Mitch April 6, 2007 2:37 PM

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…

Stephan Samuel April 9, 2007 9:54 AM

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.

Chris Becke April 10, 2007 3:06 AM

“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.

Clive Robinson April 14, 2007 5:19 AM

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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