September 24, 2004

Monkey Shakespeare

There's a well known claim that:

If you have enough monkeys banging randomly on typewriters, they will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare.
There's a web site devoted to simulating this task: Monkey Shakespeare Simulator. When someone goes to this site, it runs a simulation of monkeys typing randomly. So far, the record is 20 letters from Coriolanus after 462,060,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 monkey-years, sent in by Jens Ulrik Jacobsen from Denmark on 31 Aug 2004. With eighty letters available, there are 115,292,150,460,684,697,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible 20 letter sequences, so the probability of any particular 20 letter sequence is .00000000000000000000000000000000000000867361737988403 547205962240695953369140625.

Posted by Bill Poser at September 24, 2004 11:57 PM