Golf Balls: Probability and Edward de Vere
A DEVERE- in-One
Bumblebees and Golf Balls
— The fault (deere Brutus) is not in our Starres, But in our Selves (Julius Caesar, 1.1. 239-240)
Fig. 1 Ferris © 2005 Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland
At the outset, I would like to clarify: the discussion of probabilities in this section, as well as when the raw probabilities are calculated to arrive at an outcome in the plaintexts of documents looked at in relation to the hypothesized existence of codes placed in a ciphertext within them, is to be taken with a grain of salt. Perhaps a little more than this expression implies in any concrete way, but accurate enough when making decisions as to the absoluteness of some claim (s), or as to the certainty of a conclusion or conclusions. We cannot be sure that what is being found as alleged codes is in the statistical world of prediction; i.e., as one would expect in an experimental design where cause and effect are predicted, and results of an experiment are analyzed and defined within a mathematical degree of certainty.
No one directly observed the writing of any of Shakespeare’s works, or who was doing the writing (one person, or many). No one came from the future with video cameras, a score of the world’s finest scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, historians, audio recording equipment, and so on, to prove ‘physical’ or ‘mathematical’ ‘proof’ of the claims I and others are making as we study Elizabethan plaintexts for hidden messages. The best we have in the way of supporting our assumptions and conclusions is how we explain what is being found, as well as providing reasons that are more in the world of possibilities and what might be probable, but rather in a more prosaic as opposed to a mathematical sense. Arguments are offered for certain claims, are backed up with logic and reason, and offered for acceptance or rejection based upon more than just “I don’t think this is possible”, or “there is no truth to what you are saying”, or “this is a lot of baloney”.
A counter-argument based on reason is more convincing (perhaps even necessary and responsible) than merely saying, “No. I don’t believe it. It cannot be true.”
In sum, you don’t need to have strong mathematical skills and mathematical proofs to understand the letter-strings in any of the ciphertexts in this treatise. In the final analysis, what is or is not true about any declarative statement made about codes in the works of Shakespeare, in all likelihood may only be possible sometime in the future when it ‘may’ be possible for mathematical methods to strike at the certainty or near certainty of the existence of the ciphertext letter-strings presented here.
One of my first memories of critical thinking was when a grade school teacher said it had been scientifically and mathematically proven that it is impossible for bumblebees to fly. And that they can do so is a miracle. Sort of in the category of reasoning which states evolution is not true, that the earth was created some four thousand years ago, and that all of life just sprang into existence. I thought, as you can imagine, but if science and math say bumblebees can’t fly, then how is it they do?
I then learned in high school that a ‘thing’ that can be seen and touched is different than a mathematical model of the thing itself.
Although the mythology (or the urban legend) of bumblebees not being able to fly is difficult to pin down, as there are differing stories on how this rumour got started in the first place, the one I remember is often cited from the introduction to a book called, Le Vol des Insectes, by a French entomologist named Antoine Magnan who applied the then known laws of aerodynamics to insects and said, “. . . j’ai appliqué aux insectes les lois de la résistance de l’air, et je suis arrivé . . . [au] conclusion que leur vol est impossible.” In other words, he said he applied the aerodynamics of heavier than air flight and arrived at the conclusion (scientifically and mathematically) that the flight of insects is not possible. The difficulty (not lost on him I’m sure), was with the application of a mathematical model of the flight of insects rather than with what was obviously 100% certain and true in the real world.
Having said all this, what does it have to do with the raw probabilities of any given array presented in this treatise? For example, I calculated the approximate chances of a vertical letter-string that reads “DEVERE”, and is connected to the plaintext phrase, “My name is . . . ”, thereby producing a ciphertext sentence (cluster) that says: “My name is de Vere”. And that this cluster is nothing more than a chance occurrence, that it happened purely by happenstance, by random — is one chance in 8.5 million. One chance in 8.5 million. The corollary, then, is that there is a very strong suggestion “DEVERE” was not a random occurrence, that is it points to intelligent design; i.e., that someone (or by the agreement of another or others) deliberately placed the string in this location. Looked at logically, the occurence of the letter-string is therefore a total chance happening, a fluke, or it is not. One or the other.
So, what does 8 million, 500 thousand golf balls look like in the real world? Let’s try to get a picture of this in our minds. Not an exact image. Simply an imagined one, one that takes a few liberties with the exact measurements of golf balls per acre. I chose an acre as it corresponds roughly to the size of a single American football field. Furthermore, I chose the diameter of an American golf ball, as an image of a white golf ball is stark and easy to picture. European dimensions of both football fields (soccer) and golf balls, although somewhat different from their American counterparts, are comparable for conjuring up a like images for our thought experiment purposes as well.
First we’ll do our best to image a golf ball. Most of us have seen one. Only one dimension concerns us here, and that is the diameter of a regulation American golf ball, which is 1.68 inches. Eliminate the third dimension of height (or depth, if you wish),, and we arrive at ‘Flat World’s length of 1.68 inches. And somewhere in some amazingly large storage area are eight and one-half million golf balls.
One foot is equal to 12 inches. To calculate how many golf balls there are in our imaginary and somewhat inexact but adequate image we are conjuring up, if we divide a foot (12 inches) by the length of a single golf ball, we arrive at the number of golf balls there are, theoretically, in a foot. This figure equals 7.14 golf balls per foot. By-passing a few steps and going to the number of feet in a mile (5,280’), and multiplying this figure times the number of golf balls in a foot, we get about 37,699 golf balls per linear mile. In other words, 37,699 golf balls, lined up in a straight line, one next to the other, for a distance of one mile. Just imaging 37,000-plus golf balls lined up for a distance of one mile, and seeing this from the air, say in a weather balloon. This would be impressive.
The question then becomes, how many miles are there if you line up 8.5 million golf balls? Dividing 8,500,000 golf balls by the number of golf balls in a linear mile, we get 225 linear miles, which converts to 15 square miles on some surface of our flat world, which is filled up with golf balls. 8.5 million divided by 15 yields 567,000 golf balls per square mile. Another impressive sight.
Put another way, an American football field is often compared in size to an acre of land when people ask, “How large is a football field?” An acre of land is 4, 840 square yards. Remembering that there are 7 golf balls per foot, or 21 golf balls per linear yard, this means 441 golf balls per square yard. There are, therefore, roughly (4,840 times 441 golf balls) 2,134,440 golf balls per acre. To contain 8.5 million golf balls, then, 4 acres (4 football fields) are necessary to contain them. Imagine that.
Before we begin our experiment, however, the concept can still be somewhat confusing. Reducing everything to a more understandable idea, remember that the raw probabilitiy calculations are really saying that there is one chance in 8.5 million that “DEVERE” in the plaintext of Sonnet 76 is a random event. That the letter-string just happened due to some fluke of shifting letters around, kind of like being dealt a single ace in a deck of a million cards.
Just for the sake of comparison, then, let’s say that we are only talking about 10 golf balls, and one has “DEVERE” on it. We put the ten balls in a bag, shake it up, and chose a person to draw one of the balls out. This person has 1 chance in 10 of drawing it out. Would you bet money s/he will pick it the first time? No bet from me. But what if 9 balls have “DEVERE” on it, and one does not. Personally I would bet on a “DEVERE” coming out of the bag. Or, let’s say there are 10,000 “DEVERE” balls, and one of them is not? Would you bet, say, a million dollars a “DEVERE” would be drawn out? And if a plain white ball was drawn out, would you agree this result was a fluke? A chance occurrence? I think any reasonable person would say it was not. But what if you had 8.5 million “DEVERE” golf balls in a giant bag with only a single plain golf ball? Would you bet a “DEVERE” ball would be chosen, and put $1, 000,000 dollars on the table? I would. And count my chickens before they hatch. With those odds, I would likely bet my life on not having a plain white ball emerge from the bag.
Hopefully, this gives a sense of what “odds” in the prosaic sense is.
In our Flat Land experiment, however, we find a group of people (Flat Landers) who believe all golf balls are white. No exceptions. No one has ever come up with a non-white golf ball since the invention of the golf ball some 400 years ago. They are certain of this because in addition to its white color, every golf ball they have ever seen was also stamped with the initials “W.S.” on it, who they have been told are the initials of the inventor of the golf ball.
Then one day, a mysterious stranger comes to town and says to this group of people (whose specialty is their knowledge of golf balls), “Not all golf balls are white with the initials “W.S.” on them. The true inventor of the golf ball was a man named “DEVERE”. In fact, I know where one such golf ball is. In fact, I have found, using a certain method, hundreds of golf balls, some with “DEVERE” on them, and some with other information on them relating to his life, both public and private. He made some of them this way, but kept their whereabouts secret because in his world, a maker of “DEVERE” golf balls was anathema. Had his true identity been found out, he could have his hands cut off, or his family shamed, their property taken, and perhaps he might have even been beheaded. Secrecy was not only necessary at that time, but was a life and death matter.
The group of people thought his claim was a bunch of garbage, and challenged the mysterious stranger to offer some evidence. So the man took them to a huge plot of land. Four acres filled with golf balls, lined up in rows and columns.
The mysterious stranger said there was one golf ball with “DEVERE” printed on it. There are 8 and one-half million golf balls on this immense field. I know where this special golf ball is because I found a map that shows exactly where it is. In fact, anyone, even a child, can find this ball with this map.
And someone in the group said, “How do you expect us to find this special ball? No one else has ever seen one. There are no “DEVERE” golf balls. so why should we look? And the stranger said, “I’ll show you how to find it, not only here, but wherever there is a bunch of such golf balls.” And the spokesman for the group said, “Oh, yeah? We’ll hunt and show you such a golf ball does not exist.” The stranger then said, “Agreed. But you only get one chance to find it. You must go right to it and show everyone you have it.”
The spokesperson was unable to find the ball (he didn’t believe it was there anyway), so others said, “Let us try.” But, to no avail.
The stranger then showed them his map. “See,” he said, “the ball is right over here.” He walked quite aways, but picked up a single ball and brought it back to show the group.
Now, you can imagine their logical dilemna. The spokesman said to the others, “If we continue to say all golf balls are white and have the initials “W.S.” stamped on them, how do we explain the “DEVERE” on this single golf ball, one out of 8.5 million of them? One person said, “Just say it was a fluke, a random ball resulting from some mistake made by the golf ball printers.” Another person said, “True, and since we have only had a single example of such a ball, this proves the Stranger’s theory is all wrong.” And another said, “Yes, but what if someone put it there by design, like the stranger said? If this is so, and he says he made hundreds of them, and someday decides to show the world the true maker of golf balls was not a man with the initials “W.S.”, but was rather a man named “DEVERE”.
The spokesperson spoke up and said, “Good point. We cannot deny what we are seeing. The Stranger is showing us a golf ball unlike all the others that have been made in the last 400 years. Look, you can see it. Maybe we should learn how to find others like it by studying the Stranger’s methods, and learn how to read his maps.” All but a few laughed and ridiculed the spokesperson’s idea.
In the months and years to come, the Stranger and a few others showed hundreds and hundreds of golf balls they found that did not have the initials “W.S.” on them. But the Flat Landers continued to deny what was plainly before them. They refused to listen to anyone who disagreed to them, and refused to test the methods offered to them, and to see for themselves if the Golf Ball Theory had any merit. Rather than use analytical reasoning skills to debunk the theory, they resorted to laughter and ridicule, and said, “We do not want to waste our time. We are going to the next town over and admire the Emperor’s new clothes.” But still, they sat and admired the shadows on the walls of their caves.
The argument really boils down to this: 1. What is more incredible, that the word “DEVERE” under the plaintext phrase, “My name” followed by a vertical letter-string of “DEVERE”, placed in Sonnet 76, a sonnet amounting to a confession or at least a declarative sentence that says, “My name’s DEVERE”, and the word “DEVERE” itself is in this location (i.e. “DEVERE” directly under and connected to “My name’s”), in an array of 14 (as well as all the observations I thus far presented at the outset of this article–see The White Crow: Sonnet 76″ at the beginning of the website if you have already not done so) — OR: 2. The above plus some calculations as support — happened by fluke, by chance?
Well, after all, one can argue that a single example is not enough. In principle, I agree with this. However,
Fig. 2 [ Note: Total Sonnet 30 Word Count = 476 ( ∑ = 17) ]
in the weeks to come, I will present dozens if not hundreds of ‘alleged’ codes in the form of letter-strings and clusters to support my claim that, at the very least, what appear to be hidden messages in the Shakespeare plaintexts (sonnets, plays, other poetry, other writings) strongly suggest they are there by intelligent design, that they are deliberately placed for reasons that still remain speculative, but are worthy of further study.
I have to say I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with what I or anyone has to say. If a point of view or a theory has enough perceived merit, then it should, and fact, has to, withstand the most rigorous tests available. However, tagging something as having no worth without offering a reasoned argument based upon what produced the contrary view in the first place, is not productive, and itself has no worth. To be simplistic about this, in all sincerity, if someone says to me, “The earth is flat”, s/he first needs to present a reasoned argument for this claim, to which my response should be to address what point (s) are up for debate.
[ Sonnet 30 raw probability calculations for “DEVERE“ (Note: as in all letter-string raw probability calculations in this work, both numerator and denominator are divided by 100 to provide greater ease of calculation): Total Letters: 476. Letter-String: “DEVERE” = (D = 21) (E = 73) (V = 5) (E = 72) (R = 22) (E = 71) = (.21/4.76) (.73/4.75) (.05/4.74) (.72/4.73) (.22/4.72) (.71/4.71) = .00086203656/11,269.455954926 = 1/13,073,060.329281 = .0000000764931 = 764,931/10,000,000,000,000 = a raw probability of 1 in 13,073,074.564895.
In other words, there is approximately one chance in 13 million “DEVERE” occurred in the letter-string by chance (suggesting, then, a 99.99999235069% raw probability it did not) ].