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Re: st: RE: Random start to random number sequence

From   "Clyde Schechter" <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: Random start to random number sequence
Date   Wed, 18 Aug 2010 19:28:37 -0700

My approach to setting seeds overcomes most of the pitfalls that Bill
Gould points out with respect to times and dates, etc.

I take out my wallet and examine the first currency note in it.  I strip
off any letters from the serial number, and use that as the seed.  I put
the note at the back of my wallet so I won't reuse that serial number.  (I
spend currency notes at a faster rate than I start new pseudo-random

My main reason for using this approach is that I sometimes have to
generate randomization sequences for studies carried out by collaborators
who also use Stata.  To keep these collaborators from figuring out the
next random assignment coming up, I need to keep them from knowing what
seed I started with.  This method serves the purpose.  And it's simple to
carry out.

Clyde Schechter, MA MD
Associate Professor of Family & Social Medicine

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