Random acts of Randomness Friday August 5, 2005, 3 comments

Can a human being ever be truly random? While we are all aware that computers can only ever make an attempt at simulating randomness in their relentlessly digital way, humans are the pinnacle of complex analogue machines, and should therefore be completely capable of authentically random action.

Food for thought, to be sure. I am going to follow a rather twisty thought process here for a moment, so bear with me. It might be messy. I am going to postulate that not only are humans incapable of random action, but that there is no such thing as random except as a logical concept (like zero).

It is possible (but difficult in many cases) to ascertain the probability of something happening as a ratio, and in fact some brilliant quantum mechanic has pretty much determined the probability of everything (I can’t back this up with an online link, but it was done to determine the maximum number of universes possible in the “Many universes” theory).

You could, in theory, figure out the likelihood of my continued rape of the comma, or my enslavement of parentheses. You probably have enough statistical data at this point.

If everything has a probability that is less than 1:infinity, then can anything be random? Unlikely, for sure, but not truly random, right? One can calculate the odds of someone killing someone else, or the odds of someone committing suicide, or the odds of someone falling in love with someone else, because it is less than infinite.

It got messy, as I said it might. I’m not sure what to make of randomness. I know the appearance of randomness can be achieved, but I lack the statistical mathematics to back up the idea that true randomness is unachievable.

But I managed to get you to read to the end of the post, just like I knew i would. ☿


Comments

chris Friday August 5, 2005


Skip to the end! Skip to the end!
~c

K Friday August 5, 2005


Skip to the end! Skip to the end!

posted by chris at Aug 5, 10:26am

lol



pfff random … yeah i like to be controlled ;)

Sweetie Friday August 5, 2005


mmmmm….probability. Have I mentioned that I’m a science geek, math included?

Things only appear random when the probability gets extremely small, making trends more and more difficult to detect unless a very large population is examined.

Anyway, good job, Adrian. Made sense to me:)

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.”
- Albert Einstein

Twitter

  • There’s an important difference between an inexperienced developer and a bad developer. Tuesday December 3, 2019
  • This is utterly unacceptable, GO Transit. Should we expect an apology for the inconvenience, coupled with a statem… t.co/lSux4a9mbM Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Note that it wasn’t even possible to discuss this with someone at Union. Instead we were just given a card with the… t.co/b6BtE7uUUW Thursday November 21, 2019
  • And why did she feel justified in chastising them? She ever ejected a guy off the train who stepped through the doo… t.co/rdWrnDA3AA Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Why didn’t anyone announce the carriage was closed while the train was pulling in? Or even once the doors had opene… t.co/AWJz8RM0aD Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Then she yelled at them over the loudspeaker to tell them how rude it was to have tried to hold the doors open and… t.co/SYDQ0NCUpF Thursday November 21, 2019
  • She just shut the doors on them with barely 3 seconds warning (including one woman who got her bag knocked into the… t.co/9kydaITveC Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @GOtransit, want to explain to all the people who didn’t get on the Lakeshore East 4:10 today train why it was… t.co/4w4lbSMQCa Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @devinwenig. It was great to be a part of the @eBay family under you. Though I left that family more than a yea… t.co/qChpcb22Dr Wednesday September 25, 2019