The concept of randomness is historically a recent development (in the 1700's). Even more recently in the 20th century, randomness and probability (involving subatomic particles) have been embraced by quantum physics.
|Einstein: "God does NOT play dice with the Universe!"|
|Some people reject the notion of randomness on religious or philosophical grounds. They do not accept the idea that events in our world can occur randomly. Whether or not you share this belief, you can still have fun trying to act randomly in this exercise.|
You might want to consider this controversial idea: If you believe in the notion of "free will," then you must believe that human behavior is ultimately random! If you could know ahead of time what course of action a person would choose, then his/her choice is not completely "free." If the choice is determined by past history, personality, or current forces, then how could the choice result from "free will?" Freedom implies some capriciousness or haphazardness. Because the behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner believed that our behavior was totally determinedby our past history, genetic endowments, and current forces, he denied the possibility of free will, or even freedom.
What exactly does the word "random" mean?
Many important systems (including the military's security of nuclear weapons) depend on randomness or encryption which supposedly cannot be broken by hackers. Recently, the media reported that the most commonly used "64-bit DES" encryption algorithm was broken by scientists who used only $250,000 worth of computers running for only 57 hours. Before we can feel safe from criminals or terrorists, we'll need to develop a more elaborate system of encryption!!