Wednesday, May 04, 2005
"If you have enough monkeys banging randomly on typewriters, they will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare."
The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator seems to have fallen on hard times...but it is still working. I have no idea if the simulation is real. . .or an incredible simulation of a simulation. It runs in the background just like the SETI (Search For Extra Terrestial Intelligence) application.
In the simulator, time passes 86,400 times faster than real life. 'The odds against monkeys typing Shakespeare by chance are astronomical. With about 80 typewriter keys, the chance of getting the first letter right is about 80 to 1. The chance of getting 2 letters right is 1 in 80×80, or 6400 to 1. Each letter increases the odds against by 80 times. The odds of getting 10 letters right is about 11 million million million to1."
Here are examples of a four letter hit and a long 24 letter hit.
4 letters from "The Winter's Tale" after 195 monkey-years.
Sent in by Matt Greer on 26 July 2003.
"Archan:jdTAQ]Mu:.jt "gm3dw.jhVHw.V2..." matched "Arch. If you shall chance (Camillo) to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my seruices are now on-foot, you shall see (as I haue said) great difference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia"
24 letters from "The Second Part of King Henry IV" after 2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years.
Sent in by Darren Eggett from Bountiful, Utah on 3 Jan 2005. "RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r"5j5&?OWTY Z0d "B-nEoF.vjSqj[..." matched "RUMOUR. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?..."
24 letters? That's a lot of billion billion billion monkey years. But, hey, we're making progress!