Saturday, July 27, 2002

OK, the 9:00:

It seems to be a digital projection of the old adage about monekys typing Shakespeare by accident: get enough typers and eventually you'll have brilliance by mathematical probability: "two primates, two computers, and we're already rivaling shakespeare," is the slogan of the blog worldwiderant.

As if to illustrate the principle that if you have enough bloggers eventually you can find anything, I found these Web pages on the mathematical probability of monkeys typing Shakespeare:

Here's one:
It has been suggested that an evolutionist first used the now familiar parable of monkeys typing Shakespeare. "It was, I think, Huxley, who said that six monkeys, set to strum unintelligently on typewriters for millions of millions of years, would be bound in time to write all the books in the British Museum. If we examined the last page which a particular monkey had typed, and found that it had chanced, in its blind strumming, to type a Shakespeare sonnet, we should rightly regard the occurrence as a remarkable accident, but if we looked through all the millions of pages the monkeys had turned off in untold millions of years, we might be sure of finding a Shakespeare sonnet somewhere amongst them, the product of the blind play of chance." (Jeans, Sir James, The Mysterious Universe, New York, Macmillian Co., 1930, p. 4.) More recently, the classic monkey myth was employed by Hawking. After citing the monkey illustration he comments, "very occasionally by pure chance they will type out one of Shakespeare’s sonnets." (Hawking, S.W., 1988, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, p. 123) This is absurd. The assertion that the monkeys *will not* in fact perform this feat is as close as we can get to a scientific fact.

There you have it. Here's another one.

No comments: