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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:09 pm

Impossible yes.

I don't know why it's considered superior to pseudo-random generators...
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:13 pm

A pseudo random number generator can be predicted given sufficient (accessible) information, so is inferior.

The decay of an atom, in theory, cannot by predicted by known accessible information.

There could potentially be some hidden variables we have not discovered that would allow the decay to be predicted, but not by any known laws.

I would say that makes it superior.
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:22 pm

humphreys wrote:A pseudo random number generator can be predicted given sufficient (accessible) information, so is inferior.


I don't believe this. If I gave you 10,000 pseudo-random numbers between 1 and 10, would you be able to predict the 10,001st number?
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:27 pm

That is not the information I would need to know, so no. The numbers do not form a predictable pattern, that is not what I am claiming.

If I were to predict the next number, the first bit of information I would need is "how are the numbers generated?".

A standard pseudo-random number generator we use in programming uses millisecond clock ticks since a certain date and time. If we could access that clock tick immediately before the number was generated, we could say with certainty what the next number will be before it is generated.

We do not know how the atom will decay until after it has happened, and there is no information we are aware of to determine that, that is the difference.

I am not saying I personally could predict the next pseudo-random number by the way, just that it is predictable in theory given all the relevant data about the system, and that all that data is accessible.
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:47 pm

In effect, good pseudo-random number generators are just as unpredictable as anything else.
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:53 pm

Hmm, I disagree.

Can you give an example of one and how its numbers are generated?
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:25 pm

I bet I could give you two sets of numbers, one from a pseudo-random function and the other from atomic decay and no one would be able to tell them apart. :o
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:20 pm

Yes but that's not the point!

Whether it can be predicted or not has nothing to do with recognizing randomness.
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Postby humphreys » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:56 am

I do see your point though, for all intents and purposes, for normal every day usage there really is no discernible difference between pseudo and true random number generators.

However, the decay of an atom, technically, is superior, as it is completely unpredictable.

Pseudo-random number generators use an algorithm with values pumped into the algorithm. If you know the algorithm, and the values, you can predict the number that will be generated.

As an aside, the decay of an atom is almost always used in randomness tests of supernatural claims, as it is thought by some that the mind can affect the decaying process.
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Postby at1with0 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:54 am

humphreys wrote:Yes but that's not the point!

Whether it can be predicted or not has nothing to do with recognizing randomness.


Actually, being able to predict it would disprove its randomness.
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