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christopherj comments on Worse Than Random - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 November 2008 07:01PM

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Comment author: christopherj 09 April 2014 05:46:32AM 1 point [-]

OK, let me give you another example of the lock device. Each time a code is tried, the correct code changes to (previous code) + 2571 mod 10000. You don't know this. You won't find out before opening the door, because of limited feedback. Sequential check of every code will fail, but let you know that the correct code changes (if there is a correct code). Constantly guessing the same code because you think it'll randomly change to that one will fail. Random guessing will eventually succeed. Using randomness prevents you from getting stuck due to your own stupidity or an opponent. There is no method for always beating randomness, making it a reliable failsafe against always losing.

You won't always have knowledge about the problem, and on occasion what you think is knowledge is wrong. Random may be stupid, but it has a lower bound for stupidity.