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May 20, 2010

Have a brain freeze for free


Courtesy of William M. Briggs, Statistician who has been calculating "The Probability of Monkeys Typing Shakespeare"
The universe is roughly 14 billion years old, which is about 4.4 x 1017 seconds. It now becomes tricky. Do we only accept a monkey's efforts that are of the correct length, which we then compare with the Bard? Or, more fairly, do we throw out the stream of characters that do not match the matching stream of Shakespeare? Do we, that is, let the monkey continuously start over until he gets it right?

Well, it just doesn't matter. The number 10-12,000,000 is so mind-bogglingly small that it is never going to happen. Even if we let a barrelful of monkeys type 100 characters a second, they are never going to finish.

And so we conclude what we already knew: randomness isn't enough to make a Shakespeare; something more is needed.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 20, 2010 11:23 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

To be, or not to be; that is the qwertyuiopzxcvbnm.

Posted by: Morgan K Freeberg at May 21, 2010 9:45 AM

Get thee to a monkery!

Posted by: Blastineau at May 21, 2010 12:00 PM

"Infinite" is very different from merely titanically, incomprehensibly gigantic.

An infinite # of monkeys pounding an infinite # of keyboards for an infinitely long time produces, inter alia, not only Shakespeare, but an infinite variety of Shakespeare, plus every other great work of Western Civilization, plus an infinite # of variations, plus every other document ever written, plus an infinite # of variations, plus every possible rant posted on the Internet, plus an infinite # of variations, plus an infinite # of replies, . . . etc., plus the entire software code for the Internet itself, plus an infinite # of variations, . . . etc., all in an infinite # of languages & type fonts. So be careful using "infinitely" as an adverb, I say.

Posted by: goldbux at May 21, 2010 2:20 PM

Goldbux, your suggestion above is infinitely reasonable. One wonders where one could begin to procure an infinite amount of monkeys....even this administration's supply must at some point exhaust.

Posted by: Blastineau at May 21, 2010 4:39 PM

Mekyons baet the ptans off of Dratemocs.

Posted by: monkeyfan at May 21, 2010 5:33 PM

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