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Linguistic analysis expert debunks Obama ghost writer theory

Obama's memoir, Dreams from my FatherPhilocomp.net is an academic website developed by Professor Peter Millican of Oxford University made in support of the “New Degree Programme in Computer Science and Philosophy at Oxford University.” I found the web site through some research on authorship identification software and a discipline called Stylometry. I didn’t have in mind Jack Cashill’s book that claims Bill Ayers is the ghost writer of Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” but that is certainly within the purview of stylometry and Millican’s expertise.

Professor Millican provides a detailed analysis of Cashill’s claims that technically-inclined readers will certainly want to read, but the summary is this:

I have prepared the following analysis, which will I hope make clear how I see things in regard to the Ayers allegation made by Jack Cashill, an American author. In short, I feel very confident that it is false.

Millican notes that the writing styles of Bill Clinton and Bill Ayers are far more similar than Ayers and Obama.

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25 Responses to Linguistic analysis expert debunks Obama ghost writer theory

  1. avatar
    scott e May 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    there was a machine or software (algorithm) about this

    british,,, i think
    a couple of years ago

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    Wow, it’s true–and it’s mentioned in the very web article I linked to in my article AND in the Wikipedia article I linked to and DOWNLOADABLE from the web site both link to.

    You are amazing!

    scott e: there was a machine or software (algorithm) about this

  3. avatar
    The Magic M May 3, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    So again a real expert totally destroys an ODS pseudo expert.

    And these people still believe they could convince a court of their “evidence” if only they had their day in it.

  4. avatar
    Sam the Centipede May 3, 2015 at 5:18 am #

    The Magic M:
    So again a real expert totally destroys an ODS pseudo expert.

    And these people still believe they could convince a court of their “evidence” if only they had their day in it.

    Don’t forget that the birthers expect to get discovery so they can use their incredible investigative skills to uncover the “truth” proving <insert fantasy here>.

    But I think most birther activists have given up the quest for “one honest judge” because even their peanut-sized, hate-filled apologies for brains can see that judges are typically not racist morons looking to make fools of themselves.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 3, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    I tried to float this at BR, and they’re 100% convinced that Bill Ayres admitted writing Dreame – end of story.

    The Magic M: So again a real expert totally destroys an ODS pseudo expert.

  6. avatar
    scott e May 3, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Wow, it’s true–and it’s mentioned in the very web article I linked to in my article AND in the Wikipedia article I linked to and DOWNLOADABLE from the web site both link to.

    You are amazing!

    ******
    thank you doc, point taken.

    i guess what i’m asking is, why this now ? have you written about this before ?

    i read fugitive days.

    ayers was being facetious, when he says that (about dreams). i’m no bill ayers fan.

    it seems like the monkton probability thing, to me. nonsense.

    why did you try to float this a oryr ?

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 3, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Because it is new information as far as I know, that hadn’t been discussed on the birthersphere. I put it there for the same reason I did here.

    scott e: why did you try to float this a oryr ?

  8. avatar
    scott e May 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Because it is new information as far as I know, that hadn’t been discussed on the birthersphere. I put it there for the same reason I did here.

    again forgive my ignorance, what part is new ? i’m not being facetious or flippant.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Awareness of the Millican analysis within the community of birthers and their opponents is new.

    scott e: what part is new ?

  10. avatar
    scott e May 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Awareness of the Millican analysis within the community of birthers and their opponents is new.

    but which part ? what happened to john woodman’s site. why are you still doing this when woodman declared this over, and you all agreed ? you guys don’t make much sense sometimes.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 3, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Millican appears only once on Woodman’s blog, in a comment by Suranis. When you say “you all agreed” exactly how many people do you think agreed?

    An answer in the form of a specific number (which may be an estimate) is required before I will allow any other comments from you to appear.

    scott e: but which part ? what happened to john woodman’s site. why are you still doing this when woodman declared this over, and you all agreed ?

  12. avatar
    Rickey May 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    scott e: but which part ? what happened to john woodman’s site. why are you still doing this when woodman declared this over, and you all agreed ?

    Why are you so obtuse?

    Those of us who live in the reality-based community never believed the myth that Ayers wrote Obama’s book. However, many birthers still believe it. Professor Millican’s analysis is simply further evidence that Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s book.

    you guys don’t make much sense sometimes.

    You owe me a new irony meter.

  13. avatar
    scott e May 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Millican appears only once on Woodman’s blog, in a comment by Suranis. When you say “you all agreed” exactly how many people do you think agreed?

    An answer in the form of a specific number (which may be an estimate) is required before I will allow any other comments from you to appear.

    no, i meant you all agreed with john that this birther controversy is laid to rest.

    but, your way is good too. but, your commenter that said this isn’t a political forum is right. you are here to debunk specifics.

    anyway, i find you all very interesting on a beautiful sunday afternoon, springtime in vermont.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    John concluded that there were no outstanding issues in the birther movement to address. All of their conspiracy claims had been met head on and found wanting.

    But the controversy didn’t go away, because birthers didn’t go away.

    scott e: no, i meant you all agreed with john that this birther controversy is laid to rest.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 3, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    scott e: but which part ? what happened to john woodman’s site. why are you still doing this when woodman declared this over, and you all agreed ? you guys don’t make much sense sometimes.

    Yes of course to a barely functioning adult like yourself logic doesn’t make sense to you

  16. avatar
    Rickey May 3, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    scott e: no, i meant you all agreed with john that this birther controversy is laid to rest.

    When you boil it down, there are only three components to the “birther controversy” which need to be addressed.

    1. Where was Barack Obama born? The State of Hawaii, which had a Republican governor from 2008 to 2010, has repeatedly verified that Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. The State of Hawaii has further verified that the information contained in the image of the long-form birth certificate which is posted on the White House website matches the information which is on the original document. Therefore, there is no controversy about where Obama was born.

    2. Does a natural born citizen have to have two U.S. citizen parents at the moment of birth? Every court which has considered the question has concluded that anyone born in the United States while subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a natural born citizen, regardless of the citizenship of the child’s parents.

    3. Can a dual citizen be a natural born citizen of the United States? This question was decided by the Supreme Court in 1939 in the case of Perkins v Elg. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Elg, who was born in the United States but also was a citizen of Sweden, was a natural born American.

    That’s pretty much it. The rest is just birther noise. Noise does not constitute a controversy. But as long as birthers continue to spread lies and misinformation, we will be here to call them out. We do this because we are true patriots.

    “…it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  17. avatar
    bgansel9 May 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    scott e: but, your way is good too. but, your commenter that said this isn’t a political forum is right. you are here to debunk specifics.

    One of the things I named as a topic that we do discuss is birther reactions. When the birthers stop reacting, we will stop talking about them.

  18. avatar
    Keith May 4, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    scott e: no, i meant you all agreed with john that this birther controversy is laid to rest.

    Sadly, john is not the only deluded character in the universe.

    As the Aussie farmer said when he gave up killing mice during a plague: “If you kill one, you’ll get a hundred come to the funeral”.

  19. avatar
    The Magic M May 4, 2015 at 4:40 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: But the controversy didn’t go away, because birthers didn’t go away.

    Calling it a “controversy” is dignifying the issue too much IMO.
    There is no “controversy” whether Earth is flat.
    There isn’t even a real “controversy” whether evolution is real.
    Wingnuts like to bolster their claims w.r.t. “teach the controversy”, but that’s like the opposite of belittling science because “it’s only a theory”.

  20. avatar
    The Magic M May 4, 2015 at 5:19 am #

    Sam the Centipede: But I think most birther activists have given up the quest for “one honest judge” because even their peanut-sized, hate-filled apologies for brains can see that judges are typically not racist morons looking to make fools of themselves.

    The “one honest judge” meme died with Obama’s re-election.
    Birthers are well aware that a single judge can’t remove a sitting President and that his ruling would not survive appeal (if only for the conspiracist belief that Obama has all the higher courts “in his pocket”).
    The lawsuits were only about swiftboating the election, as in “this judge ruled Obama is not eligible so I better not vote for him”.

    And just like the Ebola scare suddenly disappeared after the 2014 elections, birther lawsuits took a dive after the 2012 elections. Both were right-wing attempts to influence voter opinion, nothing more.
    The fact that even the occasional GOP flirtation with birtherism has ceased completely proves it again.

  21. avatar
    Lupin May 4, 2015 at 6:11 am #

    The Magic M: Calling it a “controversy” is dignifying the issue too much IMO.

    I agree. The only “controversy” there is exists into the deluded minds of a tiny tiny minority of cranks.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 4, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Keith: Sadly, john is not the only deluded character in the universe.

    As the Aussie farmer said when he gave up killing mice during a plague: “If you kill one, you’ll get a hundred come to the funeral”.

    I think he was talking about woodman and not our birther john

  23. avatar
    scott e May 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    here’s another potential question for our backstage conversation: were you and frank drawn to this because you are experts in medical records ? or did the medical records controversy come to you ?

    [Moved to the open thread. Doc]

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 12, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    This is a good example of an attempted thread hijack, an irrelevant comment made on the article about the linguistic analysis of Dreams from My Father.

    Certainly my extensive professional background in vital records strengthened my interest in the claims that Obama’s birth certificate was a fake and that Hawaii was lying. But I have a longstanding interest in fringe claims, from bleeding icons to ESP.

    scott e:
    here’s another potential question for our backstage conversation: were you and frank drawn to this because you are experts in medical records ? or did the medical records controversy come to you ?

    [Moved to the open thread. Doc]

  25. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 13, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    It’s almost as if Scotty only knows how to troll because he realizes that his birther beliefs have no substance to them.