[R] crimtab related question

roger koenker rkoenker at uiuc.edu
Wed Jul 25 00:58:39 CEST 2007

While on the subject of mechanical methods of statistical research  I  
resist quoting Doob's (1997) Statistical Science interview:

> My system, complicated by my inaccurate typing, led to retyping  
> material over and over, and for some time I had an electric drill  
> on my desk, provided with an eraser bit which I used to erase  
> typing. I rarely used the system of brushing white fluid over a  
> typed error because I was not patient enough to let the fluid dry  
> before retyping. Long after my first book was done I discovered the  
> tape rolls which cover lines of type. As I typed and retyped my  
> work it became so repugnant to me that I had more and more  
> difficulty even to look at it to check it. This fact accounts for  
> many slips that a careful reading would have discovered. I commonly  
> used a stochastic system of checking, picking a page and then a  
> place on the page at random and reading a few sentences, in order  
> to avoid reading it in context and thereby to avoid reading what  
> was in my mind rather than what I had written. At first I would  
> catch something at almost every trial, and I would continue until  
> several trials would yield nothing. I have tried this system on  
> other authors, betting for example that I would find something to  
> correct on a randomly chosen printed page of text, and  
> nonmathematicans suffering under the delusion that mathematics is  
> errorless would be surprised at how many bets I have won.

The relevance to the present inquiry is confirmed by the misspelling  
of Dennison in the Annals reference
quoted below.  See, for example:


On the substance of Jean's question, Mark's interpretation seems very  

Thanks to Jean and to Martin Maechler for adding this dataset to R.

url:    www.econ.uiuc.edu/~roger            Roger Koenker
email    rkoenker at uiuc.edu            Department of Economics
vox:     217-333-4558                University of Illinois
fax:       217-244-6678                Champaign, IL 61820

On Jul 24, 2007, at 4:42 PM, Mark Difford wrote:

> Hi Jean,
> You haven't yet had a reply from an authoratitive source, so here  
> is my
> tuppence worth to part of your enquiry.
> It's almost certain that the "receiving box" is a receptacle into  
> which tags
> were placed after they had been drawn and the inscribed measurement  
> noted
> down.  Measurements on three tags were unwittingly not noted before  
> the tags
> were transferred to the receiving box.  They lay there with a good  
> many
> other tags, so the inscribed measurement/tag couldn't be recovered.
> I hope this clarifies some points.
> Regards,
> Mark.
> Jean lobry wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> the dataset documented under ?crimtab was also used in:
>> @article{TreloarAE1934,
>>      title = {The adequacy of "{S}tudent's" criterion of
>>               deviations in small sample means},
>>      author = {Treloar, A.E. and Wilder, M.A.},
>>      journal = {The Annals of Mathematical Statistics},
>>      volume = {5},
>>      pages = {324-341},
>>      year = {1934}
>> }
>> The following is from page 335 of the above paper:
>> "From the table provided by MacDonell (1902) on
>> the associated variation of stature (to the nearest inch)
>> and length of the left middle finger (to the nearest
>> millimeter) in 3000 British criminals, the measusurements
>> were transferred to 3000 numbered Denison metal-rim
>> tags from which the cords has been removed. After
>> thorough checking and mixing of these circular disks,
>> samples of 5 tags each were drawn at random until the
>> supply was exhausted. Unfortunately, three of these
>> samples were erroneously returned to a receiving box
>> before being copied, and the records of 597 samples only
>> are available."
>> Could someone give me a clue about the kind of device
>> that was used here? Is it a kind of lottery machine?
>> I don't understand why three samples were lost. What
>> is this "receiving box"?
>> Thanks for any hint,
>> Best,
>> -- 
>> Jean R. Lobry            (lobry at biomserv.univ-lyon1.fr)
>> Laboratoire BBE-CNRS-UMR-5558, Univ. C. Bernard - LYON I,
>> 43 Bd 11/11/1918, F-69622 VILLEURBANNE CEDEX, FRANCE
>> allo  : +33 472 43 27 56     fax    : +33 472 43 13 88
>> http://pbil.univ-lyon1.fr/members/lobry/
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> -- 
> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/crimtab-related- 
> question-tf4137237.html#a11772414
> Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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