Title

It Is Not Plagiarism, Y'all

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-22-2016

Abstract

I must admit that numbers, math, algebra and statistics have always been my Achilles’ heel. And McGill University physics professor’s stats confound me.

The Online Digg (via Huffington Post) headline reads: “Physicist: there’s A 1-In-87 Billion Chance Melania Trump Didn’t Plagiarize.” It appears that the good physics professor, a numbers-wizard from McGill University identified as Bob Rutledge, “has the stats to back that intuition up.” Further, “the chances That Trump’s arrangement of the allegedly plagiarized phrases was a random occurrence are roughly 1-in-87 billion [thus making] the fourteen phrases that Melania Trump has in common with Michelle Obama 14*13*12*11*10*9*8*7*6 *5*4*3*2*1 [for]a grand total of about 87 billion different permutations for those 14 distinct phrases.”

I am even more confounded by these baffling numbers and the extricated syllogism.

Publication Title

CounterPunch