Certainly Uncertain

Randomness, in the form of random strings of numbers, is really useful for keeping codes secret and for modelling chaotic systems. It turns out that humans are really bad at randomness. We almost compulsively create patterns out of what we perceive, and any string of numbers we spout will have organization. It turns out that the most fundamental elements of nature behave in a random way. We found this out using mathematics and observations. It took a long time for humans to be able to perceive this randomness, and it’s amazing we can even recognize randomness, since we can’t make randomness. Scientists have been listening to a part of space that they once thought was completely empty. This place is called “Vacuum.” There is noise there, random noise. It comes from virtual subatomic particles that appear and disappear there spontaneously. Emptiness is not empty—it’s noisy. We can predict that it will be unpredictable: “…its unpredictability is guaranteed by quantum theory.” Because of the organization of mathematical language we can be sure of disorganization. Certain of uncertainty. Really.

Here is an image made by Vacuum.

Pick two numbers (x,y), each between 1 and 16. Place a translucent red dot at the Cartesian coordiate (x,y). Repeat 512 times.

Read more about this at this link: Random Number Generator