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Re: [PrimeNumbers] Good article, some suggestions

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  • Phil Carmody
    ... You re wrong, and you re a grotesquely ugly freak. Thanks. This has been done to death many times - see http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html for example.
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 21, 2006
      --- Paul Leyland <pcl@...> wrote:
      > > What annoys me about top posting?
      >
      > Because you have such a poor memory, short attention span and restricted
      > ability to comprehend material that you need to wade all the way again
      > through stuff you've already seen to be able to understand the new
      > stuff.
      >
      > Some of us prefer to get to the meat straight away. Out of
      > consideration for your handicap, however, I have not top-posted on this
      > occasion.

      You're wrong, and you're a grotesquely ugly freak. Thanks.
      This has been done to death many times - see
      http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html for example.
      http://www.xs4all.nl/%7ewijnands/nnq/nquote.html

      And the oft-seen:
      A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
      Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
      A: Top-posting.
      Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?

      Like almost all top-post apologists you uses the fallacious "you need
      to wade all the way through" argument against bottom-posting, and yet
      here we see you shoot a massive hole in your foot - you didn't quote
      my whole post did you? You trimmed. That's what responsible bottom
      posters do. The ones who include a whole quoted post and then stick
      "me too" at the bottom are at least as derided as irresponsible top-
      posters.

      "There isn't one." is /not/ getting to the meat straight away, it's
      getting to an uncooked pile of mince, without context. One what? The
      last noun seen in the singular was "article", in the subject line.
      "Good article" - "there wasn't one". Oh the irony!

      > FWIW, I barely believe in randomness. The lack of an intellectually
      > satisfying definition of a random number or of a random sequence makes
      > me very suspicious of such things.

      That's why information theorists prefer to talk about random sources,
      not random numbers of random sequences. But didn't I already say that?

      > Kolmogorov complexity appears, to me, to be much more firmly grounded in
      > reality than randomness.

      If you're obsessed with looking at sequences, then I guess so. However,
      it's still utterly abstract, at least as much as any other view. It's
      only something that you can use in terms if you have some kind of
      Kolmogorov Oracle. Alas, my reality doesn't include such a beast. You're
      just pushed the responsibility for the difficult part somewhere else.

      > If forced to give a definition of a random sequence, i'd resort to the
      > effectively useless: "that which passes a test or series of tests for a
      > random sequence".

      Looks rather like "stochastic".

      Alas < SHA-1(seed), SHA-1(seed+1), SHA-1(seed+2), ... >, without knowledge
      of seed, and without a way of finding pre-images to SHA-1(), is stochastic,
      and only has Theta(lg(seed)+lg(length)) bits of entropy rather than
      Theta(length).

      I'd modify your definition by changing it to "passes all know tests",
      as I'd say one failure should discount it. Not all thing that a sequence
      might fail are actaully tests for randomness though.

      Phil

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