Date: Nov 27, 2012 8:35 PM
Author: Ben Bacarisse
Subject: Re: Simple random number generator?
"Existential Angst" <email@example.com> writes:
> "Ben Bacarisse" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>> Clark Smith <email@example.com> writes:
>>> On Mon, 26 Nov 2012 15:08:17 -0500, Existential Angst wrote:
>>>> Would be the digits of e, pi, et al?
>>>> If that's the case, no need for fancy pyooter algorithms?
>>>> Inneresting article on pi, randomness, chaos.
>>> Is it not the case that the digits of e, pi et al. can't strictly
>>> be random, if it is only because they are highly compressible? I.e.
>>> because there small, compact formulas that spit out as many digits as you
>>> want in a completely deterministic way?
> Well, as I responded above, Bailey/Crandall would most certainly
No they don't. They use random, quite properly, in a slightly informal,
It is of course a long-standing open question whether the digits of
and various other fundamental constants are "random" in an appropriate
Note the quotes and the fact that the term is immediately qualified.
>> Of course, that's also the case for the "fancy pyooter algorithms" that
>> Existential Angst wants to replace, so he or she is not really talking
>> about random but about pseudo-random sequences.
> Well, ackshooly I am talking about true random. Bailey and Crandall are
> hypothesizing that e, pi et al are true random (I like "intrinsically
> random"), but you and others are apparently arguing that because pi can be
> calc'd or generated, it cannot be random. Bailey/Crandall would clearly
> disagree with this.
No, they don't. I am sure they accept the information theoretic
meaning of the word, just as I accept the statistical sense of the term
(especially what in "scare quotes").
> Calculating the digits
>> of pi or e etc (and, presumably, some simple combinations thereof) is
>> harder than the super fast "fancy" algorithms already used, so I don't
>> see the benefit.
> Hasn't pi been calc'd to billions of places already? Seems to me that's
> enough random numbers to last people for a while.... lol
Does the lol mean you are joking?
> I think "intrinsic experiments", like single-photon slit/diffraction
> experiments would be an elegant way to generate true random numbers -- but
> even that is then dependent on the "legitimacy" of the experimental
Good quality, hardware-generated random number sequences (if our current
understanding of quantum effects is correct) are random in a different
way to the digits of pi. It helps if the terminology is be able to
distinguish between them.