Schneier on Security
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April 6, 2007
More Random Number Humor
And 17 is the most random number between 1 and 20.
Posted on April 6, 2007 at 8:49 AM
• 8 Comments
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too bad the link has been Schneiered.
Make sure to read the alt-text, too (all xkcd have jokes in the alt-text... Hover your mouse over the comic for a minute).
Oh come on... the old "New Hacker's Dictionary" from the 1970's had an entry about 17 being the most common random number.
Really old news. Answering WHY would be far more interesting...
I read a book once that, among other things, talked about using "magic" as a means to attract attention. One of the topics covered was to ask someone to pick a random number and when you guessed it, they'd think you were "reading their mind" and be attracted to you. It involved a quick and rough psychological breakdown of how people pick "random" numbers.
"17, Black". I say its the James Bond effect. I don't know why James Bond picked 17, but I think its a strong influence.
I believe that they just asked the actor to pick a random number.......
Just of note, Dilbert was in Accounting and the "Random Number" Troll was giving out nines.
In Forensic accounting it is known that nine is one of the numbers least likly to occur in certain positions (lead digits) in accounts. Known as (Frank) Benford's Law this information can be used to indicate fake / forged accounts...
So the joke scores with accountants as well...
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