Feb 6, 2008

Bunch of Monkeys

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
(Robert Wilensky)

If you put a bunch of monkeys together to bang on typewriter keys, would they eventually turn out a masterpiece, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, purely by chance?

Dr. William Bennett, a professor of physics at Yale University, put a computer to work on the problem. The computer response was that if a trillion monkeys hammered away at a rate of ten characters per second, it would take a trillion times longer than the universe has been in existence to produce the single line: "To be or not to be, that is the question."
(Christian Clippings, April 2008, p. 15).

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