1. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

    Feb 10, 2011
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    Rotorua, New Zealand

    Monkey Business.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by psychotick, Apr 18, 2012.

    Hi Guys,

    You all know the theorum (the infinite monkey theorum) which more or less says that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at a keyboard will one day by pure chance write the complete works of Shakespear. It's a thought experiment, or so I thought - I never considered that anyone would actually try the experiment! But I came across this excerpt from the wiki in my philosophy forums and very nearly wet myself laughing.

    In 2003, lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth MediaLab Arts course used a £2,000 grant from the Arts Council to study the literary output of real monkeys. They left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Celebes Crested Macaques in Paignton Zoo in Devon in England for a month, with a radio link to broadcast the results on a website.

    Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, the lead male began by bashing the keyboard with a stone, and the monkeys continued by urinating and defecating on it.

    It seems fellow authors, that our jobs are safe for the moment from the simian threat!

    Cheers, Greg.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    The probability is that the monkeys will evolve past human level to non-corporeal entities before they will produce even a single act of a single Shakespeare play.

    The person who proposed the monkey hypothesis was no mathematician (or if he was, he should hang his head in shame).

    Eventually, all the air molecules in a 10 by 10 by 10 meter room will randomly collect in one corner. But the universe won't last long enough to see it happen. These are finite values, but still incomprehensible in scale.
  3. art

    art Contributor Contributor

    Sep 5, 2010
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    I visit that zoo pretty often and have spoken at length with Gerald, the alpha male stone-wielder and defecator, and he told me that one of the group had actually tossed off a couple of pages of light horror one evening - painfully reminiscent of early Stephen King, according to Gerald - but that the scientists had omitted to publish the result, since it was so very negative - more so than the repetitive S.

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