Problems retrieving items from a list using a reference rather than an integer - can you help?

John Hunter jdhunter at ace.bsd.uchicago.edu
Thu Jul 17 23:55:42 CEST 2003


>>>>> "Bob" == Bob Gailer <bgailer at alum.rpi.edu> writes:

    Bob> [snip] I sure hope you are not writing "yet another winning
    Bob> lottery number predictor". It is a sad commentary on
    Bob> mathematics education when individuals belive that one can
    Bob> predict the outcome of a truly random process based on any
    Bob> history. I for one certainly won't support any effort to
    Bob> further mislead people.

Granted, but this reminds me of the excellent story when 2 chaos
mathematicians went to the Montreal Casino to try and figure out the
pattern of the random number generator for the Keno game.  After some
time, they noticed that the numbers were simply repeating.  Apparently
there was a defect in the hardware, and when the machines were
rebooted, they started with the same random seed.  he won $600,000 in
three consecutive jackpots.  

So looking for patterns in the outputs of RNGs is not total folly.  Of
course RNGs are not "truly random".....

JDH





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