ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bob Coyne
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 12:26 am

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:Smith's recollections are obviously pretty vague on this, and Wilbur matches what he first said. He then revised his account after Gardner led him there. I see no reason to give that more credence than his original statement. In fact, I think it's likely to be less reliable. You can choose to believe his revised/coerced account, and that's fine too, but that's just one evaluation of what's pretty murky and ultimately unresolvable.
Smith's first statement on height to Gardner was: "Andrews was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’ 6"."


There's no way Smith could be accurate to the inch, especially after 40+ years. What were the error bars on Smith's recollection? What are the error bars on Sanders' height? It's very easy to believe that he was around 5' 7" for various reasons: a) People tend to overstate their height, hence i take the 5' 9" with a big grain of salt. b) He just doesn't look big in the pictures. c) He was bow on the rowing team which is the smallest rower. d) He was 5' when 14 years old.

Here's more (inconclusive) data on Sander's height pointing to under 5' 9" .....

Marty Demarest's Winter 2013 Montana article has a picture of Sanders sitting (on a bale of hay?) and wearing knee-high boots. The caption says "W.E., seen here in 1890, grew into a relatively small and delicate man -- 5'8" and 130 pounds ..."

It doesn't say where he got that information (or the photo).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 12:33 am

Bob Coyne wrote:There's no way Smith could be accurate to the inch, especially after 40+ years. What were the error bars on Smith's recollection?
Smith could give an accurate upper bound because he was sure that he was looking down to Erdnase not up. That means his own height, which he knew, provided the exact measuring stick. Also keep in mind that the drawn hands, which are small, suggest a man of about 5'4". Two independent measures pointing to somebody much smaller than Sanders. Keep in mind that 5'6" was Smith's upper limit. That means the man was likely smaller than that.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 12:37 am

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:There's no way Smith could be accurate to the inch, especially after 40+ years. What were the error bars on Smith's recollection?
Smith could give an accurate upper bound because he was sure that he was looking down to Erdnase not up. That means his own height, which he knew, provided the exact measuring stick. Also keep in mind that the drawn hands, which are small, suggest a man of about 5'4". Two independent measures pointing to somebody much smaller than Sanders. Keep in mind that 5'6" was Smith's upper limit. That means the man was likely smaller than that.


How tall was Smith?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 12:44 am

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Then that would disqualify Gallaway since his 1918 passport application listed his height as 5' 8 and a half.
Gallaway is not 5'8 1/2". We have photos of him which allow a fairly good estimate which turns out to be somewhere around 5'3".


So then you are implying that Gallaway exaggerated his height on that passport application?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 1:06 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
lybrary wrote:Smith's first statement on height to Gardner was: "Andrews was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’ 6"."


Then that would disqualify Gallaway since his 1918 passport application listed his height as 5' 8 and a half.

Bill--That was a mind boggling post of literary sources that Sanders mined (pun intended) for his written works. Marvelous!


Yes, great list tracking down all those literary references!

One really obscure one is in his self-bio he refers to "nixkumarouse". There's a single reference in a Mark Twain short story/sketch ("Yurrup" ..i.e. Europe) to that name.

I think it's likely that Sanders read a fair amount of Twain, who was very popular. But also because of the humor and all the colloquial speech and accents that Sanders seems to love (and that Twain used extensively too).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 1:08 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
lybrary wrote:Smith's first statement on height to Gardner was: "Andrews was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’ 6"."


Then that would disqualify Gallaway since his 1918 passport application listed his height as 5' 8 and a half.

Bill--That was a mind boggling post of literary sources that Sanders mined (pun intended) for his written works. Marvelous!


Yes, great list tracking down all those literary references!

One really obscure one is in his self-bio he refers to "nixkumarouse". There's a single reference in a Mark Twain short story/sketch ("Yurrup" ..i.e. Europe) to that name.

I think it's likely that Sanders read a fair amount of Twain, who was very popular. But also because of the humor and all the colloquial speech and accents that Sanders seems to love (and that Twain used extensively too).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 7th, 2018, 1:17 am

It seems that I got it backwards--attributing the height of 5'9 to Erdnase. Not a matter of being "misinformed", just clumsy. I wrote a comment that got wiped out when my smartphone crashed, and when I redid it, I must have transposed the figures. Anyway--the point is the discrepancy.

As for the question asked of me (what other characteristics of Sanders might be questioned if we can't trust his own word regarding his height--well, you folks are already discussing that. His fluency in foreign languages (which it was quite typical for braggarts to exaggerate, as it probably still is), his acquaintance with literature (easy to fake that too, by picking lines out of context, and copying from the numerous hacks that all too liberally interspersed their articles with bits from Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, et al).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 2:36 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:It seems that I got it backwards--attributing the height of 5'9 to Erdnase. Not a matter of being "misinformed", just clumsy. I wrote a comment that got wiped out when my smartphone crashed, and when I redid it, I must have transposed the figures. Anyway--the point is the discrepancy.

As for the question asked of me (what other characteristics of Sanders might be questioned if we can't trust his own word regarding his height--well, you folks are already discussing that. His fluency in foreign languages (which it was quite typical for braggarts to exaggerate, as it probably still is), his acquaintance with literature (easy to fake that too, by picking lines out of context, and copying lines from the numerous hacks that all too liberally interspersed their articles with bits from Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, et al).


Ok, but those literary references aren't claims he made, which is what you said. So perhaps you're saying that if he exaggerated his height, then we should infer that his use of foreign words and literary references is also fake in some respect. However, that's too simplistic, since much of learning (and intelligence) is the ability to do exactly what he has shown himself capable of doing -- to effectively put a witty or relevant quote, foreign word, literary reference, or bit of wordplay in the right context. He's very adept at doing that. So I think you're grasping at straws.

I don't see any deeper learning in Erdnase than Sanders. Both write very well, with clarity and insight, evidence of their intelligence and education. But neither comes off as an academic or a scholar. The closest is Sanders' Montana article, which demanded a scholarly treatment, due to the subject matter. Also, the recent debate about whether or not Sanders was "bookish" was off base, since bookishness connotes a stereotype of someone who loves books but lacks social skills. Sanders may have worked for the Historical Society and been well educated, but he was very worldly. The same goes for Erdnase, whoever he was. And neither seems bookish in the least.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 7th, 2018, 10:29 am

Bob: No, I am not "grasping at straws". I am not interested in advocating or opposing any particular candidate. My purpose is chiefly to offer my criticism of the logic employed by either side.

If one has reason to believe that Sanders was dishonest, tending to exaggerate, then this opens up the proverbial "tin of worms".

I would rather suggest that you all adhere to the supposed facts, and do so consistently.

Of course, the truth is that neither method--taking the evidence at face value, or picking and choosing which bits work for you--is going to prove anything.

But if you are trying to be logical, you need to either accept the premise that nothing is a lie (until it is established), or anything could be a lie (unless it has been established).

I like your remark about Sanders' articles, which you say, "demanded a scholarly treatment". I think you are on the right track there.

But this only suggests that an author's choice of words and phrases may vary with the subject, and with the manner in which he feels he ought to address the reader.

The differences in tone and language between "Erdnase" and Sanders, or Gallaway, are not terribly important. Certainly not distinct enough to rule out the possibility of either of the two having written EATCT.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 7th, 2018, 10:38 am

Bill Mullins wrote:FWIW, Gallaway's 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2".


This is a typo. It should read "Sanders' 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2"."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 7th, 2018, 11:36 am

jkeyes1000 wrote: My purpose is chiefly to offer my criticism of the logic employed by either side.


no comment

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 11:42 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:FWIW, Gallaway's 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2".
This is a typo. It should read "Sanders' 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2"."
Which independently corroborates his own bio with 5'9" and firmly establishes that Sanders was too tall to be Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 11:50 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:FWIW, Gallaway's 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2".
This is a typo. It should read "Sanders' 1918 Passport application says his height was 5' 8-1/2"."
Which independently corroborates his own bio with 5'9" and firmly establishes that Sanders was too tall to be Erdnase.


Which now begs the question--how tall was Marshall Smith?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 12:17 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Which now begs the question--how tall was Marshall Smith?
If you apply a bit of logic and combine Smith's statements that he was certain he was looking down on him, and that Erdnase was no taller than 5'6", that would make Smith probably 5'7" or very close to that.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 12:42 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Which now begs the question--how tall was Marshall Smith?
If you apply a bit of logic and combine Smith's statements that he was certain he was looking down on him, and that Erdnase was no taller than 5'6", that would make Smith probably 5'7" or very close to that.


No--The more accurate answer is that would make Smith between 5'7 and 5'11. Smith could have been 5'9 or 5'10 and looking down at a 5'8 Sanders. Smith remained adamant that if Erdnase was 6'1, he would have had to look up at him. That would have had to put Smith between 5'7 and 5'11.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 7th, 2018, 1:13 pm

I would assume that if a man like Smith says that a fellow he met was no taller than 5'6, that he would have his own good reason for believing it. He probably knew a number of folks whom he knew to be 5'6, and could therefore guess quite easily, based on experience.

I know that I am 5'9, and I would have no trouble estimating the height of someone three inches shorter. Even thinking back years ago, I feel I could determine the height of someone I had seen, face to face. There are markers everywhere--the height of a doorframe, a window, a picture on a wall, etc.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 1:19 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:If one has reason to believe that Sanders was dishonest, tending to exaggerate, then this opens up the proverbial "tin of worms".

I would rather suggest that you all adhere to the supposed facts, and do so consistently.

Of course, the truth is that neither method--taking the evidence at face value, or picking and choosing which bits work for you--is going to prove anything.

But if you are trying to be logical, you need to either accept the premise that nothing is a lie (until it is established), or anything could be a lie (unless it has been established).



That's a false dichotomy. Logic can be applied to at any level, including something as simple as pointing out unwarranted assumptions and self-contradictory statements. And it can apply when there's uncertainty.

Yes everyone should try to adhere to facts consistently.

Little to none of the evidence I'm aware of for Sanders knowledge (literary, historical, linguistic, scientific) relies on claims he made. Instead we can make reasonable inferences based on his background/education and the content and style of his writing. You can argue against those inferences; but you can't reject them as being false claims (on the supposition that if he exaggerated his height then all his claims are thereby suspect). So logic does apply here -- but it demands that the arguments be clearly drawn and fit the facts at hand.


I like your remark about Sanders' articles, which you say, "demanded a scholarly treatment". I think you are on the right track there.

But this only suggests that an author's choice of words and phrases may vary with the subject, and with the manner in which he feels he ought to address the reader.

The differences in tone and language between "Erdnase" and Sanders, or Gallaway, are not terribly important. Certainly not distinct enough to rule out the possibility of either of the two having written EATCT.


Right, different domains and genres put different constraints on the type of language and thoughts expressed. Sanders shows he can write about a variety of topics and adapt his style accordingly. There's quite a difference between his humorous/personable college reunion (and letter-to-the-editor) writing vs the more scholarly Montana article vs the technical, process/method-oriented mining articles. Despite the varied domains, there are stylistic overlaps between all those, and a common voice can be heard among the differences. Similarly, we can say that there's a unity in EATCT between the more philosophical- and opinion-oriented intro and the method-oriented sleights sections. And the Card Tricks patter, as you have pointed out is also very well crafted, while being written in a more performative oratorical style. These different aspects of EATCT have significant overlap with the corresponding samples of writing we have from Sanders.

Commonality in language, tone, and themes are very important, just as overall quality of the writing is very important. It's a large reason why Erdnase is of interest -- he's not only imparts knowledge (a wealth of card sleights), but does so in a very clear, incisive, and quotable manner. Sanders and Erdnase sound uncannily alike, and it's illuminating to explore why that is. We can identify what common themes and linguistic patterns emerge.

In contrast, Gallaway (to my ear) is a non-starter. His writing sounds clunky and amateurish, with ugly repetition of the same words within the same sentence; incorrect or missing punctuation; awkward pattern of addressing the reader as "you"; confusing/incorrect agreement between subject and verb; etc. While he seems earnest and intelligent and can structure his thoughts, he just doesn't have much facility with putting words on the page. It feels like a struggle.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:And the Card Tricks patter, as you have pointed out is also very well crafted, while being written in a more performative oratorical style.
Well put. Gallaway was literally an orator.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 2:09 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Which now begs the question--how tall was Marshall Smith?
If you apply a bit of logic and combine Smith's statements that he was certain he was looking down on him, and that Erdnase was no taller than 5'6", that would make Smith probably 5'7" or very close to that.


No--The more accurate answer is that would make Smith between 5'7 and 5'11. Smith could have been 5'9 or 5'10 and looking down at a 5'8 Sanders. Smith remained adamant that if Erdnase was 6'1, he would have had to look up at him. That would have had to put Smith between 5'7 and 5'11.


I think the key point is that Smith remembered that he was taller than Erdnase. It's relatively easy to know if you're taller, shorter, or roughly the same height as someone else. So that's probably a pretty reliable fact. It's much harder to accurately estimate someone's exact height, especially 45 years later.

In The Man Who Was Erdnase, Smith is described as "a TALL and handsome man of about 25". So sounds like he was probably in the 5' 11 or 6' range (and would have to look up at the over 6' 1" MFA). At that height, he would be quite a bit taller than Sanders.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 2:17 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:And the Card Tricks patter, as you have pointed out is also very well crafted, while being written in a more performative oratorical style.
Well put. Gallaway was literally an orator.


So what? That patter was written to be performed to an audience and hence was tailored to fit a certain more formal presentational/oratorical form. Anyone can write in any form; that's not the issue. Are you saying that Gallaway's actual oratory (besides the fact that it might be in the same genre) is similar to what we find in Erdnase? If so, do you have any examples?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 7th, 2018, 2:19 pm

And then there's the fact that Smith was a figure artist. His training no doubt involved some kind of anatomical study which must have lent him a better than average ability to estimate a person's height, based on bodily proportion.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:In The Man Who Was Erdnase, Smith is described as "a TALL and handsome man of about 25". So sounds like he was probably in the 5' 11 or 6' range (and would have to look up at the over 6' 1" MFA). At that height, he would be quite a bit taller than Sanders.


That is an interesting find Bob! Since I don't have that text, can you give a little more? Who described him?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 2:53 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:And then there's the fact that Smith was a figure artist. His training no doubt involved some kind of anatomical study which must have lent him a better than average ability to estimate a person's height, based on bodily proportion.


Sure, that's something to take into account. But it's only one of several factors.

45 years is a very long time, and judging someone's height, even in the present, is at best an estimate. And while we don't actually know Sanders' exact height, we do know that he was not tall. So there are wide error bars and Sanders seems to fit within them.

Addendum... Sanders was listed as 5' 8" for his college crew team (with everyone's heights and weights).

http://spectatorarchive.library.columbi ... ders------

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 3:16 pm

The hands depicted in Expert are not those of a 5'8"-5'9" man. They are those of a ~5'4" which independently corroborates Smith's statement of no more than 5'6". Sanders is too tall to be Erdnase. Sanders was a rower, an athlete, not a 'very small man of slight build'.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 3:37 pm

lybrary wrote:The hands depicted in Expert are not those of a 5'8"-5'9" man. They are those of a ~5'4" which independently corroborates Smith's statement of no more than 5'6". Sanders is too tall to be Erdnase. Sanders was a rower, an athlete, not a 'very small man of slight build'.


130 pounds for a man that was 5' 8 means he was fairly skinny. "Slight build" would be a fair assessment of Sanders' physique. You can clearly see in that 1890 photo he was not a big guy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 4:32 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:In The Man Who Was Erdnase, Smith is described as "a TALL and handsome man of about 25". So sounds like he was probably in the 5' 11 or 6' range (and would have to look up at the over 6' 1" MFA). At that height, he would be quite a bit taller than Sanders.


That is an interesting find Bob! Since I don't have that text, can you give a little more? Who described him?


The information in that section seems to be primarily from Gardner's notes of his interview with Smith (according to a footnote on the previous paragraph). Here's a little more of the context (written with the presumption that MFA was Erdnase);

By winter of 1901-02 the manuscript was complete. Andrews was staying in a room in a cheap Chicago hotel on the corner of Congress and State streets, and had opened an account with a major local bank. With the manuscript finished, he now needed an illustrator capable of rendering precise technical illustrations to supplement the explicit text. He found him (probably through the McKinney Co.) in a one-man downtown office. The was Marshall D. Smith. (21)

Smith a tall and handsome man of about 25, had been born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on the banks of the Mississippi. Moving to Chicago, he'd studied at the Chicago Art Institute in the 1890s. He then set up his office where he was struggling to succeed as a commercial illustrator, working mostly for cheaper magazines and newspapers.

Andrews told Smith he wished to hire him to illustrate a book (true). He explained he was a reformed gambler (which he wasn't) who had come from the East (true) to get a book published (true) that would expose the tricks of cardsharps (actually to teach the art). ....


It's interesting that Erdnase told Smith that he was from the east. That could be easily said of Erdnase who spent a lot of time in NY and elsewhere in the east.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 4:34 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:130 pounds for a man that was 5' 8 means he was fairly skinny. "Slight build" would be a fair assessment of Sanders' physique. You can clearly see in that 1890 photo he was not a big guy.
That was his weight in 1882, just after entering school. He gives his weight in 1911 as 160lb, closer to the weight he would have had when he was 40. 5'8"-9" and 160lb is not a 'very small man of slight build'. Sanders' case is done. Height is a pretty firm and hard requirement which Sanders does not meet. He cannot be Erdnase. It took a while for the height discrepancy to sink in with MFA. It will happen with Sanders, too. I am surprised that nobody pointed out the clear height issue with Sanders before. We could have saved ourselves lots of back and forth. For me the case is closed. It doesn't matter anymore how many linguistic similarities you can list. It doesn't matter how many decks of cards he packed to go on a trip. Sanders can't be Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 4:41 pm

lybrary wrote:The hands depicted in Expert are not those of a 5'8"-5'9" man. They are those of a ~5'4" which independently corroborates Smith's statement of no more than 5'6". Sanders is too tall to be Erdnase. Sanders was a rower, an athlete, not a 'very small man of slight build'.


How can you determine with any confidence his height based on the pictures in the book?

Surely there's a lot of variation in hand size based on height. i.e. People same height can have quite different hand sizes. Plus there's difficulty and error in estimating hand size from the illustrations. They look on the smallish size to me but not tiny. Plus it's hard to know how accurate the illustrations are in that regard anyway.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 4:50 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:130 pounds for a man that was 5' 8 means he was fairly skinny. "Slight build" would be a fair assessment of Sanders' physique. You can clearly see in that 1890 photo he was not a big guy.
That was his weight in 1882, just after entering school. He gives his weight in 1911 as 160lb, closer to the weight he would have had when he was 40. 5'8"-9" and 160lb is not a 'very small man of slight build'. Sanders' case is done. Height is a pretty firm and hard requirement which Sanders does not meet. He cannot be Erdnase. It took a while for the height discrepancy to sink in with MFA. It will happen with Sanders, too. I am surprised that nobody pointed out the clear height issue with Sanders before. We could have saved ourselves lots of back and forth. For me the case is closed. It doesn't matter anymore how many linguistic similarities you can list. It doesn't matter how many decks of cards he packed to go on a trip. Sanders can't be Erdnase.


It must be nice to see the world in such a black and white fashion. You haven't actually addressed any of the objections raised about the accuracy of Smith's memories from 45 years prior. People are much better at judging heights for people the same rough size as themselves (e.g. an inch taller, or inch shorter). For bigger differences, they tend to batch them, where exact differences are collapsed and people put into buckets. And surely this effect is even stronger for something 45 years in the past. You'll just be able to assign rough qualitative difference (e.g. "i had to look down") and be less accurate about an exact size.

btw, David Alexander, in this thread years ago said that Gardner was able to get Smith to admit that Erdnase could have been 5' 7". (I can't vouch for that being true, not having the notes of the interview). So, if that's the case, then we're talking a one inch difference. Seems like Sanders is a very good match to me.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 5:02 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:btw, David Alexander, in this thread years ago said that Gardner was able to get Smith to admit that Erdnase could have been 5' 7". (I can't vouch for that being true, not having the notes of the interview). So, if that's the case, then we're talking a one inch difference. Seems like Sanders is a very good match to me.


You got that right, Bob! Thanks for the clarification from TMWWE. Evidently, Gardner considered Smith a tall man. Naturally, a young man tends to gain weight as he ages and his metabolism begins to slow down. Sanders gained 30 pounds in 28 years, that's about a 10 pound gain per decade. In 1901 he would have weighed about 150 pounds. That still isn't enough weight to put Sanders on the stout, or beefy side.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 5:10 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:
lybrary wrote:The hands depicted in Expert are not those of a 5'8"-5'9" man. They are those of a ~5'4" which independently corroborates Smith's statement of no more than 5'6". Sanders is too tall to be Erdnase. Sanders was a rower, an athlete, not a 'very small man of slight build'.
How can you determine with any confidence his height based on the pictures in the book?

Surely there's a lot of variation in hand size based on height. i.e. People same height can have quite different hand sizes. Plus there's difficulty and error in estimating hand size from the illustrations. They look on the smallish size to me but not tiny. Plus it's hard to know how accurate the illustrations are in that regard anyway.
It is an idea by Marco Pusterla. Take illustration 79 (back palm) from Expert, where the hand is straight. We know the length of the card to be 88 mm, which allows one to determine the hand to be ~163 mm long. Using human proportions, which were already known to Da Vinci, you get a man of about 163 cm or 5'4". Of course, not everybody will exactly exhibit these proportions, so perhaps the man was anywhere from 5'2" - 5'6". But he was not 5'8 1/2" - 5'9". (The 5'8" is when he entered school. It appears he grew another half inch, which is not uncommon for men ~20 years of age.)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 5:30 pm

lybrary wrote:Of course, not everybody will exactly exhibit these proportions, so perhaps the man was anywhere from 5'2" - 5'6". But he was not 5'8 1/2" - 5'9". (The 5'8" is when he entered school. It appears he grew another half inch, which is not uncommon for men ~20 years of age.)


You can't be sure Erdnase wasn't 5'8 to 5'9 based on Smith's illustrations. That's your best guess. Nothing more.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 5:37 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:You can't be sure Erdnase wasn't 5'8 to 5'9 based on Smith's illustrations. That's your best guess. Nothing more.
Yes we can be sure, because it matches what Smith said, not taller than 5'6". Two independent facts that lead to the same conclusion. That is solid evidence.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 6:15 pm

lybrary wrote:We know the length of the card to be 88 mm, which allows one to determine the hand to be ~163 mm long. Using human proportions, which were already known to Da Vinci, you get a man of about 163 cm or 5'4".


We know the length of the playing card, and from that you extrapolated "facts." You're guessing on the anatomical accuracy of Smith's illustrations. Nobody can tell a man's height from those drawings.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:We know the length of the playing card, and from that you extrapolated "facts." You're guessing on the anatomical accuracy of Smith's illustrations. Nobody can tell a man's height from those drawings.
These were traced from photos and thus they are very accurate. I am sure you will now ask how I know these are traced from photographs.

1) Because that is what Smith said. Gardner wrote: "He recognized his lettering on the book pictures, but not the drawings themselves. He thinks it strange he can’t recall doing the drawings, which must have been big job, so probably did them from photographs."

2) The professional opinion of Richard Kaufman who has done many thousands of illustrations for magic books: "These illustrations could not have been sketched from life. It seems impossible to me that this degree of anatomical accuracy could have been reproduced from quick sketches made from looking at Erdnase's hands. My own experience forces me to assume that they have been traced from photographs."

And regarding what is written on the title page: "drawings from life". A photo is obviously "from life". It is a snapshot of life. Tracing a photo doesn't change that. Therefore tracing photos are "drawings from life". And even if you do not agree with me on this point, Erdnase may have lied. He was a cheat after all. He wouldn't mind using some verbal sleight-of-hand.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 7th, 2018, 6:50 pm

Nobody can tell me by looking at these two photographs of David Ben's hands how tall he is. I rode in an elevator with him and know how tall he is. Anyone unfamiliar with him cannot tell me his height from these two photographs. This is just more bunk from Chris.


Image







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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Mahdi Gilbert » April 7th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Erdnase used Hidden Leaves: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mahdigilbert/hidden-leaves-playing-cards-by-mahdi-the-magician - M.D. Smith
I discovered this by analyzing the writings and illustrations of every man living in the US in the 1900s whose names included the letters: s,w,e,r,d,n,a,s,e. I ran it my finding through deep blue. Mystery solved.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 7th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Nobody can tell me by looking at these two photographs of David Ben's hands how tall he is. I rode in an elevator with him and know how tall he is. Anyone unfamiliar with him cannot tell me his height from these two photographs. This is just more bunk from Chris.
If you have a photo of his outstretched hand together with a regular size poker playing card I am more than happy to do the same analysis for David.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Mahdi Gilbert » April 7th, 2018, 8:04 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Nobody can tell me by looking at these two photographs of David Ben's hands how tall he is. I rode in an elevator with him and know how tall he is. Anyone unfamiliar with him cannot tell me his height from these two photographs. This is just more bunk from Chris.
If you have a photo of his outstretched hand together with a regular size poker playing card I am more than happy to do the same analysis for David.


Can you tell how tall I am from my hands?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 7th, 2018, 9:11 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:We know the length of the playing card, and from that you extrapolated "facts." You're guessing on the anatomical accuracy of Smith's illustrations. Nobody can tell a man's height from those drawings.
These were traced from photos and thus they are very accurate.


Smith doesn't appear to have been very accurate in his depictions.

For example, take a look at figure 77. The card is presented straight on (i.e. no appreciable tilting or skew). However, it's clearly too wide (relative to it height). If Smith's illustrations were accurate, that would be impossible. How do you explain that?


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