The Order We Want To Impose On Randomness

Okay, so you love the shuffle music feature on your MP3 player. But, like many people, you’ve grown to suspect that the shuffle isn’t very random at all. Turns out it’s difficult “for a PC, which is designed to do things in predictable ways, to generate a string of numbers that are statistically random. Try as they might to compile a list of numbers at random, computers frequently spit out digits that have discernible patterns to them.” The problem, it turns out, isn’t that the programs aren’t randomizing my playlists. They are. But our expectations of randomness are statistically inconsistent.