Divine Random eiskis.net/b

There is something about randomness that attracts man. We all seek answers to questions that puzzle us, and sometimes the answers puzzle as even more. It is also often the case that we fail to get answers at all. We might try again once or twice - or, as a race, a decade or two - but ultimately we will give up. This is because of the psychological defence mechanism built into us: we simply will not be disturbed by our inability to solve a problem. We will find a reason to ignore it, or pretend we solved the case anyway, although in the back of our minds we know that no advance was made.

A problem left unsolved is not worthy of our attention. Randomness, however, has fascinated man for all his existence. It is with confusion that we meet this bizarre phenomenon, but still we do not abandon studying it. This, the very defiance of human nature, a contradiction of some sort, is a proof of the special place of randomness in our minds and in this universe. Man has not been able to solve its mystery, but, unlike in any other matter, has resisted surrender in front of this enigma.

<?php rand() ?>

The above is a pseudo-random integer, generated with a function in the PHP programming language. This is an example of man's efforts to generate and harness randomness for his own purposes. This integer is, however, not truly randomly generated, but only another integer passed through channels, functions complicated enough to produce a number that is unpredictable for a human using the tool. Unpredictability does not imply randomness.

There is something divine in randomness. I will now clarify that the randomness in question here is true randomness. It is easy to simulate its effects visible in our limited picture of this world, but true randomness has a much deeper meaning in truth, in the marvelous masterpiece of all mechanisms known or unknown to man that we call the universe. There is extensive documentation of human efforts of generating or successfully simulating true randomness. All of those efforts have failed.

It seems that although man has long since understood the peculiarity of randomness, he has often been misled into thinking that it could be achieved by mundane methods. Man, as it seems, was not created to comprehend random.

Randomness in ancient cultures

There have been several pioneering archeological findings in the history of cultural randomness research that give us insight into how randomness has been viewed in ancient times and in different cultures. The roots of documented randomness worship and related religious and other rites date back to first Xia dynasty in ancient China, where rural communities held annual festivals to praise random and pray for weather conditions beneficial for rice crops. Randomness has been encountered all over the world, and in Europe and the Middle East the seemingly unrelated culture of randomness admiration was often merged with religious festivities and proved popular among people of lower social classes.

Recent research confirmes that in the 14th century there existed an isolated Andian society in the area of the present-day Peru that used a complex calendar system involving randomness to observe celestial bodies and record their world history. They thought that the world was born again and again as time passes, and the nature of each incarnation is determined by randomly selected tampéon, a mystical entity with unknown powers. This would set the laws and rulers for men, the fate of the nature, fortune and misfortune of all the families in the community and also the duration of the eon. The relics of this culture have mostly been destroyed, and there have been only rudimentary assessments of specifically how randomness was implemented in this tampeonic calendar.

Understanding random

Even though we humans have limited assets as a species, we are experts in getting past our shortcomings. There are black holes and dark matter in this universe that cannot be detected by our senses, but, by observing our surroundings and infering what could produce them, we can gain new knowledge of things normally unperceivable, a new sense we call reason. To get as close to randomness as possible, we must use our wit to pass the boundaries of our biological vessels and produce a gateway to uncharted areas of the universe.

Should true randomness not exist, the universe would simply be a construction of ifs and thens, an endless and beginless set of states of affairs changing into others on a path set in the beginning of the time that has no beginning. The world would be a situation after situation with only one way to the final state that doesn't exist. This will not do, this is not where we know we live in. This is but a philosophical mind game, a riddle, an exercise to teach students to spot the most obvious of the obvious to prove a theory wrong. If there was no randomness, the universe would simply be a meaningless set of slides that could just as well not exist. If there was no randomness, we would understand this world in its entirety with no problems. We do not.

We do not know where in this universe true randomness lies. It might be in the laws of physics, it might be in the rules of logic that make truth true and lies untrue or it might even be a fundamentally important element in a primary wave function that reforms the world as we know it from time to time. It might not show in a form known to man at all or it might be a part of our everyday lives. Things might show up in the backseats of our cars every now and then for a brief period of time and we won't even know it. Facing the primary randomness, man is clueless. Randomness is truly something superhuman, divine. Randomness is the closest thing there is to God.

We know for a fact that randomness exists. The world simply couldn't be as it is without it. Randomness explains everything that we wouldn't be able to comprehend without it. Randomness is the answer to the innermost questions of human nature. By all accounts, excluding the random, we should be disgusted by the very thought of randomness and have pushed it to the most distant corner of our minds eons ago. Still we are drawn to it time and time again, captivated by its enchanting nature, even when we cannot grasp it in its purest form due to our inherent inferiority. Randomness is what gives us the answer we so desperately seek and conforms to all of our most fundamental ideas of reason and reality's mechanics. To deny random is to deny the essence that makes this world alive, the existance of motion and true change in this universe.



Randomness is not a religious subject. Belief in random is not a matter of faith, but rather a matter of science. Man uses the scientific method to examine randomness.

Why is time so slow?

If the universe was just a simple set of states of affairs directly connected to and conducted from each other, the universe could easily process the slideshow that is reality very quickly. Time would pass by and a trip to the in-laws would be over in a flash, not to mention a shopping spree at the supermarket or hasty reading of the morning newspaper every time the alarm hasn't gone off.

Still, as we all know, time can be a pain in the back and sometimes seems to stop in its place completely, slowing down to almost full halt and making a mockery of us. This all happens because of randomness.

Randomness alters the speed at which time passes. First of all reality has to process randomness. Although man does not fully comprehend the divine randomness, the universe does in its divine entireness, and is able to process it as a part of itself. Processing randomness is a consuming task, however, and this slows down time in our world.

Secondly, as the randomness is truly random, the time continuum is never truly stable and experiences constant variation due to inherent randomness. Man perceives this as time slowing down (this is evidence against the theory that man is the ultimate source of randomness, as in that case the time would always seem constant to us).

Randomness in time

This graph demonstrates how randomness affects the time continuum. Figure 1 shows the time continuum in a non-random world. The flow of time is constant and no additional processing is required by the universe. Figure 2 shows the time continuum in a random world. The inconstancy in the passage of time we feel every day is clearly visible. Reality also has to process the randomness in the time continuum which consumes additional time. As a result, time passes in a varying pace and in general is slowed down dramatically.

This example is a clear sign of how fundamentally important randomness is to our perception of the surrounding reality. Only randomness successfully explains the problems with time and its inconsistency.

Learn more

If you are interested in learning more about randomness, there has been extensive modern scientific research on the subject conducted in recent years. Randomness research has gained popularity among scholars lately, and recently numerous books and articles have been published that take a new, scientific angle at tackling the problems of randomness (or, more spesifically, problems with randomlessness).

My colleagues and I will be happy to try and answer queries regarding randomness. However, you should keep in mind that, like everyone else, as mere humans we are almost certainly unable to achieve the realm of true randomness. But an open mind is still the safest path to enlightenment. The true nature of randomness may be beyond our reach, but it is by no means unworthy of our attention.

The content of this page has been written and published by randomness expert Jerry Jäppinen, a researcher at the Northern European Randomness Institute in Bodø, Norway. This article acts as an approachable introduction to randomness and randomness research. You can find out more about the researcher at eiskis.net or contact him directly via e-mail (eiskis//gmail/com) if you have notes you would like to share regarding this article.

Further reading

Groot Jens, Huis Gerd (2000)
Introduction to Random
Northern European Randomness Institute
Mantekalyanam S. (2002)
Significance of Random Thought: Randomness in Modern Metaphysics
Jackson-Smith, Inc.
Lange H.A., Strøm Bo (2005)
Randomness Through Ages and the Brief History of Man and Random
UiO Press
Williamson C.H. (2007)
Random Time Continuum
Jackson-Smith, Inc.

This is not a comprehensive list of significant contemporary random literature. Most of the listed books have commendable bibliographies that can be used as guides to this branch of science. All of the authors mentioned here have other works on randomness as well.

Divine Randomeiskis.net/b updated on 8 August 2010