Surrealism in Amazon Reviews


I always love it when the weird get going, and turn something that ought to be everyday into something special and funny and strange.

Back in the day, having good randomness was very useful for monte carlo simulations, etc., and “shove the video frame buffers of a camera pointed at a lava lamp through DES” was too much computation. So RAND corp produced a book of randomness, that could be used either to reproducibly ‘randomize’ inputs, or so you could just open it up and sample a few digits. The reviews, however, [amazon] are great.

I admit, whenever I see “standard deviation” or “normal deviates” I get the same giggle-reaction.

… And they say homeschoolers are anti-science!!

I thought the movie had way too many explosions in it. But then I prefer more thoughtful fare.

So there’s someone who remembers the address to setup the waveforms in a Commodore 64 in BASIC. I had to look it up, I never coded on anything from Commodore after the PET.

I know someone who enjoys ASMR a lot; I bet this book would be pretty cool if you had someone with an amazing voice whisper the digits into a mic. Sweet.

Comments

  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Back in the day, having good randomness was very useful for monte carlo simulations, etc., …

    People don’t use randomness any more?

    Oh gawd, now I gotta clean up my house…

  2. says

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    People don’t use randomness any more?

    I phrased that wrong. They still use it all the time, it’s just pretty easy now.

    Back when I did the first prototype of /dev/random (which was embarrassingly bad, but a good idea) the state of the art was sampling amplified hardware noise or the cosmic microwave background. That took pretty specialized gear.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Marcus Ranum @ # 2: … sampling amplified hardware noise or the cosmic microwave background.

    My needs for random numbers were pretty modest, but I used to add up all the numbers in a date-time stamp, square it, take the cube root, isolate the integer, multiply the cube root by pi and take the [integer]th figure to the right of the decimal; repeat for however many digits needed. Or some variation thereof. Wouldn’t’ve phazed any real cryptanalysis, but it was unpredictable to humans.

    Time to go march for the climate – see ya this evening.

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