Randomness and Gambler’s Fallacy

If it is not for random numbers, video games and simulators would not exist. Writing code and algorithms to generate random numbers plays a major role in Computer Science. In our life, we sometimes expect a pattern associated with randomness. The comic below accurately depicts one trap we all fall into sometimes.

In the book “How We Decide”, the author talks about our false perception of randomness.

When Apple first introduced the shuffle feature on its iPods, the shuffle was truly random; each song was equally as likely to get picked as any other. However, the randomness didn’t appear random, since some songs were occasionally repeated, and customers concluded that the feature contained some secret patterns and preferences. As a result, Apple was forced to revise the algorithm. ‘We made it less random to make it feel more random,’ said Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple*.

Source: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

This Monte Carlo story could be what inspired the Monte Carlo Method inventors to come up with the name.

Happy Science!

3 thoughts on “Randomness and Gambler’s Fallacy

    1. Science is very beautiful and fun but unfortunately people follow the wrong individuals for fun. Justin Bieber has more than 28 million followers. This is insane. What do people expect he would say that will enrich their lives?

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