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THE PRESIDENT AND THE EDITORS
AX editorial symposium on Roosevelt's recent speech at
Provincetown supplies some fine confused reading. In the
ice of this portentous conflict of testimony, gathered from
widely separated sources and propounded in all cases with
equal assurance, he would be a rash man who would venture to
make up his mind.
Thus v.-c find that the more or less esteemed New York Sun
accuses the president of making a desperate and. unscrupulous
statement when he said that "rich malefactors have combined to
bring about financial stress for the purpose of discrediting the
government." The Sun, strangely enough, finds that this is the
single statement in the whole speech "with which the public is
likely to be much concerned/ And it adds, "A more unscrupu
lous or desperate statement it would be impossible to make." In
the face of these obstreperous and alarming noises it seems rash
to say that a majority of American citizens are persuaded that
Roosevelt told the truth.
Now, on the other hand, the Provincetown, R. 1., Journal finds
that Roosevelt's "policy is truly conservative. He would save the
nation by curing the disease that afflicts it" Then the Journal,
with fine independence, flouts the "wrath of Wall street." We
can at least agree that Wall street has no friends.
The New York World devotes three columns of criticism to
the speech. It finds, among other things, that "the grave defect
of Mr. Roosevelt's corporation policy is that he has no policy." So
we are given nearly three yards of editorial about a negative quan
tity. . So much ingenuity devoted to the people's cause is gratifying,
but, unhappily, it leaves us. more than ever muddled. It is hard
to please everybody. ..',,.,.
We sail in calmer waters with the New York Tribune, which
is not only able to discover a well defined Roosevelt policy, but is
certain that it "aims at greater security for the investor and greater
good to the public. It is idealistic, not cynical or revengeful."
That's it. Roosevelt's policy is idealistic. You see, we are getting
all sorts of information.
The New York Evening Post feared the worst. It usually
does. The editor knew in advance just what Roosevelt would
say.'. "If he were to say anything at all," remarks the editor, "this
was what he was sure to say." We have always suspected this
person of the dolorous and vexatious gift of prophecy. Which of
us has found the prophet of good? So this melancholy soothsayer
knew from the start that Roosevelt's "way of calming a patient is
to give another shock." The writer proceeds to demonstrate learn
edly that Roosevelt is destroying "the commerce of imperceptibles,"
which is the college professors' name for credit.
The Springfield Republican insists that the president". is righf
when he announces that "corporations and individuals pursuing
lawful courses and attending to business, rather to the swindling
games of high finance, have nothing to fear, and property rights
will be made more and not less secure by the suppression of preda
tory practices pursued by a few aggregations of property."-
The New York Times dismisses Roosevelt easily as an
"impromptu statesman," and declares that "in his devastating
career he brings greater calamities upon the honest man than upon
There are others, many others, every, one of them as cocksure
as these — but we forbear. There is here bewilderment enough for
one day. It was the illustrious Chancellor Oxenstiern who
remarked: "You see, my son, with how little wisdom the world
is governed." You can apply that remark either to the president
or the editors. Suit yourself.
WATCH US GROW
f I JHE activity of railroad building in northern and central Calir
I fornia is becoming matter of outside comment. The Riverside
J_ Press of recent date makes some comparisons with condi
tions in this regard south of Tehachapi, from which we quote:
To be candid we have to admit that both in steam and electric rail
road building the central and northern part of the state" is* at present idoing
f much more than is southern California. The San Diego and Arizona road
d is the only really important piece of railroad building now, under way" in ; this
t\ section of the state. Trolley - extensions' are proceeding very; slowly,, and
£ -while encouraging reports about a line«frqm Riverside to Colton, Riverside
I to Redlands, and from Riverside to Los Angeles are • from ' time to time
| given out, nothing very tangible seems, to materialize.- We: can ?onlyi hope
f that capitalists in southern California may be stimulated by: the: activity in
| the north Jo push improvement a little more rapidlyr We have J been going
t ahead so much faster, in southern California" than has. any- other portion
I of the state that we have grown accustomed to speaking, iv a somewhat
t. contemptuous manner of the slow development in the Sacramento valley
I and other parts of northern California. At the rate things are moving
* up there at present, however, we shall have to begin to look to our, 1 laurels.
Among the railroad enterprises in this region under construc
\ tion at the, present. moment the Western Pacific is, of course,, of
•first importance, but there are a great many others that mean
much to the growth of California. . Not many people realize how
extensive is the scope of the electric^, railway systems now in
process of installation, with Sacramento as the central; point/ A
great network connecting the state capital with trie important
; towns north and south is already in large part complete. All this
means much for Sacramento and Stockton as important \u25a0distributing
points. It will not be long before the whole length of the great
interior valley, from Bakersfield in the south to Redding in the
north, will be gridironed by trolley roads. BBSS
This competition 'pushes the • Southern pacific •to renewed
Cartoonist Ewer's Review of the Week's News \
activity, and Harriman finds that he must build a road along
the'banks of the Sacramento river that will tap the fertile delta
region, which ; hitherto i has had no rail communication. In this
immediate neighborhood the competition of the Key Route com
pels the Southern Pacific _to electrize its Oakland and Alameda
lines. The Bay Shore cutoff on the peninsula is. almost complete.
The narrow gauge road is being converted to broad gauge for its
whole length. Preparations arc- in hand -to bridge the bay at Dum
barton point, and the Ocean Shore road from V' San), Francisco to
Santa Cruz is going right ahead to open an important" part of
the peninsula never before; touched by modern traffic agencies.; •
x Electric ; railways are building or planned for Marine Sonoma
and r : Lake counties. The California Northwestern is in process
of I extension to the redwood forests of Humboldt. During the
past summer a railroad has been opened to a point within a - few
miles of the Yosemite valley."
Watch us grow. v :
ONE wonders what President A. . F: Payson of the Spring
Valley water jcbrhpany^ thinks he sis'? doings Apparently^j he
imagines; that by "alternately threatening .and; making; a| poof
mouth! he wilK persuade the city of San Francisco ito buy
the water plant at a price somewhere -between $5,000,000 and
$ia000:0(X) in excessVofat S ;value;>> ';
[ "- Mr. Pay son ;'x knows Cthat: the? process of .valuation by which
the sum of $31,000,000 is arrived at will not bear analysis. In
fact, he does .not dare i attempt analysis; or justification. ,:Gne day
the estimate; islbased; on an, average of all the ;; figures supplied by
experts,' most of whom were hired by i His corporation . to % inflate
the value^ /VWhen that argument or.v estimate is^ exposed as plain
cheating;«he -takes .' refuge;: in ; some -vague talk ' about ~ the value of
the stock \and; bonds. VvDoe^s
securities ? '. "\u25a0\u25a0 Not "at; all. As Vfar \u25a0'\u25a0as rTheHGalj^ canVgather. his ; intent
heiasks: for: the par value; of ithe; bonds 'and half the -face ' yalue^of
tHe/stpck^ The bonds sell; for less than -par in the . market; r The
stock/sells ; around 20. ; v Mr;;Paysqn wants 50. *,
Either : way it is figured, .Mr. , Payson . asks for a bonus of
many -millions.. San. Francisco^ will not i do jbusiness" irithat
The :^ihg is'absuVd.' pet-Mn^
perhaps, the city : will : b»e ; prepared to -talk .':j)usmess. : " Mr. Payson
Ha^*Jt)eeiT i< talking \u25a0r^onshirie. He see^ engageli
inVa librse trade. . JJ —•. ' :> ; ' \ ; . " \u0084 r
SPRING VALLEY MOONSHINE
O. R. Keady of Yuba City is at the
Paul Kreteck Is at the Savoy from
. J. ; B. Howard of Menio Park Is at
the. Dale.; "
- P. J. McKlnney ; of Phoenix Is , at the
Jefferson. . " ..\u25a0.'.;v,v' ; r
v Aifk. Boyd Is New York is at the
\u25a0'.7 C.J.- Sterling of Los Angeles is at 'the
Grand Central. -. . \u25a0
F.iT. Meschner of Tonopah Is a gueat
at;thel St. 'James/
\u25a0V, F/ Garllck" of Seattle and > Mrs. Gar
llok are at the Hamlln.
\u25a0 A. \u25a0 W. ; and Henry "Armstrong of Pasa
dena'are at the Majestic. - - '
\u25a0J.'c.: Barrett of [Seattle registered at
the? St.' James 'yesterday. C .
J. \u25a0\u25a0 C. : Haft .and; Mrs.- Haft arV at the
St. * James 'from ClndnnatL .
Ui. Charles : : Limb; and; Mrs. Lamb "of
Stockton r. are ,at the Savoy.
: ; P.' Alba de: Costa, a Nevada mining
operator, ? ls;at -the Fairmont, r
C. ';\u25a0 W.\ Noyes and ; Mrs. iNoyes of
Chicago ' are- at "the Imperial. .:
\u25a0£\u25a0> 6. i Sprig"/ of : Chicago,' v accompanied by
Mrs/ Sprig; is at\the ; Imperial. .;
- K. .Tv". ; Heye ' registered fat ; the - Ma
jestiC;yesterday f rom ; Honolulu. " :
= G. H. Maxwell (and -, MrsVi Maxwell \u25a0 of
LosjArigelesjare at.the Imperial.'. 7- :".
. 'J: R. ;, Loftus. registered "' at- the "''. Fair
mont yesterday ' from \u25a0 Los : Angeles. ~S'-,
\ v John ~i M. • Lewis % and .; Mrs. i Lewis Vare !
at the; Hamlint from Nashville, iTenn.
; ; sMrs.;jM. ; ; M. GraggV; Miss Gragg and
Mrs.'* Sargeant of '\u25a0 Monteray ; are at' « the
Jefferson."^;y.^ :^ : y;-'.-r v .." ;,.:,.%'\u25a0£ . .
J. H.' Tucker; and iHenry Hewitt, lum
ber I merchants '. of/'Tacoma, ; 'are fait the"
St.l Francis." :;.\u25a0,.... . _ - •'-,\u25a0".- •
VCaptain 4 CW^R.rßiiey^ with. 15 J mem
bers *,6f4theX Hawaiian gun clubVls 'at
the -Jefferson: 5 ;-;*;;.-'•
: >F. ;J. 'Hdnig.r? accompanied 'by Mrs.
Honig.tis rat 1 ; the Grand 7 Central* from
Los> Angeles/; ';]-•''\u25a0 .\'"r"'\ ""-' ' : -*\ '"\u25a0i'r-.^-.y-.'.
'•/. W-* c - -tPattertoo,' "vice president of
the First .national banklvof Los' An
geles, is at the St.; Francis. '
;j -Captain hWliliam^M.^Cru.ickshank7 of
thej army.^isiat^ the'.' Fairmont.'; ,h©' is
accompanied Mrs. ; Crulkshank. y \
Airs. David Starr Jordan, ;wiia of
SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
A Measure for Liars
Being Vsome account of a new form of mind
reading and a measuring stick for accuracy
Edward F. Cahill
Tpw HOFESSOR HUGO MUEXSTERBERG of Harvard is for the present the
\J great protcgonist of the fascinating , but fir ile pseudo science of psy-
I. chology. Likewise the Herr Professor Is an^admirer of militarism wit»
polite and academic 'limitations! During the trial of Haywood he mad»
on his own account a special Journey to Boise so that be might estimate by
laboratory method the. capacity of : Harry Orchard for telling the truth.
IV.;Profeswr}MuensterbergVdoe«.not explain the nature of his measuring
"stick; but in the current McClure's he masses. a considerable volume of facts
showing how common is Inaccuracy of perception, and his conclusion is that
witnesses before going- into court should be subjected to examination by an
expert psychologist, who would assay or assess, presumably in terms of
arithmetic, the ; value of his, testimony. A witness might be— let v* say—
50 per cent fine; and the jury,' loyally accepting the conclusions of the ex
pert,would.believe.half his testimony if It could tell which half.
The examples of Inaccuracy of observation given by Professor Muen
sterberg are chiefly the results of experiments conducted by himself on
members of his classes. They were concerned mostly with the lapse of time,
the estimation of units In a huddled mass and perception of color. It la
quite clear that Professor Muensterberg knew where to look for proof of
his conclusion, for observation of phenomena In all these classes is peculiarly
liable :-. to error.
It is an old courtroom gag that where a lawyer sets out to trap a wit
ness he takes out his watch and bids his victim estimate a given time. I
have seen this trick played twenty times, and It always works. The witness
invariably makes a wrong-guess, often ridiculously wrong. The only time
I ever saw the game beaten was when the lawyer facing the 1 witness did
not. know that there was a clock on the wall behind him. If this test were
insisted on no man could be believed but a human chronometer.
Professor Muensterberg gives this example of conflicting testimony that
comes in another class:
"I had occasion recently to make an address on peace in New York
before a large gathering, to which there was an unexpected and somewhat
spirited reply. The reporters sat immediately In front of the platform. One
man wrote that the. audience was so surprised by my speech that It received
it in complete silence; another wrote that I was constantly interrupted by
loud applause and that at the. end of my address the applause continued for
minutes. The one wrote that during my opponent's speech I was constantly
smiling; the other noticed that my face remained grave and without a smile.
The one said that, l grew purple red from excitement, and the other found
that I grew white like chalk. The one told us that my critic while speak
ing, walked up and down the large stage, and the other that he stood all
the while at my side and patted me in a fatherly way on the shoulder. And
Mr. Dooley finally heard that before I made my speech on peace I was In
troduced as the professor from the Harvard war school— but It may be that
Mr. Dooley was not himself present."
* Is not Professor Muensterberg guilty here of some rhetorical heighten
ing of the conflict of testimony? Of course I did not see the several pub
lications of which he complains, but I think there Is internal evidence that
tho professor was carried slightly off his base by a pardonable enthusiasm
for a striking climax. I miss my guess If he is not guilty of his own sin — »
the sin that he has Invented and classified.
Apart from possible Inaccuracies in the professor's amusing description,
many of these apparent contradictions are reconcilable. The professor may
have turned pale at one moment and blushed celestial rosy red at another.
The other man may easily have walked the platform during part of hi 3
address and may have stood by Muensterberg patting him on the shoulder
by way of accompaniment to a different vein of thought. There are many
aspects of a fight In a peace conference. \u25a0*
But. Professor Muensterberg forgives the reporters in view of prevailing
inaccuracy of the ordinary observer. By way of specifications these:
"The Juryman and the judge do not discriminate whether the witness
tells that he saw in late twilight a woman in a red gown or one in a blue
gown. , They are not expected to know 1 that such a faint light would . still
allow the blue color sensation to come in, while the red color sensation
would have disappeared. They are not obliged to know what directions of
sound are mixed up by all of us and what are discriminated; they do not
know perhaps that we can never be In doubt whether we heard on the coun
try road a cry from the right or from the left, but that we may be utterly
unable to say whether we heard it from in front or from behind. They
have no reason to know that the. victim. of a crime may have been utterly
unable to perceive that he was stabbed with a pointed dagger; he may have
felt it like a dull blow. We hear the witnesses talking about. the taste ofi
poisoned liquids, and there Is probably no one In the Jury box who knows
enough of physiological psychology to be aware that the same snbject may
taste quite differently on different parts of the tongue. We may hear quar
reling parties In a civil suit testify as to the size and length and form of &
field as it appeared to them, and yet there is no one to remind the court that
the same distance must appear quite differently under a hundred different
conditions. The judge listens perhaps to a . description of things which thai
witness has "secretly seen through the keyhole of the door; he does not un
derstand why all the judgments as to the size of objects and their place are
probably erroneous under . such circumstances. The witness may be sure.
of having felt something wet, and yet he may have felt only some smooth,
cold metal. .In short, every chapter and snbehapter of sense psychology may
help to clear up the chaos and the confusion which prevail In the observa*'
tion of witnesses." -
;If disinterested witnesses are Incapable of accuracy to the degree thai
Professor Muensterberg contends and interested witnesses color or falsify
their testimony, the hypothesis almost reduces the proceedings of court* to
absurdity. If there are so many who cant tell the truth and so many others
who won't tell the truth, then we are reduced to circumstantial evidence aa
the only safe reliance.
Having discovered a new disease or a more alarming form of an old one,
Professor Muensterberg ought to produce his remedies, but the. truth is h«
does not appear very sure of himself. He makes a faint suggestion about
the employment of a psychological expert for court use on the witnesses.
The; conjunction of the 4)sychoiogist and the handwriting expert is sug
gestive. It is like trying to make one honest man out of two fakers. The
testimony of a mind reader on the evidence of a handwrltins expert should!
at least relieve the tedium of a day In court.
Why do I call -the psychologists fakers? Well, for this reason—that the?
have been disputing about this very basis and foundation of the so called
science for more than 2,000 years and they are just as much at outs today as In
the time^ of ; Plato 'and Aristotle. Maybe you don't think there is, any fight
ing talk in psychology, but If you dont believe it you might read John Stuart
Mill's hot roast of Sir William Hamilton and his philosophy. . Such wrath
inflames 'celestial minds.' '
But all. that- would be nothing to the battle between a brace of psycho
logical experts hired by opposing >ides in a lawsuit to riddle the witnesses.
It would add a new terror to litigation that a man might be scientifically
branded afi, incapable of telling more than 50 per cent of the truth.
President Jordan ; of \ Stanford univer
sity, ;Isl a ? guest; at : the Hamlln. She
Is accompanied by .Miss Tracy of Stan
ford.' " !
•That handwriting expert said there
©onditipris iri California
Yoik^-S^^^ C °^ ttM W> "* *^ ******* *• itS «*•»\u25a0*«•« to *••\u25a0
Oaiiforal* temperatnm for.ti* Lut tUtsni
-.;\u25a0;• to \u25a0^Meta^WWlas Permit.- for tte'..mk won Jfcpteml*, f : ]"'
? u ?t»jTnsao if crop of ti» v p^i«t yUr will exe««d tiat of a ! rt n
;;;;IJie:f(mn4»ti(m« ir« ready and the »to«l U^on ti« waV-fsr +s r „ v_«^
Q^^^oWel^.W.rSaarrawiaoo/Thi^^ S^al^?W Jf* I**'1 **' **
:Th*,_taiWß«J«ffl-dMt $350,000. . Mlppe<l '•* «f ."« time aa tis atoel.
wiur -no character* in my hand. What
did he mean. by thatr*
"He 'simply means that you're con
siderate and sensible enough to writt
each .character legibly."--PhHadelphia
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