Can a computer work anything out?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by John Jones, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. I'll bet you have not a single clue of the real issues here. Go ahead
    and bow down to some great authority. Did you usenet guys take some
    pills somewhere along the line that makes you so lacking in
    independent thought? These names and these authority figures always on
    your lips!

    If you are going to challenge what dorayme says, challenge it with a
    reasoned objection! Don't mumble a few words in awe of someone or
    other. Or throw some half articulate words at it and think you have
    actually done something.

    Let me see if I can manage to put some definition on your fuzzy
    thoughts.

    1. It is not adequate to be simply ignorant.

    means something like

    2. The idea that a random number is a number that pops up before us
    without us having a clue as to how it was generated does not capture
    an important ingredient of the concept of a random number.

    Yes? OK. Fine! What is this important ingredient? It is something
    about not being able to predict something, yes?

    You seem to miss that dorayme actually tells you what it is. Read it
    again. It is that the randomness consists in the observer having no
    clue about the generating engine's modus operandi. The observer has no
    clue what formula, if any, is being used by the generator. It is that
    no matter how many numbers are thrown up by this generator or number
    producing source, no clue is gained by any justified reasoning from
    the mere appearance of the numbers produced.

    The randomness is exhausted by the ignorance in a deep sense so you
    are dead wrong and confused and dorayme is quite correct and I agree
    with him.

    It is important that the numbers do not disclose *a real pattern* that
    can be *reasonably* used to anticipate another part of the sequence.
    But that is is a given consequence of dorayme's stipulation that the
    observer has not a clue about the generator.

    Now, if you are thinking that the numbers themselves could give a
    clue, you are badly mistaken. It is a simple truth of mathematics that
    any given sequence of numbers can belong to any one of an infinite
    number of formulae that could have generated them.

    If an observer has *not a single clue as to the complexity of the
    generator*, not *a single clue*, as dorayme says, then no sequence of
    numbers will help at all.

    Some of this was explained to Walter in the thread Robot
    Consciousness. Go and read the thing.

    Think before speaking, please.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 24, 2009
    #41
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  2. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    Not really, because here might just be *one* number caused to appear.
    Previous and future might not come into it in fact. The idea of "not
    having a clue how it was in detail generated" captures our intuitive
    notion better.
     
    dorayme, Jul 25, 2009
    #42
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  3. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    You care about knowing *what* exactly?
    You having a nice predictive model sounds to me like you do have a clue
    how the numbers are generated. I hope you don't think I mean something
    crude by generating to mean simply knowledge of the actual metal or
    silicon structure of the generator. I am talking about not having a clue
    about the algorithm or rule or formula or operational method of the
    generator or any idea at all about its complexity.

    A severed water pipe might seem on close examination to emit a definable
    pattern of drips and flows from its open end. Presumably it is "not
    really random" if the pattern is caused by some set of valves in a tank
    some way off that are programmed to open and shut at set times etc?

    And, more interestingly, it is "really random", if the non-water
    emitting end of the pipe about thirty metres away is found to be simply
    open and unconnected to any supply of water, the pipe unbroken along the
    way, unable to hold much water itself, yet going on for months gushing
    water and stopping gushing, dripping and not dripping. By magic? And you
    are imagining in this possible world, that someone might have a
    predictive model?

    This to me sounds like a fantasy case that commits The Gambler's
    Fallacy. You have no predictive model, it is just a flukey case that has
    no rhyme or reason. You ought not to bet on it if you really, really
    knew that the pipe was a magic pipe.
     
    dorayme, Jul 25, 2009
    #43
  4. My earlier reply to all this seems to have gone missing?
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 25, 2009
    #44
  5. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    ....

    There are many contexts in which the word "random" occurs. What very
    detailed and particular context shall we discuss?

    Imagine you are sitting in front of a computer screen. You are told a
    number will appear on it if you press Enter but are given no information
    as to how it will be generated. Just one number. 5 appears. Is 5 a
    random number in this situation?

    There is some pressure to say, yes and some pressure to say 'don't
    know'. The pressure to say yes is that if your aunt came in with the tea
    and asked wtf you were doing staring at a blank screen, you might
    reasonably say you were about to see a number on pressing Enter, you had
    no idea which number. And if you or your aunt added that it would be a
    random number, neither of you might blink or feel this is out of place.

    You would have been a fool to bet on 5 or any other number. Against your
    background information, there is no number that is privileged or has a
    better chance of appearing than any other number. As far as you are
    concerned in this situation, the number will be quite random. Any guess
    is as good as any other guess.

    The pressure to say don't know is that the generator might have a simple
    algorithm, albeit unknown to you, that always produces 5. If this were
    found to be the case later, we might say that the number was in fact not
    random, it was just that your information was lacking. You were
    perfectly right that no number had a higher probability of coming on
    than any other number.

    Probability is usually happily accepted as being in relation to
    background knowledge. There is no big puzzle here. But there is a notion
    that some people have that *random* is something rather more objective.
    If only we could look at the generating machine and see how it works, we
    might find that it is not *really* random.

    Now this is an interesting sense of random. What would be truly random
    in this sense? Usually we would think that if something is "quite
    incalculable" this is sufficient basis for randomness. The coin toss is
    often thought to be an excellent paradigm of random. But this paradigm
    is under severe attack under this idea that there is an objective
    randomness. If we knew more about the initial conditions of the toss,
    and if we were cleverer and if we had more powerful computers, perhaps
    we would be able to change the probability from 1/2 in our favour...

    What is being said in this severe objective sense is that no matter what
    we found in nature, some result could not have been calculated or
    reasoned to. There is no way at all to alter the probability in our
    favour. No matter what we find out about the world, if something is
    *really random* we will make no progress!

    A magic screen that numbers appeared on, uncaused, would be an excellent
    context for numbers that appeared to be judged random! In some parts of
    physics, it is said that some things are quite unpredictable, as if it
    is in the nature of things to be random between a number of states.

    Well, I have no deep objection to calling something "really random" if
    there is never in fact any basis to calculate between one state and
    another no matter how much an observer studies the matter.

    At the heart of this judgement of randomness is still the basic idea
    that we have no clue to reason to one state rather than another. It is
    just that in *real randomness*, the context includes the idea that the
    situation of having no clue is endless and bottomless.

    Under this severe way of looking at things, perhaps nearly everything we
    casually say is random is merely pseudo-random.


    Patricia is perfectly right. Take any set of numbers, no matter what
    they are, they could continue in any of an infinite number of ways and
    there would be a rule to cover each way.

    Thus 1 2 3 could continue 4 5 6 or 3 2 1 or 2 4 6 etc

    And each way of continuing could be described by a mathematical formula:

    1 2 3 4 5 6 would be covered by N(n)=n where N is the number at the nth
    place in the series. Under this rule, 7 would be the next number.

    If this Stafford fellow wants to put up some money, let me know,
    Patricia, I will supply another 49 formulae. Get his money into escrow
    first though! <g>
     
    dorayme, Jul 25, 2009
    #45
  6. Like hell it has. Trying to make out like Simple Simon?
    Philosophy by dictionary anyone?

    Depending on chance indeed! Poker depends on chance but it is not
    random.
    Is not a significant test of what? Trouble with expressing things when
    they are not in a dictionary or in the words of some famous writer?
    What exactly is nonsense? The idea that many people have had that if
    one knew all the relevant laws, all the initial conditions and all the
    forces one might be able to better predict the result? Notice the*
    if*?

    And what do you think is *the argument*? Perhaps a mere *point* is
    being made.
    No, it is discussing quite an opposite context, one in which some
    things *cannot* be determined because of the very *not fully
    deterministic* nature of some things.

    No progress in being able to predict which state out of a number that
    are truly equally probable against no matter what information we
    collect before the event
    You would fail hopelessly for the same reason that the gambler of The
    Gambler's Fallacy fails. If it was a magic screen, you would be a
    complete dope to apply statistical patterns. They would lead you
    astray because they would have no grip in this situation. In our
    actual wold, you see, we have some idea of the complexity of things.
    If we did not, we would not be able to conduct science.

    What I see is a dope of a usenet guy into pissing competitions. Learns
    nothing, quotes, looks up dictionaries, misunderstands pretty well
    everything. And someone who is beyond improvement, self correction or
    any correction, a complete inability to grow or change or deepen.
    Proud of those characteristics, eh? What a silly man you are.
    Why on earth you think it is *an argument for randomness* I have no
    idea?
    You name the figure and you abide by the sequences mentioned by
    dorayme, not things you get to make up that have nothing to do with
    the matter.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 25, 2009
    #46
  7. John Jones

    Zinnic Guest

    Snip, snip, snip.

    Jonn, this guy Dorayme is playing a game with you. He double-teams
    with his invented Patricia. When he cannot hold up his end in a
    discussion he calls on Patricia for support and posts under her name
    to belittle and insult you. He is a put-down artist, totally
    lacking integrity.
    Zinnic
     
    Zinnic, Jul 25, 2009
    #47
  8. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    Is he not playing ball? <g> It is hard for him. He is confused by a
    number of things and in these cases one cannot deal easily and
    rationally with such a person. We will never be able to agree on the
    terms of the bet with him because he will never understand the claim I
    made.

    The claim is simple: If a bunch of numbers, one after another were
    coming up on a screen: a(1) a(2) a(3) ... a(n), where a is the number at
    the nth place in the sequence that appears, a and n being integers, no
    matter what values a and n are given, there are an infinite number of
    formulae that would generate the sequence up to n.

    In plain English?

    If you were watching a screen on which a few numbers came up, first one
    and then another and a new one was about to come on, and you literally
    had no knowledge about the complexity of the generating engine, any
    guess about the next number would be as good as any other guess. And
    there are no limits on the supply of candidates!

    And to each possible continuation there would be at least one rule that
    would cover the sequence to that point.

    In plainer still?

    If you were watching a screen on which one number came up and you
    literally had no knowledge about the complexity of the generating
    engine, 15,215,987 would be as good a guess for the second number as 2.
     
    dorayme, Jul 26, 2009
    #48
  9. I nearly said, don't be a fool Zinnic! How silly of me to even
    bother.

    Both dorayme and I are discussing an interesting matter here. No one
    is tricking anyone. In the posts from dorayme and myself, discount a
    few jokey and absurd personal insults, there is more actual philosophy
    and thinking in just these exchanges than you would ever manage in a
    lifetime.

    It has become a little disjointed because Stafford, someone who
    obviously has no philosophical background is overly concerned with
    issues that are *not fundamental*. He is concerned with tiny and
    specific issues about random distribution and cannot see that these
    can be analysed from the fundamentals that dorayme has kindly laid
    down from his pure insightful basics.

    Anyway, there is no point in going into these things with you. You act
    like a backwater toothless hillbilly and seem to have as a main
    activity following two fine upstanding usenet characters like dorayme
    and me around merely on some sort of crusade to smear and belittle.
    Not up to the job of actual philosophy?
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 26, 2009
    #49
  10. What proof could there be for this that was clearer than the plain
    obviousness of it? You simply plain misunderstand it. You never, I
    notice, ever say what *you* understand by dorayme's claim, in *your
    own words*. You just quote him and say stuff like "Proof please" and
    this tells me that you are not understanding what is being said. If
    you did, you would be unlikely to be asking for a proof. It is not
    anything that is even controversial.
    There you go again. dorayme is describing a particular example of
    numbers coming up on a screen and has said various true things about
    it and you are complaining you cannot find some authority figure here
    that has asserted this example? Or asserted something like dorayme has
    asserted.

    Do some work John and do not hang on other people's words. Show what
    you imagine is the case that is being presented to you. dorayme gave
    you plainer and plainer versions and still you are no closer to
    understanding?
    What on earth have your sequences got to do with the ones we are
    talking about here? Go back and understand what is being put to you
    and we will come back to your sequences. Deal with the ones put to you
    first.
    It is a simple demonstration of the idea of a human being being in the
    presence of random events, one after the other. It is an illustration
    of what dorayme started off with in the first place, namely that the
    essential guts of the concept of randomness is to be found in there
    not being anything to judge an outcome on, one way or another. All
    other uses of random can be derived from this. he has conceded under
    some concerns from you and Matt that there is a sense of objective
    randomness. And that this latter is to be understood in terms of there
    never ever being any grounds no matter how much anyone will or could
    ever know about the world for preferring one punt over another in a
    choice two (or more) possible outcomes of a random event.
    And are you so generally blinkered that you cannot understand that the
    word "random" is not confined to just one sort of case? You are
    misunderstanding the case put to you. You are obsessed with a
    *different case*. I can see that you will not be distracted from this
    obsession and so I better deal with it right now. You are concerned
    with some superficial case whereby if a million numbers came up
    confirming some interpretation, that for you would be sufficient to
    brand it as not random.

    You watch the screen and 1 comes up, repeatedly for hours on end. The
    formula, according to the notation of dorayme would be a(n)=1. For
    you, this probably is a case of a non-random distribution. For me and
    dorayme, it is nothing of the sort! And it is not for any
    misunderstanding of mathematics, it is for the good reason that no
    amount of cases strengthens the case for a real pattern if you
    literally take seriously that you have no idea at all of the
    complexity of the generating machinery. You have never appreciated
    this wider and deeper point. It is probably not something that your
    mind can stretch to. You are stuck in the shadows and cannot see the
    heart of things. A trillion 1s in a row is not a wit less random a
    distribution than any other sequence in theory.

    The trouble is you are not thinking at this fundamental level of
    philosophical theory, you are boxing on the surface of real life. In
    real life on earth, if we saw so many 1s, this would be evidence that
    the distribution was not random. But this is because we would see this
    as evidence for a certain simplicity in the generating engine.

    The whole of science works on the basis of positing simplicity. But
    the case put to you by dorayme, to show the deep structure of
    randomness, is that we have no idea of the complexity of the
    generating machinery. It was a point that dorayme put to Walter in
    Robot Consciousness and even Walter, who has a better feel for
    philosophy than you, did not quite appreciate at the time, he kept
    falling into the trap of re-introducing a knowledge where the case
    called for express exclusion of this knowledge. Look at the discussion
    on The Gambler's Fallacy and bare dispositions.
    You are showing your misunderstanding of the case put to you by this
    remark. It is as good a sample as fifty million numbers. In purely
    mathematical terms, in the sea of infinity, fifty million 1s in a row
    is no more privileged than any other fifty million numbers in a row.
    It is almost laughable watching your self deceptions! Where else but
    usenet can one see such incredible cases as this. You are assuming
    ignorance on the basis of your own. I know pretty well what you are
    ignorant in and what you are not ignorant in. No, you are not a
    complete fool (like say turtoni or zinnic), But, let's face it,
    philosophy is not your natural talent, John. Be more humble and you
    might be able to pick up a teensy weeny bit.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 26, 2009
    #50
  11. John Jones

    Zinnic Guest

    Your admission that you spew out absurd personal insults is the
    first step in your rehabilitation. These insults are egregious
    denials of genuine philosophical discussion. The mainstay of
    productive philosophical exchanges is a sympathetic reading of
    other's views. Obviously you do not subscibe to this. Your contempt
    does nor contribute to, but destroys philosophy.

    Your claim that you and your proxy engage in actual philosophy is an
    'absurd' insult to philosophers past and present. Your infantile
    philosophical position is that, because everything is not yet known,
    then all views expressed by others may be invalid. Of course they may
    be , but then they may not be invalid.. That you select yourself as
    the sole arbiter is not philosophy, it is arrogance.
    This along with your claims that improbabilities may be logically
    possible, is the superficial extent of your philosophic insight. How
    shallow! One expects so much more of deep thinkers.
    Dorayme, your seem obsessed with those 'backwater toothless hill
    billies'. Do you sexually compensate for your inclinations by
    imagining situations in which you get fresh with an imagined female
    Patricia (remember, you said that she would hit you with her
    handbag). Do you not realise that you are playing a "crying game"
    when you imagine reaching for her genitals? That is, you are
    actually reaching for and abusing your own penile member.
    Zinnic
     
    Zinnic, Jul 26, 2009
    #51
  12. John Jones

    turtoni Guest

    Well said!
    the "heh heh heh" is my version of Dr Evil in the Austin Powers film
    series.

     
    turtoni, Jul 26, 2009
    #52
  13. John Jones

    turtoni Guest

    Dorayme, your seem obsessed  with those 'backwater toothless hill
    I seem to remember Pat stating it wasn't female sometime ago.
    But perhaps if Pat is female, men will bring the avatar free loot.!
     
    turtoni, Jul 26, 2009
    #53
  14. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    Well, yes, this is correct. It just needs to be understood to be
    assented to.

    For example, suppose the screen showed one number after the other, we
    were to guess what might be next at each stage. But we had no idea at
    all about the complexity of the program of the machine that was
    producing the numbers or even if anything was producing the numbers, it
    being perhaps a magical happening. What could we say was a more likely
    number than any other after the very first number (n=1), 1? There is
    simply no number that is more likely than any other number for second
    place.

    Here are some formulae to cover a few of the possibilities. Most folk
    with elementary maths skills should be able to see that these can be
    added to at will and they will all start a series with 1 and diverge
    from there on. The principle is not different if we had more starting
    place numbers to be constant across possible series, it is just that the
    formulae would be more complex.

    a(n)=n
    a(n)=2n-1
    a(n)=3n-2
    a(n)=4n-3
    a(n)=5n-4
    a(n)=6n-5
    a(n)=7n-6
    a(n)=8n-7
    a(n)=9n-8

    Each of these formulae generate a different series, but all of them
    start with 1.

    It is easy enough to devise formulae types (you should notice a pattern
    above) to cover a larger number of places than just where n=1. But not
    so easy when the number of places needing covering becomes large. But
    ease is not the issue here.
     
    dorayme, Jul 26, 2009
    #54
  15. Yes, it would help you if you showed understanding. The things you
    say make it clear you are confused about the lines of argument and
    what is essentially relevant and what is not.

    dorayme was asked to say what random is. He said, in effect, that at
    the heart of it was the idea that reason had nothing to grip on to
    judge one outcome from another outcome. You did not understand this.

    The idea of random in all situations, including the idea of a random
    series of numbers can be derived from this simple idea.
    You mean, you do not understand these simple sentences.
    It was proposed that talk of random is appropriate in situations where
    there is nothing to judge one outcome from another, sometimes some
    uses allow there simply to be ignorance, other uses have been conceded
    to be deeper and include how the world has nothing that could ever be
    used to decide the issue.
    This is a confusion. If one knows how the generator is generating the
    numbers, one ipso facto has a basis on which to rule against random.

    Is this correct or not? Would you want to say that a million 1s would
    be an argument for non-randomness even if you assumed there was no
    *other* information (besides the numbers) to be going on?

    Simple enough question? It is either yes or no for you. If you do not
    understand the question, this shows to me that you are missing an
    important feature of what dorayme has been teaching us. dorayme takes
    The Gambler's Fallacy very seriously you see. Maybe he had a searing
    experience in a casino once and has never forgotten it. Men are so
    silly with gambling!
    Dear o dear. Absolutely nothing to you eh? Read the explanation of the
    symbols again. It is a formula andt it predicts the numbers at the nth
    place in the series of numbers being presented. The sense of
    prediction is quite common in many world languages.
    OK. What is the distribution in the situation we have been dealing
    with, since you are so intensely interested in *distribution*. You
    are watching the screen. Youhave no knowledge at all of the
    complexityof the generator and a million 1s come up. What is the
    distribution? WTF do you want to make of this distribution. Why do I
    get the feeling that I man not going to get the least sensible answer
    from you?
    I went to the doctor the other day.
    "What is the matter?", she asked.
    "Doctor, I talk to myself"
    "That's OK, plenty of people talk to themselves"
    "But Doctor, I talk to myself a lot"
    "It's nothing to worry about, it is not so bad ..."
    "Ah! But Doctor, you don't understand how boring I am!"
    It is not a fallacy at all. If any rational person saw a screen that
    printed nothing but 1s for days on end, he would probably justified in
    supposing that a(next) would be a 1. You seem quite lost in all of
    this? dorayme and I are the ones saying that apparent patterns might
    not be real patterns. And when either of us make points like this, you
    always shake your head in denial. Patterns we seem to see are the
    very heart of science. Yes, we often go wrong. So what?

    This is what I have been saying and you have not been seeming to
    appreciate it. I have been putting the point constantly that mere
    sequence of numbers, in themselves, are no evidence of non-random.
    They only become evidence when we apply assumptions of simplicity to
    the world. Instead of studying psychology and astrology, I recommend
    you take a good course in The Philosophy of Science.
    The argument is all about what story the numbers, just by themselves,
    tell. And they tell nothing much at all in themselves. You are looking
    in the wrong place for the basis of randomness.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 26, 2009
    #55
  16. John Jones

    Jim Burns Guest

    dorayme wrote:
    [...]
    Actually, it's still pretty easy, conceptually. True, the
    required calculations grow pretty quickly.

    If we're given n data points, (y_1, ..., y_n), there is
    exactly one polynomial of order (n-1) that runs through
    the points {(y_1, 1), (y_2, 2), ..., (y_n, n)}. (See ***
    for calculating the polynomial.)

    If you want to find a polynomial that predicts that
    the next data point after measuring (y_1, ..., y_n)
    will be Y_(n+1), where Y_(n+1) can be anything at all,
    just calculate the order n polynomial that runs through
    the points
    {(y_1, 1), (y_2, 2), ..., (y_n, n), (Y_(n+1), n+1)}.

    If you want a polynomial that "predicts" your name in
    ASCII after a thousand random-looking data points, tack
    your name in ASCII onto the end of those specific random-
    looking data points and crunch the numbers again.

    ***
    Suppose n = 4. Find the coefficients (a_0, ..., a_3)
    that give us a polynomial P(n), where
    P(n) = a_0 + a_1*n + a_2*n^2 + a_3*n^3
    which evaluates to the specified data points,
    P(1) = a_0 + a_1*1 + a_2*1^2 + a_3*1^3 = y_1
    P(2) = a_0 + a_1*2 + a_2*2^2 + a_3*2^3 = y_2
    P(3) = a_0 + a_1*3 + a_2*3^2 + a_3*3^3 = y_3
    P(4) = a_0 + a_1*4 + a_2*1^4 + a_3*4^3 = y_4

    Notice that, by treating the coefficients a_i as the
    variables, we have four linear equations in four
    unknowns. In matrix form,
    [ 1 1 1 1 ][ a_0 ] [ y_1 ]
    [ 1 2 4 8 ][ a_1 ] = [ y_2 ]
    [ 1 3 9 27 ][ a_2 ] [ y_3 ]
    [ 1 4 16 64 ][ a_3 ] [ y_4 ]

    It happens that every square matrix B = [ b_ij ]
    with b_ij = i^(j-1) is invertible, so we have
    [ a_0 ] [ 1 1 1 1 ]^-1[ y_1 ]
    [ a_1 ] = [ 1 2 4 8 ] [ y_2 ]
    [ a_2 ] [ 1 3 9 27 ] [ y_3 ]
    [ a_3 ] [ 1 4 16 64 ] [ y_4 ]

    Done.


    Jim Burns
     
    Jim Burns, Jul 26, 2009
    #56
  17. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    Yes, indeed, conceptually dead easy. It is even easy to give an
    unmathematical person many rules that start a series with 1 2 3 4 5 ...
    but continue in quite different ways:

    Make the first five places as if counting from 1 and then keep repeating
    the count for each set of five place: 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2
    3 4 5...

    Make the first five places as if counting from 1 and then reverse count
    these same numbers for the next five places, alternating both
    procedures: 1 2 3 4 5 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 4 3 2 1...

    It should be obvious that there is no limit to the series that begin
    with any numbers continuing in "a different way". For those with a
    *philosophical* interest in this matter, I put the last phrase in quotes
    because, in fact, if any rule *at all* is being followed (eg. a person
    or program is really using it to generate the numbers), it does not
    matter what the 6th and subsequent places in the series are: the numbers
    are following in *the same way*. The *same way* refers to the actual
    rule being followed, not some other imagined rule that would generate
    the first five places.

    Thanks for going to the trouble, Jim.
     
    dorayme, Jul 27, 2009
    #57
  18. John Jones

    dorayme Guest

    We all care about this in this discussion! It being random is, I am
    saying, to be understood in terms of there being nothing we can reason
    from to determine it.
    My phrase had a specific meaning in the context. I make a distinction
    between being random and appearing to be random for the purists.
    Appearing to be random is almost self explanatory. A person looks at a
    series of events and can see no causal engine to explain it. He says it
    is random. If it turns out that there is a causal engine, and the
    pattern is complex (unseen by the man), we might reasonable say it is
    not random at all. If it turns out or it is a fact that there is no
    causal engine to explain it, then it is more than merely appearing to be
    random. It is really random!

    None of this is to be confused with a man thinking something is not
    random because he thinks he sees the pattern. He could simply be wrong.
    He would soon find out by filing to predict something in the context.

    Now, you might like to conjure up the idea of having a hypothesis that
    is perfectly successfully predictive but has nothing really to do with
    how the events are generated. But if you could actually produce such a
    case, I would believe in magic!
    I don't really "assert magic".
    There is no problem about there being unknown non random. That is what
    science is for, to make it known!

    I don't understand the idea of non-natural being predictable, frankly.
    And the predictable I am interested in is not "lucky guessing"
     
    dorayme, Jul 27, 2009
    #58
  19. *What* would give this series,?


    About understanding dorayme's notation, perhaps this will help you:

    In a series of numbers there is an *order* that is quite distinct from
    the particular residents of the places in the order.

    Thus:

    _ _ _ _ _ ...

    has places yet to be filled, the dots means there are further places
    without end.

    Each dash represents a unique place. Take the first dash, it is in the
    first place in the series or sequence. For that place, n=1. For the
    second dash, n=2 and so it goes on.

    We could fill these spots with anything at all:

    * $ # @ %

    would be one way.

    When n=3, the thing in the 3rd spot in the series is @

    ...
    You are confusing what is being said to be random. There is nothing
    random about an engine programmed to follow a formula. No one has
    suggested this. Random comes into the situation when there is no
    program that is generating the series or at least not a program that
    gives us a grip on how it will spit numbers out.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 27, 2009
    #59
  20. Oh don't be like that! Be a sport! Please accept what I say! I do not
    reinterpret dorayme. I *explain* his teachings to selected Google
    Groupers. You should feel honoured.
    Surely not *simply*? You are hurting my feelings.
    The idea of dorayme when he answered a question put to him. You have
    forgotten it? It is the idea we have been discussing and which you
    have seemed to mock and oppose and misunderstand on a daily basis, the
    idea that the idea of randomness can be understood in terms of there
    being nothing to go on to determine an outcome.
    He seems happy to leave me to deal with selected crazies, most of whom
    are Google Groupers. I don't get paid for this you know and while he
    has not said in so many words how much he appreciates my efforts, he
    has not said anything against it.
    There is no nature of random beyond what dorayme teaches. It is simply
    about there being nothing from which to reason to beyond 50% chance.
    If a series of numbers is random, this means that nothing in the world
    or in the preceding numbers can help any being at all determine
    whether the next number will be 43 or some other number. In the screen
    experiment we have been considering, in the absence of any knowledge,
    43 has as much chance of coming up in sixth place as any other number
    we might contemplate.

    But being like I am so innumerate, I guess you can't believe me.
    This is a simple error if you take seriously the idea of having no
    knowledge of the complexity of the generating engine.

    You seem to have learned nothing from dorayme's teachings. It is *a
    conceptual mistake* to suppose that a random event can be caused to
    happen. That is the fundamental nature of random, the absence of
    intelligible cause.

    Best of luck in this.
     
    Patricia Aldoraz, Jul 27, 2009
    #60
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