We're excited to present, "Knowledge Platform", a special exhibition and reading of RAND Corporation's 1955 publication, A Million Random Digits and 100,000 Normal Deviates by Ross Young. The exhibition, which consists of a single re-bound copy of AMRDA100,000ND and a lectern built for the sole purpose of presenting the book, will be on display from Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 28, 2013. In addition, Young will be giving two readings from the book, one at 6:30 pm on the day of the opening, and another at the same time on the day of the closing.
Young also prepared the following statement:
A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates was first published in 1955, a product of the RAND Corporation. At the time A Million Random Digits was publishd, RAND was the main private contractor conducting research and development for the United States military, with their primary role being development of nuclear weapons platforms, tactics, and strategy. The book filled a scientific need in this field for a large, statistically sound source of random numbers. As statistical models increase in complexity, there is a concomitant need for large quantities of random numbers, used to simulate naturally occurring variation. At the time of its introduction, RAND's distribution of a single, massive, ideally random set of numbers was a breakthrough for disciplines grappling with order and disorder. The publication of random numbers and tables as a book is now obsolete, as computerized random number generators are widely available. This million digit long iteration of chance is a continuity leading back to nuclear warfare by way of statistical idealism. As a book, this set of numbers mirrors its paradoxical mathematical specificity, simultaneously text, historical record, and scientific tool. The component digits remain static as they participate in new configurations.