IMPORTANT: See my statement found here regarding my own use of sock puppets.
Update to: Well isn’t that special?
I see that Hipocrite has posted some armchair statistics for everyone’s amusement. I don’t have much to say on the matter as they are what they are. Coincidences do happen in the real world and two people both using punctuation marks hardly seems unlikely to me, not much of a stretch there IMHO. His own analysis identifies like 20 to 30 other people who have all done the same thing. Go check, he lists them by name. He even identified a couple of them who have done it more than once but neglected to analyze their statistical significance relative his selected population why? Because he didn’t believe that they were the ones running this account. He made that determination based on what? Nothing.
Quite simply what we have here is a case of Hipocrite putting together a set of statistics which confirmed what he already believed. There’s a term for that kind of thing and this is a prime example of it in action. (Someone should go link to this case as an example of confirmation bias in the real world.)
Technically his assessment of the “population” is also distinctly non-random so there is no particular reason to believe that his sample “population” is statistically representative of the whole population. A point that is key to his analysis. And a sample size of 6 total edits would seem a bit light for any truly rigorous statistical analysis, but I don’t claim to be an expert in such matters.
Even more importantly, he isn’t even asking the proper question. Even if we accept his conclusion on face value, that both myself and TheNeutralityDoctor vary in a statistically significant way from the whole population in terms of using punctuation at the ends of section headings, so what? The real question is how many people in the whole population of editors also vary statistically in this regards because this determines the proper pool of potential candidates of which I am only one? He has chosen out of hand to ignore two potential candidates already. How many such persons exist out of the whole population that exhibit this rather dubious trait? 10? 100? 1000? He wishes you to assume just 1, me. Bah and humbug to that.
The simple fact of the matter is that the probability of this being me is a function of the number of such persons within the population, not simply the fact that I (or anyone else) exhibits this particular trait. A better example of voodoo statistics I could not come up with if I tried. Don’t buy into it. Don’t fall for the slight of hand that you see right before your eyes.
I can definitively state that these statistics don’t actually mean what he wants you to believe that they mean.
UPDATE 7/23/2010: I just noticed this but apparently Hipocrite was also of the opinion that this account was an obvious sockpuppet of Scibaby as well.
Moving on …
Now I have provided evidence above to suggest that Hipocrite is actually my sock puppet and asked that he be checkusered immediately on those grounds. No such information has come forth at this time. Apparently more evidence is required to get this checkuser run so allow me to provide some more. One of the distinguishing characteristics that has been attributed to me is that I use “vs.”. This is such a rare thing that it is actually called out in a Wikipedia article on the topic here. Note that several variations exist for the abbreviation.
Now notice that Hipocrite makes the following statement on the SPI page:
Look, I have bolded the important bits for you. Hipocrite used the rare “vs” abbreviation for versus. What more proof do you require that he is my sock puppet? Please check user him immediately based on this newly discovered evidence.
And while we are at it, since using a period at the end of a sentence is so rare, could someone please add the following to the list of my suspected sock puppets and cite Hipocrite’s evidence:
- a long term Australian vandal
- Short Brigade Harvester Boris (2 uses)
- unsigned from 2004
- Stephan Schulz (2 uses)
- Poodleboy (3 uses)
- Theo Pardilla
- mbeychok (2 uses)
- J. Langton (PNSU)
- Grundle2600 (2 uses)
- Martin Hogbin
- Kim D. Petersen
- Count Iblis
- Unsigned from 2007
- Unsigned from 2005
These may all be my sock puppets based on the fact that they have used a period at the end of a section heading at some point in time. A full investigation should look for other uses which Hipocrite may have missed in his haphazard approach and the statistical significance of each user’s edits should be determined.