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## Roulette and Me

Started by Ross, Oct 30, 05:01 PM 2016

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#### Ross

My interest in roulette came from a fascination with
random numbers.

When I was a young engineer, before electronic and
even mechanical calculators, if you needed a random
number you consulted the book of random numbers.

This involved going to the company library, borrowing
the random number book, opening it at a random page
and, with eyes shut, putting a finger at a random
position on the random page.

When you opened your eyes there was a random number

I have no idea what part random numbers could play in
the design of roads, bridges or buildings or why I
ever needed a random number but I recall going
through the procedure several times.

So why this fascination with random numbers?

Because there's no way to prove that a series of numbers
are random. To say nothing about the methods used to
generate them from the background noise in an office to
the fluctuating level of radiation in the atmosphere.

Then came a fascination with programming. How satisfying
it is to make this box of amazing electronics do exactly
what you want it to do?  The downside, of course, is that
if it doesn't do what you want it to it's always your
fault.

In the early days of computers (in 1976) I applied for
a place on a programming course. I was rejected on the
grounds that by the time I finished the course I would
be 40 years old and no-one would employ me.

Here I am programming away forty years later so boo-sucks
to you, whoever you were.

If anyone's interested I'll get to the nitty-gritty in
another post - my attempts to tame the random number.

Eighty- four and counting.  Is age an excuse?

#### mogul397

Quote from: Ross on Oct 30, 05:01 PM 2016
My interest in roulette came from a fascination with
random numbers.

When I was a young engineer, before electronic and
even mechanical calculators, if you needed a random
number you consulted the book of random numbers.

This involved going to the company library, borrowing
the random number book, opening it at a random page
and, with eyes shut, putting a finger at a random
position on the random page.

When you opened your eyes there was a random number

I have no idea what part random numbers could play in
the design of roads, bridges or buildings or why I
ever needed a random number but I recall going
through the procedure several times.

So why this fascination with random numbers?

Because there's no way to prove that a series of numbers
are random. To say nothing about the methods used to
generate them from the background noise in an office to
the fluctuating level of radiation in the atmosphere.

Then came a fascination with programming. How satisfying
it is to make this box of amazing electronics do exactly
what you want it to do?  The downside, of course, is that
if it doesn't do what you want it to it's always your
fault.

In the early days of computers (in 1976) I applied for
a place on a programming course. I was rejected on the
grounds that by the time I finished the course I would
be 40 years old and no-one would employ me.

Here I am programming away forty years later so boo-sucks
to you, whoever you were.

If anyone's interested I'll get to the nitty-gritty in
another post - my attempts to tame the random number.

Well like I told someone else and  what they say in math class.....

Show your work.  Or do you have any?
NOBODY knows what you THINK they know

#### Alekos

Quote from: Ross on Oct 30, 05:01 PM 2016Here I am programming away forty years later so boo-sucks
to you, whoever you were.

The selectors don't always get it right.  Clint Eastwood got rejected for many roles in the beginning.

#### Ross

mogul 397

Show your work.  Or do you have any?

There's a very nice word in the English language which I
find gets very good results when I want someone to
provide me with something I want.

Can you guess what that word is?