I read in a book today ( the computer music tutorial by curtis roads), that humans are not capable of imagining any long series of truly random numbers. Apparently, the only way to generate a series of truly random numbers is to use either a Geiger counter or some type of cellular automata algorithm. Is it true that a computer would be able to detect a pattern and accurately guess the nth number in a series of random numbers thought up by a person?


closed as off-topic by Andrés E. Caicedo, Will Jagy, Vedran Šego, Robert Wolfe, Macavity Sep 7 '14 at 3:22

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  • "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – Andrés E. Caicedo, Will Jagy, Vedran Šego, Robert Wolfe, Macavity
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  • $\begingroup$ What's your definition of random? I've never come across a rigorous one. $\endgroup$ – dfg Sep 7 '14 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ This has been extensively researched. Web search for "schizophrenics generate random numbers", for example, produces many interesting papers. $\endgroup$ – MJD Sep 7 '14 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know why this is being downvoted. This seems like a reasonable question of wide interest whose answer is a bit deep and interesting, and most importantly likely needs a bit of interpretation. $\endgroup$ – davidlowryduda Sep 7 '14 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ @mixedmath Maybe because it belongs to psychology, philosophy, or computer science, but not mathematics? $\endgroup$ – Vedran Šego Sep 7 '14 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ The question seems basically mathematical in nature; while some of those other fields might be interested in the answer, it seems to me only mathematics can come close to giving an adequate description of the problem. $\endgroup$ – David K Sep 7 '14 at 2:18

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