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  #1  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:53 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

I am 90% sure that I can make a claim about my extended family that is awfully neat. There are less than 100 adult Sklanskys in the United States. A white page search implies the number is more like 70. I think all of them are no further away than third cousins from me. And nine of them have written books. In fact at least seven of them have written more than one book! (Check out Amazon). Thus ten to fifteen percent of all adult Sklanskys are book authors- David A, David B, Morris, Amy, Milton, Ron, Jeff, Jack, and Gloria.

I contend that there is NO OTHER FAMILY NAME that can boast this percentage of book authors (save those names that are so rare that one or two of them being an author would beat ten percent).

That's pretty cool if true. Maybe even something worth publicizing. And I call it "semi bragging" since I can't take any credit for it. But I have done no research on the topic. So I offer a $200 reward to anyone who can refute it. By which I mean find a name where there are more than 50 members who have a higher percentage of authors on Amazon.com than Sklanskys have.

If you fail, but have obviously spent some time on it and can document your failed results, I'll send you a free book of your choice (up to ten people).

(To make it easy, I'd suggest using white page searches and multiplying by 2.5 unless they also inlude enumerating unlisted numbers. If so multiply by 1.5. Accuracy is probably not vital because I don't think it will be close.)
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2005, 08:22 AM
MegumiAmano MegumiAmano is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

The rarity of your name is what gave you the high percentage to begin with. It seems like excluding other even more rare names is like cheating. You should have just left it open, because what are the odds that someone with fewer than 50 family members plays poker, reads here, and has published authors in the family?
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2005, 08:59 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

"The rarity of your name is what gave you the high percentage to begin with. It seems like excluding other even more rare names is like cheating. You should have just left it open, because what are the odds that someone with fewer than 50 family members plays poker, reads here, and has published authors in the family?"

For the most part you are wrong. Of course if there were some name with thirty members that had ten authors, they automatically win. In fact six for thirty could be called more impressive. But not four out of thity or three out of fiteen or two out of ten. Can't you see that?

On the other hand I would grant you that 18 out of two hundred or 70 out of a thousand deserves consideration for more impressive stats. But I don't think you will find anything close to that.

Meanwhile, if I'm wrong, it could very likely be found out by a non family member.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2005, 09:23 AM
Shandrax Shandrax is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

Does this mean that feeling the desire to write a book (and actually doing it) has a genetical background or is it more like "Hmmm, cousin David made lots of cash by writing books, I'll try that also!".
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2005, 11:17 AM
kem kem is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

[ QUOTE ]
On the other hand I would grant you that 18 out of two hundred or 70 out of a thousand deserves consideration for more impressive stats. But I don't think you will find anything close to that.

[/ QUOTE ]

So I took a stab at this. My line of thinking was that my best bet was to use Professors' (obscure) last names.

First attempt: Goldwasser
From whitepages.com: 258 listings matching "Goldwasser, United States" (36 non-published listings)
From amazon.com: All 81 results for Goldwasser

Going through the list of 81, I manually (and maybe also erroneously) tried to remove all duplicate authors (does Amazon do this automatically? couldnt find it..) and also editors (although not stipulated to). The result:

Alan Goldwasser
Anita Goldwasser
Charles Goldwasser
Dan L. Goldwasser
Dorothy Goldwasser
Dovid Goldwasser
Edwin L Goldwasser
Henry Goldwasser
Israel Edwin Goldwasser
James Goldwasser
Jane Goldwasser
Janet Goldwasser
Julie Goldwasser
Katherine Goldwasser
M Goldwasser
Marvin Goldwasser
Michael S. Goldwasser
Orly Goldwasser
Samuel Marc Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser
Sharon Goldwasser
Temy Goldwasser
Thomas Goldwasser
Vivien Goldwasser

So 24 out of 258.

Doesn't quite beat your stat, but it's up there. If I have more free time, I'll play around with some other names.

Would be a harder (and perhaps more accurate challenge) if you stipulated that the authors must be alive and living in the United States, since presumably that's what the White Pages has listed.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2005, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

If this includes only adult family members, mine comes awfully close. Does it have to be a published book or can it be any topic? I used to write for NPR and my mother is a (soon to be) published author. There are less than 20 adults with my last name in the world.

My case is helped due to the lack of males on my father's side of the family.

Granted, I probably fall into the "special rare case" category. Its a cool thing you have nonetheless.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2005, 12:25 PM
kem kem is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11
Default Attempt #2

[ QUOTE ]
(To make it easy, I'd suggest using white page searches and multiplying by 2.5 unless they also inlude enumerating unlisted numbers. If so multiply by 1.5.

[/ QUOTE ]

Last name: Lippmann
whitepages: 219 listings matching "lippmann, United States" (17 unpublished listings)

(219 listed + 17 non-listed)*1.5 = 354

Amazon search by Author name = Lippmann: All 256 results for Lippmann

Manually checking these for duplicates, "contributers", editors, and "forwards" leaves these 42 names:
Annette Lippmann
Arthur L Lippmann
Bernard Lippmann
Charles Rosenfall Lippmann
Christa Lippmann
David Zangwill Lippmann
Dieter Lippmann
E. O Lippmann
Ed Lippmann
Edmund Oskar von Lippmann
Ellen Lippmann
Eric Lippmann
Ernesto Lippmann
F. Lippmann
Friedrich Lippmann
G. James Lippmann
Glenda K Lippmann
H. Lippmann
Heinz Lippmann
Horst Lippmann
Ingeborg Lippmann
Ingo Lippmann
Irwin Lippmann
John Lippmann
Julie Mathilde Lippmann
Lionel W Lippmann
Lloyd M Lippmann
Lorna Lippmann
Margrit Lippmann
Marlies Lippmann
Me Lippmann
Mila Lippmann-Pawlowski
Morton Lippmann
Paul Lippmann
Richard P. Lippmann
Robert Lippmann
Seymour A Lippmann
Steven Lippmann
Theodorus Wilhelmus Maria Lippmann
Walter Lippmann
Wilfried G. Lippmann
Wolfgang Lippmann

[ QUOTE ]
Thus ten to fifteen percent of all adult Sklanskys are book authors .... I contend that there is NO OTHER FAMILY NAME that can boast this percentage of book authors

[/ QUOTE ]
42 / 354 = 11.86%

Do I win anything ?
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2005, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Attempt #2

Are all the authors US Lippmanns?
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:11 PM
kem kem is offline
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Default Re: Attempt #2

[ QUOTE ]
Are all the authors US Lippmanns?

[/ QUOTE ]

That would take more time to verify than I'm willing to invest at this stage...
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:22 PM
fnord_too fnord_too is offline
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Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 672
Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

Damn 50 name requirement. 7 Lidums in the country (I know one of them) and 1 author.

Edit 48 Lipshitz and 7 or 8 authors, close enough to 50?

Edit 2 - the 48 was from yahoo people search, so there are probably a few unlisted.
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