is AN EXCELLENT ONE for ordinary dealing, and should never be changed.
Sanders: this joint is without doubt AN EXCELLENT ONE when, and only when, ....

Erdnase: DESCRIBING with detail and illustration EVERY KNOWN expedient, manoeuvre and strategm of the expert card handler
Sanders: the mines operated under these methods PRESENT EVERY KNOWN characteristic of lode formation.

Erdnase: LITTLE OR NO skill is required, BUT a practiced hand can locate and bring the cards to the top
Sanders: large excavations may be supported with LITTLE OR NO timbering, BUT usually...

Erdnase: various METHODS OF LOCATING AND PRODUCING selected cards
Sanders: the METHODS OF LOCATING AND ALIGNING the sets are those used for...

Erdase: An expert can run the whole deck WITH THE UTMOST rapidity
Sanders: huge timbers that have been framed WITH THE UTMOST precision

Erdnase: though this method IS now BY FAR THE MORE prevalent among men who play for money
Sanders: this station, while requiring more excavating to construct, IS BY FAR THE MOST economical in the end

Erdnase: we shall describe several of the BEST METHODS known for secretly exchanging
Erdnase: the BEST AND SIMPLEST METHODS of accomplishing the sleights
Sanders: probably the SIMPLEST METHOD OF aligning the side plates of inclined-shaft sets
Sanders: being the SIMPLEST AND CHEAPEST METHOD OF framing

Erdnase: if requested to determine from what single artifice THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE is derived we would unhesitatingly decide...
Sanders: the plan above described may be of THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE in blocking-out the ores for purposes of description and localization; and it may be employed with great benefit in connection with...

** Both OFFER a TREATISE and stress the IMPORTANCE of DETAILS **

Erdnase: A TREATISE on the Science and Art of Manipulating Cards
Erdnase: the sum of our present knowledge is PROFFERED THIS IN VOLUME
Erdnase: IMPORTANCE of DETAILS [full section heading]

Sanders: it has appeared worth while to make the present COLLECTION WHICH IS OFFERED not as a complete TREATISE on the subject, but rather as a series of essays which go fully into many IMPORTANT DETAILS

** Both justify the use of CERTAIN TERMS AND SYMBOLS for THE SAKE OF BREVITY **

Erdnase: Many of the methods of card manipulation explained in this work originated with us, and we have, in describing the various processes and conditions, used CERTAIN TERMS for the SAKE OF BREVITY, to DESIGNATE the particular matters referred to.
Sanders: for the SAKE OF BREVITY in description, CERTAIN SYMBOLS letters or figures, are employed to DESIGNATE the various mine workings, as follows:
Sanders: they are thus marked, CERTAIN SYMBOLS may be discarded for the SAKE OF BREVITY, and only such as are essential to the DESCRIPTION of the working be employed.

** Both take time to describe the relevance of the illustrations **

Erdnase: Therefore the writer has expended much time and care in illustrating many manoeuvres that at first may seem unimportant, but all of which are essential to the curriculum of artistic card handling.
Sanders: in the figures drawn to illustrate the article, sizes of timber most frequently used have been arbitrarily taken for convenience. The figures giving dimensions are working drawings showing the methods of framing, as explained, and can easily be applied to frames and timbers of any desired dimensions.

** Both give disclaimers, describing the author's intentions and the limitations of what is covered **

Erdnase: IT IS NOT OUR PURPOSE TO DESCRIBE the various kinds of apparatus, or prepared or mechanical cards, that play so great a part in the professional conjurer's startling exhibitions.
Sanders: IT IS NOT THE PROVINCE OF THIS ARTICLE TO TOUCH UPON methods of mining in use above ground, whether by hydraulic mining, or other processes, but rather to deal with the support of underground excavations by the use of timbers, and the details of mining therewith connected. NOR IS IT INTENDED TO ...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 12:33 pm

Bob, and how does the anagram thing allow us to narrow it down statistically? How do we know that Erdnase derived his name through an anagram?

Your list of word similarities look to me very average, but I may be wrong. Have you done a rigorous linguistic analysis? I think we need to get away from point lists and apply some numbers as well as have specialists handle things like linguistics. I would love to see a forensic linguistic analysis that compares Sanders with Erdnase. Then you would actually have real evidence.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 1st, 2015, 1:12 pm

Sanders was also intrigued by African-American culture. He mentions this interest in a diary entry before attending Columbia University in the fall of 1881. Some of Sanders' satirical compositions contain 19th century Negro dialect. The similarity of those writings with the satirical piece about the colored bathroom attendant in the introduction of The Expert is intriguing. I haven't read any of Sanders' technical writings, so the similarities in certain phrases that Bob pointed out are also fascinating. If Sanders is not Erdnase, isn't it an amazing coincidence that both of these men wrote African-American dialect in a satirical context?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 1:18 pm

Could it be that this was popular during that time?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 1:40 pm

The problem with listing individual similarities is that the more written material one has available the more similarities one will find. But it is not a statement about the quality of the similarities. Therefore you need to do a rigorous statistical and linguistic analysis.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 1st, 2015, 1:57 pm

lybrary wrote:So this fact alone means that Gallaway is one out of 300 who could potentially be Erdnase.



Although I think this is your strongest avenue for investigation, I'm not sure I agree with your summation.

Indeed, Mr. Erdnase would potentially be among the 300 (I'll use your number), but Gallaway was just an employee of McKinney, so what you're saying about Gallaway could be said about any one of the 30 or so employees McKinney had.
And even then those 30 weren't customers, they were employees of a printing firm that probably printed hundreds of different books. It would be expected that employees of such a firm might have copies of the books they printed at work, sitting on shelves in their home libraries.

We have no idea how many of those employees had first editions of EATCT ... it's entirely possible that Erdnase gave every single employee of McKinney a first edition copy as a token of thanks.

Having said that, I do believe you have a potentially fruitful, and previously untapped avenue of research here.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 2:08 pm

Roger, I agree, potentially every one of the 30 employees had a copy. That is the worst case scenario. I don't think it is likely but as my analysis will show - eventually - even under such a worst case scenario Gallaway is still orders of magnitudes more likely than anybody else we have.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 3:41 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:First off, Sanders not only played cards but wrote down a magic trick!


Let me demonstrate on this one apparent point for Sanders, that it doesn't help you to make his case stronger.

Ok, so we can say Sanders knew this one trick. But we don't know if Erdnase knew it. Maybe he wasn't interested in that kind of magic. So we can't argue that this is evidence in favor for Sanders. If this trick would be in EATCT you would have evidence that would allow you to improve the case for Sanders. You would then estimate how many people might have known that trick and this would reduce the number of people matching that profile.

We can also not say that Sanders knew magic on the level that would allow one to argue that he had the knowledge to write the legerdemain section. If you could show that Sanders had a few relevant magic books in his library then you could make the case for his knowledge of magic. Still a leap of faith, but one that would have some support.

In the end, so interesting a fact like this is, it is not one that allows you to strengthen the case for Sanders if you apply rigor to your argument. Of course, you could simply emotionally feel that this proves Sanders is Erdnase, but I hope we can rise above feelings and apply science.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 4:14 pm

lybrary wrote:The problem with listing individual similarities is that the more written material one has available the more similarities one will find. But it is not a statement about the quality of the similarities. Therefore you need to do a rigorous statistical and linguistic analysis.


I disagree again! Statistical linguistic analysis is just another tool. Ultimately any such analysis is based on intuitions about what features matter (lexical n-grams, syntactic patterns, sentence length, use of idioms, etc) and their relative weights. And if the statistical analysis comes up with results that are obviously wrong, you go back to the drawing board and find features and weights that work better. Intuition trumps statistics.

Also, consider the error rates in the statistical-based processes used in machine translation or in automatic speech recognition or even spelling correction. Human beings can do a much better job of understanding what a person is saying or translating between languages they know -- and guess what, they do that without any so-called "rigorous" analysis.

So ultimately it comes down to your own ear. Examples are a good way to refine those intuitions. They're not proof, but the examples I culled are pretty compelling evidence to me.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 4:34 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:First off, Sanders not only played cards but wrote down a magic trick!


Let me demonstrate on this one apparent point for Sanders, that it doesn't help you to make his case stronger.

Ok, so we can say Sanders knew this one trick. But we don't know if Erdnase knew it. Maybe he wasn't interested in that kind of magic. So we can't argue that this is evidence in favor for Sanders. If this trick would be in EATCT you would have evidence that would allow you to improve the case for Sanders. You would then estimate how many people might have known that trick and this would reduce the number of people matching that profile.

We can also not say that Sanders knew magic on the level that would allow one to argue that he had the knowledge to write the legerdemain section. If you could show that Sanders had a few relevant magic books in his library then you could make the case for his knowledge of magic. Still a leap of faith, but one that would have some support.

In the end, so interesting a fact like this is, it is not one that allows you to strengthen the case for Sanders if you apply rigor to your argument. Of course, you could simply emotionally feel that this proves Sanders is Erdnase, but I hope we can rise above feelings and apply science.


Surely knowing mutus nomen dedit cocis is evidence of an interest/knowledge in magic. And surely an interest in magic is correlated with writing magic-related books (people who arent interested/knowledgable in a topic don't tend to write books on it). So, all things being equal, Sanders is more likely than a randomly chosen person to have written Erdnase. That's not a leap of faith but just basic probabilities. Is that enough rigor for you?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 4:49 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Sanders was also intrigued by African-American culture. He mentions this interest in a diary entry before attending Columbia University in the fall of 1881. Some of Sanders' satirical compositions contain 19th century Negro dialect. The similarity of those writings with the satirical piece about the colored bathroom attendant in the introduction of The Expert is intriguing. I haven't read any of Sanders' technical writings, so the similarities in certain phrases that Bob pointed out are also fascinating. If Sanders is not Erdnase, isn't it an amazing coincidence that both of these men wrote African-American dialect in a satirical context?


Sanders was highly attuned to speech patterns and language in general. He wrote about the history of Montana and the linguistic derivation of the name "montana". And in his writings in the twenty-fifth reunion book for his 1881 columbia school of mines class reunion he satirizes various speech patterns.

"It sufficeth to say that only the innate and in(co)herent modesty of the objective subject of this "story of a life" prevents the Class Historian (officiallywhen writing of Billy Sanders) from dealing in higher superlatives than these hereinafter detailed, specified and contained, to wit: lie air young an' beautifullest an' fair; he hez carroty face an' a freckled hair; he seems pure an' nobil ez he kin bebut, nixkumarouse, Bill, yer kaint fule me ! He hez wondrous grace in hiz nether pegs, when he pir-hoo-etts on hiz rear hind legs: an' he thinks he's sum with hiz hullaballoo; but he kaint fule meknow him throo an' throo! He hez tears in hiz eyes when he talks uv him; what he sez uv him, sure it ain't so slim; but 1 sez ter him, with hiz reinekaboo, naow yer kaint fule meso yer jess gaow tew ! An' ter h'ar him talk uv ther pace he's set; an' uv what he's done, fer he's braggin' yet; what a bad man he, an' so Woolly! Gee!but I know yer, Bill, an' yer kaint fule me!"

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 5:42 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:
lybrary wrote:The problem with listing individual similarities is that the more written material one has available the more similarities one will find. But it is not a statement about the quality of the similarities. Therefore you need to do a rigorous statistical and linguistic analysis.


I disagree again! Statistical linguistic analysis is just another tool. Ultimately any such analysis is based on intuitions about what features matter (lexical n-grams, syntactic patterns, sentence length, use of idioms, etc) and their relative weights. And if the statistical analysis comes up with results that are obviously wrong, you go back to the drawing board and find features and weights that work better. Intuition trumps statistics.

Also, consider the error rates in the statistical-based processes used in machine translation or in automatic speech recognition or even spelling correction. Human beings can do a much better job of understanding what a person is saying or translating between languages they know -- and guess what, they do that without any so-called "rigorous" analysis.

So ultimately it comes down to your own ear. Examples are a good way to refine those intuitions. They're not proof, but the examples I culled are pretty compelling evidence to me.


And that is why I let an expert do the analysis. Somebody who does this professionally every day. Somebody who frequently testifies about such matters in court. I agree, the tools by themselves mean little. You need somebody who can apply them. Are you the right person? I am certainly not. I recognize that. But I also know that looking for a couple of similar phrases is not the right way to go about this.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 5:47 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:Surely knowing mutus nomen dedit cocis is evidence of an interest/knowledge in magic. And surely an interest in magic is correlated with writing magic-related books (people who arent interested/knowledgable in a topic don't tend to write books on it). So, all things being equal, Sanders is more likely than a randomly chosen person to have written Erdnase. That's not a leap of faith but just basic probabilities. Is that enough rigor for you?


My guess is that the correlation of knowing mutus nomen dedit cocis with authoring books on magic is so small that while you are correct in principle it would not make any practical difference in the numbers. But I encourage you to actually try to quantify this rather than just make a rhetorical argument.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 6:25 pm

lybrary wrote:
And that is why I let an expert do the analysis. Somebody who does this professionally every day. Somebody who frequently testifies about such matters in court. I agree, the tools by themselves mean little. You need somebody who can apply them. Are you the right person? I am certainly not. I recognize that. But I also know that looking for a couple of similar phrases is not the right way to go about this.


If you have no sense of this yourself, then perhaps choosing and asking an "expert" is a good way to decide what you believe. But I wouldn't trust someone else's judgements above my own, although I would welcome any insights anyone provided. Probably most people on this forum have a stronger sense of Erdnase and his writing style than any so-called expert. It really comes down to spending time with the texts and having an ear for language.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 6:42 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:But I wouldn't trust someone else's judgements above my own...

You must be a universally educated man. I guess you never had to go to the doctor or have your car fixed by a mechanic.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 6:52 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:Surely knowing mutus nomen dedit cocis is evidence of an interest/knowledge in magic. And surely an interest in magic is correlated with writing magic-related books (people who arent interested/knowledgable in a topic don't tend to write books on it). So, all things being equal, Sanders is more likely than a randomly chosen person to have written Erdnase. That's not a leap of faith but just basic probabilities. Is that enough rigor for you?


My guess is that the correlation of knowing mutus nomen dedit cocis with authoring books on magic is so small that while you are correct in principle it would not make any practical difference in the numbers. But I encourage you to actually try to quantify this rather than just make a rhetorical argument.


Let's assume 20% of the population shows some serious interest in magic and can perform some tricks. Assume also that all writers of magic books know some tricks (almost true by definition unless they're ghost writing). So that means a person knowing at least one trick (e.g. Sanders) is five times more likely to have written a magic book (including EATCT) than a random person. So, while it's not anywhere near proof that he wrote EATCT, but it adds substantial weight to the overall evidence.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 7:03 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:Let's assume 20% of the population shows some serious interest in magic and can perform some tricks. Assume also that all writers of magic books know some tricks (almost true by definition unless they're ghost writing). So that means a person knowing at least one trick (e.g. Sanders) is five times more likely to have written a magic book (including EATCT) than a random person. So, while it's not anywhere near proof that he wrote EATCT, but it adds substantial weight to the overall evidence.


Well, if you feel your numbers hold up then Sanders went from one of 5 million to one in 1 million. What else can you quantify?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 7:12 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:But I wouldn't trust someone else's judgements above my own...

You must be a universally educated man. I guess you never had to go to the doctor or have your car fixed by a mechanic.


Those are completely different. Medicine and car mechanics are specialized skills. Recognizing a style in language or recognizing someone's speaking voice is something we all can do (though some better than others). It isn't an issue of education except in areas where specialized language is at play (though I think all of us here are much more expert on the technical (magic-related) aspects of the text than any outside forensic linguistics person you might be having look at it). It's mostly an issue of spending time with the texts and having an ear for language.

One area where some specific expertise can usefully come in to play is in recognizing the historical drift of the language (i.e. comparison with other texts of the era). So I'd be interested in hearing if your person has anything to say in that area. Though, even there, it's something anyone can investigate on their own -- there are lots of circa 1900 texts out there...nothing like the barriers to fixing a car or doing surgery! Anyway, I think the similarity between Sanders' and Erdnase's voice comes through loud and clear as the examples I compiled show. And remember, this is all in response to your saying there was no similarity between Erdnase and Sanders in writing style -- that's something I find utterly wrong.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 7:25 pm

Bob, how much of a mining expert are you? After all you are comparing a magic/gambling book with a book on mining.

BTW, I don't agree that a linguist needs to be a specialist in the subject matter. These are two very different things. One has to do with the content, the other with how it is expressed in language. A bit like form and function. We are not asking the linguist if that move really makes sense in that context. We are asking questions about the language only.

You can have a different conversation on the content and there knowledge about gambling and magic is of course key.

While all of us do use language and we all have some degree of understanding about it, there are experts who know a ton more about it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 7:26 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:Let's assume 20% of the population shows some serious interest in magic and can perform some tricks. Assume also that all writers of magic books know some tricks (almost true by definition unless they're ghost writing). So that means a person knowing at least one trick (e.g. Sanders) is five times more likely to have written a magic book (including EATCT) than a random person. So, while it's not anywhere near proof that he wrote EATCT, but it adds substantial weight to the overall evidence.


Well, if you feel your numbers hold up then Sanders went from one of 5 million to one in 1 million. What else can you quantify?


I don't think it's possible to quantify this sort of thing. The error bars are way too big, given that it's not clear what factors matter and how much weight to give them. So it's a false rigor, and to my thinking not a profitable way to think about it. But I'll be interested in reading your analysis when you have it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 7:41 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:I don't think it's possible to quantify this sort of thing. The error bars are way too big, given that it's not clear what factors matter and how much weight to give them. So it's a false rigor, and to my thinking not a profitable way to think about it. But I'll be interested in reading your analysis when you have it.


That is because the evidence for Sanders is weak. Gallaway's is of very different quality. As I have just shown above, the number of people doing business with McKinney in 1901 is quite bounded - a few hundred. Erdnase must be among them. Therefore the significance of being able to show that somebody had a business relationship with McKinney at the right time allows one to make fairly accurate quantitative statements.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 7:45 pm

lybrary wrote:Bob, how much of a mining expert are you? After all you are comparing a magic/gambling book with a book on mining.

BTW, I don't agree that a linguist needs to be a specialist in the subject matter. These are two very different things. One has to do with the content, the other with how it is expressed in language. A bit like form and function. We are not asking the linguist if that move really makes sense in that context. We are asking questions about the language only.

You can have a different conversation on the content and there knowledge about gambling and magic is of course key.

While all of us do use language and we all have some degree of understanding about it, there are experts who know a ton more about it.


It helps to know the subject matter, and style and content aren't totally separate. But Sanders' writings including his mining text isn't all that complicated for a layman to read. Though I'm sure familiarity with the domain would help isolate idiosyncracies of his personal style, etc.

I also don't know what you mean by knowing a ton more about language. You mean it's historical evolution? The rules of syntax? the lexical semantic ambiguities? The ways that machine learning models are used in stylometry? I personally know quite a bit about much of that, but that really doesn't come into play in hearing an author's voice. For that, what matters most is not generalized knowledge of linguistics or computational or statistical models, but spending time with the text itself and having an ear for language. But to each their own... ;-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 8:35 pm

Marty Demarest wrote:
That's a great point! Speaking of literary fingerprints, Erdnase has a lot of sophisticated fun with language:

S.W. Erdnase wrote:"The right hand holds the wrong card..." p. 151.

"Several cards are removed entirely from the pack, but retained in the memory..." p. 116.

"The dealer can gather up the cards with a great deal of judgment..." p. 82

"The Longitudinal Shift.--This shift, for which we have to thank no one, is given a very long name, but the reader who is interested sufficiently to practice the process, will find it a very short shift..." p. 130

"In the average game where the players keep their hands, and arms also, on the table..." p. 111

"...space of time..." p. 144

"...a few repetitions of the same formula enables one to stock and talk at the same time." p. 74


Yes, and Sanders has lots of fun with language too! As I remember, you pointed out in your article a very clever/nice pun he made on "shift" of a different sort. Here's a pun he makes on "shell" (for a classmate who worked on "artillery shells" which Sanders puns into "shell game") in his 25th reunion writing. Also nice that it includes a gambling theme.

Come, Johnson, cease your naughty ways,
Make simple faro, poker plays
Or roulette e'en, but stop this craze
For playin' the "Shell game."

However, Johnson, when I learn
The shell game played by your concern
Is not the western game I yearn
To see played on the square,

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 8:51 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:I also don't know what you mean by knowing a ton more about language. You mean it's historical evolution? The rules of syntax? the lexical semantic ambiguities? The ways that machine learning models are used in stylometry?


Experience, knowing the tools and how to use them, and understanding how to interpret the results makes a huge difference. An expert in this field has compared many other pieces of text before. He understands when to use what tools and how to make sure the results are not garbage.

When you gave your list of matching phrases I didn't see you apply any kind of domain knowledge. You simply found some phrases that were used in both books. How are you applying your understanding of magic and gambling?

I am not so good with languages as you seem to be, but can you tell me what significance for example a phrase like SIMPLEST METHOD OF has? To me this looks like it could appear anywhere. How does that make Sanders like Erdnase?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 1st, 2015, 9:24 pm

It may also be important to know who the various experts you contracted were Chris, and have an understanding of their credentials?

Folks may have a strong desire to line up behind your candidate were they to understand who the various expert sources you've used to arrive at your conclusion actually were.

It's difficult to accept "anonymous" expert opinion as authorotative, at least in my own experience.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 1st, 2015, 9:35 pm

Anybody who has read my "Hunt for Erdnase" ebook http://www.lybrary.com/the-hunt-for-erd ... 73843.html will know who my forensic linguist is. Once I write up my research on Gallaway he will again appear with his report on a comparison of Erdnase and Gallaway. So I am not keeping him a secret, but I am not waving his name in the air either. Anybody who is truly interested can check him out.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 1st, 2015, 10:32 pm

Chris--I would be interested to know what your linguistics expert has to say about a comparison between The Expert and Sanders' works on mining and other compositions. Would you be prepared to accept the results?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 1st, 2015, 10:52 pm

lybrary wrote:
Experience, knowing the tools and how to use them, and understanding how to interpret the results makes a huge difference. An expert in this field has compared many other pieces of text before. He understands when to use what tools and how to make sure the results are not garbage.


Ultimately you have to look at the results and decide if they're convincing to you or not. You can't offload that task and have any confidence in what someone tells you since the only important result is whether there's a noticeable stylistic similarity. Of course, like many things, this is a judgement call. But I find the list of correspondences i gave (and other commonalities in their writing such as imitating dialectical speech patterns) as a strong piece of evidence in favor of Sanders.


When you gave your list of matching phrases I didn't see you apply any kind of domain knowledge. You simply found some phrases that were used in both books. How are you applying your understanding of magic and gambling?


In my view, deep familiarity with the text is what's most important by far. That allows the stylistic echoes and differences with other texts to pop out. It's much like when one person you meet reminds you of someone else you know well. Domain knowledge is much less important, but still potentially useful. And as I said, I think historical background knowledge (particularly of literary conventions and styles) is also useful.

One example of domain-specific knowledge coming into play is a question I posted here just a little while ago whether Erdnase's use of the word "stock" (as a group of cards to retain in false shuffling etc) was potentially influenced by printing terminology for "stock" (as in paper stock). So that question (answered by people in this list, with gambling-related references in earlier works) touched on domain-specific terminology and usage patterns.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » August 2nd, 2015, 12:49 am

If Sanders is not Erdnase, isn't it an amazing coincidence that both of these men wrote African-American dialect in a satirical context?


No. The minstrel show at this time had been the major form of popular entertainment across all parts of America for almost 75 years, and was full of that kind of thing. It would be more like two authors today both referencing a catchphrase from The Simpsons.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 2nd, 2015, 1:30 am

lybrary wrote: For Peter Edward Gallaway we also have a good reason why his books are being sold. He died in 1930.

If his books were being sold in 1931, I'd agree. But at this late date, I tend to think it works against him (at least, compared to anyone who may have been alive at some date after 1931). Why would his collection be held together as a group for 25 years for Griffiths to get it?
Keep in mind that Jay Marshall was in contact with the daughter-in-law of Peter Edward Gallaway. Imagine how that conversation started. Jay only had a book with the bookplate. He would certainly mention this and find out if he had the right family. I would expect them in some way confirming that he had found the right family.

I have no way of knowing, but I'd guess that Jay found the daughter-in-law, Ethel, through Edw.'s obit. If the conversation had gone like this, it would be completely consistent with what we know about Gallaway:
Jay: I found this book with the bookplate of Edward Gallaway. It's a gambling book. Do you know anything about it?
Ethel: Well, my father-in-law's name was Ed Gallaway. I don't know anything about gambling books – we got rid of his stuff over 20 years ago – but he worked in the printing industry. I think he said something about working for McKinney years ago. My husband says they later formed a partnership but it went broke. Then he worked for Bentley Murray.
Jay: okay, thanks.

All that we know about Gallaway from Jay's conversation with Ethel is his employment history. Nothing about the conversation as described in TMWWE confirms that Bookplate Edward was McKinney Edward. Look at the footnotes – the passage saying that he worked for McKinney is sourced to the conversation with Ethel. The passage saying he collected gambling books is not; it comes from a letter from Marshall to Gardner a day earlier (describing the books and Griffiths) than the letter describing the conversation with Ethel.

Given the way TMWWE jumps to conclusions, it's difficult to know, but I think that if Ethel had said anything that tied her father to gambling or the books, Jay would have made sufficient note of it that it would be more clearly brought out in the book. Remember, Jay was a collector/packrat, and he almost certainly would have chased after books. The fact that he doesn't specifically record details about books makes me think that there weren't any to record, and that Ethel knew nothing about gambling books. I think the idea that Bookplate Edward is McKinney Edward is a conclusion that either Marshall, Gardner, or Busby/Whaley (depending on who wrote that particular passage) jumped to. I think the passage is carefully written to lead the reader to believe it is all a consistent set of facts, although it may not be. I don't think it is wrong to say that Bookplate Edward was McKinney Edward, but I do think that the evidence doesn't prove it.

Bottom line is that we have a lot of mutually confirming information that the Peter Edward Gallaway we have found in the census is the same Edward Gallaway from the obituary,

agreed
the same we find in the OddFellow doing his library thing asking people to donate their books, who is the same employed at McKinney, the same whose family Jay Marshall tracked down,

Agreed, agreed, and agreed
and who owned the three books we now know he had in his library based on the bookplate.

Don't agree that the facts as we know them support this particular conclusion. [And 3 books? I know of Erdnase and the 1700 "History of Works"; what is the 3rd? Unless you are saying "gambling books" means at least two, one more than Erdnase.]

If we _knew_ that there was only one Edward Gallaway in the Chicago area between 1902 (earliest he could have pasted the Erdnase bookplate) and 1956 (when Griffiths got it), the case would be much stronger. But he was not the only Edward Gallaway in play. (and making a list of "Galloways" doesn't really confirm that) So . . .

You and I agree on the existence of one Edward Gallaway (b 1914) who probably wasn't much of a book collector, given the socioeconomic status of most black laborers at the time. But there was also:
Edward Gallaway b 1912 in the 1930 census
Edward Gallaway b 1852 died 1912 in Chicago (ancestry.com, Cook County death index)
Edward Gallaway who ran for Cook County commissioner in 1918 (Google Books, newspapers.com)
Edward Gallaway of Great Britain or Ireland who was naturalized in Chicago in 1892
Edward M. Gallaway who married Clara Ballard in Cook County in 1893

Some of these may be the same guy, but there are enough of them to show that Peter Edward was not the only Gallaway to whom the bookplate could have referred.

But like I've said already, I do think that Peter Edward and Bookplate Gallaway were the same person. I'm just open to the possibility that they weren’t.

Another thing – the genealogy you've linked to says that Peter Edward was active as a printer when he was in his early teens. I don't think that particular listing for Edward Gallaway refers to the one who worked for McKinney (although it is an amazing coincidence that this guy was also a printer). The reason is, Chicago Voter Registration lists for 1890 and 1892 are online at ancestry.com. They list Ed Gallaway, born in Ohio, as only having lived in Illinois for 4 and 6 years, respectively. So he didn't live in Chicago at the time of the 1882 directory listing. Which makes sense, since it would be highly unusual for a directory to list a 13 year old as head of a household. Another reason is the Delphos Weekly Herald of June 1 1882 shows Ed Gallaway listed in a class of German students, not working as a printer in Chicago.

The fact that we can firmly link Gallaway to McKinney is a huge point that we can't say about anybody else.


?? We can link Frederick Drake to McKinney. Drake published other conjuring and gambling books. We can link Samuel Jamieson to McKinney. He went on to publish a magic book (Fun With Magic) and gambling books (Jack Pots, and Tom Custer's Luck and Other Poker Stories).

Let me demonstrate on this one apparent point for Sanders, that it doesn't help you to make his case stronger.

Ok, so we can say Sanders knew this one trick [Mutus Nomen]. But we don't know if Erdnase knew it. Maybe he wasn't interested in that kind of magic. So we can't argue that this is evidence in favor for Sanders. If this trick would be in EATCT you would have evidence that would allow you to improve the case for Sanders.


Chris, both you and Peter Zenner have taken points that most people would count as an obvious "match" and discounted them, and it's tempting to say that you are doing so because they don't apply to your candidate.

OF COURSE a person who knows magic with playing cards (like Sanders) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown – a third of the book is about card magic. (and while Mutus Nomen isn't referenced in Erdnase, another sleight-free mental divining trick is: A Row of Ten Cards) OF COURSE a person who hung out in gambling halls (like Sanders did at the Silver Bow Club) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown. OF COURSE a person who played cards socially (as Sanders played whist) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown.

the number of people doing business with McKinney in 1901 is quite bounded - a few hundred. Erdnase must be among them. Therefore the significance of being able to show that somebody had a business relationship with McKinney at the right time allows one to make fairly accurate quantitative statements.


Why do you assume Erdnase had a first-hand relationship with McKinney? When I need a service, I often use a referral from someone else I know. I recently needed a tree cut down, and the guy who cuts my grass referred me to a friend of his. Maybe McKinney only had 200-300 business associates, but each of them had 200-300 more. There's no reason to assert that Erdnase knew McKinney first hand.

[and notice I went over 24 hours without posting about Erdnase. my therapist says I'm getting better.]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 2nd, 2015, 6:26 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:Chris--I would be interested to know what your linguistics expert has to say about a comparison between The Expert and Sanders' works on mining and other compositions. Would you be prepared to accept the results?


I am always prepared to accept the results. I go where the facts lead me, not where rumors like "it was an Andrews" point. You should read my "Hunt for Erdnase". I dropped my German immigrant theory based on the forensic linguist's report.

A detailed analysis by my forensic linguist costs about $1000. If you can raise the money I am more than happy to ask him for an analysis of Sanders. Or better yet, have somebody else contact him and ask for one so that I am not accused of influencing the results in any way.

I actually think we should do that for every candidate we have a good amount of text to analyze. For me the linguistic fingerprint is the strongest evidence one can present absent of any documentary evidence. Apparently nobody in the Sanders camp feels strongly enough about him to have offered a real linguistic analysis to this date.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 2nd, 2015, 6:56 am

Bill Mullins wrote:?? We can link Frederick Drake to McKinney. Drake published other conjuring and gambling books. We can link Samuel Jamieson to McKinney. He went on to publish a magic book (Fun With Magic) and gambling books (Jack Pots, and Tom Custer's Luck and Other Poker Stories).


I think these would all be good candidates to check out. If you find further evidence that supports them such as that they sound like Erdnase or owned a first edition EATCT then you would have a really strong case to make. Such is the power of the bankruptcy files. BTW, "Fun with Magic" is not really a magic book. It is a book about simple science experiments you can do in your kitchen. I have it OCRed if you want to do a linguistic analysis http://www.lybrary.com/fun-with-magic-p-734685.html

Bill Mullins wrote:OF COURSE a person who knows magic with playing cards (like Sanders) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown – a third of the book is about card magic. (and while Mutus Nomen isn't referenced in Erdnase, another sleight-free mental divining trick is: A Row of Ten Cards) OF COURSE a person who hung out in gambling halls (like Sanders did at the Silver Bow Club) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown. OF COURSE a person who played cards socially (as Sanders played whist) has a point in their favor compared to someone for whom that can't be shown.


I don't disagree but these points in case for Sanders do not lend themselves to a quantitative evaluation. All I am trying to do is to get away from lists of points in favor, to a more nuanced view where we compare relative strengths of evidence. Doing this with a statistical analysis is one first step.

Bill Mullins wrote:Why do you assume Erdnase had a first-hand relationship with McKinney? When I need a service, I often use a referral from someone else I know. I recently needed a tree cut down, and the guy who cuts my grass referred me to a friend of his. Maybe McKinney only had 200-300 business associates, but each of them had 200-300 more. There's no reason to assert that Erdnase knew McKinney first hand.


I assume it because it is the most likely. OCCAM'S razor. Of course it is possible that he used a front-man, but you would then have to apply a proper likelihood to that possibility and split your analysis into two branches and evaluate each one. At this point I am taking what is most likely. Same with the critique: "Couldn't everybody at McKinney have received a first edition of EATCT?" Yes it is possible but again not particularly likely. Once you think about what is the most likely and what is the most straight forward explanation you can derive meaningful numbers. At least I would hope you are not blind to looking at evidence from different angles and through different lenses. You seem to demand an open mind on other facts, too.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 2nd, 2015, 7:55 am

Richard Hatch wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Earlier, Peter Zenner had said that E. C. Andrews had graduated from college in 1901, and worked for Ruxton Ink along Thompson. Ruxton shows up as a creditor on the very next page.

Why would E. C. Andrews, presumably a fairly junior employee, being so young, be listed separately as a creditor from his employer? Is this the same E. C. Andrews?


I believe that Peter Zenner's claim is that this is Harry Thompson, dealing with McKinney using E. C. Andrews as his alias. Seems like a stretch to me... Wasn't Frank Thompson's name supposed to show up in the file somewhere?


That's correct, Richard. I said in my very first post on the subject that E[mory] C[obb] Andrews was the new boy in the Ruxton office. Harry worked for Ruxton's and I suggested that he took his pseudonym from E.C. Andrews.

I was hoping/half expecting Harry's brother Frank to show up as a former employee of McKinney. That was not to be. I was also hoping/half expecting Ruxton's to show up as a supplier to McKinney. They were.

What I was not expecting was E.C. ANDREWS to show up in that file. Imagine my delight when he appeared. :-)

As the new boy in the Ruxton office, there is no way that the actual Andrews would be down as a seperate creditor. Any money owed to Ruxton's would be paid to Ruxton's, not to the office lad.

If you still can't get your head around Harry Stuart Thompson being Erdnase then just put it down to it being another one of Bill's "fascinating coincidences" and move on.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 2nd, 2015, 9:10 am

knowing a card trick is NOT proof of an interest in magic. It is proof that one knows a card trick.

as any working magician will tell you, almost everybody knows (or thinks they know) A card trick. That doesn't mean they have any interest in magic per Se.

And card tricks like mutus nomen are exactly the kinds of trick people know. In fact, I see at least 2 non magicians each year attempt a version of it to this day.

It's one of those tricks that's 'out there' and I don't think one should read anything into it as far as an interest in magic is concerned.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 2nd, 2015, 10:39 am

Zenner wrote:
Richard Hatch wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
Why would E. C. Andrews, presumably a fairly junior employee, being so young, be listed separately as a creditor from his employer? Is this the same E. C. Andrews?


I believe that Peter Zenner's claim is that this is Harry Thompson, dealing with McKinney using E. C. Andrews as his alias. Seems like a stretch to me... Wasn't Frank Thompson's name supposed to show up in the file somewhere?


That's correct, Richard. I said in my very first post on the subject that E[mory] C[obb] Andrews was the new boy in the Ruxton office. Harry worked for Ruxton's and I suggested that he took his pseudonym from E.C. Andrews.


Now, I see you mean that Thompson actually used the Andrews identity in his business dealings with McKinney, and it wasn't just a source for his pseudonym. I'm glad you are making that clear. This means that McKinney would see him in his Thompson persona when they were buying ink from Ruxton, and in his Andrews persona when arranging to print his book, and didn't notice the similarity.

This is as easy to believe that Lois Lane never caught on that Clark Kent and Superman were the same guy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 2nd, 2015, 10:54 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:?? We can link Frederick Drake to McKinney. Drake published other conjuring and gambling books. We can link Samuel Jamieson to McKinney. He went on to publish a magic book (Fun With Magic) and gambling books (Jack Pots, and Tom Custer's Luck and Other Poker Stories).

BTW, "Fun with Magic" is not really a magic book. It is a book about simple science experiments you can do in your kitchen. I have it OCRed if you want to do a linguistic analysis http://www.lybrary.com/fun-with-magic-p-734685.html


I stand corrected on that. But there are at least four books related to gambling that Jamieson published.

And, offline, you mentioned that Gallaway having studied German is relevant to the "Erdnase" = a German nickname theory. Which had gone right by me.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 2nd, 2015, 11:41 am

Brad Henderson wrote:knowing a card trick is NOT proof of an interest in magic. It is proof that one knows a card trick.


It's not proof but evidence, and that's what matters here. Also, writing down the formula/key to a trick (as Sanders did) is evidence of a high level of interest.


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