The Riddle of Randomness

Cross-posted at Geek Girl Con’s blog!

Last year at Geek Girl Con, I had the privilege of participating in the Do-It-Yourself Science Zone teaching kids about probability and randomness.

GeekGirlCon 2014 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

GeekGirlCon 2014 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

However, being The Riddler, I had a secret agenda in mind while doing my demonstrations — I have a trio of ten-sided dice that I use to gamble with my fellow super-villains, and I wanted to figure out which of them, if any, had a bias for or against any particular number. What better way to find out, than to offload the boring task of rolling those dice over and over again onto unsuspecting passers-by?
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The astrology conversation that DIDN’T happen

I would guess Robert looks something like this while posting any comment on astrology.

In the endless non-debate on astrology, I had held some measure of hope that, when Robert Currey resurrected the thread two weeks after it had abated, that there might actually be some discussion of the positive evidence for astrology. Robert has attempted to steer the discussion over the past 230 comments with little regard for the multiple attempts made by myself and my regular readers to redirect discussion in a manner more productive. (Mind you, others rejoined the field, including Jamie Funk and Marina, and there was a sidebar on rectification astrology by James Alexander, whom George W is dealing with elsewhere, so not all the 230 comments came from that discussion.)

Robert has, numerous times, flogged a piece he wrote on his own space claiming astrology to have an empirical grounding, though much of the content on the page seems like butt-hurt over certain skeptics’ tactics in arguing him and other astrologers in the past. There’s a hilarious passage about the “vested interests” line that skeptics use frequently that deserves addressing, mostly because (as is evident elsewhere in this conversation) Robert’s lack of reading comprehension skills causes him to miss the point of it by a very wide margin:

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