7. January 2011 22:25
I was watching Derren Brown’s Enigma show the other night and during one of his acts he mentioned that there is no such thing as randomness. It’s not something I’ve really thought about, but surely things can randomly happen?
After much thought and research; thanks Bing, it seems that randomness (and this is just my opinion), is merely a word we use to describe the result of something we don’t understand…yet.
If you’re reading this article, did you randomly find it? Did I randomly decide to write it? The answer in both cases is probably no; you were searching for something to do with randomness and Derren Brown intrigued me with his comment, enough to make me look into the concept of randomness.
GEEKY BIT: If you’re a .NET developer like me; you may have at some point, come across the Random class and used it to randomly generate numerical results or use it to create random passwords. It says it’s random, so surely it must be?
Well, in short, no. In the words of the mighty MSDN library the Random class “Represents a pseudo-random number generator, a device that produces a sequence of numbers that meet certain statistical requirements for randomness”. Pseudo-random numbers are chosen with equal probability from a finite set of numbers. The chosen numbers are not completely random because a definite mathematical algorithm is used to select them. Anything a computer calculates is based on some kind of mathematical algorithm, so a computer or block of code can never produce a truly random result.
How about the Universe? Are we all here because of one random event?
Surely, this has to be the most random creation…ever?
Have a go, try and find something random