Random Walk

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gad-fly
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Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Random Walk

Post by gad-fly »

Random Walk is a term in advance level economics, found only in postgraduate and doctoral studies. I have never come across the term in philosophical discussion, and I dare say no philosopher has thought about his idea fallen into that category, but I cannot be sure.

If you take the term literally, you may realize that there is often no better term to describe what you are doing, as far as your philosophical endeavor is concerned.

More than an idea, random walk is a real and present occurrence, which is not necessarily insignificant like a walk in the garden. Actually, it can have some serious consequence, depending on how serious you are. It is not an exercise in frustration, nor a waste of time. It does not necessarily bring you back to square one. The walk does not follow your volition, or under your control once it has started. It may have pitfall or trap, but mostly not. Would it lead you to great discovery and astounding insight? Possible, but very rarely. Indeed, much more rare than hitting the jackpot. On the other hand, Random Walk may satisfy you within your budget of time and effort, though you can never explain the satisfaction to yourself and others.

If you have not done any serious search on Random Walk, please don't bother to reply to this topic. I would appreciate if you simply meditate on the matter, and keep the answer to yourself.
gad-fly
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Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Random Walk

Post by gad-fly »

Broadly speaking, most if all philosophical endeavors are random walk of thought, which leads to nowhere, at the same time as the thinker may find himself in the cobweb or cocoon created by no one but himself. As in advanced economics, random walk is not necessarily senseless, but rather, it makes no sense, or no commonsense, as far as anyone other than the thinker is concerned. You are daydreaming? Fine. Enjoy yourself, but wouldn't you enjoy it more daydreaming than philosophizing. If not, at least your audience would suffer less. I guess it takes all sorts to make this world.

Do I take random walk? Of course I do, I am just like you.

You are still puzzled. Time for a random walk.
Ecurb
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Re: Random Walk

Post by Ecurb »

The random walk theory in economics states that individual stocks (and the stock market in general) are not predictable by mathematical models. The idea -- contrary to science in general -- is that you can't predict the future based on the past. Random predictions work just as well as any other method.

I'm not sure this can be applied to philosophy, or the physical world. It seems to me that the reason stock prices vary at random is that if a mathematical model seems to work, everyone will start using it, and then it won't work any more. If mathematical predictors show a stock to be a "good buy" and everyone starts buying it as a result, the price will go up and the stock will no longer be a good buy. What is unpredictable is human psychology -- not because human are incomprehensible, but because (as in other experimental laboratories) the experimenter influences the outcome of the experiment.
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LuckyR
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Re: Random Walk

Post by LuckyR »

Ecurb wrote: August 14th, 2022, 7:49 pm The random walk theory in economics states that individual stocks (and the stock market in general) are not predictable by mathematical models. The idea -- contrary to science in general -- is that you can't predict the future based on the past. Random predictions work just as well as any other method.

I'm not sure this can be applied to philosophy, or the physical world. It seems to me that the reason stock prices vary at random is that if a mathematical model seems to work, everyone will start using it, and then it won't work any more. If mathematical predictors show a stock to be a "good buy" and everyone starts buying it as a result, the price will go up and the stock will no longer be a good buy. What is unpredictable is human psychology -- not because human are incomprehensible, but because (as in other experimental laboratories) the experimenter influences the outcome of the experiment.
I beg to differ. Human psychology is definitely predictable, on average. Think about it, dealing a well shuffled deck of cards is unpredictable almost to the point of being random. In the absence of human psychology, stud poker (in which the highest dealt hand wins) winnings would be randomly distributed. However, we all know poker is a game of skill, not luck.
"As usual... it depends."
Ecurb
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Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Random Walk

Post by Ecurb »

LuckyR wrote: August 15th, 2022, 3:57 am
I beg to differ. Human psychology is definitely predictable, on average. Think about it, dealing a well shuffled deck of cards is unpredictable almost to the point of being random. In the absence of human psychology, stud poker (in which the highest dealt hand wins) winnings would be randomly distributed. However, we all know poker is a game of skill, not luck.
I agree that human psychology is predictable -- I meant to suggest that it throws mathematical models for predicting stock prices off because the models affect buying practices, so any (temporarily) successful model destroys its own accuracy when people become aware of its success.

Also, I don't think an understanding of psychology has much impact on one's success at poker. I'm sure it did, in the past, and still does, in low-level poker games. Good poker players understand odds, game theory, and proper tactics, not psychology. The cards are random; the skill in poker involves properly manipulating money. Computers can be programmed to play excellent poker, and a lot of poker is played on line (where "reading one's opponent" is more difficult). The good players win on line or in person. Learning an opponent's tendencies is important, but the psychology behind those tendencies is not.
gad-fly
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Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Random Walk

Post by gad-fly »

Google Search: A “random walk” is a statistical phenomenon where a variable follows no discernible trend and moves seemingly at random.

It follows that taking random walk is an exercise in frustration. Agreed?

Taking random thought philosophically is equivalent to taking random walk. In most cases, philosophical endeavor is off-ground, away from the real world. Usually harmless, but sometimes dangerous. Imagine yourself being a wildebeest or zebra, with wandering mind or scatterbrain to take random walk. Tell yourself: predation arises from my consciousness. Good. Keep on grazing. You have nothing to fear from those lurking lions and hyenas.

I am not denying that random walk serves its own purpose, the same way fantasy does. The saving grace of random walk can be like visiting the amusement park. Enjoy yourself, but give others a break please.
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LuckyR
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Re: Random Walk

Post by LuckyR »

Ecurb wrote: August 15th, 2022, 9:18 am
LuckyR wrote: August 15th, 2022, 3:57 am
I beg to differ. Human psychology is definitely predictable, on average. Think about it, dealing a well shuffled deck of cards is unpredictable almost to the point of being random. In the absence of human psychology, stud poker (in which the highest dealt hand wins) winnings would be randomly distributed. However, we all know poker is a game of skill, not luck.
I agree that human psychology is predictable -- I meant to suggest that it throws mathematical models for predicting stock prices off because the models affect buying practices, so any (temporarily) successful model destroys its own accuracy when people become aware of its success.

Also, I don't think an understanding of psychology has much impact on one's success at poker. I'm sure it did, in the past, and still does, in low-level poker games. Good poker players understand odds, game theory, and proper tactics, not psychology. The cards are random; the skill in poker involves properly manipulating money. Computers can be programmed to play excellent poker, and a lot of poker is played on line (where "reading one's opponent" is more difficult). The good players win on line or in person. Learning an opponent's tendencies is important, but the psychology behind those tendencies is not.
It is true that the known psychological facet of poker has lessened in the Pro game since ESPN started broadcasting it. But we're nitpicking on the edges.
"As usual... it depends."
gad-fly
Posts: 1056
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Random Walk

Post by gad-fly »

LuckyR wrote: August 15th, 2022, 3:54 pm
Ecurb wrote: August 15th, 2022, 9:18 am
LuckyR wrote: August 15th, 2022, 3:57 am
I beg to differ. Human psychology is definitely predictable, on average. Think about it, dealing a well shuffled deck of cards is unpredictable almost to the point of being random. In the absence of human psychology, stud poker (in which the highest dealt hand wins) winnings would be randomly distributed. However, we all know poker is a game of skill, not luck.
I agree that human psychology is predictable -- I meant to suggest that it throws mathematical models for predicting stock prices off because the models affect buying practices, so any (temporarily) successful model destroys its own accuracy when people become aware of its success.

Also, I don't think an understanding of psychology has much impact on one's success at poker. I'm sure it did, in the past, and still does, in low-level poker games. Good poker players understand odds, game theory, and proper tactics, not psychology. The cards are random; the skill in poker involves properly manipulating money. Computers can be programmed to play excellent poker, and a lot of poker is played on line (where "reading one's opponent" is more difficult). The good players win on line or in person. Learning an opponent's tendencies is important, but the psychology behind those tendencies is not.
It is true that the known psychological facet of poker has lessened in the Pro game since ESPN started broadcasting it. But we're nitpicking on the edges.
Literally, Random Walk is walk taken at random. Research on google, and you find it much more than confined to stock price prediction, which is not necessarily at random. Random Walk in philosophy is often uncontrolled and frequently-occurred. Most philosophers or so do not realize what they are undertaking can be no more than random walk. This realization is timely and relevant for you.

Random walk is not game theory.
gad-fly
Posts: 1056
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: Random Walk

Post by gad-fly »

Guess I have overstated the qualification required to reply on this topic. Should be fine as long as you take Random Walk as walk (verb or noun) at random, or even not at random. Fine also if, like dancing and kung fu fighting which are related to walk. Please jam in.

On the other hand, think twice if you cannot answer: What has that got to do with Walk, philosophically? Don't go tangential, like saying walk is good for your health. My aim to post this topic is not to win on volume of view and reply.
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