This all sounds good to me. In fact, I believe that researchers in the humanities are especially (perhaps overly) sensitive to the reciprocal relationship between theory and observation.
I may have overstated the ignorance of the current situation. The scholarly community has already made some claims connecting the Big Book to Print Shops [x,y,z]. The problem is that those claims are either made on non-quantitative bases (eg, "This mark seems characteristic of this Print Shop's status.") or on a very naive frequentist basis (eg, "This mark comes up N times, and that's a big number, so it must be from Print Shop X"). My project would take these existing claims as priors. Is that valid?
Yes. He said that I should be careful about sharing my project because, otherwise, I'll be reading about it in a journal in a few months. His warning may exaggerate the likelihood of a rival researcher and mis-value the expansion of knowledge, but I'm deferring to him as a concession of my ignorance, especially regarding rules of the academy.
Sorry to interrupt a perfectly lovely conversation. I just have a few things to add:
I may have overstated the case in my first post. We have some information about print shops. Specifically, we can assign very small books to print shops with a high degree of confidence. (The catch is that small books don't tend to survive very well. The remaining population is rare and intermittent in terms of production date.)
There are some hypotheses that could be treated as priors, but they're very rarely quantified (projects like this are rare in today's humanities).
Yep. It's not the Bible. I suspect that there are already good stats compiled on the Q-source, etc.
In a way it's not only futile but limiting to play the guessing game. There are lots of possible applications of Bayesian methods to the humanities. Maybe this discussion will help more projects than my own.
Yes, I see an accord between your statement and Vaniver's. As I said below, most tools have very slow repair cycles.
I was openly warned by a professor (who will likely be on the dissertation committee) not to talk about this project widely.
The capitalized nouns are to highlight key terms. I believe the current description is specific enough to describe the situation accurately and without misleading people, but not too specific to break my professor's (correct) advice.
Have I broken LW protocol? Obviously, I'm new here.
I have just such a thing, referred to as "Marks." I haven't yet included that in the code, because I wanted to explore the viability of the method first. So to retreat to the earlier question, why does my proposal strike you as a GIGO situation?
Fortunately, we know which tool types leave which marks. We also have a very strong understanding of the ways in which tools break and leave marks.
Thanks again for entertaining this line of inquiry.
Have to define your features somehow.
I don't understand what this means. Can you say more?
Thanks! I feel explicitly encouraged.