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Friday Fun: The Infinite Monkey Theorem

     
8:26 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This one's an old one, but still makes me laugh:

Lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth wanted to test the theory that an infinite number of monkeys given typewriters would create the works of Shakespeare.

A single computer was placed in a monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo to monitor the literary output of six primates.

But after a month, the Sulawesi crested macaques had only succeeded in partially destroying the machine, using it as a lavatory, and mostly typing the letter "s".

[bbc.co.uk...]

8:47 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Mr Phillips, denied the project was a waste of money and said they had learned "an awful lot".

That monkeys cannot compose literature? Or that flung monkey poo really sticks to the side of a monitor?

"It provided very stimulating and fascinating viewing."

... and here I thought I was hopelessly over the hill. I am encouraged that someone else has less of a life than my own ;)

ssssSSsssSSSSSSsssssssss ssss

8:58 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But after a month, the Sulawesi crested macaques had only succeeded in partially destroying the machine, using it as a lavatory, and mostly typing the letter "s".

Well, Shakespeare did "reconstruct" much of the language of his time through his works...so the crested macaques are on the right track...

He effectively destroyed some of the social "machine" of the time and took one big "poop" on some important social dialogues of his time...

...and since they have an "unknown" love of Shakespeare (since they can't read and haven't even yet discovered Shakespeare)...if all they could type was "s" then this is the right start point..
LOL.. ;-)))

9:32 pm on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They have been published in a limited edition book entitled Notes Towards The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

The pdf [vivaria.net].
The documentation [vivaria.net].

<added>I must say that in comparison to the monkeys grandpa has a much more creative writing style.</added>

9:34 am on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So they've got one of the letters cracked then. Now they just need to get the other 25 sorted and do a bit of rearranging (of could a spell checker set to auto may save a little time).
5:00 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Surely it is coincidence that the whole phenomenon of "blogging" began to take off shortly afterwards?
3:01 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A bizarre experiment by a group of students has found monkeys cannot write Shakespeare.

No it hasn't. But it has shown that the students don't understand the concept of infinity.