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Whether randomness exists is a metaphysical question that I've yet to see addressed, convincingly. The best we can do is unpredictable sequences of maximal entropy (no identifiable pattern). Even perfectly well defined sequences can be effectively random. E.g. if you started listing the digits of pi, beginning with the 100 trillionth digit... the sequence would appear random to anyone who didn't realize the source of the info.

Anyway, once you find the first uninteresting number.... Well, being the first uninteresting number is something, isn't it? Better exclude that one too.

You cannot prove that a number is really random, if someone picks out a numbered card from a pack, that is not random, because whoever shuffled the pack, left them in a certain order, however chaotic, and the person picking out a card does this in some kind of order, wether it be the top, the bottom, the middle or somewhere inbetween. A computer cannot randomly select a number, because it has to start it's next random shuffle from a set point, which is the point it stopped at on the previous random selection. I suppose the more random tries before a random selection might allow you to gaining a more random number, but in reality it is still not random.

So ultimately the question is an epistemological one rather than a metaphysical one.

Quote from: damocles on 13/05/2013 05:22:14So ultimately the question is an epistemological one rather than a metaphysical one.Isn't metaphysics concerned with the nature of causality? If reality is perfectly causal then there are no random numbers... merely unpredictable sequences.