Some social aspects of computers and numbers
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-26, 10:55 authored by Holmes, WN
This essay reflects on the use of computers in games and gambling, starting with the curious effect of using computers to deal playing cards for contract bridge players. The predictability of computers rules out true randomness, unless special devices are used to pick data out of noise, so algorithms to generate pseudorandom sequences are most often used, particularly linear congruential generators. The dangers of this are discussed, both the technical dangers of careless use of pseudorandom sequences, and the social dangers of using software to encourage and addict gambling, especially online.
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