Discussion article for the meetup : West LA - Randomness: Why We Want It, How We Get It
When: 7:00pm Wednesday, July 3rd.
Where: The Westside Tavern in the upstairs Wine Bar (all ages welcome), located inside the Westside Pavillion on the second floor, right by the movie theaters. The entrance sign says "Lounge".
Parking is free for 3 hours.
Discussion: I will present many uses for random or pseudo-random numbers, both for algorithms and for humans. There will be applications to: Game Theory, Complexity Theory, Cryptography, and Fair Division. Then I will open the discussion to how we as humans can generate pseudo-random numbers. I encourage everyone to think about how they would attempt to generate an unpredictable string of random numbers, and share their results. (Imagine you are playing Rock-Paper-Scissors with an Omega-like AI which is very good at learning from patterns and predicting human behavior. How would you stop it from beating you.) Finally, there will probably be some philosophical discussion on the difference between randomness and pseudo-randomness, and whether or not randomness is achievable or even well defined.
No prior knowledge of or exposure to Less Wrong is necessary; this will be generally accessible and useful to everyone who values thinking for themselves. There will be open general conversation until 7:30, and that's always a lot of good, fun, intelligent discussion!
There will be a probably whiteboard with Bayes' Theorem written on it.