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Re: VMs: No stats no fun

Hi Nick,

On Saturday 09 Aug 2003 12:06 pm, Nick Pelling wrote:
> 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.

While I agree with the first statement I disagree with the second. 
I agree that "correlation does not imply causality" but most statistical 
analysis on the vms has been characterisation and comparisons, rather than 

> 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.

Not hundreds, After Kircher, probably nobody even knew that the vms existed 
until 1912. 
We do not have any evidence indicating that Jacobus, Baresch, Marci or Kircher 
did anything useful with of the ms, so let's not mix arguments. Serious study 
of the vms was then confined to a very small (and talented) group of people. 
But certainly this does not mean "91 years of analysis".

> TTBOMK, the strongest inferences drawn to date have been "suggestive of"
> one or other of these various categories, without being at all definitive.

Sure, and what is wrong with that? Do you really imply that we haven't gained 
any insights at all?

> 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?

The previous postings sounded like concluding something that still has not 
been found out; perhaps that was not the intention - we all get a bit carried 
away :-)
Of course everybody is free to post what they wish, when the wish. 
However I can't (or rather "don't want to") dismiss all previous analyses 
before something new has been *shown*. 



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