Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
It has been stated that the burden of proof is on me that box cars were not distributed on all railroads in proportion to ownership. The burden of proof notion is not applicable here because it is not possible to "prove" either side of the argument . . .
Yeah, it's hard to disprove all of Tim's analysis, so let's say neither side can be proved.

Here are some variables that work against proportional distribution across all railroads . . . I could probably think of other factors given some time, but I think this is enough to say that the equal distribution hypothesis requires a huge leap of faith.
This is willfully ignoring how Tim went about what he did. He took the data and analyzed it to see what happened. He often said he was pretty surprised by the results. But that's not a "leap of faith," it's believing the analysis. The fact that there are lots of variabilities or factors which COULD work against the hypothesis doesn't mean that, on balance, they DO contradict the hypothesis.
I guess the objectors, having no data of their own or any way to disprove Tim's analysis, are naturally falling back on objecting to the entire idea. If Tim were with us, I'm sure he'd be smiling at these mental gymnastics.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
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