The infinite monkey theorem, which states that an infinite number of monkeys typing at an unlimited number of typewriters will one day generate the whole works of Shakespeare, showing that arrogant dead genius what’s what, is extremely rewarding. Of course, it’s not simply Shakespeare’s writings. With enough time and monkeys, they’d eventually write everything, including the sentences above. Please be aware that if you type up a monkey copy of this essay from the far future, we will sue you. Donkey Kong, we’re not beyond suing a monkey, and we’ll see you in space court.
Because obtaining infinite monkeys, much alone employing infinite zookeepers to clean up infinite heaps of poo, is difficult, computer programmers have attempted to replicate the monkeys using random text generators. One of the initial attempts, in 2004, had a sliver of success when one of the animals screamed “VALENTINE.” Stop toIdor: eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘; 8.t’, which was first mentioned in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. That took the simulated monkeys 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey years. The entire works of Shakespeare, it’s fair to say, would take a long time.
Even if you’re prepared to set aside your inner editor and accept a few monkey errors here and there, it’s evident that with that system of really random typing, the universe would end before the monkeys had typed down one of the weaker comedies. These lazy monkeys can’t even be bothered to write episode three of The Big Bang Theory, let alone Twelfth Night, so no funny comedy tights for you, Malvolio. Others, on the other hand, have had more success utilizing generous techniques.
One researcher had his simulated “monkeys” type out only nine-letter strings, which he then compared to all of Shakespeare’s writing. The gibberish is discarded, while any fragments are saved for the Shakespeare collection. The system has successfully generated all of Shakespeare’s works using this way. They had a lot of help, but given that any nine characters can have 5.5 trillion potential combinations, it’s still outstanding number-crunching. If they did it completely at random, though, it would take longer than the universe’s existence.
Dr Ian Stewart, retired professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick, told the BBC that “along the route, there would be untold numbers of attempts with one character wrong; even more with two wrong, and so on.” “Almost all other texts would appear (countless times) before Shakespeare since they are shorter.”
When it comes to genuine monkeys, they’ve been given the task previously merely to see what they’d accomplish. In 2002, the University of Plymouth received funding to install a keyboard in Paignton Zoo’s monkey cage in Devon, England. The monkeys were terrible, and we’re being completely honest here. After a month, they had only generated a string of letters, mostly the letters,’ with only one vowel – ‘a’ – in the entire manuscript. Furthermore, the alpha male became enraged and began stomping on the keyboard with a stone, while other monkeys pooped on it. When we encounter writer’s block, we all need to let off steam.