Collation and randomness

It’s Wednesday, and for just about the first time in life of this blog, I will not be posting about differences between modern and vintage cards. Instead, I’m going to do a little series on collation (starting today).

What is collation? According to an online dictionary, collation is “assembling in proper numerical or logical sequence”. Hmmm. That’s not exactly how the word gets used in the hobby. Based on context, I’d say that people use the word collation to describe the lack of duplication in a wax box.  A box with fewer duplicates is tagged as having better collation.

With this definition, collation is in no way the same as randomness. A randomly filled box is unpredictable. A well collated box is predictable – minimized duplicatation. While I like getting as many different cards as possible (just like the next guy), I would rather open a box that is completely unpredictable – that is to say, completely random.

Over the next few weeks, I will be putting up posts on randomness and how it can be measured. I don’t think I’ll convince anyone that getting a bunch of doubles from a pricey box is fun. I do hope I can make a case that a truly randomly filled box is in no way the same as a box that has perfect collation.

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