Today I was asked to explain the meaning of randomness in statistics. The textbook definition that my brain forced out of my mouth reinforced that I know why. Although the question was answered precisely, the lack of understanding why didn't sit too well with my inquisitive nature. Instead of just knowing, I love the satisfaction of understanding things! So why is randomness important to understand in statistics?
In statistics, random selection is crucial because it's like a shield that protects us from unwanted biases or influences. Before the cards are dealt for a nice game of Go Fish, the deck is shuffled so that no player can guess which cards they'll receive. Don't like Go Fish? Think of the lottery! We know the possible values that may be picked, but they are randomly picked so that no player has an advantage. Randomness is essential and most important to keep things fair. I came across an awesome quote from a post titled Random Thoughts on Stats Made Easy.
Designing an experiment is like gambling with the devil: only a random strategy can defeat all his betting systems. -- R.A. Fisher