> philo > what-is-not-random

What is NOT Random?

Veritasium - 2014-07-16

Is the future of the universe already determined?
Vsauce tackles "What is Random?": https://youtu.be/9rIy0xY99a0

Special Thanks to: Prof Stephen Bartlett, Prof Phil Moriarty, Prof Andrea Morello, Prof Tim Bedding, Prof Michio Kaku, A/Prof Alex Argyros, Henry Reich, Vanessa Hill, Dianna Cowern, George Ruiz and Mystery Cat. Views expressed in this video are not necessarily those of the amazing experts listed above but their advice was invaluable in making this video.

Quantum simulation by PhET:

Music by
Jake Chudnow: https://soundcloud.com/jakechudnow
Amarante Music: https://soundcloud.com/amarantemusic

DNA animations by http://www.wehi.tv

Space animations by NASA

Topic inspired by The Information - a history, a theory, a flood by James Gleick

Filmed on location at the University of Sydney, Washington DC and LA

Avantika - 2018-10-07

That thumbnail looks like a poster for a romance movie.

Eli Egbert - 2020-02-10

well that thumbnail was...


Marshall Kimber - 2020-02-12


potatoe toe - 2020-02-14


maruftim - 2020-03-01

mm yes very gay

povisykt - 2020-03-04

I would watch this movie!

Zeon - 2019-05-29

Everyone thinks Endgame is the ultimate crossover but this is better.

ashish sharma - 2019-07-20

Idiots like these are everywhere now

AgentFire - 2019-10-03

endgame is yet another shitty cartoon for 10 yearolds with extra pathos on top. this video is infinitely more educating than those dogpiles that companies film noawadays.

Benjamin Newlon - 2019-11-10

Or is it?

Akhil - 2020-02-04

I agree 🤣🤣🤣

Michael Corbin - 2020-03-09


Random Dude - 2019-10-21

A random fun fact:

Derek is 3 yrs OLDER than Michael.

DiVyAm Claw Fan - 2020-02-09

or, is he?

-COOKIEZILA - - 2020-02-16

Hey, Vsauce. Micheal here. Derek is 3 year older than me. Or is he?
vsauce music plays

JustShitpost F - 2020-02-20


Shambo Saha - 2020-03-03

@Minion Miner But what is maybe?

Salman Ahmed - 2020-03-09


Isaac Sothern - 2019-12-29

"You won't become Michael Stevens"

- Michael Stevens 2014

Dude X - 2020-02-01

Or will you?

Virat Kohli - 2020-02-09

@Dude X Vsauce Music Intensifies

hugeKingKibbleFan 69 - 2019-05-27

When you get vsauce in your video just to use his iconic music without getting called out

Ever nwn - 2019-12-08

Or is it?

Azzie Studios - 2019-12-26

@James Fitzsimmons when you have to call out a white knight

Random Randomer - 2020-01-17

@Azzie Studios when you have to call out the guy who's calling out the guy calling out the white knight

TheGamerGod - 2020-03-09

@Random Randomer when you have to complex everything so you will be the last one commenting

Kyle Gillott - 2019-12-25

"You won't become Michael Stevens"
Dreams shattered

Arjun Pratap Singh - 2019-04-17

I found this video TODAY and Michael was wearing the same t shirt as mine

And this video was about randomness


Danijel Benčić - 2020-02-05

@HAWXLEADER Close enough to not matter.

GabDubé - 2020-02-08

That's actually much less random than if he was wearing any other possible shirt that isn't the same model as yours.

GAMESTER - 2020-02-11

depends on number of tshirts u and michael have

dojohansen123 - 2020-02-12

Arjun Pratap Singh it must be your free will

Christopher - 2020-02-13

Arjun Pratap Singh 100/100 it has been determined since the beginning of time.

Hotdog Man - 2019-06-18

This is the best crossover in history.

“Or is it?”

MrOlenevod - 2019-06-13

Yep, just one more logical step, your free will is not actually free will but rather RANDOM WILL 😏

GabDubé - 2020-02-13

​@Matthew Lancaster The point of Quantum Uncertainty is that all things that exist are sensitive to interaction, in the sense that you cannot observe behavior and state without messing with the thing in order for any of its properties to register on any tool, instrument or organ that could observe it (since these would also be made of physical matter). This obviously affects the behavior/state of said thing. It is still a causal interaction though; some thing or action causes the effect on the thing; and causality is necessarily deterministic in the loosest sense (causing is a determination).

In fact, this principle applies to any sort of causal interaction, not just quantum states; turning the light on so that you can see in a pitch-dark room affects the room; it is no longer a pitch-dark room, you are thus never seeing the "pitch-dark room" because we turned the light on. We don't have immaterial and non-physical instruments of measure. You have to hit or push particles in the very process of measure and observation, there is no way around it; observation is a cudgel.

A) At best, it leads to an explanation according to either 1) a causal-probabilistic range of uncertain possibilities that could be true, given the unknown variables that we do not know with certainty; but which can be mutually-exclusive and thus that can really only possibly coexist in our abstract mental visualization and interpretation of the thing, not in actual fact; or 2) an explanation according to causal-determination with the principle of causality being a fundamental principle of logic and analysis; but recognizing and aknowledging the fact that physics itself limits our epistemic capabilities about physics. The latter of which is an explanation that at least allows some degree of science and knowledge about reality.

B) At worst, it leads to an explanation that assumes true randomness as a possibility, and thus has to conclude to true randomness as being universally the case on a fundamental level. This has the repercussion of, ironically, logically invalidating any science and knowledge about reality, even the foundations of logic and mathematics, and thus including this explanation itself (absolute randomness could randomly cease to be random at any point or any moment, it is in itself a logical paradox).

Neither of which, nor any point in-between for that matter, can actually allow for a free will.
Actions and events either have causes and are deterministic, or they do not have causes and are thus randomly appearing out of nowhere for no reason. Neither are "free".

Free will would be somehow exclusively causally determining itself while being its own exclusive effect; thus following an internal causality that would be exclusive to everything else; and being somehow abstained from and invulnerable to any other causal relationship to anything else. Free will would be creating itself ex nihilo as its own exclusive cause; and in fact as being the only causal-deterministic relation in the universe; which is a logical and mathematical absurdity.

It'd be like really having a 4 when you only have a 2 but before you add another 2 and without even needing to add another 2 to get the 4. 2 cannot also just "be 4 all along", they are two mutually-exclusive values. Arithmetics do not allow for stuff like "haha, the 2 was a 4 all along", and it is not a 5 either; it is either known and determined, or an unknown variable; which is not the same as [all infinite possible numbers]. The laws of arithmetics are absolute, else logic becomes self-defeating. There is either determined will, or there is random will; not free will. Otherwise, there is only unknown variables and science becomes at best incomplete, as Einstein thought (arguably erroneously), or at worst futile and self-defeating as the Copenhagen Interpretation would have us conclude.

Since this alternative kinda leads us to the conclusion that science is impossible and self-defeating, we don't have much to lose by taking the principle of causality and its ramifications as being a reasonable fundamental assumption.

GabDubé - 2020-02-13

​@Matthew Lancaster Granted, science is also self-defeating if everything is random, though, due to the paradox mentioned prior. True randomness, by virtue of being truly random, could always suddenly just not be random anymore. But logically it could never make itself "become random" again after that; but in physics terms, this would be the opposite of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Logic and physics don't agree here.
Anyway, deterministic and causal-probabilistic explanations are really the only ones that allow for science to even be possible and not self-defeating in the first place, so this point is kinda moot. You have to assume causal-determinism or at least its causal-probabilism variant in order for knowledge to be considered possible.

8Mad 0 Manc8 - 2020-02-28

If the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics has a direct "causal" effect on decision making then we do not determine our decisions the quantum realm does so it would be an argument for a lack of freewill rather than support it.

GabDubé - 2020-02-28

@8Mad 0 Manc8 Indeed. But, then again, quantum indetermination as per most Copenhagen-ish Interpretations would also pretty much invalidate the concept of causation and causality. If causality is true, then causal determination is true, and thus quantum indetermination isn't... however we need causal reasoning to be valid in order to arrive at the conclusion of quantum indetermination in the first place. This needs a lot of quasi-sophistical justification gymnastics in order to maintain the validity of the conclusion a posteriori, after the fact.

Orlando Moreno - 2020-03-07

If the universe is deterministic, thetr is will but it's not free. If it's not deterministic, there is "free" but there isn't will.

Exself - 2019-04-18

9:24 So apparently people DO eat kiwifruits with the skin! That's so weird!!

PixelkingLiam - 2020-03-07

yeah it taste good

soumyajit dey - 2019-06-12

This is one of THE MOST mind-blowing video I've ever seen. WOW!

GabDubé - 2020-02-06

@Siberius Wolf If QM is random, then there's no free will, effects just happen with no cause. Oh, and causality would not be a thing, and causal laws would be wrong. Logic and math would be self-defeating. But if QM is not random, then there's no free will either, because causality applies. But at least logic and math wouldn't be self-defeating in the second option, causal laws could be true, and science could thus be possible.

Siberius Wolf - 2020-02-06

​@GabDubé - Though there could perhaps hypothetically be acausal events that are so tiny, that they don't really have any noticeable affect on anything, and are too insignificant to scale up through chain reactions... maybe (if such a thing exists in the first place, which we don't know).

But yea I agree with the gist of what you're saying. Regardless of Determinism or Indeterminism, neither allow for Libertarian Free Will.

GabDubé - 2020-02-13

@Siberius Wolf The fact that mistaking uncertainty for indetermination kinda makes the whole of science, logic and maths self-defeating (including making that interpretation itself be self-defeating); is still a strong argument for dismissing that interpretation and accepting that causal determination (or at least causal-probabilism) is a reasonable and necessary assumption if we ever want to know anything about anything.

Siberius Wolf - 2020-02-14

@GabDubé - Yea, I often hear the term "practical determinism".

ACS Vlogs - 2020-02-14

Or is it?

Suwin Khamchaiwong - 2019-06-18

if you can read this
you can get a good job with hi pa

Bypga - 2019-06-20

same here

jackson silva - 2019-06-22

High paying

DasPikachu - 2019-06-22

@jackson silva Thx.

Galactical Bear - 2019-10-07

@jackson silva high pay* not high paying

Matron - 2020-02-22

This part

Shinkajo - 2019-04-27

As someone who has studied information theory, you got most it right, but left out some important things. Shannon's information isn't the only information.

Informational entropy isn't the same as thermodynamic entropy. Thermodynamic entropy is randomness. Information entropy is negative thermodynamic entropy(as far as the equations are concerned). Meaning that information entropy is the opposite of randomness. Also, thermodynamic entropy characterises a state, one point in it's phase space, if you picture it as a graph. Shannon's entropy however characterises a source of information, not the information itself. So Shannon's entropy is a path or a curve, running through it's phase space.

The second law of thermodynamics isn't a law actually. It contradicts with Newton's second law. It's actually a mathematical approximation, meaning that isn't true everywhere. It has to do with how the law is modelled. It deals primarily with gases, where the molecules are modelled as spheres and not as what they actually are. Entropy isn't actually universally increasing, because gravity. The universe is becoming more ordered. Entropy is increasing in relation to information, which is order. Thermodynamic entropy is also increasing, but in that case it means disorder. So these entropies are not the same thing.

Kim Hanson - 2019-11-24

Thank you. There was something slippery about his description and try as I might I couldn't articulate it.

Петрович - 2020-01-21

One more thing to consider is that the matter tends to cool down because of the massless particles emitting (such as photons and neutrinos). Considerable amount of entropy is just forever lost in space between stars and galaxies.

Sanjana Gupta - 2020-02-29

this comment should be higher up

Vishal Bhagwani - 2016-08-27

me : let's go watch a movie
Michael : but what actually is watch

Mark Silla - 2017-10-25

If the theory of thermodynamic states that entropy increases with time isn't that already predicted? And now thinking about it if you know exactly by how much or at what rate information or entropy increases with time you can accurately predict the universe at any time by factoring in these new changes.

Ian Moore - 2017-11-14

But what actually is "is?"

Ian Moore - 2017-11-14

But what actually it is?

EBuglalilar - 2017-11-22

Is it, however, actually possible to "let" someone go? Hımm.

Nourii - 2020-01-27

but what is what?

Adam Aaron - 2019-05-26

my friend: why do my headphones get so tangled?
me : because of the second law of thermodynamics....

Daniel C - 2019-06-08

i miss michael. wish he hadn’t done the youtube red show.

big loss of an awesome guy and show. 😕

Michael Ibrahim - 2020-02-03

LBI000 2 MindField isn’t the same as his old videos

Bremen Sims - 2020-02-08

It's free now

FACTZ OVERDOSE - 2020-02-10

Michael is back, and he is more insane now. And his beard looks like yellow white cotton candy.

Revenant4k - 2020-02-14

He is back, and he made all of his YT Red vids free to watch.

Dinesh - 2020-02-18

He's back

Timetoerist13 - 2019-09-21

After "th" there is porberly an "e" making the word "the"

Me: wrong, after "Th" comes "ot" making the word "thot"

MystFae X - 2020-01-22

Lol! Gude won dood! I no wut yoo mein! Mi to🤗lol!

D C - 2020-02-09

Yeah I thought that was a weird example when there's so many common words like "that", "this", "those", and "thumb", all of which have different vowels from "e" following the "th".

MystFae X - 2020-02-09


ChewyWolf64 - 2019-09-24

2:10 "if you can read this you can get a good job with... (what does that say?) …Hippies!"

bastiiteam9 - 2019-12-02

I needed 30secounds for the last three words ^^ But to be sure i searched the comments. Thanks!

MacGamer Media - 2020-02-08

mylkmouth I also couldn’t get it.

D C - 2020-02-09

Yeah I didn't get the "hi pa" at all. I got the rest of it.

IABI TV - 2020-02-15

Hi pa probably means "this part"

Ty _Glizzy - 2020-03-06

I'm glad I wasn't the only one that was unable to understand the whole message.

Stanko M - 2018-01-10

Two beards are smarter than one

predator H2O - 2019-11-03

Or are they ?

Skipsotz Gaming - 2019-11-04

@Cyber Geek lol noob get gud

Benjamin Newlon - 2019-11-10

Or is it?

Virat Kohli - 2020-02-09

@Iqbal Samin Prithul You Muslim You LOSE

Jupiter Claw - 2019-06-17

Derek: CHAOS, it is also known as..
Derek: the butterfly effect
Me: .

GoogleMeMate521 - 2019-05-31

Marvel: Avengers: Infinity War is the most ambitious cross-over event in history.

Veritasium: Hold my beer.

evvn - 2019-06-16

GoogleMeMate521 hold my liquid nitrogen

John Yepthomi - 2019-06-16

Hold my beeritasuim. Ok, I quit!

John Yepthomi - 2019-06-16

Hold my Beeritasuim!

* Ok, I quit!

Sander - 2019-07-13

These memes are getting so damn old.

ashish sharma - 2019-07-20

More stupidity than randomness

Nate Benz - 2019-12-06

3:21 "and randomness is disorder, what we also call—"




melnjada2 - 2020-02-04

I thought that too! :)

Albert Wickman - 2020-02-11

It's pretty much the measurement of chaos so in a way, you were right

AJÉNTUM - 2020-02-03

This is what should be in my recommendations.

Jedi Spock - 2016-03-30

Me:oh man I love burgers

·.· ·.· - 2019-03-22

accept my answers or ask another answer creator.

klarigi4219 - 2019-04-07

And how much does the thought of a burger weigh?

Marek Staněk - 2019-05-15

@‍ ‍ Is "like" actually like "is"? And WHAT is "like"? Which brings an even more important question... What is WHAT?

Côme Rochas - 2019-05-25

Or is it ?

Jason Williams - 2019-11-06

Dead tortured animal flesh wrapped in bread

mvivanc - 2019-06-21

Every time I see this type of videos, make me wanna cry because I want so bad to fully understand this and I can't, they are so interesting at the same time.

Deepak Chauhan - 2019-04-26

You know what is random:

T-series subscribers

Jy Sampson - 2019-07-04

Dude he even talks about T-Series anymore lol

FireyDeath4 - 2019-07-21

I know this is a joke but I just want to point out a slew of things that are wrong with that statement.

Kaledrone /\ - 2019-07-30

@FireyDeath4 Read the third, fourth, fifth and sixth words of your sentence. That's the exact reason you should refrain from doing what you are attempting to do.

Polaris Raven - 2020-02-15

VSauce: "But Derrick, what is the most random thing possible, in the universe?"
Veritasium: Flips the plate

bushideku - 2020-03-08

"if you knew every single property in any object. you've already known everything"

The Brony Notion - 2015-10-27

That awkward moment when you become Michael Stevens.

Hayan Imadi - 2019-04-29

Send help. Video is broken. I became Michael Stevens too.

Roblox Ragee - 2019-05-15

(You have gained 999999 brain cells)
Me: 3.14159265358979323
Holy crap I'm smart now

Alpha Wolf - 2019-06-27

Omg this is so random

Mintie Moo - 2019-07-03

The Brony Notion so annoying

Mintie Moo - 2019-07-03

(Also I like ur videos

Sam S - 2019-06-10

The thumbnail will be a great poster for 'The Fault in Our Channels'

PHOTON - 2019-04-28

that thumbnail has the most beautiful couple

OK BOOMER - 2019-06-16

2:38 We used to do that in Windows XP

u undefined - 2019-12-30

all other people: 10 minutes
veritasium: 9:59

uni - 2018-10-12

Came for the memes..

Stayed for the existential crisis

Shinkajo - 2019-05-30

@Dimitry Ladislau so does religion, doesn't make it true though.

Eliza Sales - 2019-07-16

Normal. Vsauce do this to us frequently

Luke William - 2019-07-17

@Dimitry Ladislau I know, I am a bit late for the discussion, but I'd like to clarify something for the people reading this in the future. What the video says is: Because it seems that our universe is not completely determined, it is possible that we have free will and not unplausible to believe so. It does not claim, that there must be free will as a consequence of its unpredictability.

Red Dunkey - 2019-08-13

@Shinkajo NASA!

Red Dunkey - 2019-08-13

@Dimitry Ladislau also narcissist

Lil Bater - 2019-04-12

so perhaps rather than losing my free will to everything being predetermined, i lose it to randomness. Either way i have some form of strange uncontrollable free will.

Victor Franca - 2019-04-15

Lil Bater Is it free will if its always random? The choice to repeat is where control comes into play.

melnjada2 - 2020-02-04

@Rardd5 "Elaborate on that!" "No!"

George John - 2019-05-24

2:08 cn smbd tl me wt is wrtn

Alex - 2019-06-10

"Wa a u gey?"

(just quote, I don't approve it)


this video:what is not random? by Veritasium

up next:what is random? by Vsause


MacGamer Media - 2020-02-08

7:22 Actually no, he said, “God does not play dice with the universe.”

Phobos - 2019-06-22

The thumbnail looks like the cover of an anime romance story

Jude Usborne - 2019-05-27

Any other musician realise the Bach 5:03 had dynamics and pedal?

Skelyboss - 2020-02-08

Random: Everything is me
Chaotic machines: i'm gonna ruin this mans whole career

Kep - 2017-09-28

Me: Do you want to go watch a movie?
Micheal: But... what is "watching"?

ShankMen - 2018-04-15

god dammit not again!

Mattia Trovato - 2018-04-30

Bel nome

DJ OakeyDoakey - 2018-06-08

"People think that you watch with your eyes.........................and they would be right"

The Piggie - 2018-11-15


Aslam Awan - 2018-12-29

Yeah but...   where did Amerikka come from. AND btw, 'ello random person scrolling through the replies. :^)

Teekam Suthar - 2019-06-19

This video has a separate fan base!❤️❤️❤️

IN A FLASH - 2019-04-11

3:53 Now that was random!

Volodymyr Sendetskyi - 2019-05-27

This video is so amazing, that I come here and watch it almost periodically. Thank you!

Spooder Lucas - 2019-06-05

really cause i watch it... randomly

Gamer64 - 2019-06-04

Translator: if you can read this you can get a good job with high 5!

WhoSmokesThaBlunts - 2019-06-26

No but thanks to you I did finally figure out the last 3 words, so thanks lol

Red Oktopus - 2019-09-26

@WhoSmokesThaBlunts what are they?

jc008 [Glitches and Bugs] - 2020-02-26

@Red Oktopus high payment

Life of Phy,rap,run!!! - 2019-09-14

3:54,is that Henry's cat?

Kaeden Dansereau - 2019-05-25

Bold of you to assume there will be a future.

ARPAN DEY - 2020-03-07