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?

Postby Darth Eru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:20 am UTC

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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Postby scowdich » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:28 am UTC

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?

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Postby Darth Eru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:33 am UTC

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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Postby 4=5 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:44 am UTC

wouldn't you first think of the comen numbers, therefore you can't pick them because that wouldn't be random

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Postby Darth Eru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:01 am UTC

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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Postby Cosmologicon » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:24 am UTC

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.

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Postby liza » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:33 am UTC

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.

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Postby Woxor » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:41 am UTC

Mine is 0.35674611510677

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Postby adlaiff6 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:26 am UTC

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?

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Postby Woxor » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:02 am UTC

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.

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Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:03 am UTC

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.

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Postby 3.14159265... » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:04 am UTC

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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Postby Zohar » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:47 am UTC

17, definitely.
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Postby hotaru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:52 am UTC

adlaiff6 wrote: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?

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

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Postby Darth Eru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:35 pm UTC

hotaru wrote:
adlaiff6 wrote: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?

what about "a"?

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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Postby Patashu » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:46 pm UTC

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.

adlaiff6 wrote: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?

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

Depends.
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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:22 pm UTC

514.

Because of this.
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Postby hotaru » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:58 pm UTC

Darth Eru wrote:
hotaru wrote:
adlaiff6 wrote: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?

what about "a"?

(*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,"
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Postby adlaiff6 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:28 pm UTC

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
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Postby apricity » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:03 pm UTC

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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Postby HiroP » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:51 pm UTC

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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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:03 pm UTC

Either "13.3", "42", or "Banana".

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Postby pingu » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:57 pm UTC

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

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Postby The LuigiManiac » Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:35 am UTC

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

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

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Postby Pathway » Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:07 am UTC

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.

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Postby Gwydion » Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:36 am UTC

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

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Postby 4=5 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:31 am 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.
that exactly what I said,

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Postby scowdich » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:37 am UTC

Yes, but Eru used English.

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Postby adlaiff6 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:02 am UTC


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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Postby EradicateIV » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:33 pm UTC

621.
Long story.
1010011010

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Postby Herman » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:42 pm UTC

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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Postby Andrew » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:09 pm UTC

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.

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Postby Pathway » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:07 am UTC

adlaiff6 wrote:

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.

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Postby The LuigiManiac » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:16 am UTC

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...!

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Postby Blatm » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:20 am UTC

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...

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Postby liza » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:33 am UTC

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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Postby mrcheesypants » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:40 am UTC

22 is mine.

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Postby Pathway » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:36 am UTC

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.

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Postby djn » Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:30 am UTC

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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Postby zombie_monkey » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:51 pm UTC

7625597484987


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