Volume 7, Issue 3, 1993

Christopher Ormell
Pages 216-225

A Modern Cogito 4
random versus perverse-random

The first paper of this series (Cogito, 1992) outlined ‘the showdown phenomenon’: a live sequence of events of two distinct kinds, ‘red’ and ‘green’, which was experienced by the would-be predictor as absolutely and irreducibly unpredictable, because the predictor invariably got his or her predictions wrong. We can clearly and distinctly imagine this happening: so a perverse-random experience of this sort is evidently ‘logically possible’. This raises the question of the relation of the new sequences to ordinary ‘random’ sequences. In this paper an account is developed of the relationship of ‘perverse-randomness’ to ‘randomness’. Such an account may assist us in achieving a new, firmer conceptualization of ordinary probability, and hence in making sense of this notoriously elusive idea.