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July 21, 2006

"The Most Likely Theory" And "Occam's Razor," According To Wizbang!

Sorry. This has gotten so absurd I have to post this. I'll hide it in the jump, though.


Wizbang:

The Glenn Greenwald story has been all over the blogosphere today. I posted what I considered (and still consider) to be the most likely scenario given all the known (and unknown) facts of the story revealed to this point. Later Paul addressed one of the responses to my post here.

...

On the other hand, someone at Glenn's house, with a strong affection for him and his blogging persona, and oblivious to the timelines presented in the previous paragraph, may have been doing what they do every day - tracking mentions of their favorite blogger and checking out what's being said about him.

An excellent case has been made that all comments in praise of Greenwald have come from the same source IP address. The case that has not been made is that they came from Glenn himself.

If it turns out (as appears likely) that he was not in Brazil when every single "sock puppet" comment was made then the increasingly convoluted theories being advanced to explain the story fall apart, because (at this point) the claims still seem to be that ALL the comments were made by Glenn.

Note the strike throughs are from Wizbang's post. They're there because a key piece of his exonerating evidence has been demolished. (Which he himself admits.) Nevertheless, even without any evidence, his "smoking gun email" evaporated into the e-ther, he continues to maintain that the Overprotective Brazillian Boyfriend theory is the "most likely."

Note he doesn't say "it's equally likely either man posted the sock-puppet posts, and since we can't pin it on Greenwald, we should refrain from making conclusions." No-- he's weighed the evidence, and he's determined the Overprotective Brazillian Boyfriend theory -- or the "Magic Boyfriend" theory, as I shall term it -- is the "most likely," and apparently the simplest, per the principles of Occam's Razor.

Okay, Kevin. Let's note what we know and do not know and see what is "most likely," mm-kay?

1) We know Glenn Greenwald himself was at home that morning. We do not know the Magic Boyfriend was. In fact, as the "Ellison" post occurred at 7:14 east coast Brazil time, it seems to have been written during working/commuting hours.

2) We know Glenn Greenwald has the sort of gig that allows him to work from home. We do not know what the Magic Boyfriend does for an occupation. Ergo, we don't know if he'd even be available to write that post from home.

3) We know that Glenn Greenwald obsessively reads right-wing websites, especially those that mention him. We do not know that the Magic Boyfriend does the same thing.

4) We know that Glenn Greenwald responds to attacks made against him in right-wing websites. We do not know the Magic Boyfriend similarly defends Greenwald on such sites.

5) We know that Glenn Greenwald was responding to right-wing bloggers' attacks on the morning in question, as he engaged in an argument with Patterico (under his own name) an hour after the "Ellison" post. We have no evidence the Magic Boyfriend was posting on right-wing websites in this time-frame.

6) We know that Glenn Greenwald writes English as if he were a native speaker -- which he is, of course. We do not know the same about the Magic Boyfriend. Perhaps he does, perhaps he doesn't. The Ellison post is written in native-speaker, perfectly-idiomatic English.

7) We know that Glenn Greenwald read the thread in which "Ellison" coments, based on his mention of it in a post (written his name) on Cassandra's thread. We have no evidence that the Magic Boyfriend read this thread, or has even heard of "Ace of Spades." (Note that I linked Greenwald for the first time today or yesterday, and he linked me for the first time yesterday, as far as I know. So while we know for a fact Greenwald knew of the Memo post (most probably because he saw it on Patterico's, where he loves to argue) we have no evidence the Magic Boyfriend knew of this post.)

8) We know that Glenn Greenwald tends to respond to attacks on him, and yet there is no response from "Glenn Greenwald" in this thread, just a response from "Ellison." Greenwald could have responded, as he was blogging at the time and read the thread (see points above), and yet uncharacteristically chose not to. At least not in the name "Glenn Greenwald." Why, it's almost as if he had already responded, albeit under a different name.

9) We know Glenn Greenwald actually makes arguments on American political blogs. At this point, no one has pointed out a posting by the Magic Boyfriend on any American political blog.

10) We know that Glenn Greenwald has the strongest motive for, and most extensive history of, defending Glenn Greenwald from attacks. We have abolutely no evidence in hand that the Magic Boyfriend has the motive, inclination, or history to so obsessively defend Glenn Greenwald.

Against those points -- things we know (Greenwald could have done it, had the motive to do it, had the command of English to write the Ellison post, etc.) versus things we don't know (whether the Magic Boyfriend was even at home that morning, etc.) -- Wizbang now has one single piece of evidence in favor of the Magic Boyfriend theory, upon which he makes his determination the Magic Boyfriend theory is the "most likely," and other theories too "convoluted."

Here's his evidence:

1) Glenn Greenwald claims insinuates the Magic Boyfriend is to blame.

Well, you sold me, Detective Aylward!

There's a whole mountain of evidence supporting your theory, as well as the weight of probability.

Forget I said anything, then.

Carry on.

Apparently Wizbang! feels it's wrong to assume anything about Glenn Greenwald. However, he feels he can assume ten facts not in evidence about the Magic Boyfriend.

And that's being more "fair," because he's just assuming a lot of things about someone who doesn't have a political blog. You know, a civilian, as we bloggers call them.

Means, motive, opportunity.

Conclusion supported by evidence.

Some (but not much) assembly required.


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posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

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