In article <81jmfs$fv2$1 at pyrite.mv.net> Bill Todd, billtodd at foo.mv.com
writes:
>Am I the only one who believes that 'random' means that the probabilities of
>all possible outcomes are equal? If that is the proper definition, then
>'random' is a far stronger characterization than 'non-deterministic', and
>some of the foregoing discussion points may have been flying past each other
>without contact.
>
Think of the classical example of something "random": the Gaussian
distribution. This is definitely NOT a case of all probabilities being
equal. There is a peak in the distribution at which the probability is
higher than at other values. What you are thinking of is a "uniform"
distribution, such as when you flip a fair coin or roll a fair die. Note
that if you roll two fair die, and calculate the probabilities of their
SUM, you no longer have a uniform distribution, but something closer to a
Gaussian.
Cheers,
Matt Jones