random events

It seems strange to me when people talk about things being ‘random’. Especially when they’re not. Unusual, but not random.

I was sitting on the bus on the way home tonight and I had this random thought arrive and I figured out (randomly) that there’s really random, like totally infinite random, and then there’s like big numbers, with a number selected at random from within a fixed range.

It occurred to me that lotto is a fixed range. A big fixed range, granted. I couldn’t do the maths in my head on the bus, the random bumps on the road kept shaking the numbers out of my head. I used Excel instead. I think the chances of getting the first division, six balls plus a seventh, is 1 in 93,963,542,400. Which is quite a big number. But not an infinite number of choices.

I pushed the bell to get off at my stop, but the bus driver was counting his lucky stars and went on past. I had to get off at the next stop, and walk home in the rain.

How random is that?

One thought on “random events

  1. bryan

    those of us with children will note that the new “favourite phrase” is random, as in when they don’t grasp a subtle nuance of the TV advert, its described as “thats so random”.

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