Thursday, November 10, 2005

Monkeys Typing

this post requires the following assumptions,
a monkey can be taught to hit the individual keys on a keyboard
a monkey would have no preference toward any specific key on the keyboard, either because of its location, the symbol on the key, or the taste of the key
the monkey’s keyboard has only the letter keys, the number keys, the space bar, and the period and comma keys.

given these assumptions, there is a 1 in 1.336 times ten to the power of eight hundred thirty four chance that a monkey could have randomly typed this post.


Blogger Daniel H said...

That's not a realistic assumption, though. Monkeys are likely to have all sorts of preferences, just to fit their natural hand and body motions, let alone what they see.

When I taught music to nursery school kids, I once asked each of them to play two notes on a piano. Almost all of them played a high note and then a low note. I discussed this with my music analyst friends, as it seemed to conflict with our assumption that one hears tonal music from the harmony up to the melody.

But a simpler explanation is that most of the kids were right handed; they played one note with each hand.
- Th Precision Blogger

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Leo said...

The monkey posited, of course, is simply a proxy or metaphor for the idea of a random source of characters.

2:51 PM  
Blogger scarlet panda said...

You know what would help me get my mind around this? If you could tell me how many years it would take a monkey to type 1.336 X 10^834 posts of this length. I realize you'll have to assume a monkey typing speed, but I'm sure you can figure that out.

(Yes, I know that even if they typed for that many years, they might not type this particular post.)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

I think it would probably only take the monkey a couple of hours. My monkey is very fast and he would probably type the post on his third or fourth try. I have lots of evidence to support this theory, but I am choosing not to share it.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous nell said...

What I want to know is in what language would the monkey be typing. If the monkey is from Brazil, would it be Portugese? Also, what if he needs to use a colon or a question mark? Or (my favorite) an exlamation point!!!! He needs to develop a mood if he wants to be a succesful writer.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Xeno said...

But can a monkey type in 133t? Monkez ar teh 1337 haxzorz!!1!one11

4:53 PM  

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