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supa_frizz by Quint Baker

The thing I don't get is how so many "artbash phantoms" come along and tell everyone to get lost and then they themselves have no-one to insult and then decide to leave themselves??? Artbash is a perfectly good platform for all sorts of discussion and knowledge gathering with many readers but most are sadly too scared to use it.

Art is something that belongs to us. Yes I am a creative with a true purpose. You can quietly draw the conclusion inside yourself that the world or more perfectly the people in the world are not worth "blessing" or going out of your way for. But well if you give a little then you get a little.

I choose to be i-Dependent. This is very much the DIY punk ethic. I carefully try to withdraw from all subscriptive entanglements up to the point of where is does not make good economic sense. For example in many cases in New Zealand drawing electricity from the main power grid is cheaper that trying to supply yourself soley with solar power.

I prefer to sell art independently and directly to customers, but I never turn away any sort of assistance or teaming in mutual alliances. Lets face it it's tough out there. I mean, how is the recession treating ya? Especially if you're an artsy! Any new galleries about? Any dealers going out of their way for anybody?

The artworld has inverted, and no-one knows what it will look like in the next round. Have you bought any paintings lately? If so which and by who? I have taken to reading poetry. New Zealand poetry. Any good art blogs out there? 

1 to 7 of 7
b'ert Homme
4 articles & 62 comments since 1 Jun 2010
Quint Baker
29 articles & 724 comments since 20 Jul 2009

no, you're just are not appreciating it right! "Art is something that belongs to us". Please tell me, what (/when: optional) was your last art purchase? Common Bert share with the group buddy? I'd bet you'd share with Earnie

b'art Homme
12 articles & 207 comments since 22 May 2010
So - what are you actually saying Quintesecence? What's your point - you seem to be saying so many things?
Quint Baker
29 articles & 724 comments since 20 Jul 2009
There is no central theme here. Stop trying to find one or urge me to do that. This article is a piece of my mind. A list for you to absorb. A list for you to consider. Some consider me outspoken but I am nothing more than an art protestant who believes in "the artist rules" and imagination is supreme. Without imagination the human race is dead. Art should not be curbed away from what creativity demands. And we know what creativity demands, because it is not the voice of the world, it is the voice from within artists. Fight! For your Right! To Arrrrrrty!
2 articles & 143 comments since 23 Feb 2010

In the physical sciences

In the 19th century, scientists used the idea of random motions of molecules in the development of statistical mechanics in order to explain phenomena in thermodynamics and the properties of gases.

According to several standard interpretations of quantum mechanics, microscopic phenomena are objectively random. That is, in an experiment where all causally relevant parameters are controlled, there will still be some aspects of the outcome which vary randomly. An example of such an experiment is placing a single unstable atom in a controlled environment; it cannot be predicted how long it will take for the atom to decay; only the probability of decay within a given time can be calculated. Thus, quantum mechanics does not specify the outcome of individual experiments but only the probabilities. Hidden variable theories are inconsistent with the view that nature contains irreducible randomness: such theories posit that in the processes that appear random, properties with a certain statistical distribution are somehow at work "behind the scenes" determining the outcome in each case.

In biology

The modern evolutionary synthesis ascribes the observed diversity of life to natural selection, in which some random genetic mutations are retained in the gene pool due to the non-random improved chance for survival and reproduction that those mutated genes confer on individuals who possess them.

The characteristics of an organism arise to some extent deterministically (e.g., under the influence of genes and the environment) and to some extent randomly. For example, the density of freckles that appear on a person's skin is controlled by genes and exposure to light; whereas the exact location of individual freckles seems to be random.

Randomness is important if an animal is to behave in a way that is unpredictable to others. For instance, insects in flight tend to move about with random changes in direction, making it difficult for pursuing predators to predict their trajectories.

In mathematics

The mathematical theory of probability arose from attempts to formulate mathematical descriptions of chance events, originally in the context of gambling, but later in connection with physics. Statistics is used to infer the underlying probability distribution of a collection of empirical observations. For the purposes of simulation, it is necessary to have a large supply of random numbers or means to generate them on demand.

Algorithmic information theory studies, among other topics, what constitutes a random sequence. The central idea is that a string of bits is random if and only if it is shorter than any computer program that can produce that string (Kolmogorov randomness)—this means that random strings are those that cannot be compressed. Pioneers of this field include Andrey Kolmogorov and his student Per Martin-Löf, Ray Solomonoff, and Gregory Chaitin.

In mathematics, there must be an infinite expansion of information for randomness to exist. This can best be seen with an example. Given a random sequence of three-bit numbers, each number can have only eight possible values:

000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111

Therefore, as the random sequence progresses, it must recycle through the values it previously used. In order to increase the information space, another bit may be added to each possible number, giving 16 possible values from which to pick a random number. It could be said that the random four-bit number sequence is more random than the three-bit one. This suggests that in order to have true randomness, there must be an infinite expansion of the information space.

Randomness is said to occur in numbers such as log (2) and Pi. The decimal digits of Pi constitute an infinite sequence and "never repeat in a cyclical fashion". Numbers like pi are also thought to be normal, which means that their digits are random in a certain statistical sense.

Pi certainly seems to behave this way. In the first six billion decimal places of pi, each of the digits from 0 through 9 shows up about six hundred million times. Yet such results, conceivably accidental, do not prove normality even in base 10, much less normality in other number bases.

In information science

In information science, irrelevant or meaningless data is considered to be noise. Noise consists of a large number of transient disturbances with a statistically randomized time distribution.

In communication theory, randomness in a signal is called "noise" and is opposed to that component of its variation that is causally attributable to the source, the signal.

In finance

The random walk hypothesis considers that asset prices in an organized market evolve at random.

Other so-called random factors intervene in trends and patterns to do with supply-and-demand distributions. As well as this, the random factor of the environment itself results in fluctuations in stock and broker markets.

Randomness versus unpredictability

Randomness, as opposed to unpredictability, is held to be an objective property - determinists believe it is an objective fact that randomness does not in fact exist. Also, what appears random to one observer may not appear random to another. Consider two observers of a sequence of bits, when only one of whom has the cryptographic key needed to turn the sequence of bits into a readable message. For that observer the message is not random, but it is unpredictable for the other.

One of the intriguing aspects of random processes is that it is hard to know whether a process is truly random. An observer may suspect that there is some "key" that unlocks the message. This is one of the foundations of superstition, and is also a motivation for discovery in science and mathematics.

Under the cosmological hypothesis of determinism, there is no randomness in the universe, only unpredictability, since there is only one possible outcome to all events in the universe. A follower of the narrow frequency interpretation of probability could assert that no event can be said to have probability, since there is only one universal outcome. On the other hand, under the rival Bayesian interpretation of probability there is no objection to the use of probabilities in order to represent a lack of complete knowledge of the outcomes.

Some mathematically defined sequences, such as the decimals of pi mentioned above, exhibit some of the same characteristics as random sequences, but because they are generated by a describable mechanism, they are called pseudorandom. To an observer who does not know the mechanism, a pseudorandom sequence is unpredictable.

Chaotic systems are unpredictable in practice due to their extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. Whether or not they are unpredictable in terms of computability theory is a subject of current research. At least in some disciplines of computability theory, the notion of randomness is identified with computational unpredictability.

Individual events that are random may still be precisely described en masse, usually in terms of probability or expected value. For instance, quantum mechanics allows a very precise calculation of the half-lives of atoms even though the process of atomic decay is random. More simply, although a single toss of a fair coin cannot be predicted, its general behavior can be described by saying that if a large number of tosses are made, roughly half of them will show up heads. Ohm's law and the kinetic theory of gases are non-random macroscopic phenomena that are assumed to be random at the microscopic level.

Randomness and religion

Some theologians have attempted to resolve the apparent contradiction between an omniscient deity, or a first cause, and free will using randomness. Discordians have a strong belief in randomness and unpredictability. Buddhist philosophy states that any event is the result of previous events (karma), and as such, there is no such thing as a random event or a first event.

Martin Luther, the forefather of Protestantism, believed that there was nothing random based on his understanding of the Bible. As an outcome of his understanding of randomness, he strongly felt that free will was limited to low-level decision making by humans. Therefore, when someone sins against another, decision making is only limited to how one responds, preferably through forgiveness and loving actions. He believed, based on Biblical scripture, that humans cannot will themselves faith, salvation, sanctification, or other gifts from God. Additionally, the best people could do, according to his understanding, was not sin, but they fall short, and free will cannot achieve this objective. Thus, in his view, absolute free will and unbounded randomness are severely limited to the point that behaviors may even be patterned or ordered and not random. This is a point emphasized by the field of behavioral psychology.

These notions and more in Christianity often lend to a highly deterministic worldview and that the concept of random events is not possible. Especially, if purpose is part of this universe, then randomness, by definition, is not possible. This is also one of the rationales for religious opposition to evolution, where, according to theory, (non-random) selection is applied to the results of random genetic variation.

Donald Knuth, a Stanford computer scientist and Christian commentator, remarks that he finds pseudorandom numbers useful and applies them with purpose. He then extends this thought to God who may use randomness with purpose to allow free will to certain degrees. Knuth believes that God is interested in people's decisions and limited free will allows a certain degree of decision making. Knuth, based on his understanding of quantum computing and entanglement, comments that God exerts dynamic control over the world without violating any laws of physics, suggesting that what appears to be random to humans may not, in fact, be so random.

C. S. Lewis, a 20th-century Christian philosopher, discussed free will at length. On the matter of human will, Lewis wrote: "God willed the free will of men and angels in spite of His knowledge that it could lead in some cases to sin and thence to suffering: i.e., He thought freedom worth creating even at that price." In his radio broadcast, Lewis indicated that God "gave [humans] free will. He gave them free will because a world of mere automata could never love..."

In some contexts, procedures that are commonly perceived as randomizers—drawing lots or the like —are used for divination, e.g., to reveal the will of the gods; see e.g. Cleromancy.

Applications and use of randomness

In most of its mathematical, political, social and religious use, randomness is used for its innate "fairness" and lack of bias.

Political: Greek Democracy was based on the concept of isonomia (equality of political rights) and used complex allotment machines to ensure that the positions on the ruling committees that ran Athens were fairly allocated. Allotment is now restricted to selecting jurors in Anglo-Saxon legal systems and in situations where "fairness" is approximated by randomization, such as selecting jurors and military draft lotteries.

Social: Random numbers were first investigated in the context of gambling, and many randomizing devices, such as dice, shuffling playing cards, and roulette wheels, were first developed for use in gambling. The ability to produce random numbers fairly is vital to electronic gambling, and, as such, the methods used to create them are usually regulated by government Gaming Control Boards. Random drawings are also used to determine lottery winners. Throughout history, randomness has been used for games of chance and to select out individuals for an unwanted task in a fair way (see drawing straws).

Sports: Some sports, including American Football, use coin tosses to randomly select starting conditions for games or seed tied teams for postseason play. The National Basketball Association uses a weighted lottery to order teams in its draft.

Mathematical: Random numbers are also used where their use is mathematically important, such as sampling for opinion polls and for statistical sampling in quality control systems. Computational solutions for some types of problems use random numbers extensively, such as in the Monte Carlo method and in genetic algorithms.

Medicine: Random allocation of a clinical intervention is used to reduce bias in controlled trials (e.g., randomized controlled trials).

Religious: Although not intended to be random, various forms of divination such as cleromancy see what appears to be a random event as a means for a divine being to communicate their will.

Generating randomness

The ball in a roulette can be used as a source of apparent randomness, because its behavior is very sensitive to the initial conditions.

It is generally accepted that there exist three mechanisms responsible for (apparently) random behavior in systems:

1. Randomness coming from the environment (for example, Brownian motion, but also hardware random number generators)
2. Randomness coming from the initial conditions. This aspect is studied by chaos theory and is observed in systems whose behavior is very sensitive to small variations in initial conditions (such as pachinko machines, dice ...).
3. Randomness intrinsically generated by the system. This is also called pseudorandomness and is the kind used in pseudo-random number generators. There are many algorithms (based on arithmetics or cellular automaton) to generate pseudorandom numbers. The behavior of the system can be determined by knowing the seed state and the algorithm used. These methods are quicker than getting "true" randomness from the environment.

The many applications of randomness have led to many different methods for generating random data. These methods may vary as to how unpredictable or statistically random they are, and how quickly they can generate random numbers.

Before the advent of computational random number generators, generating large amounts of sufficiently random numbers (important in statistics) required a lot of work. Results would sometimes be collected and distributed as random number tables.

Randomness measures and tests

There are many practical measures of randomness for a binary sequence. These include measures based on frequency, discrete transforms, and complexity, or a mixture of these.

Quint Baker
29 articles & 724 comments since 20 Jul 2009
Pinnochio is a class act "artbash phantom" with no guts, no guts I say, no bloody guts!
2 articles & 143 comments since 23 Feb 2010
....In information science, irrelevant or meaningless data is considered to be noise. Noise consists of a large number of transient disturbances with a statistically randomized time distribution.....
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