[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: VMs: No stats no fun

Hi Gabriel,

At 11:14 09/08/2003 +0100, Gabriel Landini wrote:
What makes the statement of "making stats useless" sound objectable is that
it seems to imply unawareness of the relevance of the statistical properties
of the vms.

Statistics does not equal causality. Statistical equals correlations. AFAICT, 91 years (or perhaps several hundred years, if you include Kircher, etc) of statistical analysis of the VMs have given us *not one* definitive correlation with an external statistical source - such as natural language, syllabic language, artificial language, cryptography, etc - that has had sufficient persuasive power to bring us to even a partial consensus.

TTBOMK, the strongest inferences drawn to date have been "suggestive of" one or other of these various categories, without being at all definitive. I have seen it argued (in one of my stats textbooks) that many of the central successes of human endeavour in the 20th Century came about directly as a result of statistical analysis & the emerging statistical mindset - how does the VMS continue to resist assaults from this otherwise fearsome analytical machinery?

Whether you like it or not, the manifest failure of our general statistical exercise to resolve even the most basic questions points to one of three conclusions:-
(a) the VMS is a truly strange beast which we are unable to categorise;
(b) the statistical process by which we collect information is somehow flawed; or
(c) the transcription we are using to apply stats analysis to the VMS is somehow flawed.

Broadly speaking, (a) points to a conceptual failure, (b) to a processual failure, and (c) to a representational failure. You seem to think I'm describing (b), when I'm actually describing (c). I think stats are great - but you have to be analysing the right thing for them to move you forward.

Sounds like if you are intending to dismiss all currently gathered statstical
information with an analysis that has not been done yet.

I'm developing a transcription methodology quite different from other ones that have been used, which is obvious "a road less travelled" - perhaps you'd prefer I didn't post anything further on this subject until I reach the destination?

Cheers, ....Nick Pelling....

______________________________________________________________________ To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying: unsubscribe vms-list