On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 8:04 AM, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au>wrote:

> Flipping a coin is never rational, although it may well be the best thing
> to do.

I don't know what to make of that. If X is the best way to achieve a goal
then X is the rational thing to do. The Monte Carlo Algorithm was invented
soon after the end of the second world war specifically to model how a
H-bomb worked, and it in effect flipped a coin millions of times. A
thermonuclear fireball is far too complex to model from first principles so
they generated random inputs for the position and momentum of particles and
then performed deterministic calculations from them and then found the
probability distribution. Without that the H-bomb would not exist. You can
argue if building a H-bomb is a rational goal or not but it you want to
figure out how to build one you've got to flip a coin many millions of

  John K Clark

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