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Several places (1, 2, 3) quote someone named Gail Gasram as saying "Nothing is random, only uncertain" but a Google search turns up no info, just more places with this quote! Generally, it's in the context of random number generation, such as the Dieharder suite.

Who is Gail Gasram?

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  • $\begingroup$ For a similar take with expanded philosophy & history see also E.T. Jaynes's book Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. $\endgroup$ – conjectures Nov 21 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Guess they just did not have a quantum random number generator. From what we know, this would actually be random. $\endgroup$ – Martin Ueding Nov 22 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Not surprisingly, very shortly after November 21st, started to give useful answers... $\endgroup$ – Klaws Nov 25 at 14:40
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It looks like "Gail Gasram" is "Marsaglia G" (George Marsaglia's surname and first initial) spelled backwards.

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    $\begingroup$ Very nice observation! Small correction: actually it's Marsaglia G spelled backwards (there are two Gs). $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni Nov 21 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ Oh wow, nice catch! I've asked on the answer below why Marsaglia might have created a fake persona/alter ego. $\endgroup$ – JeffThompson Nov 21 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @JeffThompson As I write "the answer below" is the answer above. Answers can change order depending on votes. Also, multiple answers can make such cross-references ambiguous. Too late to edit your comment, but here I flag that you are referring to the answer by PsychometStats. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Nov 21 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ I would suggest you add the quote from the linked wikipedia article: His diehard paper came with the quotation "Nothing is random, only uncertain" attributed to Gail Gasram, though this was simply the reverse of Marsaglia G. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Nov 23 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Adrian Note that this was added to Wikipedia after this discussion. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Nov 23 at 22:49
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Diehard Code

After some extensive digging, it appears that Gail Gasram participated in developing Diehard code, which represented a suite of programs for testing random number generators. Furthermore, the project was developed at Florida State University, being supported by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The exact contribution of Gasram in the development of the Diehard code is unclear, as Peterson (2003) noted in his book that the Diehard was developed by Gasram, but Sidorenko (2007) wrote that the well-known Diehard battery was, in fact, developed by Marsaglia. Yet, in another report it is written: "Gail Gasram wrote a serious of computer functions for various operating systems to test random numbers" [sic]. Despite some conflicting information, it is most likely that Gasram was involved in the Diehard project.

Fun facts

Indeed, just googling Gail Gasram provides almost no information, except for this quote. I managed to get onto the right trail after using a foreign language and uncommon search engines. If anyone provides more information on Gail Gasram, it would be interesting to learn.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, thanks for digging so deep! I wonder though: @alivenets above points out that Marsaglia G backwards is Gail Gasram which seems too much a coincidence! I wonder if this was a joke that then was legitimized in citations? $\endgroup$ – JeffThompson Nov 21 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ You could ask Ron Vara: talkingpointsmemo.com/news/… $\endgroup$ – Matt F. Nov 21 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ "Gail Gasram" is an alter-ego of the late mathematician and computer scientist George Marsaglia - Wikipedia entry here $\endgroup$ – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Nov 24 at 5:23

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