Franklin Veaux (tacit) wrote,
Franklin Veaux
tacit

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Some thoughts on randomness & religious experience

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Woke up this morning from a very strange dream. bishop_henley and I were back in college (how scary is that?), and I was watching him work on a very large painting out on the lawn when another friend of ours walked by carrying a large box of dice. He dropped the box, scattering dice everywhere; we helped him pick them up, but he was in a hurry and couldn't find all of them. So, later, I found a set of blue dice, which I kept.

I like dice.

That got me to thinking about random numbers this morning. Throughout history, man has always been interested in generating random numbers; crude dice, usually made of bone, are among some of the most ancient artifacts that have ever been found.

Random numbers have value. They can be used to test computer algorithms, validate encryption techniques, and all sorts of interesting things. Trouble is, computers suck at generating random numbers. You can generate numbers that seem pretty random by using physical processes that are deterministic, but too complex to model--throwing dice, for example, or bouncing Ping Pongs around in a chamber.

Sun Microsystems has a patent on a computerized number generator that uses--get this--a bunch of potical sensors wired around a Lava Lamp. The sensors spit out random numbers based ont he motion of the blobs in the Lava Lamp. How cool is that?

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Last night, I had Krispy Kreme donuts for the first time in my life.

I don't care about donuts, except insofar as the filled kind make excellent sex toys. I particularly have never cared for glazed donuts, which have always seemed to me like little fried slices of Hell, glazed with the lamentations of the sinners and with a convenient hole in the middle so you can eat them when you're driving. Yuck!

But the girlfriend insisted, so we went to Krispy Kreme.

Their deal is that they give you donuts hot, right off the assembly line.

Oh, my God. When I ate one of these donuts, my eyes were opened. A chorus of angels sang overhead, and a little bit of Heaven revealed itself to me. Krispy Kreme donuts, freshly-made and so hot you can barely touch them, are the closest Man has yet come to Paradise, with the possible exception of French silk pie--also an excellent sex toy.

Just thought you might like to know.
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