David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 25 (1):75-106 (1991)
“Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”1 John von Neumann’s famous dictum points an accusing ﬁnger at all who set their ordered minds to engender disorder. Much as in times past thieves, pimps, and actors carried on their profession with an uneasy conscience, so in this day scientists who devise random number generators suﬀer pangs of guilt. George Marsaglia, perhaps the preeminent worker in the ﬁeld, quips when he asks his colleagues, “Who among us has not sinned?” Marsaglia’s work at the Supercomputer Computations Research Institute at Florida State University is well-known. Inasmuch as Marsaglia’s design and testing of random number generators depends on computation, and inasmuch as computation is fundamentally arithmetical, Marsaglia is by von Neumann’s own account a sinner. Working as he does on a supercomputer, Marsaglia is in fact a gross sinner. This he freely admits. Writing of the best random number generators he is aware of, Marsaglia states, “they are the result of arithmetic methods and those using them must, as all sinners must, face Redemption [sic] Day. But perhaps with better understanding we can postpone it.”.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Verónica Becher, Santiago Figueira, Serge Grigorieff & Joseph S. Miller (2006). Randomness and Halting Probabilities. Journal of Symbolic Logic 71 (4):1411 - 1430.
Joseph S. Miller (2004). Every 2-Random Real is Kolmogorov Random. Journal of Symbolic Logic 69 (3):907-913.
Rodney G. Downey & Evan J. Griffiths (2004). Schnorr Randomness. Journal of Symbolic Logic 69 (2):533 - 554.
Michiel Van Lambalgen (1987). Von Mises' Definition of Random Sequences Reconsidered. Journal of Symbolic Logic 52 (3):725 - 755.
André Nies, Frank Stephan & Sebastiaan A. Terwijn (2005). Randomness, Relativization and Turing Degrees. Journal of Symbolic Logic 70 (2):515 - 535.
Yasmine B. Sanderson (2012). Color Charts, Esthetics, and Subjective Randomness. Cognitive Science 36 (1):142-149.
Taner Edis (1998). How Godel's Theorem Supports the Possibility of Machine Intelligence. Minds and Machines 8 (2):251-262.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #118,069 of 1,793,164 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #205,957 of 1,793,164 )
How can I increase my downloads?