Randomness doesn’t exist.

We live in a universe where law of cause and effect is king. But let’s start by taking a step back and looking at a few things we rely on a lot for our randomness.

Computers

In order for a computer to generate a random number, it:

1. Needs a range, or one will be set automatically

Most computers can’t generate between negative infinity and positive infinity. The size of number a computer can generate is limited by computation power and energy it receives.

If a range is not explicitly given, it’s still bound by the size of the data type holding it. For example, an integer (in a lot of modern programming languages) can only hold a number between -263+1 and 263+1, and can’t hold decimals.

But infinity is a concept and not a number, and that’s a topic for a different discussion.

2. Needs a seed

Now what’s a seed? It’s a number that the generator has to start with in order to generate a random number. In most cases, programmer who’s coding the app is the one who sets the seed.

This also means that the pseudo-random number generator is theoretically deterministic.

Dice / coins

Neither dice rolls nor coin flips are truly random, either. Any toss can be theoretically replicated using the same amount of force, angle, starting placement, barometric air pressure… the list goes on.

Your own actions

This ties back to a blog post I wrote earlier about the illusion of free will. Or… I thought I wrote. I don’t know where it went.

We can’t take truly random actions, either. The universe binds our choices to what’s directly feasible. I can blurt out a word at random but it’s guided by the language I speak and all the words I’ve heard in my lifetime.

I can’t suddenly travel to the moon or become Genghis Khan.

Randomness only exists within the confines of your own observation

Perceived randomness exists because we can’t see the seed that was set, and we can’t see or exactly replicate the amount of force used to throw a die. We can’t measure barometric air pressure. True randomness doesn’t exist, but for our purposes, what we have is good enough.


I’m rusty at writing.

ok boomer

I hate this expression.

It’s sarcasm that’s supposed to make the older generation angry, but it just makes the speaker sound like an entitled child. It also reflects everything that millennials and younger people are supposed to hate about the older folk and shows that the speaker is no different.

I don’t expect the creator of this expression to have used it as satire, and I certainly think that the satire is lost on those who use it now. Let me try to explain:

What are the implications of this expression?
  1. I’m going to dismiss what you say because you are older than I am.
  2. You’re older than I am; therefore, you don’t understand my viewpoint. You don’t understand how the world works, and you’ve ruined things for us.
  3. I would rather dismiss this conversation than try to explain my viewpoint. You won’t listen to me anyway.
  4. I am going to generalize an entire group of people purely based on their age.
Let’s flip this around. What does the stereotypical “boomer” imply?
  1. I’m going to dismiss what you say because you are younger than I am.
  2. You’re younger than I am; therefore, you don’t understand my viewpoint. You don’t understand how the world works, and you are going to ruin things if you don’t listen to us.
  3. I am going to make decisions on your behalf because we know what’s better for you than you do. You won’t listen to me anyway.
  4. I am going to generalize an entire group of people purely based on their age.

Not very different, if you ask me.

Sometimes, in certain contexts, this expression holds merit. Sometimes it’s better to leave a conversation that’s going nowhere. But to use this expression is effectively to give up.

I see posts on Facebook of people trying to defend the use of “ok boomer,” but these people don’t actually understand that they’re weakening their arguments. It’s aggravating. If you’re really trying to defend the use of “ok boomer,” then you’re obviously not understanding what you’re really saying when you use it.

Disrespect upward is still disrespect. Learn to speak with people to get them to change their minds. You can’t simply dismiss a whole class of people for refusing to understand. Don’t forget they’re still the ones in power. As time goes on, we have to make sure not to make the same mistakes. How do we do that?

Talk to each other.

Money Lessons

From Anton Kreil, a retired professional stock trader. He’s the star of the Youtube channel, Institute of Trading, which has long videos of him sharing wisdom and wealth mentality tips. Here are some lessons he has shared.

1. Respect money.

In order to be successful, you have to understand the purpose of money. Money exists solely to eliminate the double coincidence of wants, i.e. two people agree to exchange goods or services. If you agree to do the dishes in exchange for a massage later, you’ve created a double coincidence of wants.

Money makes society work, and all the things we have in this world today exist because of money. The double coincidence of wants is incredibly rare in this age.

2. Money is not the root of all evil.

There are two types of greed: one that pushes you to strive for a better life for yourself and your family, and one that pushes you to exploit others for a few extra pennies. The line between the two is thin, yet distinct.

It’s this second type of greed that is the root of evil.

Kreil defines these as “positive” and “negative” greed, respectively, but I’m not sure if I agree with those terms.

3. Be indifferent towards money.

It’s important not to get emotionally attached to it, and to make sure you manage it well. More money does not equal more problems. More money plus a shift in mentality plus mismanagement equals more problems.

Tear down your emotional barriers to money. Be indifferent towards it, for money does not care about you.

How can you both respect money and be indifferent towards it?

Being aware of the function of money is the place to start.

4. Money is a commodity with a cost.

Its cost is time.

Learn to value your time properly and you will be able to make money.

Only going to work and saving money is just trading your time for money. It’s linear growth.

If you want to become wealthy, you should aim for exponential growth.


Here’s the source for these lessons. They’re not easy to think hear, and certainly not easy to implement.

Check out the Youtube channel for more money lessons and for specific trading tips.

September

It’s another one of those months where I’ve been thinking about a lot, but not enough to write something in-depth. Most of them are surface-level observations and some guesses on analysis. Here are some of them.

As you get older, you become more willing to let other people down.

My guess for this is that you get more and more busy as you get older, and you realize that nobody’s going to take care of yourself and your family except for you. Therefore, you choose to prioritize those closest to you over those asking favors of you, who are further away.

The way I wrote it probably isn’t the most elegant way of doing so, but that’s certainly how I feel as a young person who relies so much on people who are older than I am.

Today’s youth are in need of validation, more than those of any previous generation.

I say this because of how much I see behavior that would warrant attention. Kids (high-school-aged) will make requests in disguise and await approval from their peers. These sentences often begin with, “I am low-key thinking about [doing]…”

I suppose this is an issue that afflicts adults as well, but kids are much more obvious about it. Today’s technology allows for everybody to be connected all the time, and its absence causes people to act needy.

The presence of strong adult figures in the lives of children is now more important than ever.

If you thought I’d stop writing about the negative effects of technology, you were dead wrong.

Everyone’s a little screwed up.

It’s impossible to raise a kid without making any mistakes. and most character flaws in children stay through adulthood.

Praise a child too little and he will have self-esteem issues.

Praise a child too much and he will become arrogant.

Discipline a child too much and he will lash out at the first smell of freedom.

Discipline a child too little and he’ll go off the rails for his whole life.

Obviously, raising children is a lot more complicated than these black-and-white statements. But I so often see kids with problems due to bad parenting, or a lack of parenting at all. It’s not my place to say anything because I’m not a parent.


I feel dirty.

That’s not all.

There’s always more to a story than you know. Things that can’t be conveyed with words: emotions, expressions, body language. Try to get as full of a picture of the story as you can before you make judgment on anything.

That said, I want to address some observations made by the older generations of today, particularly those in positions of hiring power. They say that the main reason millennials can’t keep jobs is: they’re entitled. That’s not the entire story.

There are usually a lot more factors at play, and I can’t say entitlement isn’t one of them. The onlooker might blame entitlement as the primary reason why most millennials choose to move on quickly, but I don’t. Tiny attention spans is to blame.

Think about the culture that surrounds you. Thumb-taps and your phone are the only obstacle between you and the world. Trillions of websites are at your fingertips. Tired of what you’re reading? Try something else! There’s no cost to dropping what you’re doing and just moving on.

To be honest, I haven’t even been able to keep myself from switching windows even in the middle of writing this. Twitch and YouTube have been captivating my attention lately. Twitter and Instagram may be others’ poison, and their popularity are proof of my argument.

This ailment doesn’t afflict just millennials; it affects the older generation as well. Those who were born in the 70s and older suffer from the same issues. The next generation is going to have it even worse; don’t even get me started on generation Z.

The technology revolution is upon us, and this is one of its side effects. The industrial revolution reduced our need for physical labor in order to make society thrive, while this technology revolution seems to be reducing our need for mental labor.

Time will tell us how this revolution will affect the people.