## What's your random number?

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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Darth Eru
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### What's your random number?

Mine is seven. I have found that I, and I speculate most people, have a bit of difficulty consciously coming up with a random number. More interestingly, I find that when thinking of a "random" number off the top of my head, it often contain the number 7. Usually in such a way that the "seven" part is said in the pronunciation of the number (eg seven, seventeen, seven hundred and thirty two, etc). I can come up with seemingly random numbers if I try, but my first instinct usually involves a seven.

I have asked others about this, and found that many of them also have a "random" number, sometimes seven, sometimes something else. So if you have any such number, post it here and discuss!

Also, for the heck of it, post your favorite number. Mine is 8.
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scowdich
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From the Jargon File, as well as I can remember, it's been pretty well-established that the "most random" number is 37.

In other words, if you were to do a sufficiently large, random survey, just asking people on the street to pick a random number, 37 would occur most frequently. It just sort of "looks" random - it's not even, doesn't have even digits, and as an added bonus, it's prime! How much more random can you get?

Darth Eru
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scowdich wrote:In other words, if you were to do a sufficiently large, random survey, just asking people on the street to pick a random number, 37 would occur most frequently. It just sort of "looks" random - it's not even, doesn't have even digits, and as an added bonus, it's prime! How much more random can you get?

Well, actually, those reasons would qualify it as less random. A truly random number would be more likely to have both odd and even digits, and be less likely to be prime. Although the whole number being odd or even is obviously the same probability-wise.

(Not that I don't get what you mean. It's interesting how we intuitively understand rarity as being randomness, when something picked at random is more likely to be common.)
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4=5
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wouldn't you first think of the comen numbers, therefore you can't pick them because that wouldn't be random

Darth Eru
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4=5 wrote:wouldn't you first think of the comen numbers, therefore you can't pick them because that wouldn't be random

Nope. A truly random number would (probably) be "common" because a random selection of something is more likely to choose, well, the more likely thing. That's where probability comes from, the fact that random occurrences tend to certain ratios, which we call probabilities.

And people tend to both consciously and unconsciously ignore "common" numbers for the very reason you just stated. They're more common, so we think of them first, but then we think that because they're common they aren't random so we think of uncommon ones.
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Cosmologicon
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Not exactly random, but whenever I need to provide a consistent pseudorandom seed to a computer program, in order to repeatedly check the output, I use a certain number: 14045. The value is actually because of an old girlfriend.

Whenever I'm asked to pick a random number, I actually don't. Other numbers I've given are 90210, 24601, 1729, and 655321.

liza
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I go with 22 or 23 as my random number, simply because everyone uses something with a seven and it bothers me in a strange way. And, why, yes, I do have a predetermined random number.

I use 22 and 23 because the latter's my favourite number and the former used to be. I liked 22 because I like the digit 2 and 22 had 2 2's (among other reasons). I then started encountering it a lot and it became a lot of people's favourites, so I shifted to 23. 23 was a good choice for me because it's similar in nature to me (I personify my numbers), plus it's prime, which is cool.

Woxor
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Mine is 0.35674611510677

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four

EDIT: I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?
3.14159265... wrote:What about quantization? we DO live in a integer world?

crp wrote:oh, i thought you meant the entire funtion was f(n) = (-1)^n
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Woxor
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adlaiff6 wrote:I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?

That's what I've heard.

Torn Apart By Dingos
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When I'm asked (or ask myself) to give a random number, I don't just spurt out something, because I know it would be something like 7, 13, 17, 21, 37, etc. Instead I quickly make up some arbitrary rule to calculate a number based on my environment, eg "number of edges in my field of view" or "# of consonants I can see". It should give somewhat random results. I wonder with what distribution though.

3.14159265...
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3 would be my random number, and 3.14159265.. my favorate.

Whenever I'm asked to pick a random number, I actually don't. Other numbers I've given are 90210, 24601, 1729, and 655321.
I KNOW THAT ONE, I would have known 65537, but you had 1 there.
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Zohar
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17, definitely.
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hotaru
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EDIT: I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?

Last edited by hotaru on Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Darth Eru
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hotaru wrote:

EDIT: I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?

my random number is usually 6853792 (which just happens to be equal to 32*214181)

(*psst* "a" is not a number.)
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Patashu
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I did a poll once, and between 1 and 10, 7 is the most commonly used 'random' number.

Not sure about 1-20, but I suspect it would be 17.

EDIT: I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?

http://www.stetson.edu/~efriedma/mathmagic/1203.html

Depends.
Last edited by Patashu on Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

LE4dGOLEM
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hotaru
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Darth Eru wrote:
hotaru wrote:

EDIT: I just realized that I think that's the only English word for a number whose length is equal to the number it represents. Am I right?

(*psst* "a" is not a number.)

(*psst* yes it is.)
[url=http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=a]4. one (used before plural nouns that are preceded by a quantifier singular in form)
6. one (used before a noun expressing quantity)[/url]

from O.E. an (with a long vowel) "one, lone,"
Last edited by hotaru on Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:58 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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I was thinking of strict worded numerals here, not usage. I suppose you're correct, but unsatisfyingly.
3.14159265... wrote:What about quantization? we DO live in a integer world?

crp wrote:oh, i thought you meant the entire funtion was f(n) = (-1)^n
i's like girls u crazy

apricity
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Mine is 25. It's fun because it doesn't seem random, so most people wouldn't choose it. And whenever I exaggerate for comic effect I use 25,000.
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I don't really have any set "random" number, but any number I generate tends to be somewhat based on what I'm talking about.

E.G. "Alright Tom, it's hot enough that I'll go swimming.. just throw 32 buckets of ice in the pool first."
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Either "13.3", "42", or "Banana".

pingu
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I always pick "pi" or "e" because no-one ever specifies that it needs to be rational...

The LuigiManiac
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I just say 4, because it's my birthday.

That, or 8,999.
Spoiler:
THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

Pathway
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The reason I would kill penguins would be, no one ever, ever fucking kills penguins.

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76, as in "76% of all statistics are made up on the spot."

4=5
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Darth Eru wrote:
4=5 wrote:wouldn't you first think of the comen numbers, therefore you can't pick them because that wouldn't be random

Nope. A truly random number would (probably) be "common" because a random selection of something is more likely to choose, well, the more likely thing. That's where probability comes from, the fact that random occurrences tend to certain ratios, which we call probabilities.

And people tend to both consciously and unconsciously ignore "common" numbers for the very reason you just stated. They're more common, so we think of them first, but then we think that because they're common they aren't random so we think of uncommon ones.
that exactly what I said,

scowdich
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Yes, but Eru used English.

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Someone finally got it!
3.14159265... wrote:What about quantization? we DO live in a integer world?

crp wrote:oh, i thought you meant the entire funtion was f(n) = (-1)^n
i's like girls u crazy

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621.
Long story.
1010011010

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Herman
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I think 17 is a very common random number. Kind of rolls of the tongue, it's odd and prime, but not too big -- very random.

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Cosmologicon wrote:Whenever I'm asked to pick a random number, I actually don't. Other numbers I've given are 90210, 24601, 1729, and 655321.

Yeah, me too. I don't bother using random numbers if I can use a little in joke or a reference to something I like. I use 24601 a lot, or 4291, or old reference numbers from my school/uni. Or the Lost numbers, obviously.

Pathway
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Someone finally got it!

I was honestly pretty disappointed that no one reads the RFCs anymore.
SargeZT wrote:Oh dear no, I love penguins. They're my favorite animal ever besides cows.

The reason I would kill penguins would be, no one ever, ever fucking kills penguins.

The LuigiManiac
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RFCs? What are those? Anyways, I thought about the comic as soon as I saw the thread, but I thought it was too obvious to link to.
Spoiler:
THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

Blatm
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scowdich wrote:From the Jargon File, as well as I can remember, it's been pretty well-established that the "most random" number is 37.

Homer Simpson agrees.

Mine is 27 for no particular reason.

My favourite is probably dadbeddedabadbadbabe, simply because I love the problem it comes from. It doesn't come up much though...

liza
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pingu wrote:I always pick "pi" or "e" because no-one ever specifies that it needs to be rational...

Ah, yes, I do that too. Depending I my mood, I might specify my favourite number as "e", just because it's a cool number.

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22 is mine.

Pathway
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The LuigiManiac wrote:RFCs? What are those? Anyways, I thought about the comic as soon as I saw the thread, but I thought it was too obvious to link to.

OK, so now I'm disappointed that no one reads the alt text of xkcd anymore.

Here's RFC 1149.Most RFC's are serious business, but this one is hilarious. It was April Fool's 1990.
SargeZT wrote:Oh dear no, I love penguins. They're my favorite animal ever besides cows.

The reason I would kill penguins would be, no one ever, ever fucking kills penguins.

djn
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Hah, 1149 is on the list of RFCs I remember. It was implemented by a LUG in Norway/Bergen some years ago. Atrocious roundtrip times, but it worked.

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