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Finite monkeys can't produce Shakespeare

^     All messages            7-22 of 22  1-6 >>
22
splitpeasoupPerson was signed in when posted
05-10-2003
07:54 PM ET (US)
To jk (the guy waxing about pi):

Infinite length, non-repeating digits does not imply "all possible sequences". Example: the number 0.101001000100001000001....
21
pmPerson was signed in when posted
05-10-2003
04:03 PM ET (US)
A quite finite number of monkeys eventually produced Shakespeare himself.
20
Ole EichhornPerson was signed in when posted
05-10-2003
03:21 PM ET (US)
This shows a complete lack of understanding by the people who organized the experiment.

"Infinite monkeys" is a little different from six monkeys for one month. Anyone who actually thought that anything significant would emerge from six monkeys for one month has no knowledge of statistics. Maybe six thousand monkeys for six thousand years.

This reminds me of the arguments against evolution, when people do studies involving a handful of generations. You just can't get anything to happen in that short a time - but give it millions of generations...
19
nixomatosPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
08:18 PM ET (US)
"A planet where apes evolved from men?"
18
secret agent toastPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
07:14 PM ET (US)
Something that blows my mind whenever I think about it:

Neon is a completely renewable resource. Other than some of the stuff that goes into the transformers, neon tubing (and the gas within) is 100% recyclable and never wears out. Ever. If the tube breaks, the neon escapes, so then you make a new tube and pull some more neon from the atmosphere, and there you go; the cycle of neon contiues.

Sorry to get soooo off topic; I've had too much coffee today.
17
jleaderPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
05:18 PM ET (US)
Actually, that headline should be "A particular finite number of monkeys didn't produce Shakespeare in a particular finite period of time." Which doesn't say all that much about how many monkeys and time it _would_ take to produce the works of Shakespeare; it just proves a lower bound. Kind of like saying "I've proved Fermat's theorem for n=2, 3, and 4, therefor it's true."
16
jkPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
05:15 PM ET (US)
Something that blows my mind whenever I think about it:

Pi is an irrational number; it is infinite, and its digit sequences are non-repeating. Therefore, contained within Pi is every combination of every length of numbers approaching infinity.

So if you select an arbitrary system for encoding base-10 digits to, say, ASCII characters, then contained within Pi is every combination of every length of letters (and therefore words) approaching infinity.

Contained within Pi is this message, a 1,000 page discourse on the merits of leg waxing, and the combined works of William Shakespeare. As well as a variation of The Tempest where Caliban turns out to be a cross-dressing lounge singer.

Pi is the ultimate in infinite monkey simulations.
15
smhaunchPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
05:09 PM ET (US)
This story was also in The Guardian today (UK newspaper), here's the link http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,952227,00.html, the print version also has a good picture. It's clear that the monkeys are using a Mac running OS X. Make what you will of that...
14
secret agent toastPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
04:51 PM ET (US)
"The problem is that you need an infinite number of monkeys..."

Which, in turn, generates an infinite amount of poop... Which, to me, sounds like the real issue here.
Edited 05-09-2003 05:05 PM
13
borkusPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
04:25 PM ET (US)
Well, of course crested black macaques can't write. What were they thinking? Everyone knows crested black macaques are hacks.

Now, you get some white lipped tamarins or some snow monkeys and you've got yourself some first-class literary talent.
12
MeriadocPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
04:18 PM ET (US)
At least the monkeys' typing was more intelligent than Glenn Reynolds'.
11
jim fPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
04:02 PM ET (US)
The problem is that you need an infinite number of monkeys...
10
starbuckPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
03:23 PM ET (US)
AHAHAHAHAHHAHAH!

Higgins!!!!
9
Higgins Whilshire IV, EsqPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
03:13 PM ET (US)
They may not do Shakespeare, but the monkeys looked well on their way to another Dean Koontz best seller.
8
secret agent toastPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
03:10 PM ET (US)
Who's to say that the patterns of "defecating and urinating all over the keyboard" weren't, in monkey-speak, "to be or not to be?"

Quick recap: Monkeys: Obsessed with Poop. People: 98% the same as monkeys, DNA-wise. This Study: Mostly Poop. Findings: Some things never change!
7
Higgins Whilshire IV, EsqPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2003
03:06 PM ET (US)
Actually this experiment has been done before.10,000 monkeys randomly hitting keys will create an open source browser.

"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard," added Phillips, who runs the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies.

apparently Perl programmer
Edited 05-09-2003 03:24 PM
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