Re: A quote concerning randomness

From: Joe Peschel (
Date: 10/15/04

Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 05:30:58 -0000

Mok-Kong Shen <> wrote in

> Joe Peschel wrote:
>> Mok-Kong Shen <> wrote in
>> news:ckmoh5$tgo$04$
>>>Joe Peschel wrote:
>>>>What makes you think there are going to being any letters at all,
>>>>despite mistakes in articles? You might also read Gwyn's message,
>>>>"No, it's not even close to right. In any area where I have
>>>>substantial expertise..." Do you still really believe that the
>>>>absence of letters to the editor reflect "the supreme quality of the
>>>>journals concerned?"
>>>We are considering scientific journals that are read by quite
>>>a number of knowledgeable professionals. The readers spend
>>>their time to read the articles and some even pay the
>>>subscription fees themselves. It's natural that they want
>>>to get good and correct stuff and thus there is motivation
>>>for them to improve the quality of the journal, if it is found
>>>to be defective. Is this psychologically understandable?
>>>An analogy: Suppose that your local community is very badly
>>>managed, e.g. streets that are damaged don't get repaired,
>>>etc. etc., it's almost certain that some people would take
>>>the initiative to complain, even if you personally might not
>>>have the interest or time to do so.
>> Is that a yes or a no?
> As already said before, absense of such complains implies
> normally (i.e. for a quite high probability)

As I've already said, absence of letters means only an absence of letters.
That absence can be attributed to several other circumstances that you seem
to ignore or dismiss.

Just what do you think is the probability that absence of letters implies
no published errors?

> there are no
> errors for a scientific journal that is well accepted by
> professionals of its field. Is my analogy above not clear
> to you?

You haven't made a good analogy.

You still haven't answered my question: Do you still really believe that
the absence of letters to the editor reflect "the supreme quality of the
journals concerned?"


When will Bush be tried for war crimes?
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we.  They 
never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our 
people, and neither do we." --G. W. B.
Joe Peschel 
D.O.E. SysWorks