Randomness in Plain English

You might think that 32535354 is more random than 00000000. After all, the first sequence of numbers appears to be completely arbitrary, while the second seems to repeat the same digit over and over. However, the concept of randomness is not always as straightforward as it may seem.

Suppose there are 100 potential events, and if their likelihood is evenly distributed, meaning no outcome is more likely than the others, we consider them to be random. Conversely, if the chance of a specific event, let’s say A, is 90%, then it’s no longer deemed random. Randomness is about probability distribution.

When you roll a dice, the probability of getting any particular number from 1 to 6 is 1/6. This probability is equally distributed among all the possible outcomes. Thus rolling a dice can be seen as random events.

So even though 00000000 appears less random, if the probability of getting 00000000 is the same with that of getting 32535354, then there isn’t much difference between them in terms of randomness.

April 9, 2023