To be or not to be… randomly speaking

  • aslan

    To be or not to be… randomly speaking

    We talk about random shuffles, how many passes it takes, and about VP machines based on random shuffles, and on the possibility fre different things occurring in a random sample, etc., yet is there even such a thing as randomness in the real world? Can randomness be proven to even exist? And if there is no randomness in the universe, does that lead to a deterministic outlook, the possibility that the “fix” is in (on a cosmic scale)? If there is no randomness, can you be sure you really have the chance you think you have? Is there randomness for all practical purposes? How do you know?

    http://www.bestthinking.com/articles/society_and_humanities/philosophy/theory_of_randomness/to-what-extent-does-randomness-exist-

    https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~chaitin/sciamer.html

    http://www.design-reuse.com/articles/27050/true-randomness-in-cryptography.html

    http://books.google.com/books?id=ehlk3RCQXg4C&pg=PA248&lpg=PA248&dq=randomness+for+all+practical+purposes&source=bl&ots=u_F4qmLQmR&sig=ZPy2GKGeSquXU7_CFhG7N6XkB2M&hl=en&ei=HGSsToA1yd7RAa2A8awP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    http://www.math.ias.edu/~avi/PUBLICATIONS/MYPAPERS/ODED/UBPP/RANDOM/proc.pdf

  • sagefr0g

     

    random ? i dunno, but far as i can tell it might as well be.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    random ? i dunno, but far as i can tell it might as well be.

    Unless of course you had the key to unlock the repeating pattern.

  • sagefr0g

     

    Quote: aslan said:
    Unless of course you had the key to unlock the repeating pattern.

    yeah, no, lol, hey gotta read those links you provided, interesting stuff, this random thing. i know, errhh at least i think i know, like for instance, rng’s in computers and stuff, they can get pretty random, but just not quite there, not completely random, is how i understand it. so does that mean people can’t make truly random stuff? i dunno, but well just for the case of a computers rng, errrhh why can’t we make a truly random rng? understand that, then maybe we could understand what random is or isn’t, i sure don’t know, but it’s interesting, hopefully someone around here can explain a bit about the nature of randomness.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    yeah, no, lol, hey gotta read those links you provided, interesting stuff, this random thing. i know, errhh at least i think i know, like for instance, rng’s in computers and stuff, they can get pretty random, but just not quite there, not completely random, is how i understand it. so does that mean people can’t make truly random stuff? i dunno, but well just for the case of a computers rng, errrhh why can’t we make a truly random rng? understand that, then maybe we could understand what random is or isn’t, i sure don’t know, but it’s interesting, hopefully someone around here can explain a bit about the nature of randomness.

    For one thing, no one can see enough of any possibly random rendering to ensure that it does not repeat itself at some point. That is not to say that it is not random, only that it cannot be proven to be so. Also, in many things that appear random at first glance, a pattern appears on a larger scale, at least, that’s what I have gleaned from some of the articles. Like you say, for all practical purposes something may be considered purely random. But what about the physics of it? Does everything have a cause in physics, and if caused, doesn’t that make everything predictable, if only you could get your hands around the details of causation? I may not be expressing myself well, but don’t exactly same causes have exactly same results all other things being equal? What in the universe is not the result of some sort of causation? The Big Bang, for instance, being the original cause for some scientists, or one of an infinite number of “primal” causes. I am beginning to speak randomly, so I’d better shut up before I disprove my own argument.

  • Gamblor

     

    Taleb (the Black Swan guy) has some interesting thoughts on randomness, which I tend to agree with.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludic_fallacy

    Basically he thinks the real world randomness, namely the financial world, is completely different then the structured randomness of quantum physics (where probabilistic predictions can be made with a remarkable degree of accuracy) and casino games (where all the conditions of the game are known). And that its a huge mistake to model finance like if it was a game.

    Personally I think this tends to indicate the financial markets are easier to exploit then casino games I believe he is correct, but having said that, maybe not all casino games have been modeled completely and totally correctly either – in a simple game like roulette or craps, its possible to take into account all conditions and thus can be modeled accurately, but in other games, maybe not so much.

  • Gamblor

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    yeah, no, lol, hey gotta read those links you provided, interesting stuff, this random thing. i know, errhh at least i think i know, like for instance, rng’s in computers and stuff, they can get pretty random, but just not quite there, not completely random, is how i understand it. so does that mean people can’t make truly random stuff? i dunno, but well just for the case of a computers rng, errrhh why can’t we make a truly random rng? understand that, then maybe we could understand what random is or isn’t, i sure don’t know, but it’s interesting, hopefully someone around here can explain a bit about the nature of randomness.

    Yes, practically any computer rng is not entirely random. Some of this has to do with the fact that you often need to generate random numbers quickly (so a simple algorithm is required). Now, are some rng random enough that its hard to exploit, in all likelihood yes.

    Here’s an example of a once popular rng. Every 3rd random number generated had an exact correlation to to the first two random numbers generated! Something to keep in mind.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RANDU

    I love this quote:

    ‘One of us recalls producing a “random” plot with only 11 planes, and being told by his computer center’s programming consultant that he had misused the random number generator: “We guarantee that each number is random individually, but we don’t guarantee that more than one of them is random.” Figure that out.’
    —W. H. Press

  • mmeyers

    Michael Larson, Game Show Legend

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    yeah, no, lol, hey gotta read those links you provided, interesting stuff, this random thing. i know, errhh at least i think i know, like for instance, rng’s in computers and stuff, they can get pretty random, but just not quite there, not completely random, is how i understand it. so does that mean people can’t make truly random stuff? i dunno, but well just for the case of a computers rng, errrhh why can’t we make a truly random rng? understand that, then maybe we could understand what random is or isn’t, i sure don’t know, but it’s interesting, hopefully someone around here can explain a bit about the nature of randomness.

    Frog, I think you make a really good point that random doesn’t really mean random. The hard part is trying to figure out the pattern. Do you remember the game show Press Your Luck?

    http://gscentral.net/larsen.htm

    mmeyers

  • sagefr0g

     

    Quote: aslan said:
    ….. But what about the physics of it? Does everything have a cause in physics, and if caused, doesn’t that make everything predictable, if only you could get your hands around the details of causation? I may not be expressing myself well, but don’t exactly same causes have exactly same results all other things being equal? What in the universe is not the result of some sort of causation? The Big Bang, for instance, being the original cause for some scientists, or one of an infinite number of “primal” causes. I am beginning to speak randomly, so I’d better shut up before I disprove my own argument.

    well speaking of physics, as i think maybe legend has it, or at least according to some stories i’ve read, even Mr. Einstein may have had a problem with causation with respect to quantum physics, no? that ‘spooky’ action at a distance stuff, entanglement stuff, errhh i dunno, seems he had some discomfort viewing stuff through the lens of quantum mechanics, maybe? i think it might of had to do with his sense that causation had to be in the mix somehow.

    Quote:
    Gamblor
    Quote:
    ..Yes, practically any computer rng is not entirely random. Some of this has to do with the fact that you often need to generate random numbers quickly (so a simple algorithm is required). Now, are some rng random enough that its hard to exploit, in all likelihood yes….

    and here’s something regarding that, errhh well, for me personally, i’ve been realizing or finding that seemingly paradoxically but i guess it isn’t really paradoxical, that the fact that stuff we want to exploit in the casino’s is for all practical purposes random, errrhh well that fact can help us exploit that stuff.

    Quote:
    mmeyers
    Quote:
    Frog, I think you make a really good point that random doesn’t really mean random. The hard part is trying to figure out the pattern. Do you remember the game show Press Your Luck?

    http://gscentral.net/larsen.htm

    lol, i sure do remember Larsen & Press Your Luck, can’t remember all the details, so i want to review your link, but heck yeah, a classic sort of an advantage play, imho.
    and, i’m guessing, trying to remember but here, wasn’t Larsen exploiting the lack of randomness in something that was supposedly random, sorta thing? lol
    edit: sort of another side of the coin, here where the fact something is supposed to be random but really isn’t, lends the situation exploitable.

  • blackjack avenger

    many questions

    Is Aslan and froggie the same person?

    Is non randomness another reason to bet 1/4 to 1/8 kelly?

    If a non random jacks or better game occasionally holds out a 2 or an A from the deal. How many hands until one can realize it? How many hands until it matters in ev?

    If we flip every penny in the world at the same time is that random enough? Are there enough Chinese to do it? Would the world survive?

  • aslan

     

    Quote: blackjack avenger said:
    Is Aslan and froggie the same person?

    I think Aslan would consider them brothers.

    Is non randomness another reason to bet 1/4 to 1/8 kelly?

    Did we determine that randomness exists?

    If a non random jacks or better game occasionally holds out a 2 or an A from the deal. How many hands until one can realize it? How many hands until it matters in ev?

    What if it never permitted a RSF? Wouldn’t that destroy any apparent chance of winning?

    If we flip every penny in the world at the same time is that random enough? Are there enough Chinese to do it? Would the world survive?

    If the Chinese did so in unison, would it tilt the earth on its axis? How many Chinese are required to create randomness? If the earth tilted on its axis, would the world survive? Would the price of copper go through the roof? Why not? What is random? Can you prove it? Does it really even matter? What time is lunch?

    .

  • tthree

     

    I eat at random times. My meals are random. Breakfast at 9PM yesterday but had dinner at 10AM. Oops lunch yesterday is being eaten right now today. I just hate predictability. That’s why I like blackjack. I count on unpredictability.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: tthree said:
    I eat at random times. My meals are random. Breakfast at 9PM yesterday but had dinner at 10AM. Oops lunch yesterday is being eaten right now today. I just hate predictability. That’s why I like blackjack. I count on unpredictability.

    You are so predictable.

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: tthree said:
    I eat at random times. My meals are random. Breakfast at 9PM yesterday but had dinner at 10AM.

    So “breakfast” and “dinner” are arbritary lables based on what the meal consists of? zg

  • blackjack avenger

    random is as random is

    Hand shuffled BJ is not random, one can use the info to an advantage or not use the info and still have an advantage.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: blackjack avenger said:
    Hand shuffled BJ is not random, one can use the info to an advantage or not use the info and still have an advantage.

    Random for shuffling is considered the number of times cards must riffled to allow for every possible combination of cards to have a chance of occurrence and is considered to be near enough to random at seven passes.

    In conflict with this is the notion that if the cards came out high, low, high, low, high, low, the same to the end, the cards would not be considered random in order.

    Since no one knows what random looks like, I wonder how they decide on these conventions? Are there rules that do not allow RNGs to produce certain results, like ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, trey, trey, trey, etc., etc?

  • aslan

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    So “breakfast” and “dinner” are arbritary lables based on what the meal consists of? zg

    Some restaurants advertise “breakfast anytime” or “breakfast 24/7.”

    Sometimes, I like breakfast foods for dinner. Conversely, sometimes, I like dinner foods for breakfast. There is nothing like bacon, eggs and toast for dinner, or spaghetti, pizza or steak for breakfast. Steak and eggs is a hybrid meal; so is chicken and waffles; so why is the former always on a breakfast menu and the latter on a dinner menu? Should there be a food police? Maybe the *dm*n*str*t**n can work on this problem while they are busy r*g*l*t*ng the other foods we eat. I want to eat p*l*t*c*lly correctly.

  • blackriver

     

    Quote: aslan said:
    Some restaurants advertise “breakfast anytime” or “breakfast 24/7.”

    Sometimes, I like breakfast foods for dinner. Conversely, sometimes, I like dinner foods for breakfast. There is nothing like bacon, eggs and toast for dinner, or spaghetti, pizza or steak for breakfast. Steak and eggs is a hybrid meal; so is chicken and waffles; so why is the former always on a breakfast menu and the latter on a dinner menu? Should there be a food police? Maybe the *dm*n*str*t**n can work on this problem while they are busy r*g*l*t*ng the other foods we eat. I want to eat p*l*t*c*lly correctly.

    They don’t have lots of breakfast/dinner options on dinner/breakfast menus for the same reason most menus don’t have EVERYTHING you want on them except, ironically the cheese cake factory whose name suggests they would have no real “food” options.

    Hows that for random

  • Sonny

     

    Quote: aslan said:
    Since no one knows what random looks like, I wonder how they decide on these conventions? Are there rules that do not allow RNGs to produce certain results, like ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, ace, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, deuce, trey, trey, trey, etc., etc?

    If certain results were not allowed then it wouldn’t be random.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests

    -Sonny-

  • sagefr0g

    so what in nature can be considered random

    is there known stuff in nature that is random?

    how about the position of an electron over time? that considered random?
    ICNT?

  • Gamblor

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    is there known stuff in nature that is random?

    how about the position of an electron over time? that considered random?
    ICNT?

    Only thing I’m aware of in nature that is completely random would be the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, like the position of an electron. Or at least no one has proven it is not completely random

    Early on I believe Manderbolt developed fractals while studying seemingly random spikes in phone transmissions, but discovered the spikes followed a fractal, self same pattern.

    Also, I recall a study done on the distribution of trees in a rainforest. You would think trees are just randomly distributed in a forest, but what they discovered was the distribution followed a fractal pattern – furthermore there was a correlation of the distribution of the trees to the fractal pattern of the branching of the the tree species, if I recall correctly, which is strange.

    Also brings to mind a program I worked on a few years ago, where I had to render trees in a forest. I initially just distributed the trees randomly, but when doing so, it immediately was obvious that the forest didn’t “look right”. Had to use a specific, less random algorithm to better simulate a more natural looking distribution of trees (more clumping and gaps). Also brings up the whole brain is a super computer thing, and how it immediately recognizes an unnatural looking pattern, in this case it recognizes that something looks too random, which is kind of a neat twist

  • aslan

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    is there known stuff in nature that is random?

    how about the position of an electron over time? that considered random?
    ICNT?

    Many things are considered random for all practical matters. Ask ICNT if it can be proven mathematically that electrons move randomly. Also, ask him if he can give you a clear idea of what movement means in the quantum sense. haha The whole idea may get “cloudy.” Not be confused with “fuzzy,” but not far off either.

  • aslan

     

    Quote: Sonny said:
    If certain results were not allowed then it wouldn’t be random.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests

    -Sonny-

    Absolutely true. HAHA Random is as random does. One possibility then is that from now on every random flip of a coin will be heads– now wouldn’t that screw things up!? Is there a law that says one or more of the possible outcomes is impossible? Sounds contradictory to me.

  • QFIT

     

    A few comments:

    There exist many pseudorandom number generators. These are algorithmic and vary from simply awful (like the Excel PRNG) to excellent (MarZam II). Nearly all PRNGs built into compilers suck. Marsaglia found that PRNGs that were used to plot results in two-dimensional charts looked random. But, when plotted in 3D and rotated, the numbers all fell in planes, and therefore not random enough for many applications. All PRNGs are deterministic, but some are still “random enough.” The link Sonny provided is the classic set of PRNG tests.

    There exist true RNGs. These are generally based on entropy. That is, they examine physical decay of some sort.

    The Ivy Bridge chips, currently in production and to be released in March by Intel, contain a new hardware PRNG which is seeded by an entropic process. Basically, I think it looks at the output of unstable inverters. But, I haven’t read the tech papers. This is a Cascade Construction RNG. This type of RNG is nearly a true RNG. It may even be a TRNG if not used too quickly. I think I would call it a TRNG for all practical purposes. This type of RNG is also extremely fast. Three billion RNs per sec.

  • iCountNTrack

     

    Quote: sagefr0g said:
    is there known stuff in nature that is random?

    how about the position of an electron over time? that considered random?
    ICNT?

    Quatum randomness based on quantum events are the most random occurrences known to date, which means nobody has been able to discern any patterns so far.

The BlackjackInfo Knowledge Base contains over 200,000 messages posted by the BlackjackInfo community.

Posting and replies to the knowledge base are no longer available, but comments and replies are welcomed on the blog.