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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Randomness. [Re: a_h_w]
    #3958205 - 03/23/05 04:53 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

well you should first explain what is random in this world.

Radioactive decay, for one, is random. It is mediated by probability waves studied by Quantum Mechanics. The probability that a particular atom will decay at a given time can be known with great precision, but whether or not the decay will actually occur is completely random, completely unpredictable, and completely unknowable.

the classic case is the coin thrown in the air

Here, also, there is Quantum Randomness. While the gross laws of mechanics can approximately predict the movement of a given mass, if you get down to the details, classical Newtonian mechanics falls short because tiny quantum perturbations of the coin as it flies through the air accumulate quickly to the point where the flip becomes unpredictable.

can you really predict the results of a good random function without decoding the program and knowing the seed?

Of course not. If you don't know anything about the system, then you can't know anything about the result. You must know the algorithm and the seed.

My point is that if it's possible to predict the future configuration of the system given the starting configuration, and if that sequence from start to finish will always be the same given the same starting conditions, then the system is not random.

Setting up a complicated machine with a zillion gears, cogs, springs, and such, then turning the crank that makes the whole thing go doesn't generate randomness. In the end, all the gears, cogs, and springs will end up in the same configuration given the same number of turns of the crank. Furthermore, turning the crank in reverse will always bring the system back to the same starting conditions. The movement of all those parts may seem random, but it's everything but. All the movements are fated, for lack of a better word, from the start.

This applies to pseudo-random number generators in computers too. Unlike a pseudo-random number generator, a coin flip is truly random and cannot be predicted nor run backwards.

why should the result be pseudo-random then?

Because that's what it is. It's a seemingly random string of numbers that is nevertheless, preordained and fixed from the start.

about astrology

If astrology and all the other mumbo-jumbo worked even a little, places like Las Vegas would not exist and insurance companies would hire psychics instead of actuaries.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Edited by Diploid (03/23/05 10:08 PM)


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Offlineergot
MydriasicVisionary
Registered: 09/25/03
Posts: 685
Last seen: 16 years, 17 days
Re: Randomness. [Re: Diploid]
    #3958688 - 03/23/05 07:26 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Of course... like Einstein or Bohm have mentioned, there could be HIDDEN VARIABLES determining the outcomes.


--------------------
"Remain a learner, never become a knower." - Osho


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Offlinea_h_w
Stranger
Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 236
Last seen: 9 years, 3 months
Re: Randomness. [Re: Diploid]
    #3958748 - 03/23/05 07:40 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
the decay will actually occur is completely random, completely unpredictable, and completely unknowable.




what we don't know now, maybe we'll know tomorrow

Quote:

Diploid said:
tiny quantum perturbations of the coin as it flies through the air accumulate quickly to the point where the flip becomes unpredictable.





sure. while we don't work quantum mechanics out.

Quote:

Diploid said:
if that sequence from start to finish will always be the same given the same starting conditions, then the system is not random.





that's how life works in general. the smart thing about it is you can never have the same starting conditions twice.


Quote:

Diploid said:
If astrology and all the other mumbo-jumbo worked even a little, places like Las Vegas would not exist and insurance companies would hire psychics instead of actuaries.





sure. problem is astrology is not really about predicting the future. it's about revealing the nature of things, something quite different.


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Randomness. [Re: a_h_w]
    #3958898 - 03/23/05 08:10 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

what we don't know now, maybe we'll know tomorrow

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If somehow it turns out to be possible to predict quantum events, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle turns out to be wrong (highly unlikely) then we'll have an algorithm to predict quantum pseudo-randomness. All current research from disparate areas of physics suggests such knowledge cannot be found.

sure. while we don't work quantum mechanics out.

You miss my point. Even working out the QM of the coin flip, calculating the interaction of every subatomic particle in the coin and air, and accounting for relativistic effects in the space-time, and every other detail you like, you will still be unable to predict how it will land. The best you can ever achieve is a precise knowledge of the probability that it will land one side or the other, but you can never predict on which side it will actually land. That's the crux of the problem Quantum Randomness presents.

that's how life works in general. the smart thing about it is you can never have the same starting conditions twice.

You're right WRT life, but we're discussing algorithms and Quantum Randomness. In both fields of study, the same starting conditions can be set up as many times as you like. In the case of an algorithm, the result will always be known in advance and will always be the same; in QM, the result will never be known in advance and the result will only occasionally be the same, all based on Quantum Probabilities and true randomness.

sure. problem is astrology is not really about predicting the future. it's about revealing the nature of things

Wrong on both counts. My local newspaper?s astrology column daily 'predicts' what will happen to me and makes suggestions on how to adjust my life to better accommodate those predictions. As for revealing the nature of things, that's what science does; astrology has yet to reveal the nature of anything but the gullibility of people who buy into it.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Edited by Diploid (03/23/05 10:00 PM)


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Offlineergot
MydriasicVisionary
Registered: 09/25/03
Posts: 685
Last seen: 16 years, 17 days
Re: Randomness. [Re: Diploid]
    #3959715 - 03/23/05 10:08 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Diploid... unlike most dudes on here--you know what you're talking about! However, I must admit I still have "faith" in hidden variables determining the outcome of supposed quantum indeterminancy (double-slit experiment, shroedinger's cat, etc.)...


--------------------
"Remain a learner, never become a knower." - Osho


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Randomness. [Re: ergot]
    #3959796 - 03/23/05 10:23 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

"faith" in hidden variables determining the outcome of supposed quantum indeterminancy (double-slit experiment, shroedinger's cat, etc.)...

I'm on the fence re 'hidden variables' pending the discovery of evidence either way, but so far, mounting evidence precludes their existence and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle seems unlikely to ever be shown to be wrong.

One very deep consequence of 'hidden variables' is that if they exist, then there is no such thing as free will because those 'hidden variables' would account for the behavior of every particle in the universe and render the universe a giant pre-ordained and unchangeable sequence of events. Nothing in the universe could have free will any more than a valve in a diesel engine could. Everything in the universe, like the valve, would be locked into its fate.

This leads to lots of new philosophical questions. For example, if 'hidden variables' can be found to account for QM events, and if this renders all future configurations of the universe fixed and unchangeable, then why would it be wrong for me to murder someone if, in fact, I am powerless to do otherwise.

I don't think this is how the universe works.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Edited by Diploid (03/23/05 10:32 PM)


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Offlineautomaton
DistortingReality

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 1
Last seen: 16 years, 10 months
Re: Randomness. [Re: Diploid]
    #3960928 - 03/24/05 02:20 AM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Even if HV (hidden variables) are never found, quantum indeterminancy (randomness) does not amount to free will. The "surface" layer of reality is probabilistic (not wholly determined), but still lacking free will.


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Randomness. [Re: automaton]
    #3961520 - 03/24/05 04:45 AM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Quantum Indeterminancy does not necessarily amount to free will, I agree, but a lack of Quantum Indeterminancy (i.e. the discovery of those conjectured hidden variables) would amount to a lack of free will.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


Extras: Filter Print Post Top
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Shop: Kraken Kratom Red Vein Kratom   Original Sensible Seeds Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds, Bulk Cannabis Seeds, Feminized Cannabis Seeds, High THC Strains, USA West Coast Strains   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order


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