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A social experiment

If you have time, please do the following.

Think of a random integer.

If possible, please think of one now before reading the next lines.

.

.

If it is even, please comment 0.

If it is odd, please comment 1.

Note that 0 is even.

Thank you

Note by Jihoon Kang
2 years, 1 month ago

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It's interesting how the vast majority are odd (19:7 ratio as of this moment, around 73% odd). This is statistically unusual considering that there is equal possibility for even and odd numbers to be made. I think I can explain this.

It is human nature to think that a number which is even is too rounded to be 'random', and since all even numbers are composite (trivial exception of 2), even numbers tend to be avoided.

Furthermore, chosing prime numbers is a popular trend when picking 'random' integers; we tend to think of numbers which are isolated. For example, prime numbers can be considered to be isolated, as it has no proper factors, hence there are no other numbers associated with it, as it were. Now, I understand prime numbers are not the most frequently generated 'random' numbers, but the fact that they are odd surely plays a part. This leads us to think odd numbers are more random than even numbers.

I guess this means that 'random' numbers generated by humans are not truly random.

Of course, this is only my speculation, based on my own experience. When I think of a random number, 37 comes to mind. I think the fact that both digits are odd, it's not too small or too big between 0 and 100, and it being prime leads me to believe it is the most random number. Ironically, if everyone thinks this way, it becomes one of the least random numbers.

Please feel free to post your opinions and speculations. Jihoon Kang · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Jihoon Kang But there are people(like myself) who already have a predefined random number in mind. For example, if someone asks me to choose a number, I will always pick \(4\). This is just to avoid time spent in thinking of a random number. I know that this is not random, and the number of people who think this way are small, but yeah. Your observations make sense though. Raghav Vaidyanathan · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Jihoon Kang Please see this note which is inspired by you. Archit Boobna · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Jihoon Kang Hey your observation skill is awesome! @Jihoon Kang Harsh Shrivastava · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Harsh Shrivastava Thank you :) Jihoon Kang · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1

Postscript: I was going to say that the folks that picked \(0\) like their coffee mocha, while those that picked \(1\) just want their coffee black. But, you're right, I read somewhere that when asked to pick a random number, \(37\) pops up much more frequently than expected, a fact that mind-trick magicians exploit. I picked \(137\) because that's the integer part of the reciprocal of the Fine Structure Constant. Does picking a famous constant at random qualify? I'm going to check and see how many of them are odd. Michael Mendrin · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Michael Mendrin Haha :). I do not wish to get into the philosophy of the definition of 'random'. Although one short definition could include 'a choice without reason'. If an integer we chose truly was random, then there should have been absolutely no factors influencing our decision to chose it. Of course, that seems to be next to impossible. Jihoon Kang · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Jihoon Kang It is a fact that humans suck at being random, even though they think it should be easy. Give anybody a marker pen and a whiteboard, and tell him/her to mark dots on the board at random. After it's "done", just about anybody can tell it isn't really random. Michael Mendrin · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Shani P · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Cool Math · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Calvin Lin Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Thushar Mn · 1 year, 6 months ago

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1 Kunal Verma · 2 years ago

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1 Alexander Surin Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Kunal Joshi · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Aryan Gaikwad · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0, I just randomly thought of 2 Daniel Chen · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Sahil Nare · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Kislay Raj · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Archit Boobna · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Nikhil Ramakrishnan · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Rajorshi Chaudhuri · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Raghav Vaidyanathan · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Harsh Shrivastava · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Harshit Sharma · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Sudeep Salgia · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Kushal Patankar · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Rishabh Tripathi · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Josh Silverman Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Karan Siwach · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Manish Bhargao · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Thushar Mn · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Pranshu Gaba · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Anton Kriksunov Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Peter Taylor Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Kenji Ejima Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Kelly Tran Staff · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Jim Ralphealo Mijares · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Pranjal Jain · 2 years, 1 month ago

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0 Brian Charlesworth · 2 years, 1 month ago

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1 Sharky Kesa · 2 years, 1 month ago

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