# Does "random" exist ?

1. ### I3lackDeath

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As soon as there is a pattern, it's not random anymore.
Randomness is not bound to any pattern. Hence, if such a thing appears, it can't be categorized as "random" anymore.

2. ### Verhalthur

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Ah, so what you are saying is that as soon as randomness appears, the numbers it produces must be coming from some sort of recognizable pattern that could then be estimated.

This is quite a safe assumption, as all current "random" generators fall under this principle. However, the idea I am proposing is a theoretical generation algorithm that we would, of course, know, but would be based on input from a (still hypothetical) quantum event that is truly random.

With such a thing we would be able to estimate the output only after knowing the input and applying the algorithm, which is basically saying that we would be able to estimate it after having already known the result.

3. ### Boris_Spider

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Whether or not something occurs randomly is dependent on ignorance. If we knew every characteristic of every air molecule and the same for a coin being tossed, we could predict exactly how and where said coin will land.

The probability arises because we have no means of knowing every variable in a dynamic situation as large and complex as a coin toss, so we created other methods to determine a solution - the solution just has a significantly larger margin of error to it in that other solutions exist.

//\\oo//\\

4. ### Jazztastic

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So you used your entire post to simply say what exactly? What exactly are these other methods of determining a solution, and a solution to what exactly? Predicting outcomes? Your post is so ambiguous it's hard to piece it together.

The situation of a coin toss wouldn't involve air molecules as incredibly important, in the same way that the trajectory of a bullet isn't effected by the density of air particles. The particles are pushed aside as the object moves through them. Unless the air molecules were moving at fast speeds, there would be such a small difference between a vacuum and low air speed that the result wouldn't be affected.

What would matter is the amount of newtons applied to the coin and where, at what angle. Abnormalities in the coin would also be a factor. Wind would be a factor if it was present, and at what point the coin stopped would be the final factor.

A coin toss really isn't that complex of a situation, nor it is large. It isn't exactly dynamic either. It's not like more force is being applied halfway through the coin toss.

A solution isn't a margin of error, it isn't even an error at all. Don't simply throw terms around because you want to feel like an intellectual.

Wrong. Random is defined as "proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern" (Source). Proceeding without an aim or a pattern is not ignorance. It's randomness. You can view randomness with ignorance, because you don't see a pattern, but the randomness itself is not derived from ignorance.

You're just kindof asserting your viewpoint, which also happens to be innacurate. You didn't even contribute an opinion on whether randomness exists. You should really take time to think and piece together your arguement before you just kindof shitpost all over the forum.

TL;DR disregard Boris_Spider's shitpost.

5. ### Boris_Spider

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I maintain that 'random' exists only because we cannot know every variable at a given instant of a given system with the potential to have several outcomes.

For those of you with interest in the concept I presented, see below (Source...).

I merely extended this concept beyond Newtonian physics and applied it to randomness in general, since the probability of a particular random event occurring is the source of discussion in this thread.

Now,

It is called random because it is not explicitly, implicitly, and exactly known where said pattern has been before, current influences, and the dynamic (not static) universe in which everything is interdependent. If every detail of both the pattern and its environment was known, its future can be exactly known.

What are you looking for? Other solutions are a source of error if you seek THE solution, not A solution.

Now, an example:
There is a high probability of the quoted poster picking a sentence or two out of context, warp it beyond reason, and declare a differing view on whether or not random exists to be useless (and probably quote parts of this sentence).

Data present on Said user that supports this probability:
~Said poster didn't really follow my line of logic, but rather than seeking clarification (which was needed) the poster instead resorted to presenting a contradictory counterexample which helps my case far more than said poster's.
~Previous poster seems to be a 'troll' based on,
(here said poster attempts to insult my credibility, probably do to an ineffectual arguement)

and

Again, said poster attempts to assault my intelligence unnecessarily and unprovoked (at first the poster is correct, in that I forgot to explicitly state that randomness exists relatively - it is unfair to assume anyone beyond myself will reach my conclusions without some sort of connect-the-dots). Finally,
was the closing statement of the post.

Reason this probability is not declared as inevitable:
I cannot state with absolute certainty that said poster is a troll or if probable-troll will troll this post. It is possible that said poster was having a really bad day and decided to attack another user in such a manner that no damaging retribution could occur. It is also possible that said poster believes to have a better-than-actual understanding of what my post was stating - which is not bad (ignorance can be fixed).

The coin is in the air, let's see if, how, and where it lands (no. I'll not make any wagers...). Also, the link to the actual post was not included for the sake of said poster since there is no need to help induce further embarrassment upon said poster.

//\\oo//\\

6. ### Verhalthur

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Nicely articulated!
I may have misunderstood a bit of it, though, so I'll break down your points just to confirm with you that I got it all.

- The universe is deterministic, rendering "true" randomness nonexistant. (Assumption, and base for the argument)

- Because of that, only patterns truly exist.

- Randomness is equivalent the lack of knowledge of a pattern.

- Therefore, randomness does exist as a human phenomenon.

It seems to me like the argument would be the next logical step from assuming the universe is deterministic, but that first assumption is a belief.
My argument is based entirely on the idea of actual randomness without the assumption of a deterministic universe.

- All current methods for generating random numbers are based on patterns.

- Patterns are not truly random.

- Theoretical true randomness does not currently exist.

Both arguments seem to mesh together quite nicely.

7. ### Jazztastic

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You get a gold star for citing Wikipedia as a source. Next you obviously missed my point

I was saying if you knew every variable, it would be easy peasy to predict the outcome. If you gave any physicist worth his salt a piece of paper, and gave him the aforementioned variables
He could predict the outcome of the coin toss. I did not however, go on to say that such a predicition was a practical solution. I did however, say it was possible to predict the outcome given the variables. If you ask a physicist to flip a coin, they'll have just as good a chance as you or me at predicting the outcome.

Thanks for stating the obvious.

In a system in which all outcomes are known getting any outcome except the desired outcome is an error? Since when? If I flip a coin, call heads, and it lands as tails, how is that tails an error?

You have yet to clarify.

Yeah because I think you're stupid and shitposting.

Just because I can connect the dots doesn't mean I'm going to. And no it isn't unfair. If I were to write out a math equation on a test, and write every step but the answer, how would I receive credit for my work?

How would having a bad day excuse my behaviour?

I'm also pretty sure anyone reading this thread would have a pretty good understanding of who you're talking to.

2/10 for making me respond again. Nice try kid.

8. ### Boris_Spider

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~Correct

~Not necessarily, patterns require repetition and to some extent intervals.

~Correct

~Correct

I agree with your points and see no reason to elaborate on them currently (I may come up with something in a few days.

From my last post:
Data collected (Expected):
Data collected (Unxpected):
~Troll did not quote
Conclusion:
~Troll.

If any non-trolls would like me to elaborate on anything, let me know. If you are a troll, let me know and I'll add you to my ignore list with the previous one.

Offtopic:

Cool. I've never bent a troll to my will before, if only I knew how I did it...

//\\0o//\\

9. ### Jazztastic

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Please respond to the OTHER things I said. No I'm not trolling, yes I'm kindof an asshole, but until you respond to the valid points I made it will look like you can't respond to them. Also could you please properly quote my posts? I would like them properly attributed.

Not quoting this doesn't make me a troll.

You must have a hard time reading because I clearly remember saying "2/10 for making me respond again." The reason why a "troll" was "bent to your will" was because they decided they had to respond. If you can't deduce that from the post then that's kindof sad. It would also point to the fact that you don't know how to understand basic language. Btw "understand" is simply a step above "remember" on Bloom's Taxonomoy, you're still a long way off from actually doing anything with that knowledge.

You have yet to prove that your own arguement isn't ineffectual. I've been responding to your points, and you aren't defending them. As far as anything that wasn't a point I've been dicking around and having fun, but my arguements are 100% valid and I'm eagerly awaiting a response.

Now I'm not going to respond to things off topic anymore, and I suggest that in your next post you respond to my arguements, and not this post, which was mainly to try to get you to try to respond to my arguements, which can be found here. You have yet to prove you're worth the time to respond to, I've just been typing at you in order to make you look like an idiot. Write something interesting.

//\\lolimcool//\\

10. ### Verhalthur

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From what I've seen, both of you are agreeing with each other, at least as far as the actual topic is concerned.
What you said in your earlier post is that the physicist doesn't know all of the variables and so considers the coin toss random.
This implies that if he did know all of the variables, he would be able to predict the coin toss with complete accuracy.
As you said, it is possible to know all of the variables involved in coin toss (though it would require an inordinate amount of work), and to predict it. Theoretical true randomness cannot ever be predicted, which renders the coin toss not truly random.

That backs up my earlier point that true randomness does not exist. However, the first part backs up Boris_Spider's earlier point, too. Because the physicist does not currently know all of the variables, he considers the coin toss to be random. This is a human seeing a pattern that can be predicted, but considers it random because he does not know how to predict it. Randomness as a human phenomenon is exactly what Boris_Spider was talking about.

11. ### Jazztastic

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I agree with Boris_Spider's view of the phenomena of randomness, however, I disagree with the arguements of how he came to that conclusion.

Let me state my point

It is possible to predict a psuedorandom system given accurate data. You cannot predict random events.

In specific response to Boris_Spider

In a system with X amount of solutions, getting a solution that isn't the desired solution is not an error.

Randomness isn't ignorance. You can view randomness with ignorance because you don't know the pattern, but things can proceed in a random nature.

Citing Wikipedia as a source is wrong, seeing as it is only a semi-protected wiki.

12. ### Verhalthur

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Yes, that is true. Isn't that a fact and not a point, though?

13. ### Boris_Spider

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~I maintain the position that true randomness does not exist as most people think of it (something that can both occur and not-occur). The reason we use it stems from ignorance: we have no way of obtaining all of the "initial conditions" of the system in order to solve it to determine which solution is the real solution (will actually occur). Of all the possible solutions only one set will occur, the others that can, but don't, are merely the error margin.

~You phrased my point in a way I like better: Randomness, as it is generally understood, is a human phenomenon.

I fail to see how Jazz was arguing my point, but just in a different way. All he argued is that my position was wrong because I'm an 'idiot', then insulted my intelligence, and finalized by trying to frame me as a shit-poster - the M.O. of any half-decent troll. He doesn't want to have an 'intelligent conversation' and his mentality boils down to "If you disagree with me you're wrong and stupid and must be driven out of here." Any source you present to a troll will be 'lame, BS, and/or extremely biased' if it disagrees with the troll's PoV, or it will suffer from having 1-2 half-phrases pulled out of context and drastically warped to match the anti-PoV. You can't engage with that, I've tried (sadly). All you can do is put them on your ignore list and move on. If I wanted to deal with that all I need to do is step outside (election season in the US), why deal with some 12-year-old in a forum for a PC game?
/EndRant

He did have some good questions though, so if any others are interested in conversing pose me the inquires.

//\\==//\\

14. ### Jazztastic

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The viewpoint was up for debate however. Does "random" exist is thread after all. Morever it can't be proven in either direction, so I'd maintain that it is a viewpoint and not a fact

My viewpoint: It is possible to predict a psuedorandom system given accurate data. You cannot predict random events.

To support my idea, three quotes, the first my own, the second Wikipedia, the third Magtheridon96

I hate using Wikipedia as it is only a semiprotected source, however, since someone else brought it into the conversation I might as well as use the resource backing my point.

Also:
So you refuse to respond to me but you would like someone else to pose the questions in order to respond to? Hmmmmmm. Seems kindof childish. Just a thought though.

15. ### Verhalthur

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You make a concrete point, but it doesn't seem to point to a exist/does not exist conclusion.

It still seems to me like you are saying that all current forms of "random" generation are not truly random, and thus true randomness doesn't exist.

If so, then we all agree! :I

16. ### Brambleclaw

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Can't we just think of it in minute detail.

Random exists because the true value of something is impossible to find out.
This is due to the Observation effect "Which states to observe something you must affect" (For example to observe a Electron you must interact it with a photon. Or to observe how much water a plant consumes a day. You would usually use a potometer measure the uptake of water)

Also there is the Uncertainty principle. So yeh Random doesn't exist on paper. However from a standpoint in reality it does exist

17. ### Maestros

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I do also believe, that if we "reset" the whole creation, to match the exact same conditions, i am positive the dice will end up in the same number.

But isn't the difference in those conditions, the random thing you are looking for?
We can not do the same thing twice, because of the millions of conditions, so those conditions, constantly changing, thus affecting the result, is the random you are looking for.

18. ### Brambleclaw

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The argument is flawed in that you are arguing you cannot predict a random event. We are arguing if random actual exists. In this case every event is actually predefined due to variables that we are unable to measure. This is what we would call random. So effectively a random even is ignorance. You say it isn't but say yes you can predict something given enough data, however not in the case of a random event. That is drawing upon the idea that random exists which is what we are arguing against.

Effectively you are doing this
Define: Light
Light-When it is not dark

The reason why there is no real randomness in a computer is because all the variables are set by a predefined system. This would be much the same if we knew all the variables within a real life system.
However then surely random is simply less of ignorance or not knowing other variables and could instead be argued as a sequence without a function.

E.g Irrational numbers the decimals have no real sequence, or prime numbers there is no way of linking every prime.

19. ### Jazztastic

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If I'm saying you cannot predict a random event it would point to the conclusion that random does exist. By making observations upon a system the system first has to exist. I also said it is possible to predict a psuedo-random event, but randomness is unpredictable. Pi is a random event, impossible to predict the next number based on the last, flipping a coin is not a random event, it could be accurately predicted.

20. ### Brambleclaw

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Flipping a coin is seen as a random event as long as the coin is a fair coin it could go hhhhhhhhhhhhhtttt you could only predict the possibilities then the likelihood that these possibilities would happen. It is not a definite conclusion. After 20 heads it is not definite my next flip will give me a Tail however it is more likely to do so.

Anyways either you are not understanding me or you are just ignoring my point. You cannot use something as evidence when we are arguing on the existence on it. You are basically saying the Definition of Air is Air or God is real because he made the universe. The universe exists for a fact, therefore god exists.

This kind of logic does not work.

You cannot say that you can't predict a random event. When the argument is that random is simply a system where we have to use probability over definite answers due to lack of data.
Given more Data it would be possible to predict it. Therefore random would be a human construct