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science = determinism?

Peter Seebach seebs at plethora.net
Mon Nov 29 17:06:36 EST 1999

In article <81pden$h80$1 at pyrite.mv.net>, Bill Todd <billtodd at foo.mv.com> wrote:
>Mea culpa (see previous amending post) to the several people who responded.
>I'm still less than convinced that 'non-deterministic' and 'random' are
>synonymous, since the word to me implies a degree of unpredictability beyond
>mere uncertainty - e.g., a truly 'random' event to me is one whose
>probability cannot be evaluated.

You may be getting the hackish usage of "random" to mean "capricious and
arbitrary".  e.g., a person who is likely to become angry when corrected would
be "random", and you, by contrast, aren't.  This is a different word, although
it derives from the more technical one.

>If this is indeed *not* the accepted
>mathematical definition, then so be it (and thank you for so informing me).

Mathematicians don't always agree; many terms have different meanings
depending on the field you're in.  Still, I'm pretty sure "random" is very
similar to "non-deterministic".

Copyright 1999, All rights reserved.  Peter Seebach / seebs at plethora.net
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