Stats Made Easy

Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Randomization to rebel against deterministic forces

As a practitioner of statistically designed experiments I am a big believer in randomizing the order of runs specified by standard templates. This counteracts time-related lurking variables such as material degradation, machine warm-up and increasing ambient temperature. Thus it was a shock to read this passage in a book I'm reading that's titled The Traveler: "...anyone who used random numbers to guide his life should be hunted down and exterminated." It turns out that the good guys in this novel carry RNG's -- random number generators -- to confound the forces of evil. If you harbor paranoia about the ever-increasing intrusions on privacy by government and big business, you will like this book. Otherwise it comes across as "New Age Nonsense," as noted by the Washington Post. Oh, and by the way, is there any significance to the fact that the publisher is Random House?


Post a Comment

<< Home