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science = determinism?

Toon Moene toon at moene.indiv.nluug.nl
Thu Nov 25 15:33:58 EST 1999


peter at abbnm.com (Peter da Silva) wrote:

> In article <81jmfs$fv2$1 at pyrite.mv.net>, Bill Todd <billtodd at foo.mv.com> 
wrote:
> > Am I the only one who believes that 'random' means that the probabilities 
of
> > all possible outcomes are equal?

> I would hope so. Stay out of Vegas.

Note that most physical processes that are used in Las Vegas are not 
completely random.

The best story I read some 20 years ago about roulette in Monaco.  A couple 
of friends well-educated in the physical sciences studied several roulette 
tables in a well-known establishment.  It turned out small deviations from 
purely random distributions over all possible outcomes were observed.

The end  result was that the casino moved the tables every week, to offset 
biases due to small aberrations from the horizontal ....

Las Vegas - here I come (actually, just for the 151st meeting of the Fortran 
Standardization Committee :-)

-- 
Toon Moene (mailto:toon at moene.indiv.nluug.nl)
Saturnushof 14, 3738 XG  Maartensdijk, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 346 214290; Fax: +31 346 214286
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