What's your random number?

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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gmalivuk
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Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:55 pm UTC

When asked to pick a "random number" in some range, I usually make an integer from a couple sequential digits of pi. Unless the person who asked me is a math type, in which case I've been known to give my answer in series form.

That usually pisses people off if the point was to see who got closest to the asker's number, because it takes a bit of time to figure out the actual value of, say,

Sum(0,Inf) .5^(n/5)

(It's about 7.725)
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LE4dGOLEM
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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:08 pm UTC

"Over nine thousand"
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Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:22 pm UTC

35...no real reason XD

my mom always uses 27...

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Postby Toeofdoom » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

Blatm wrote:
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...


I use 27 aswell XD

also I have a wierd suspiscion the guy who looks (almost) exactly like me who is in the same course as me at uni also uses 27...
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Postby The LuigiManiac » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:22 am UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:"Over nine thousand"


Exact reason I gave 8999. What now Vegeta?
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Postby ZerothRoot » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:51 am UTC

616 is what I came up with right now so I'll go with that.

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Postby Tangent » Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:33 am UTC

I like to go with Chaitin's constant. It's guaranteed to be random and uncomputable. Strangely, we actually do know the first few digits:

0.0078749969978123844...

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Postby iw » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:58 am UTC

Zohar wrote:17, definitely.

In MIT lore, this is the "most random number". My old prof, being an MIT grad, used to always use 17 for things like "steps before halting".

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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:08 pm UTC

The LuigiManiac wrote:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:"Over nine thousand"


Exact reason I gave 8999. What now Vegeta?


I hope my body can take it...
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Postby Ren » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:11 pm UTC

11 is my random number. It is also my favourite number.

When asked to choose a number between 1 and 10, I generally choose 6 or 8.
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Postby user#471729 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:39 am UTC

I have trouble thinking of random numbers but I usually give a natural number. First I select the number of digits. 0 digit numbers don't exist (wll, probably they do but what the hell), so a 1 digit number is called for. As I skipped 0, I use that. If I need to think of another random number, I let digits = 2, so the result is 34, then digits = 5, so the result is 67890 (or 6789A if I'm in hexadecimal) and so on.

Spookily enough, typing this series of numbers into google image search one night when I was bored is how I discovered xkcd :shock: !

My favourite numbers include 42, 47, 1729, 1337 and 69 (sniggers).

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Postby EradicateIV » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:01 am UTC

There can be only one truly random number.

At that number is... *universe explodes*
1010011010

Our truth is only as good as our assumptions.

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Postby Aoeniac » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:39 pm UTC

12
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Postby Blades » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

Herman wrote: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.
commonly random, now there is an oxymoron

42, 1.618, pi, e, 1, 81, 1458, 1729, or 55263

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Postby Phil » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:34 am UTC

On of my professors in college used to work on epileptic seizures with non-linear dinamics and he deduced that seizures happens when the brain goes into a stable cycle, and that a normal brain usually displays a chaotic behaviour. So after learning about attractor reconstruction using first return maps, I tried to see the strange attractor used by my brain tocome up with "random" numbers.
It didn't go very well because first I tried with numbers from 1 to 5 and I always came up with higher numbers, so I tried with numbers from 0 to 9. The problem there was that even with a page full of numbers, I didn't have enough data, and it was way to long to compute by hand, so I gave up after about 20 or 30 data on my graph. Already I could see some patterns, things like: I usually selected 2 after I selected 8 (or something similar).
Even though I didn't have any good results at the end, it was a pretty funny experiment, specially since I did this in a somewhat boring math class. My friend also tried because she wanted to compare the strange attractors in both our brains, but she was even slower than me to hand-plot the results.

(for your information, it wasn't really boring, it was about complex analysis, but that day I was unable to stay focused for some reason, so it was boring)

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Postby el sjaako » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:39 am UTC

The first number I thought of was 4. My favorite number is 2, its small, even, and often just big enough to be a "normal case"

user#471729 wrote:0 ... 34, ... 67890 (or 6789A if I'm in hexadecimal) and so on.

Spookily enough, typing this series of numbers into google image search one night when I was bored is how I discovered xkcd :shock: !


How many pages did you look at? googling those numbers didn't get me anything interesting. I do think that is one of the most awesome "how I found this place" stories that I have seen.

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Postby aguacate » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

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.


I think this comes down to whether you are asking for me to choose a random number, or for a randomly chosen number. Because if I'm choosing a random number then It probably won't be common. The set of all numbers that no one has ever even thought about before beats the set of all 'common' numbers that people have actually thought about, by a factor of infinity.

If you want a randomly chosen number, then I see your point. Although with regards to going from 'common' to 'uncommon', switching from one number to another could be considered part of the random number generator algorithm, no?

EDIT: After reading this thread, My random number turn out to be 36.

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Postby Teshi » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:55 pm UTC

I like 1132, 1123, 123, 132, 23 and 32.

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Postby 4=5 » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:25 pm UTC

Darth Eru wrote:(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.)

well it's not like just ANY number can be random ^_^

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Postby Neeks » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:47 pm UTC

0/1

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Postby dumbclown » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:16 am UTC

I don't think I would have a number that I would always go to. Seems a bit like the gambling theory "It didn't come up the last three hundred times it over due now".

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Postby EradicateIV » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:24 pm UTC

dumbclown wrote:Seems a bit like the gambling theory "It didn't come up the last three hundred times it over due now".


I always say that even though it's not really true. Because the probabilities are the same no matter what trial as long as everything else is kept constant.

I am right, right?
1010011010



Our truth is only as good as our assumptions.

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Postby aguacate » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:28 pm UTC

EradicateIV wrote:
dumbclown wrote:Seems a bit like the gambling theory "It didn't come up the last three hundred times it over due now".


I always say that even though it's not really true. Because the probabilities are the same no matter what trial as long as everything else is kept constant.

I am right, right?


This is true.

But on the other hand you don't have worse probabilities picking the same number all the time either. So it's purely convenience to have a pre-selected one.

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Postby Durinthal » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:24 pm UTC

Mine's also 37, but that's mainly because my birthday is the 37th day of the year. I do enjoy the fact that it's prime, though.

Edit: this is also my 37th post here. :lol:

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Postby MFHodge » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:41 pm UTC

Durinthal wrote:Mine's also 37, but that's mainly because my birthday is the 37th day of the year. I do enjoy the fact that it's prime, though.

Edit: this is also my 37th post here. :lol:


You just blew my mind. . . . Did you wait for your post count to go up before making that post?

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Postby Durinthal » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:46 pm UTC

It was a complete coincidence. I happened to look over at my post number after I had already posted.

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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:12 am UTC

Durinthal wrote:Mine's also 37, but that's mainly because my birthday is the 37th day of the year. I do enjoy the fact that it's prime, though.

Edit: this is also my 37th post here. :lol:


36th day here.

much higher post count, though
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Postby PainGod » Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:25 am UTC

I like making up limits of series or sequences that I know converge but don't particularly care what they converge to. This also works with conditionally convergent series and sequences =).

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Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:11 am UTC

Mine is 27, but I actually have a reason.


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Postby chrispy1 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:51 am UTC

Saw this and thought it was appropriate....
BTW, mine is 33.

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Postby Deck » Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:36 pm UTC

When asked to give a random number, I normally think of 122. Another, not quite so random number that seems to follow me around is 108. It always pops up, like my personal version of the 23 enigma.
Indeed.

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Postby sillybear25 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:00 am UTC

when asked to pick a "random number from 1 to 10 off the top of my head" I usually come up with 7 as a first instinct, but then go with 4 just to screw over everyone who says that I'll always choose seven, because that's the most common answer.
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Postby crazyjimbo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:45 am UTC

Since this is the maths forums, I feel justified in saying that since the probabilty of picking a rational number from the real numbers is 0, you people picking integers are all just plain WRONG. :P

My random number would probably be in the 10-20 range, most likely 17.

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Postby bavardage » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:00 am UTC

Mine are always 3, 7, 21, 33, and the like - related to 3s and 7s.
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Postby LTPS » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:46 am UTC

Somehow I always say "62" in any sort of random-number scenario. I can't recall when or why it became my random number, or anything it might be of even mild relevance to.

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Postby aguacate » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:33 pm UTC

LTPS wrote:Somehow I always say "62" in any sort of random-number scenario. I can't recall when or why it became my random number, or anything it might be of even mild relevance to.


62 is the first uninteresting number.

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Postby bookishbunny » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:53 pm UTC

Mine is 8 in various orders of magnitude.

80 and 8 million are the most popular.
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Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

crazyjimbo wrote:Since this is the maths forums, I feel justified in saying that since the probabilty of picking a rational number from the real numbers is 0, you people picking integers are all just plain WRONG. :P


No more wrong than anyone else who picks some definable number.
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Postby Durinthal » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:22 pm UTC

Someone change "number" to "integer" in the title and grandfather in anyone who already replied with something else.

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Postby bookishbunny » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:23 pm UTC

Durinthal wrote:Someone change "number" to "integer" in the title and grandfather in anyone who already replied with something else.


I had to read that three times before I could figure it out. :?
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