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7 1 4 2 8 5

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Posted by Aurino Souza on July 9, 2002 16:27:53 UTC

" Tell me, is this sequence random? 7 1 4 2 8 5 "

What a coincidence! I just wrote this cute random number generator and guess what were the first six numbers it gave me: 7 1 4 2 8 5!

Can you explain why my numbers are random and your numbers are not?

It looks like it, doesn't it? And taken alone, sure, it is. But actually it's a repeated decimel of 5/7. It's not random, but the bigger picture (its source) must be taken into account. With random numbers that you pick off of the top of your head, sure, it's a lot more complex, but I think the principle is the same.

" I'm asking if, using my definition of randomness (that multiple outcomes are possible -not predetermined- from a system with one set of inputs) is it possible the universe functions on this level? "

I'm sorry but your definition of randomness is too vague and ambiguous. According to your definition, everything is random as there is always more than one possibility for any process, except the ones ruled out by definition. You have to try harder.

Think of randomness as a mathematical function f(x1, x2, ..., xn), x1...n being your set of inputs and the result of the function as the output. No matter how "random" any process is, the fact remains that only one output is produced for a particular set of inputs - exactly what a function is. So try to come up with one such function and tell me what you found. You might be in for a surprise.

" [If the future were set then it wouldn't be the future, it would be the past] That seems ludicrous to me. Please elaborate before I reply to this comment. "

It's simple. If the future is already set then your concept of time becomes meaningless and you have no way to explain why you remember the past but not the future. If everything is already set, and everything includes you, then you can't possibly move through time as time wouldn't exist.

" [everything in the universe has freewill (or is conscious)] You're right about that, but I thought I'd wait to bring it up. It is quite interesting, though. "

It is interesting but doesn't make sense. It reveals we have made a mistake somewhere in our reasoning.

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