John Barresi

RNG, is it really random?

27 posts in this topic

I just received an email from a forum member who will go unnamed, letting me know that there's been some discussion about how "random" the RNG really is.

To trim a quote from that email, punctuation and placement edited to maintain anonymity...

A while back I was going to leave Kitelife because it was obvious to me that the RNG wasn't so random. But, I kissed it off. But, others have shared my concerns. I would suggest that if the RNG comes up with anyone that could be tied to any interior motivation, that you just kiss off the RNG and give the contest to some unknowns. At least for a couple months or so.

==

With this in mind, I want to jump in and address it right now - first by showing our track record.

Winners from the past 13 months:

  1. Dominic Juliano 4/5/11 #122
  2. Rocky Freed 3/1/11 #639
  3. Bill Hayes 2/10/11 #272
  4. Komuro-san 1/25/11 #448
  5. Joanna Chen 12/27/10 #790
  6. James Rodriguez 11/25/10 #638
  7. Brad Bixby 10/15/10 #574
  8. Terry Ashenfelter 9/10/10 #631
  9. Steve Tisch 8/5/10 #593
  10. Dale Ray 6/30/10 #643
  11. Stuart Forsythe 6/25/10 #584
  12. Wayne Fu 6/20/10 #98
  13. Steve Thorsen 6/15/10 #619
  14. Bob Matteo 5/1/10 #94
  15. Walt Ellis 3/18/10 #478

Not ONE do I have any personal ties with, no repeats, no weighting towards those who donate separately or how long they've been a subscriber..

Additionally, nearly half the list I've never met, or only met once or twice.

Said with all love and respect, there are a lot of "unknowns" there - as I understand the reference I quoted above.

==

We use this RNG (random number generator) - http://www.random.org/sequences/

==

We leave the starting number at 1 and enter the highest (most recent) subscriber number for the largest value:

post-1-0-44399900-1302301319_thumb.png

==

Then we hit "Get Sequence" and get a list that looks like this...

post-1-0-67068700-1302301359_thumb.png

==

In the shown examples, the list has 847 numbers (all the subscriber #'s we've ever issued), from 1 to 847, in random order.

We start with the top number and look it up in our database, if it's an active number, we award the prize to that person.

If that first number is expired, i.e. no longer a subscriber (over 400 numbers are currently dead), we move down to the next number on the list, and so on.

Because so many numbers are no longer active, we sometimes we have to go through a dozen number or more to reach one that is currently active.

==

We don't have any preference as to who wins, none at all...

After the fact, our only "bonus" is if it's someone who really needed that kite to fill a gap in their bag, or if they're overjoyed enough to post on the forum about it. :kid_devlish:

Those in the know understand who I am, the essentials of why I do what I do, and the ethic with which I conduct my business.

To the rest of you... Come fly with me anytime, let's talk, I'll answer anything you want to know, anytime. :sign_kitelife:

Regards! Feel free to add further inquires and challenges here.

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Hi John,

Your keeping me "anonymous" just shows what a great person you are, but I was the person that raised the concern...and if the fur is going to fly...let it come at me, the guy that mentioned that the RNG was questionable in my mind, not at you! :sign_kitelife:

Keep It Up!

Duane

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Well, it's nice of you to say so Duane... No hard feelings anyway, I know who I am. :sign_kitelife:

Here's my email reply to Duane on the subject, for posterity:

I understand the sentiment, but if I compromise the random results by fudging it as you suggest, I am then truly guilty of what people suspect.

Honestly, if a few people are truly insecure or unsatisfied in their own skins enough to feel this way, they can do what they need to do.

Here, on my front line, I'll preserve my principles and ethic completely - thank you.

Also, please DO NOT announce yourself as the quoted individual in my post on this subject.

I want it to play out without any personal reference, except to me, as the target of suspicion.

Please take some of that with a grain of salt, understanding the context. :kid_devlish:

All things being equal, I think I'll leave this topic up for a week or so to address the subject properly and allow folks to respond, then I'll likely render it invisible so as not to "mire down" the interest others may have in participating in the subscription or their confidence in the integrity of the drawing process.

Really, the only reason I've posted this at all is to maintain my "open palms" approach and principles, no shadows. :innocent:

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Hi John,

I thank you for your open, honest and "unwarranted" politeness to my concern. I feel more comfortable now that the RNG is random. And I apologize for what may have seemed to be my questioning of your integrity, but I think it may have been good to discuss it anyway, so everyone knows that all is well and above board!

Keep It Up!

Duane

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This was discussed in another topic recently, and the RNG that is used is about as good as you can get in the way of random numbers.

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Well it just sounds like Mr. unnamed fourm is just a bit bitter because he never won anything. HMMMM Let's think about this when you go out gambling do you really expect to win.

Steve

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This was discussed in another topic recently, and the RNG that is used is about as good as you can get in the way of random numbers.

Aye, and even before the discussion that Pete is referring to, we've always used a random number generator of some kind...

Except for the first few months we did subscriptions (2003-ish), at which point it was easy to put 20-30 names into a jar and pull one out. :sign_kitelife:

If all goes well, I hope to increase the average frequency of the drawings by week or so over the coming year, I want to see more full kite bags all around. <grin>

Well, is there really such a thing? FULL kite bags?

"How many kites does a kiteflier need? Just one more."

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I'm ready to add some more to mine!!!kid_devlish.gif

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I'm ready for "just one more".

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HMMMM Let's think about this when you go out gambling do you really expect to win.

I hope not. Someone has to pay for all those bright lights and noise.

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I think it's good to talk :kid_devlish:

Great that John tried to keep the conerns anonymouse.

And that Duane stood up to be counted.

And that it could all be dealt with in such a gentlemanly manner (pistols at dawn next time :sign_kitelife: )

I don't care as long as that blasted RNG pops my number to the top sometime. Not to say I have not done well in the auction type hings that have been run, a Sea Devil and 100 Rev $ have been great.

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Paintball guns at dawn, that way we can all laugh about it after the stinging stops. :sign_kitelife:

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What about, Revolution fighting kites, no JB might have the advantage there.

OK, a most established beard competition, no suppose Duane would have the start on that one.

How about Peashooters at 20 paces, not much chance of anyone getting hurt with that one?

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How about,.........WE SMILE!!!!!...and KEEP FLY-N-.....>>>>>>>>>>>........>>>>>>>>>........>>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!!:sign_kitelife::innocent::);):kid_devlish:

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I'm on vacation, so don't get a chance to check the forum as much as normal. I read through the posts this morning and have been thinking about them all day. The underlying tone bothers me.

Some of our elder members probably remember (if they're not too elderly) the 1950's game show called "The $64,000 Question." It was extremely popular until it leaked out that the contestants were "coached" on the topics and answers. A number of game shows were caught up in the scandal and also went off the air.

Just like the game shows of the 1950's, there is WAY too much for John to lose by influencing the outcome of a kite giveaway. Why would John risk his reputation, a part of his income and a lot of what he represents in the kiting industry by messing with the drawings?

Talking about and questioning the mechanical aspects of the drawings and if it's fair for everyone is okay ... all of us participated in a thread on that subject a few months ago. But, questioning the integrity of the man running the contest is unacceptable conduct amongst friends.

I trust the RNG ... and I trust John ... please run the contests and don't touch the results one way or the other!!

Enough,

Tom

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Enough

Amen

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Ok, now that it's taken care of, back to our regularly scheduled kite give away!!!! kid_devlish.gif

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How about,.........WE SMILE!!!!!...and KEEP FLY-N-.....>>>>>>>>>>>........>>>>>>>>>........>>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!!:sly:;):);):sly:

I'm with Eli. :kid_content:

Ok, now that it's taken care of, back to our regularly scheduled kite give away!!!! kid_devlish.gif

Just tick, tick, tick, 6 more days. :blue-cool:

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I'm on vacation, so don't get a chance to check the forum as much as normal. I read through the posts this morning and have been thinking about them all day. The underlying tone bothers me.

Some of our elder members probably remember (if they're not too elderly) the 1950's game show called "The $64,000 Question." It was extremely popular until it leaked out that the contestants were "coached" on the topics and answers. A number of game shows were caught up in the scandal and also went off the air.

Just like the game shows of the 1950's, there is WAY too much for John to lose by influencing the outcome of a kite giveaway. Why would John risk his reputation, a part of his income and a lot of what he represents in the kiting industry by messing with the drawings?

Talking about and questioning the mechanical aspects of the drawings and if it's fair for everyone is okay ... all of us participated in a thread on that subject a few months ago. But, questioning the integrity of the man running the contest is unacceptable conduct amongst friends.

I trust the RNG ... and I trust John ... please run the contests and don't touch the results one way or the other!!

Enough,

Tom

Hey...Just so y'all don't think I'm a "total" jerk...heehee! John and I have been having some e-mail discussions on the subject of the RNG and I cited a couple examples where I had to raise my eyebrows a bit about who the contest winners were. The RNG was creating a slight "element of doubt" in my mind as to whether everything was on the up and up. I truly believe that the picks were totally random, but when it comes to "picking winners" in a contest...."Perception Is Everything!"...and Truth often falls off to the side some place.....

I spoke with him about this and I suggested, just to remove any possible misconception and as just good business practice, that he look into hiring an independent agency to conduct the RNG thing. He considered the possibility and check out the cost. After he check it out he found that the cost would presently be too great and that he felt it was an unnecessary inconvenience. But, I want to thank John for his understanding and open mindedness with respects to my concerns.

EDIT: No one gets hurt by land mines that are laying about on the surface...it's the ones just below that surface that destroy people and things!

Always...Express yourself!! Question things and people...be honest and don't bury anything you might feel!!

Keep It Up!

Duane

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Great Point Im working on filling my second kite bag :kid_content:

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Great Point Im working on filling my second kite bag :kid_content:

Hey sammi! BACK-OFF!!

This one is mine (unless my "Revless" friend speaks up! heehee!)

If I thought things were really rigged, would I have recently got a second "Subscription" to increase my odds of winning so Im at least equal to that bird eating Baloo?? :blue-cool:

Keep It Up!

Duane

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For some hard truths about random numbers this Dilbert strip is a pretty funny commentary:

http://dilbert.com/s...mic/2001-10-25/

And it IS true: in a really random sequence ANYTHING can happen. (It's VERY* unlikely, but) John could run the RNG and get the subscribers' list in perfect order, or in reverse order, or all odd numbers first, or all even numbers first, or... (You get the idea.)

What we are all hoping is that the next time (or the time after that...) the random list will come up with our own personal number(s) before any others (which is merely SOMEWHAT unlikely).

======================

* This is SO unlikely that if such a thing actually happened, I expect that John would be emailing the guy who maintains the RNG to ask if it was broken. Or at least preserve that unlikely-looking result (in case it really was true) and run the RNG a few more times to see if normally random-looking numbers came out.

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Great Point Im working on filling my second kite bag :kid_content:

Hey sammi! BACK-OFF!!

This one is mine (unless my "Revless" friend speaks up! heehee!)

If I thought things were really rigged, would I have recently got a second "Subscription" to increase my odds of winning so Im at least equal to that bird eating Baloo?? :blue-cool:

Keep It Up!

Duane

Does this mean you won't let me use one of your #s, Duane??kid_devlish.gif

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Great Point Im working on filling my second kite bag :kid_content:

I will race you for the Rev LOLOL :blue-cool::sly:

I to have to ad one thing since I started flying Revolution

kites. My kite family has grown and they have always been there for me to

answer any question. For that I want to thank each and every one of you. Oh

best new of all I just got my New Rev Blast with the race rods I took it out

yesterday All I can say is I love it. I would like to get my hands on a Rev

Blast 2-4 if anyone has one they would like to sell please let me know.

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Great Point Im working on filling my second kite bag :kid_content:

Hey sammi! BACK-OFF!!

This one is mine (unless my "Revless" friend speaks up! heehee!)

If I thought things were really rigged, would I have recently got a second "Subscription" to increase my odds of winning so Im at least equal to that bird eating Baloo?? :blue-cool:

Keep It Up!

Duane

Does this mean you won't let me use one of your #s, Duane??kid_devlish.gif

No "SV"!! You can't have one of my numbers!! I already gave mine to "Tundra"...in a moment of Great Compassion for the "Revless Souls" in the World (but, I haven't heard back from him yet.)

But, you can have one of Baloo's numbers though...I just don't know what his numbers are, you'll have to check with him to get it?!?!

Keep It Up!

Duane

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