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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

    Yes, we agree that life events are improbable, that was one of the fundamental points I was making.

    - Jeff
    Hi Jeff,

    In the interests of allowing our dear readers some peace from all this, we may need to agree to disagree.

    I would leave you and everyone else with a thought:

    If two things (one of which is pretty jolly implausible indeed) happened on the same day after so long when they haven't happened previously - where there is a rather obvious common denominator (James Maybrick in the case) - does not surprise you because improbable events coinciding are just a natural and permanent part of life, is there anything at all which does surprise you, ever? I assume the answer is 'No'? Certainly, that seems to be what you are saying.

    And yet, you would ask for evidence to support your hypothesis that causality played a role which seems strange to even suggest because you have already excluded causality by dint of chance just happening all of the time? Which implies that you would be surprised by some things, but perhaps not all things? In this case, you'd want evidence of floorboard dust on a document which - for all any of us knows - was protected in some kind of container or cloth from which you'd start to infer causality, but you wouldn't pursue the fact that 'Phonecall Guy lived in Liverpool (of all places to live!) or that Electrician Lad (I choose my initials carefully) drank in the same pub (of all places to drink!) as 'Phonecall Guy some eight miles away from Maybrick's house? So do we just pick and choose which bits of evidence we feel imply causality and ignore the others or is there some hard and fast measure of what justifies our dive into hypotheses?

    Ike
    Iconoclast

    Comment


    • Dear Readers,

      If James Maybrick's floorboards came up for the first time on the record on March 9, 21992 (20,000 years later than they did) and on the same day, some futuristic (OMG!) Mike Barrett rang some futuristic Rupert Crew asking if they were interested in James Maybrick's Jack the Ripper diary, Jeff Hamm would not be even vaguely surprised. Why? Well, because life is constantly throwing-up improbable events by chance alone.

      Not these events, note! These events happened once in a 20,103 years but Jeff thinks that's fine - perfectly likely.

      Now, they happened after 103 years not 20,103 years, but if you'd be amazed after 20,103 years, would you not still be amazed after 103?

      What is your personal cut-off of credulity into incredulity? How many years had to pass before you would be surprised to find these two events happening on the same day by mere chance alone?

      Cheers,

      Ike
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Bob and John both went to the cinema last week (Mon-Sun) but you aren't sure which day they went - it could have been any of those days.

        It turns out that they both went on the Wednesday.

        What were the odds that they both went on Wednesday by sheer chance alone?

        I'm sure everyone has worked it out but it's 1-in-7 for anyone who hasn't.

        Not a particularly surprising turn of events, I'm sure you'd agree. Quite likely to happen by chance.

        But what if it had been 1-in-37,557? Would anyone be surprised and start looking for causality?

        It's the self-same probability, guys, only with different coinciding events to consider.

        Still not surprised?

        Ike
        Iconoclast

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
          Dear Readers,

          If James Maybrick's floorboards came up for the first time on the record on March 9, 21992 (20,000 years later than they did) and on the same day, some futuristic (OMG!) Mike Barrett rang some futuristic Rupert Crew asking if they were interested in James Maybrick's Jack the Ripper diary, Jeff Hamm would not be even vaguely surprised. Why? Well, because life is constantly throwing-up improbable events by chance alone.
          The universe threw-up you, Ike--a person who actually believes in the authenticity of the Maybrick Hoax--and that is very improbable indeed.

          So improbable that I still have a hard time believing it.

          I imagine a competent logician and statistician in the year 21,992 wouldn't be surprised for a number of reasons, including the embarrassing fact that the diary doesn't even mention floorboards.

          The last entry of the hoax--May 3rd--dates to a time when the historic James Maybrick wasn't yet bedridden at Battlecrease, but 8 days earlier, when he was still going to work in his office in Central Liverpool (which, odd to say, was on the same site where Anne Graham worked--the wife of the man who first came forward with the diary! Another amazing 'coincidence' that is seldom mentioned, but conveniently avoided).

          Thus, events that didn't even involve 'Battlecrease' could also have triggered the development of a 'story.' The excavation of John Over's outhouse, for instance.

          Ultimately, it is safe to say that Paul Feldman got it right all those years ago.

          When originally quizzed by their employer, the electricians admitted they had found nothing. It was just another day on the job.

          But news of the 'Diary of Jack the Ripper' was in the air, and when quizzed again by several interested parties, a 'story' began to emerge...a book...two books...a biscuit tin...someone remembering something...Vincent Dring...a pillow-slip under a car seat...someone making a weird sidelong glance...

          Feldman eventually suspected that it was his own investigation that had triggered the invention of these stories. The human element: the desire of one of the workers to appear in a documentary about Jack the Ripper, and maybe pick up a few quid.

          All in the economic downturn of 1992, in the street-smart City of Liverpool, one might estimate the odds of this having happened at around 100%

          Thus, in the end, Feldman rejected the provenance, knowing that there really isn't anything that unusual about a guy having work done on his old house, and, since the diary didn't even 'predict' floorboards (by mentioning them), it was just a red-herring.

          The rest is just a misuse of statistics.

          But thanks anyway, Ike. Your analysis will serve as a fitting final memorial to the Maybrick Hoax.

          ...and the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          By the way, as you keep claiming that the floorboards were lifted for the first time in 1992, it might be worth reminding your dear readers what the owner told Shirley Harrison:


          Click image for larger version  Name:	Floorboards Lifted.JPG Views:	0 Size:	57.3 KB ID:	763222

          Have a nice day, Ike.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

            By the way, as you keep claiming that the floorboards were lifted for the first time in 1992, it might be worth reminding your dear readers what the owner told Shirley Harrison:


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            Have a nice day, Ike.
            Dear, dear. It might be worth reminding my dear readers (because you obviously never would RJ) that I was at pains to remember as often as possible to type on the record. I even started to put them in bold to stress this.

            I do not doubt that Paul remembered the late summer of 1991 correctly, but it is possible that he was wrong and therefore my faith in him was wrong, hence my clarity around on the record (look, I've just gone and done it again, though I have no hope whatsoever that you'll factor this in at any point).

            I think my readers will recall I was prepared to grant you 37 occasions (even when we knew of perhaps just three - Knowsley Buildings coming down, late summer 1991, and March 9, 1992). Both 3/37,557 and 37/37,557 are remarkably low probabilities if you are a lover of chance.
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

              Nice attempt to get a fellow poster banned, Caz, but I am careful to only quote 'Orsam' if it is something already available on this website. As I already noted, the excerpt was taken from the 'Acquiring a Victorian Diary' thread.
              It must be tough going through life with such a suspicious and paranoid nature, RJ. Villains everywhere you look. My guess is that you have suffered all your life at the hands of unscrupulous people, so you just accept it as part of your lot in life. I have lived at ten different addresses in the south of England, and have never once been burgled or robbed. I have never been swindled out of money for goods or services I didn't want or never received. My life savings have always been safe from Nigerian princes or electricians on the make. Perhaps I'm just one of the lucky ones, who are less naturally suspicious of everyone because they have experienced nothing to make them that way. If it is ever proved that the Barretts and/or the Johnsons had a hand in creating the diary and watch engravings, to scam the book-buying public, I will hold my own hands up and admit to a one-off instance of being conned rotten.

              I was the one taking the greater risk of losing my posting privileges, by quoting a line of post-casebook Awfulese, so I really would have needed to be 'terminally dense' to do that in an attempt to get you banned. You really must think your contributions are beginning to hit home, but they have yet to scratch the surface and seem to get shallower and more petulant as time goes on. Why on earth would I not want you around, when every day is a source of fun, as one little maid said to the other?

              Nobody likes to be accused of being 'terminally dense', whether they are or not. So when you quoted the Good Lord at some length, to demonstrate how obvious it is [or was when he posted it] that he does not [or did not] believe Mike and Eddie knew one another until Feldy alerted Mike to Eddie's existence in 1993, and that anyone not getting that must be 'terminally dense', I was prepared to risk it for a biscuit and post the briefest possible line from one of his more recent thoughts, in which he put forth a way to get around the double event 'coincidence', by suggesting that if they were already friends by 9th March 1992, they could easily have mentioned Maybrick in conversation, making the coincidence disappear. In fact, he was doing a fair impression of what normal people do, in the absence of clear evidence for one of their beliefs, and exploring alternatives in case that belief turns out to be wrong. You should try it some time.

              If someone suggests that Eddie and Mike knew each other prior to 9 March 1992, and may have used Eddie's knowledge of upcoming repairs at Dodd's house to created a bogus backstory (later abandoned), you swiftly swoop in and declare there is not a whiff of evidence that Mike and Eddy knew each other.
              No. I was actually providing evidence that from late November 1991 to 7th March 1992, Eddie could not have seen Mike in The Saddle on any weekday lunchtime, but I allowed for the possibility that they may both have used the pub at other times, eg evenings or Sundays. I didn't have to do that and you and others could have continued to speculate to your hearts' content about the wealth of possibilities for the pair of scallies to have discussed Maybrick and his old house in the run up to the first day in 1992 when any work was done there. Again you write about 'upcoming repairs', which is what misled Jeff. Nothing was being repaired. Do you do this deliberately?

              But when someone asks why Eddie would then peddle the priceless artifact---the Diary of Jack the Ripper!--to a complete stranger for twenty-five pounds, suddenly Mike & Eddie are bosom buddies. Eddie sought-out Mike because he knew he was a writer! Thus that now famous sprint from Battlecrease to The Saddle, all while the sun is quickly sinking, and the crew at Crew are headed home for the afternoon.
              I don't remember where I put forth this precise scenario as a possibility, but perhaps you can find the posts, as you did easily enough with His Royal Awfulness? But you have this unfortunate habit of dredging up old posts to 'out' people for their ability and willingness to change their minds and consider alternative scenarios as their knowledge and understanding grows of what is or isn't possible - as if that's a bad thing. What's the point in having a mind if you are not willing to change it, and you condemn others the moment they change theirs?

              Most recently I allowed for the possibility that Mike and Eddie met for the first time on the lunchtime of Monday 9th March, because the evidence shows that their opportunities for seeing each other there previously were limited. I may not have fully appreciated or remembered that before. I also allowed for Mike seeing the "old book" that day for the first time, but not actually taking possession of it [or any cash changing hands] until some time later. Eddie went unexpectedly AWOL from the long-term Skem contract, following foorboards day, while Mike told Doreen he was off to York. That may have been because he didn't yet have the diary or the opportunity to study the contents more closely and didn't want her asking questions before he had answers. I'll be generous and let you use the same argument if you haven't already - he only said he was off to York to buy himself time to obtain a suitable old book for his hoax. There, you can't say fairer than that.

              And when someone asks why Eddie would hand over the priceless artifact--the Diary of Jack the Ripper!-- to the stranger Mike Barrett on credit, while awaiting to learn the going-rate for a 'partially blank Victorian diary' from Martin Earl, you suddenly grow silent. Even though that preposterous explanation is what you want us to believe.
              For silent, read speechless. It's predictable and it's boring to read scenarios which you invent and then attribute to others. I have never suggested a scenario in which Eddie handed over what he thought could be a priceless artifact to a stranger on credit.

              You think you can make me look foolish with such tricks, but you only end up making a fool of yourself. Why not go the whole hog and conflate bits from every alternative scenario ever suggested for anything at any time, pretend it's all part of someone's single, immutable theory, and then scoff at all the internal contradictions you claim to have detected, when it was you who put them there? Do you not see that this would be beyond imbecilic in a public forum, where everyone knows your name and can see your game?



              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                Dear, dear. It might be worth reminding my dear readers (because you obviously never would RJ) that I was at pains to remember as often as possible to type on the record. I even started to put them in bold to stress this.

                I do not doubt that Paul remembered the late summer of 1991 correctly, but it is possible that he was wrong and therefore my faith in him was wrong, hence my clarity around on the record (look, I've just gone and done it again, though I have no hope whatsoever that you'll factor this in at any point).

                I think my readers will recall I was prepared to grant you 37 occasions (even when we knew of perhaps just three - Knowsley Buildings coming down, late summer 1991, and March 9, 1992). Both 3/37,557 and 37/37,557 are remarkably low probabilities if you are a lover of chance.
                The summer of 1992 saw the installation of storage heaters in Maybrick's bedroom, not the late summer of 1991. On record. Fact.

                The preparation for that installation was done on 9th and 10th March 1992. On record. Fact.

                No work was done at the house by Portus & Rhodes in 1990 or 1991. On record. Fact.

                If the diary is meant to have entered Mike's consciousness as a concept, if not a reality, before 1992, going back to 1990 or even earlier, then don't we have to at the very least factor in all the days work was or wasn't done in 1990 and 1991, because Mike could have tried to interest a publisher at any time from when he first thought of such a diary? If it didn't need to be in his possession - or even created - on 9th March 1992, in order to make that call, he could have made the same call on any previous weekday, going back to whenever he first thought of writing a best seller based on JtR's diary. In fact, it could have saved him an awful lot of bother if he had tried to establish that basic interest at the earliest opportunity and failed to get a bite.

                Of course, if he first saw the diary on 9th March 1992, that would have been his earliest opportunity.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                Last edited by caz; 07-22-2021, 04:12 PM.
                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                Comment


                • Hi Caz,

                  Originally posted by caz View Post

                  The summer of 1992 saw the installation of storage heaters in Maybrick's bedroom, not the late summer of 1991. On record. Fact.

                  The preparation for that installation was done on 9th and 10th March 1992. On record. Fact.

                  No work was done at the house by Portus & Rhodes in 1990 or 1991. On record. Fact.
                  Okay, so we go back to a numerator of 1 (March 9, 1992) or 2 (March 9, 1992 plus the unknown day in the 1960s that Maybrick's office was demolished). The odds go back to 1/37,557 or 2/37,557 depending upon how on the record you feel a possible data should be. Evidently, Paul Dodds' recollection of late summer of 1991 was in truth wrong by an entire year so we can exclude the July of 1992 because The Miraculous Day had already occurred four months earlier so our odds can stop accumulating then.

                  If the diary is meant to have entered Mike's consciousness as a concept, if not a reality, before 1992, going back to 1990 or even earlier, then don't we have to at the very least factor in all the days work was or wasn't done in 1990 and 1991, because Mike could have tried to interest a publisher at any time from when he first thought of such a diary? If it didn't need to be in his possession - or even created - on 9th March 1992, in order to make that call, he could have made the same call on any previous weekday, going back to whenever he first thought of writing a best seller based on JtR's diary. In fact, it could have saved him an awful lot of bother if he had tried to establish that basic interest at the earliest opportunity and failed to get a bite.
                  Absolutely, Caz! But I would go further and ask why we would exclude 1889-1989 when someone could have brought any diary of Jack the Ripper purportedly by James Maybrick to a literary agent? We may sense that such an event would be unlikely but our instinct is irrelevant, not least because we know that that was exactly what actually happened on March 9, 1992, so why would we assume it couldn't have happened on any other day after Maybrick died? It didn't have to be the diary we got. It could have been any document, from any person, on any day after May 11, 1889.

                  The more days, months, years we allow to be excluded from our probability analysis, the less unlikely are the odds we get for the two events happening by chance alone. I'm very uncomfortable with taking any time out of the calculation because every day was a possibility.

                  I know you know all this, but sometimes it's just good to get it off your chest, isn't it?

                  Cheers,

                  Ike
                  Iconoclast

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                    Hi Caz,



                    Okay, so we go back to a numerator of 1 (March 9, 1992) or 2 (March 9, 1992 plus the unknown day in the 1960s that Maybrick's office was demolished). The odds go back to 1/37,557 or 2/37,557 depending upon how on the record you feel a possible data should be. Evidently, Paul Dodds' recollection of late summer of 1991 was in truth wrong by an entire year so we can exclude the July of 1992 because The Miraculous Day had already occurred four months earlier so our odds can stop accumulating then.



                    Absolutely, Caz! But I would go further and ask why we would exclude 1889-1989 when someone could have brought any diary of Jack the Ripper purportedly by James Maybrick to a literary agent? We may sense that such an event would be unlikely but our instinct is irrelevant, not least because we know that that was exactly what actually happened on March 9, 1992, so why would we assume it couldn't have happened on any other day after Maybrick died? It didn't have to be the diary we got. It could have been any document, from any person, on any day after May 11, 1889.

                    The more days, months, years we allow to be excluded from our probability analysis, the less unlikely are the odds we get for the two events happening by chance alone. I'm very uncomfortable with taking any time out of the calculation because every day was a possibility.

                    I know you know all this, but sometimes it's just good to get it off your chest, isn't it?

                    Cheers,

                    Ike
                    Hi Ike,

                    I was bending over backwards to be generous towards people like RJ and Orsam, who should at the very least have taken their workmen days back to when they believe the diary, or the concept, first grabbed a piece of Mike's mind. If that was in late 1990, for instance, just before Janet Devereux, according to her own testimony, borrowed Bongo's Tales of Liverpool in January 1991 and never returned it, then every working day in 1991 should have been included in the nefarious/erroneous/downright silly 1 in 18 calculation. If any earlier than that, then the days in 1990 too.

                    Love,

                    Contortionist Caz
                    X
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                      Hi Jeff,

                      In the interests of allowing our dear readers some peace from all this, we may need to agree to disagree.

                      I would leave you and everyone else with a thought:

                      If two things (one of which is pretty jolly implausible indeed) happened on the same day after so long when they haven't happened previously - where there is a rather obvious common denominator (James Maybrick in the case) - does not surprise you because improbable events coinciding are just a natural and permanent part of life, is there anything at all which does surprise you, ever? I assume the answer is 'No'? Certainly, that seems to be what you are saying.

                      And yet, you would ask for evidence to support your hypothesis that causality played a role which seems strange to even suggest because you have already excluded causality by dint of chance just happening all of the time? Which implies that you would be surprised by some things, but perhaps not all things? In this case, you'd want evidence of floorboard dust on a document which - for all any of us knows - was protected in some kind of container or cloth from which you'd start to infer causality, but you wouldn't pursue the fact that 'Phonecall Guy lived in Liverpool (of all places to live!) or that Electrician Lad (I choose my initials carefully) drank in the same pub (of all places to drink!) as 'Phonecall Guy some eight miles away from Maybrick's house? So do we just pick and choose which bits of evidence we feel imply causality and ignore the others or is there some hard and fast measure of what justifies our dive into hypotheses?

                      Ike
                      Your fundamental error is that you cannot use the observations that results in the hypothesis as proof of the hypothesis, it's circular logic. Nobody predicted that the diary was under the floorboards, rather, it came to light that work was done on Battlecrease on the day that Mike called the publisher. No matter what day work is done on a property, if you go back to the last time such work was done, that day will appear improbable for having work done, despite the fact that old buildings have a good chance of needing work done on them (and I see that Battlecrease has been worked on, quite extensively, over the years and was even gutted apparently). Regardless of the implications of that, a hypothesis was formed that maybe the diary was found during the last piece of work. You cannot then claim the floorboards lifting, being improbable, is any sort of proof of the hypothesis that the diary came from under the floorboards. You can't use the hypothesis as proof of itself. Any and all events, when you factor in enough detail, are as improbable as your date correspondance.

                      See, if something else happened on that day, rather than floorboard repairs let's say painting, or plumbing, or wiring, then one could use that as the hypothesis. We can make guesses based upon random events that are not connected, but if we use our observations as proof of our guess, we're being irrational and highly likely to be wrong. You're being deceived by the sirens call, the improbability you're focused on is irrelevant and presenting it as otherwise is a misuse of statistical probabilities with regards to research and investigations.

                      I know it feels right to you, that's called confirmation bias. Things that feel like what we believe and expect are seen as important, and correct, and appeal to common sense. Common sense, as I tell my class, is what we resort to when we have no clue how things work, so ignore it, and learn your tools and how they work.

                      You're misusing your tools. It's not an "agree to disagree" thing, it's not an opinion, it is about how statistics work when testing hypotheses. And what you're doing by calculating 1/37000+ is wrong in that regards.

                      - Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                        Okay, so we go back to a numerator of 1 (March 9, 1992) or 2 (March 9, 1992 plus the unknown day in the 1960s that Maybrick's office was demolished). The odds go back to 1/37,557 or 2/37,557 depending upon how on the record you feel a possible data should be. Evidently, Paul Dodds' recollection of late summer of 1991 was in truth wrong by an entire year so we can exclude the July of 1992 because....

                        Click image for larger version

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                        "For chrissake, Tom, go ahead and shoot me...throw me in the Thames...anything...just don't make me listen to anymore of your mindless yammering."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
                          I know it feels right to you, that's called confirmation bias.
                          On the contrary, Jeff, what you have committed is a fundamental attribution error. I have shown no confirmation bias whatsoever. I have simply pointed-out that there was a 1/37,557 chance that someone would call a literary agent on the same day that Maybrick's floorboards came up for the first time on the record (RJ). You have attributed to me the belief that I think the floorboards coming up was an improbable event. It wasn't improbable at all, but - Lord - it turned-out to be particularly rare in that particular house (thereby giving us our tiny numerator). It had never happened on the record since the day Maybrick died until March 9,1992. You have also attributed to me the argument that these two events coinciding are proof (or, at least, evidence) that one is therefore linked to the other (my 'hypothesis'). On the contrary, I have pointed-out (as you requested) that other facts serve our purpose for linking the two events together.

                          That said, it is hard not to note how utterly unlikely it is that these two events should happen at last and on the same day, 37,557 days after one or both could have happened previously. That implausibility is not something one should simply ignore as they were rather obviously and superficially linked by one James Maybrick. This is not confirmation bias. If I pass a shop which has tools in the window, I think it's reasonable to think the shop may be a hardware store. If it turns out to be a hardware store, did my confirmation bias make it so or make me think it so? In your world, it would seem that that shop could just as easily be a maternity clothes store.

                          Probability theory is not the preserve of researchers. It's a tool for everyone. It can be used in complex ways, and it can be used in simple ways. And this is quite obviously one of the latter. If it isn't, then two people going to the cinema during any seven day period do not have a 1-in-7 chance of going on the same evening by sheer chance alone. If you say that that is not true, or attempt to add in more variables, then we need to call it a day. It doesn't matter if it was the same cinema. It doesn't matter how many other films were on that night or whether there were other distractions which may have stopped one or both of them from choosing to go to the cinema. It doesn't matter how many people went to the cinema that night, how they got there, and what they did when they got there. If we know that those two people went to the cinema during that seven day period, even if a million other variables bore down on their journeys and their experiences, it was still a 1-in-7 chance that those two people would go to the cinema on the same evening during those seven days and all by pure chance alone.

                          What is true of the cinema-related probability is true of the Maybrick-related probability: if we know that Maybrick's floorboards came up on the record (RJ) once in the 37,557 days since James Maybrick died and we also know that one person once on the record (RJ) during those same days contacted a literary agent with James Maybrick's mooted diary of Jack the Ripper, then we can very quickly work out the odds that those two events happened on the same day. By March 9, 1992, when they had both happened, it was 1/37,557 because they happened to happen on the same day that day. Either could have happened on any other day but they did not. Bob could have gone to the cinema on the Tuesday whilst Bill went on the Wednesday, but they didn't, they went on the same day. What were the odds that they would go to the cinema on different days? Well, in the absence of any clarifying information, it is obviously 6/7. Equally, there was a 37,556-in-37,557 chance that the two Maybrick events would have happened on different days. Those odds are incredibly close to one once you get as high as 37,557 possible days, and yet they happened on the same day instead where the odds - ipso facto - were a great deal closer to zero.

                          It is about how statistics work when testing hypotheses.
                          Seriously, Jeff, when I'm tossing a coin a few times and working out the probability of getting what I got, I'm not testing any hypothesis. You just can't see past this because of your perspective. Crikey, that sounds a lot like confirmation bias to me.

                          Ike
                          Iconoclast

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                            On the contrary, Jeff, what you have committed is a fundamental attribution error. I have shown no confirmation bias whatsoever. I have simply pointed-out that there was a 1/37,557 chance that someone would call a literary agent on the same day that Maybrick's floorboards came up for the first time on the record (RJ). You have attributed to me the belief that I think the floorboards coming up was an improbable event. It wasn't improbable at all, but - Lord - it turned-out to be particularly rare in that particular house (thereby giving us our tiny numerator). It had never happened on the record since the day Maybrick died until March 9,1992. You have also attributed to me the argument that these two events coinciding are proof (or, at least, evidence) that one is therefore linked to the other (my 'hypothesis'). On the contrary, I have pointed-out (as you requested) that other facts serve our purpose for linking the two events together.

                            That said, it is hard not to note how utterly unlikely it is that these two events should happen at last and on the same day, 37,557 days after one or both could have happened previously. That implausibility is not something one should simply ignore as they were rather obviously and superficially linked by one James Maybrick. This is not confirmation bias. If I pass a shop which has tools in the window, I think it's reasonable to think the shop may be a hardware store. If it turns out to be a hardware store, did my confirmation bias make it so or make me think it so? In your world, it would seem that that shop could just as easily be a maternity clothes store.

                            Probability theory is not the preserve of researchers. It's a tool for everyone. It can be used in complex ways, and it can be used in simple ways. And this is quite obviously one of the latter. If it isn't, then two people going to the cinema during any seven day period do not have a 1-in-7 chance of going on the same evening by sheer chance alone. If you say that that is not true, or attempt to add in more variables, then we need to call it a day. It doesn't matter if it was the same cinema. It doesn't matter how many other films were on that night or whether there were other distractions which may have stopped one or both of them from choosing to go to the cinema. It doesn't matter how many people went to the cinema that night, how they got there, and what they did when they got there. If we know that those two people went to the cinema during that seven day period, even if a million other variables bore down on their journeys and their experiences, it was still a 1-in-7 chance that those two people would go to the cinema on the same evening during those seven days and all by pure chance alone.

                            What is true of the cinema-related probability is true of the Maybrick-related probability: if we know that Maybrick's floorboards came up on the record (RJ) once in the 37,557 days since James Maybrick died and we also know that one person once on the record (RJ) during those same days contacted a literary agent with James Maybrick's mooted diary of Jack the Ripper, then we can very quickly work out the odds that those two events happened on the same day. By March 9, 1992, when they had both happened, it was 1/37,557 because they happened to happen on the same day that day. Either could have happened on any other day but they did not. Bob could have gone to the cinema on the Tuesday whilst Bill went on the Wednesday, but they didn't, they went on the same day. What were the odds that they would go to the cinema on different days? Well, in the absence of any clarifying information, it is obviously 6/7. Equally, there was a 37,556-in-37,557 chance that the two Maybrick events would have happened on different days. Those odds are incredibly close to one once you get as high as 37,557 possible days, and yet they happened on the same day instead where the odds - ipso facto - were a great deal closer to zero.



                            Seriously, Jeff, when I'm tossing a coin a few times and working out the probability of getting what I got, I'm not testing any hypothesis. You just can't see past this because of your perspective. Crikey, that sounds a lot like confirmation bias to me.

                            Ike
                            The probability, despite it's complete irrelevance, would not be 1/37000+, as the probability for repairs increase as a property ages (as you've agreed). By how much? I don't know, that requires actual data, which we don't have. We know the probability will be greater than the equal distribution you're quoting though. There are all sorts of things that will increase the probability a property will undergo repairs; has it recently been sold, or shifted to a new generation of the family? (repairs, renovations, etc, tend to occur within a few years of coming under new "management", for lack of a better term). Have their been changes in housing requirements that require the building to be brought up to code? Have their been recent extreme weather events? and so forth. The probability of work being done on a property is not a flat distribution. So even if we're just interested in probability theory alone, we're using a flat distribution which would be the wrong one.

                            And no, your cinema example is also overly simplified. If two people go to the cinema, and we know they both went in the same week, the probability they both went on the same day is not going to be 1/7 because the probability of a random person going to the cinema is not equally divided over the days of the week. You would work it out based upon the distribution of cinema attendance over the course of a week, and one would find the probabilities for a random person going on Monday (for example) might be very low. As an extreme example to illustrate (and not meant to reflect reality), if people only went to the cinema on Friday, then the probability of our two people going on the same day becomes 100%.

                            And hammers can be used by anyone too, but not everyone can build a house, and those who misuse them will smash their thumb.

                            You keep saying you're not using the probabilities you're presenting as proof, or evidence, and yet you keep indicating that given how improbable you believe these two events are to have occurred on the same day that this indicates something about the hypothesis. So while you may state you're not doing that above, you are actually doing it, even if you don't acknowledge it or recognize it.

                            I also want to make it clear that I'm trying not to make claims about the diary's validity one way or the other. I suggest lines of investigation, and possible outcomes that might weigh one way or the other, but since I don't know what the data is, those are just predictions based upon how I happen to phrase things. Also, just because these probabilities do not constitute values that matter with regards to the diary, that doesn't constitute evidence for or against the diary, it's just about whether or not the probabilities being discussed are of any value with respect to the diary's place in the realm of JtR.

                            - Jeff

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                            • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                              If two people go to the cinema, and we know they both went in the same week, the probability they both went on the same day is not going to be 1/7 because the probability of a random person going to the cinema is not equally divided over the days of the week.
                              Okay, I thought I was on safe ground with the cinema example as I assumed you'd take the point but you didn't. I clearly wasn't on safe ground with the floorboards example, and I clearly wasn't with the cinema example so let's try shifting our example more towards the logical extremes - you know, the absurd cases which finally make the point (or lose it).

                              If we know that two people wrote their names on a separate piece of paper on one day only during the same seven day period, what are the chances that they wrote their names on those pieces of paper on the same day by chance alone? Surely this time we can agree it's a 1-in-7 probability that they did so on the same day by chance alone?

                              No, hold on, we might get into arguments about whether they both had paper or not or whether they were using pens or pencils, et cetera, so let's exclude as many variables as we can. Let's say they only spelled their names in the air once during the same seven day period. Surely this time we can agree it's 1-in-7?

                              And - before you raise it - yes, they both had at least one finger. If that's an assumption too many then I am going to hypothesise that we need to call this a day ...

                              PS There was a quicker way for me to try to make my point, I think: In your world, Jeff, is there any simple scenario at all where the probability is known and calculable or does the influence of known and unknown variables always mean that probability is actually Schrodinger's latest cat???

                              Ike
                              Iconoclast

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                              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                                Most recently I allowed for the possibility that Mike and Eddie met for the first time on the lunchtime of Monday 9th March, because the evidence shows that their opportunities for seeing each other there previously were limited. I may not have fully appreciated or remembered that before. I also allowed for Mike seeing the "old book" that day for the first time, but not actually taking possession of it [or any cash changing hands] until some time later. Eddie went unexpectedly AWOL from the long-term Skem contract, following foorboards day, while Mike told Doreen he was off to York. That may have been because he didn't yet have the diary or the opportunity to study the contents more closely and didn't want her asking questions before he had answers.

                                Hi, Caz.

                                I think I may have traced the reason I have misunderstood you, and why it led to me to misrepresent you. As I offer my apologies, let me explain.

                                You see, you may not realize you are doing it, but every time you mention Eddie selling the diary of Jack the Ripper to a bloke in a pub, you refer to it not as the diary of Jack the Ripper, but as a book, or an “old book,” or even a “tatty old book.” Once you even referred to it as a ‘damaged’ tatty old book. Indeed, you just did it again in your most recent post: “old book.”

                                Can you see how someone as dull-witted as I am might be confused by the terminology that you've been using?

                                For example, some other quotes from you on this thread:

                                1. “Eddie's tatty, damaged "old book" had 17 unused pages after the last page of writing. Mike didn't have oodles of cash to splash, but he wanted Eddie's tatty, damaged "old book", and he wanted it bad.” (Post #5446)

                                2. “The enquiry was made by Mike very early on, when he would only just have got his sights fixed on Eddie's "old book" (Post #5453)

                                3. “A point that RJ seems unable to grasp - presumably because he has already convinced himself that Eddie could never have had the diary - is that anyone finding and removing this "old book" from a customer's house would have been unable to sell it on for big money” (Post #6496)

                                So—silly me—for all this time I have wrongly assumed that you were suggesting that Eddie was offering Mike a tatty, old book. Clearly, this was a misunderstanding on my part; what you were really acknowledging is that Eddie was fully aware that the book he just found under the floorboards of Battlecrease was the diary of Jack the Ripper and this was what he was attempting to fence to Mike at lunchtime on 9 March 1992.

                                “Mate, I just found the diary of Jack the Ripper under the floorboards of an old house in Aigburth, do you want it?”

                                Thus, Mike did not need to take actual ownership of the Diary on March 9th before seeking a publisher; he just learned from Eddie what he needed to know to make a sales pitch.

                                I think I have it now. That's the part I had wrong. I thought you were suggesting that Eddie only knew he had found a "tatty, old book," thrown into a skip, and thus Mike would have needed to gain physical possession of the diary in order to realize it was the confession of Jack the Ripper. In reality, Eddie told him this on March 9th.

                                Nothing whatsoever to do with ‘credit’—Eddie retained ownership.

                                Whew.

                                Even so—if I still understand you correctly--Mike immediately called a literary agent in London, telling the secretary that HE owned the diary of Jack the Ripper. The next day, he repeats this to Doreen, March 10th.

                                Mike, off to York, now hatches a plan to get the diary of Jack the Ripper from Eddie by offering him the going rate for a blank or partially blank Victorian diary. To this end, Mike phones Martin Earl.

                                As you wrote as recently as June 28th, Post #6393 :

                                “If he could show Eddie a recent and legitimate bill for a genuine, unused or partly used Victorian diary, he could offer him the same amount - 25 - for his tatty, damaged and partly used "old book", for which there was no evidence of it even being Victorian, never mind written by yer actual Jack the Ripper.”

                                There’s that tatty old book again, but what you really mean is that Mike is going to offer 25 for the alleged diary of Jack the Ripper, which Eddy knows came from under the floorboards of an old house in Aigburth.

                                I think I got it now.

                                Then, for the next 17 days, Eddie cools his heels, perhaps visiting Liverpool University with the diary, or perhaps not, but, either way, he fails to find another buyer other than the stranger Mike Barrett, or come up with a more generous offer for this possibly real, or possibly dodgy artifact of potential historical interest; for two-and-a-half weeks, Eddie is content to hold the diary of Jack the Ripper for Mike Barrett (but not on credit), who is still no more than a bloke from a pub that he may or may not have known.

                                How am I doing?

                                Finally, on March 27th ('Inside Story', p. 237, states that Martin E. Earl mailed the maroon memo book to Barrett on 26 March), Mike receives the bill from Earl.

                                Mike again meets with Eddie, who agrees to part with the diary of Jack the Ripper for the twenty-five quid.

                                Do I have it right, now? Is that a reasonably accurate rendition of what you have been suggesting? I don't want to misrepresent you.

                                If I finally have it right, then I think no further comment is necessary. The merits of your theory will be readily apparent to all.

                                All the best,

                                R P
                                Last edited by rjpalmer; 07-22-2021, 11:20 PM.

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