1998

MV Dialog

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.3781  Thursday, 27 August 2015

 

[1] From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         August 26, 2015 at 4:25:11 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER MV Dialog 

 

[2] From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         August 27, 2015 at 4:50:17 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: MV Dialog 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 26, 2015 at 4:25:11 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER MV Dialog

 

SHAKSPERians whose eyes are glazing over at Jim Carroll’s use of such terms as “The Chebyshev Inequality” should still be able to spot the logical incoherence of the following statements:

 

The probability that the number of occurrences of “man” is greater than say, 37, is the standard deviation squared divided by 37 squared, or 0.021, assuming the standard deviation is 5.4. So the fact that the actual value is 38 appears significant to me.

 

In the first sentence, the likelihood of the number of occurrences of “man” being greater than 37 is calculated as a small probability (0.021, around a 1-in-50 chance). In the second sentence the “actual value” of the number of occurrences of “man” is revealed to be 38.

 

If the “actual value” is 38 then the first sentence, as phrased, has no meaning. You cannot in any meaningful way calculate the likelihood of an outcome that has already come out. It’s like trying to calculate the likelihood that it rained here yesterday: the notion of likelihood simply doesn’t apply, since we already know whether it did.

 

We could ask this question: “Supposing that I didn’t know whether it rained here yesterday, what figure would I have given you the day before yesterday as the likelihood that it was going to rain?” This is NOT the same as asking “what is the likelihood that it rained yesterday?”, but people who use the mathematics of probability frequently treat these questions as equivalent. Doing so makes them commit fundamental errors regarding chance.

 

What Carroll REALLY means is something like “Suppose I didn’t know the ‘actual value’ because I haven’t gone counting the words yet. Further suppose, as the so-called ‘null hypothesis’, that the ‘actual value’ is determined by chance rather than by something else (say, authorial choice). If only chance were determining the ‘actual value’, what is the likelihood that when we go ahead and count the words to get the ‘actual value’ we will find an ‘actual value’ greater than, say, 37?”

 

If Carroll were to rephrase his claims using such precise language, and in particular to state just what his “null hypotheses” are, then it would be possible to start making sense of his claims.

 

Gabriel Egan

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 27, 2015 at 4:50:17 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: MV Dialog

 

Jim writes:

 

The Chebyshev inequality is easy to calculate for the results in question.

 

The Chebyshev inequality is not a formula that you can use to calculate things with. It’s a law that probabilities obey.

 

The probability that the number of occurrences of “man” is greater than say, 37, is the standard deviation squared divided by 37 squared, or 0.021, assuming the standard deviation is 5.4.

 

I think Jim’s just making things up now. The calculation he has done is obvious nonsense, as you can see by replacing 37 with any value less than the standard deviation, when the probability will exceed 100%. It’s time to call it a day.

 

 

 

Re: Plagiarism in Schools

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0784  Sunday, 30 August 1998.

From:           Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 29 Aug 1998 10:36:59 EDT
Subject: 9.0778  Plagiarism in Schools / Colleges
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0778  Plagiarism in Schools / Colleges

We are about to offer the same access to our students.. all girls day
private school in Massachusetts....at the present moment we have some
guidelines that applied to the bank of accessible computers in our
library..parents sign a guidelines form and also students must sign in
whenever they use a computer..the 'history' of use can then be
checked.....We will no doubt have a new set of guides when we commence
next week.. would be glad to share them.....

Stoicism in Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0782  Sunday, 30 August 1998.

From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 24 Aug 1998 16:10:31 -0500
Subject:        Stoicism in Shakespeare

"Where is John Velz when we need him?"  thus David Evett 17 July '98

On that day I was in the Shakespeare-Bibliothek of the University of
Munich at work on the classical tradition.  Have not made a thorough
examination of my huge e-mail backlog since I got back a couple of weeks
ago, so what I have to observe may well have been said by others.

Just two points, though there is a lot more to say than my two.

1)  Participants in the debate could do worse than read Geoffrey Miles's
*Shakespeare and the Constant Romans*  Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.  Not to
be confused with Gary Miles, 'How Roman are Shakespeare's "Romans"' *SQ*
40 (1989): 257-83.  Geoffrey Miles chooses to limit his scope to the
"constancy" that Roman Stoics tried to live by, knowing, of course, that
there are further definitions of Stoicism he might have turned to.
Audrey Chew, not discussed by Geoffrey Miles, tries for a more
comprehensive treatment of the philosophy, but excellent as are her
history of Stoicism and her account of the contact between Stoicism and
other philosophies including Christianity, Chew is not the interpreter
of Shakespeare that Miles is.  See Chew, *Stoicism in Renaissance
English Literature: An Introduction.*  (American University Studies
Series 4: English Language and Lit. 82).  N.Y., Bern, and Frankfurt am
Main and Paris:  Lang, 1988.)  over 300 pp.

2)  If I had got in on the debate earlier, I would have reminded
SHAKSPERians of the perception of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing as cited by
Paul Kannengiesser *ShJ* 44 (1908):  "Alles Stoische ist
untheatralisch."  Stoicism is the antithesis of drama, which is action
and change and emotional conflict.  The etymology of "drama" gives us a
clue.  The anti-dramatic character of Stoicism, above the fray of
"ignorant armies that clash by night" and make for good drama, is one of
several reasons why Seneca's dramas are not fully dramatic.

Cheers,
John Velz

Q: Female Freedom in Comedies

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0783  Sunday, 30 August 1998.

From:           Sim Shattuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Aug 1998 13:44:40 -0600
Subject:        Theory Re: Female Freedom in Comedies

I need to know whose idea it is, as expressed in the Norton Shakespeare,
that cross-dressed female characters get the freedom to move about
because a third party (not the man or woman in question, but an Other,
like Shylock) makes male/female opposition unimportant until the Other
is defeated, ie, Shylock, Malvolio, etc.  Any and all help on this
subject appreciated.

Re: *Romeo and Juliet*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0781  Sunday, 23 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 21 Aug 1998 10:03:14 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0774  Re: Pop Music R and J

[2]     From:   Todd Lidh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 21 Aug 1998 14:07:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0774  Re: *Romeo and Juliet*


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 21 Aug 1998 10:03:14 -0400
Subject: 9.0774  Re: Pop Music R and J
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0774  Re: Pop Music R and J

> The scarecrow also refers to Romeo in his "If I only had a brain" song in
>The Wizard of Oz.

Actually, it's the Tin Man that refers to Romeo - "If I only had a
heart" -

"Picture me ... a balcony ...
Above a voice sings low--

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

I hear a beat.
How sweet!"

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Lidh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 21 Aug 1998 14:07:25 -0500
Subject: 9.0774  Re: *Romeo and Juliet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0774  Re: *Romeo and Juliet*

Richard A. Burt wrote: "The scarecrow also refers to Romeo in his 'If I
only had a brain' song in The Wizard of Oz."

As a recovering Tin Woodman, I feel the call to correct this tiny
mistake.  It is, in fact, the Tin Man (as he's come to be called) who
sings: "Picture me, a balcony, above a voice sings low... 'Wherefore art
thou, Romeo?'... I hear a beat! How sweet."

No harm, no foul.

Would someone please pass me a quart of oil? ;o)

Todd M. Lidh
UNC-Chapel Hill

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