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A Few Million Virtual Monkeys Randomly Recreate Shakespeare

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the simpsons-did-it dept.

Idle 312

First time accepted submitter eljefe6a writes "On September 23 at 2:30 PST the A Million Amazonian Monkeys project successfully recreated A Lover's Complaint. This is the first time a work of Shakespeare has actually been randomly reproduced. It is one small step for a monkey, one giant leap for virtual primates everywhere. From the article: 'For this project, I used Hadoop, Amazon EC2, and Ubuntu Linux. Since I don’t have real monkeys, I have to create fake Amazonian Map Monkeys. The Map Monkeys create random data in ASCII between a and z. It uses Sean Luke’s Mersenne Twister to make sure I have fast, random, well behaved monkeys. Once the monkey’s output is mapped, it is passed to the reducer which runs the characters through a Bloom Field membership test. If the monkey output passes the membership test, the Shakespearean works are checked using a string comparison. If that passes, a genius monkey has written 9 characters of Shakespeare. The source material is all of Shakespeare’s works as taken from Project Gutenberg.'"

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Frankly, that's cool (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511786)

I wish I'd thought of it - and what a neat way to go about it.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511808)

I wish I'd thought of it - and what a neat way to go about it.

So is it safe to say you're virtually impressed with the whole affair?

Re:Frankly, that's cool (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511840)

Definitely. From the "whole-problem optimisation" of selecting individual blocks of characters and composing the whole, to the implementation of a scalable distributed algorithm, to the various approaches to processing and validating the text, to the selection of the final comparison blocks. Though I don't know why I'm supposedly only "virtually" impressed.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512026)

Based on the youtube video, we can deduce a few things about the submitter: He is a marijuana addict, chronic masturbator, and torturous sadist. His glassy, bloodshot, half-shut eyes and thinning hair are a dead giveaway. Notice that he is filming himself in the kitchen, because he likes to stay within arms length of the fridge during a killer munchie attack. Also handy are dish towels, which are less conspicuous than spooge socks.

Most important, however, are the many knives in the background. He is warning you that he will cut you if you do not bend over and submit to his sodomy. The cut pieces of bamboo in the background were no doubt trimmed by him using those same knives, as a warning to his Asian wife - a sex-slave smuggled into the U.S.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511860)

Cool? Success is a forgone conclusion and the results were written over a hundred years ago. Cool would be to have this system write something new.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511926)

I have to agree. the experiment is worthless. The end result is already known. While I can understand someone wanting to build an environment to create these conditions in for educational purposes it certainly isn't newsworthy in and of itself. Nothing more than a cheap blog trying to drum up page hits.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512162)

It would be a foregone conclusion if monkeys were indeed randomly typing on a keyboard. But in practice, they tend to like certain keys leading to at best a pseudo random distribution of keystrokes. On top of that, many of the characters needed to produce the works require not just one keystroke, but a shift and a keystroke to work.

Consequently, simulating this with virtual monkeys is almost sure to come up with a result that differs substantively from using actual monkeys to do the project.

Re:Frankly, that's cool (1, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512220)

What a depressingly dull world you live in. By that thinking, all human endeavor is a waste of time because it is a forgone conclusion that we all die in the end.

Sometimes it is the journey that is more important than the final destination. This was not about making another copy of a work of literature, but the creation of a simulation of virtual monkeys.

I did think of it. (4, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511984)

I did think of it. I even registered a domain (see my URL and e-mail address). Planned on making a screensaver that would randomly generate stuff, and convince people to run it, ala SETI@Home. Then college happened, then graduate school happened, then marriage happened, then baby happened... And then (once again), I read on SlashDot that someone else has done one of my ideas again and made the front page.

But then again, literally as I'm reading this, my daughter is singing the Blue's Clues theme song next to me while my wife and I get ready to queue up for our nightly game of League of Legends... Sitting in the downstairs den/office that's full of years of gamer stuff that all represents the happy memories of those several years of college. That guy can have my monkeys. Good for him. I found something better. :)

Re:I did think of it. (1)

JWyner (653364) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512046)

I've never heard of such a brutal and shocking injustice that I cared so little about!

Re:I did think of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512140)

What you need, which is similar to what I need, is some worker bees to grunt out your ideas. Not sure what you do for a job, but I've held jobs where people under me did my bidding. As a consummate DIYer, it was very difficult for me to 1) ask people to do the work, and 2) convey my (~brilliant) ideas. Wish I had some training in that area. Now, too many ideas, not enough hours- I wish I had some workers- I miss those days!

Re:I did think of it. (2)

eljefe6a (2289776) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512154)

I am the submitter, the editor got my username wrong. Anyway I have a wife and family. My daughter was buzzing around me as I wrote the program. I would say we both found something better except for the gaming. I game, but I realize it is mostly a waste of time that can prevent you from doing the cool stuff you want to do.

Re:I did think of it. (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512156)

Fair enough. But in my case, I found that gaming with my friends WAS what I wanted to do. :)

Re:I did think of it. (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512172)

One thing the Internet has taught me is that (nearly) all my ideas are non-unique. It's the execution that counts.

Re:I did think of it. (4, Funny)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512216)

I almost meant to say that exact same thing!

Re:I did think of it. (1)

nathan s (719490) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512442)

I meant to say almost that exact same thing!

Re:I did think of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512238)

Man, those sour grapes sound delicious. Can you send some my way?

Re:I did think of it. (2)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512352)

No! I'm saving them for that sour wine I'll never make!

Re:I did think of it. (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512374)

No shit.

He and his wife were must've been fine until they subscribed to the bullshit belief that having a kid solves all relationship problems and makes life fulfilling. Now they admittedly spend all their together time playing League of Legends(whatever the hell that is) because little Billy either screams and cries every 5 seconds or, if he's older, bangs on his parents' door every 5 minutes saying he's scared and needs some attention.

When the lame factor gets to that stage, you might as well divorce your wife - she's far too busy waiting for the African mailman's next "daily visit."

Re:I did think of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512412)

You thought of it. Really? You thought of simulating this experiment on an actual computer. We'll remember you for mentioning that. Good luck with that Turing Prize while you're still on it.

Real monkeys (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511800)

I guess he had to use virtual monkeys because all real monkeys have progressed to randomly downloading things from bit-torrent.

Re:Real monkeys (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511838)

I guess he had to use virtual monkeys because all real monkeys have progressed to randomly downloading things from bit-torrent.

There's nothing random about their downloads. Hot steaming MMMMMonkey porn!

I thought that was virtually impossible (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511804)

...and wouldn't it be easier to let them evolve and then one of them can BE Shakespeare 2.0?

Re:I thought that was virtually impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511848)

They cheated. It checked every 9th character then combined them. This greatly reduces the work needed. 9 characters a-z gives you only about 5e12 combinations. Then the "reduce" function combines all of the cruft...

Currently it is rather impossible for random noise to recreate shakespeare. 27**900000 is a rather larger number than 900000*27**9. (27 since there is a need for a space, I presume)

It is in fact virtually impossible (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511968)

This experiment, while fun, isn't exactly the infinite monkey experiment.

What's happening here (if I understand the writeup) is that the monkeys are typing random letter combinations, until they hit a small phrase that happens to be in shakespeare. Then that phrase is marked as done.

Let n be the size in characters of the target phrase. If n=1, then the complete works of shakespeare are obtained as soon as each of the letters of the alphabet have been typed at least once. You could do this in a few seconds on your computer keyboard. If n=2, then the complete works are obtained as soon as all the possible pairs of letters have been typed. The experiment in TFA has n=9 I think.

As n grows larger, the time until completion grows exponentially. Once his expeiment is done, the case n=10 should take roughly 26 times as long (ignoring punctuation capitals and diacritical marks). Alternatively, it would require a cloud roughly 26 times bigger to do it in the same amount of time.

Re:It is in fact virtually impossible (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512434)

Exactly. Breaking down the problem of "randomly finding thousands of characters in the right order" to "randomly finding 9 characters in the right order" is bullshit, because this requires information about the order of all the 9-character-blobs you find.

In other news: I compressed a Gigabyte down to 2 bits. You just have to know the order of the bits!

Stupid article. Stupid submitter. Stupid waste of energy. That's the 21st century for you. Idiocracy at its best.

Re:It is in fact virtually impossible (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512446)

You could prove that for the length of a work of Shakespeare (N), the amount of "monkeys" required to solve the problem in the same amount of time is 26^(N-9). Or, as it relates to the proverb, the solution to the equation has the time required to create a work of Shakespeare as infinite and the number of monkeys required to solve it in that time as infinite.

Of course, that solution didn't require programming the monkeys. But it is extrapolatable out to an entire work.

Re:It is in fact virtually impossible (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512486)

This experiment, while fun, isn't exactly the infinite monkey experiment.

Of course it is not. It is impossible to simulate an infinite amount of monkeys working for an infinite amount of time. Some concession has to be made to the fact that we have a finite amount of computing power.

A million goatses. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511806)

A million Goatses stretching their anus [goatse.ru] , until they stretch their ass into the Shape of Shakesphere's works.

Huh? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511812)

Computers used to be serious tools made by serious people to solve serious problems. What the hell kind of auto-fellatio is this nonsense? You software retards are really so far up your own ass you've emerged in a new universe. Better thank your lucky stars that the hardware engineers, you know, the people doing the real computing work, have designed fast and cheap computers....

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512040)

As a programmer of several "stupid computer tricks" myself (like a filesystem driver for mounting IRC!), I am very appreciative for the fast computers that let us simulate very complex systems very quickly. I understand that it is my responsibility, as a software engineer, to use that speed and memory efficiently to optimize the results of the simulation.

This project has generated better illustrative proof than ever before that randomness will eventually produce everything. This is often a difficult concept for non-mathematical people to accept, so a nice example is always welcome among those who seek to educate. It is also worth noting that this project is running on Hadoop, which is not yet considered stable. While monkeys type Shakespeare, they also find bugs, stress-test releases, and educate at least one programmer. After such a test, Hadoop is much more favorable as a platform for more "real computing work" projects, like processing medical records looking for previously-unknown medication side effects.

While on the subject of "real computing work", please note that all nontrivial computation is done by software, and that all software can run on a Turing machine as designed in 1937. Those hardware engineers are doing real electrical engineering work, making circuits run with less power and smaller size. Those chemical engineers are doing real chemistry work, making semiconductors that can switch faster and at lower voltage. The software engineers are doing real computing work, finding fast algorithms and optimizing processes.

Re:Huh? (1, Informative)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512202)

This project has generated better illustrative proof than ever before that randomness will eventually produce everything.

This project proves no such thing. It has shown only that randomness can reproduce (duplicate) something that already existed. This project can never reproduce War and Peace in the original Russian, as the Cyrillic alphabet is not included. It demonstrates effectively that some people will see what they want to see.

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512302)

I also doesn't reproduce Shakespeare in its original Klingon...

Re:Huh? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512418)

That could be used as evidence that there is a benevolent God.

Re:Huh? (2)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512342)

This project has generated better illustrative proof than ever before that randomness will eventually produce everything. This is often a difficult concept for non-mathematical people to accept, so a nice example is always welcome among those who seek to educate.

Here's a simpler example:

while(1)
{
      int x = rand() % 10;
      if (x==666) printf("Yes, everything!\n");
}

Re:Huh? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512388)

Here's a simpler example:

while(1)
{
            int x = rand() % 10;
            if (x==666) printf("Yes, everything!\n");
}

That code will neither terminate nor print anything.
And that's the way I like it.

Re:Huh? Not random! (1)

louarnkoz (805588) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512476)

Randomness will produce everything indeed. But this experiment is not random. The monkeys are not *producing* the work of Shakespeare. They are *reproducing* it. The master program already know the work, and has it programmed in its tests. There is a big filter here: take this random bit, and decide whether it is "part of Shakespeare's work." Not quite the same as letting the monkeys type a full page, and then have readers decided whether this is "as good as Shakespeare." Prior knowledge killed Schrödinger's Cat!

Re:Huh? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512174)

I think it started about the time they introduced the floppy dik drive.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512184)

Better thank your lucky stars that the hardware engineers, you know, the people doing the real computing work, have designed fast and cheap computers....

I'm sorry but Non Neumann and Turing weren't CPE's. They were MA's and CS's. Respect your elders. You're just a glorified Geek Squad member. If I need someone to upgrade my RAM.... ....I'll do it myself because it's not that hard anyways.

He virtually cornered the market (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511826)

I'm virtually impressed, virtually speechless even! The man is a virtual genius.

Re:He virtually cornered the market (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511938)

Then they started hurling virtual feces

Re:He virtually cornered the market (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512314)

Then they started hurling virtual feces

So then it would be accurate to label his experiment a bunch of steaming monkey feces?

9 characters at a time?!?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511828)

He's working with a very loose interpretation of the thought experiment here. Also he's apparently letting these monkeys get away with multiple character overlap to successively build the text.

I seem to recall something about this... (1)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511834)

There was a comic strip/sketch where scientists have a roomful of monkeys and typewriters, and their latest "Work" is clutched in a researcher's hand. As they go through, it's page after page of perfect Shakespeare, and they're going through with great excitement until they get to the very last page, they look in disappointment as it degenerates into "Ook eek ook". Anyone remember it?

Re:I seem to recall something about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511882)

Sounds like the Simpsons

Re:I seem to recall something about this... (1)

middlerun (1702904) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511900)

Sounds like it could be a Far Side cartoon. Or maybe you're remembering the scene from the Simpsons where Mr. Burns has a room full of monkeys at typewriters. "It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?? You stupid monkey!"

Sequential wording (2)

drmitch (1065012) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511844)

I always thought the idea was that the characters would be produced sequentially throughout the entire play, not just every word produced independently. Much less credit.

HRmm...... (5, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511872)

If i'm understanding this, this isn't as cool as it seems. It seems like his 'monkeys' are just randomly creating words, and he matches those words against any word used in Shakespeare. If he gets a match, he marks that one as done. So, as some point one monkey made the word "be" and all of a sudden green lights all over the place.

I think the original saying was how random and unique it would be for a solid set of strings to randomly create a whole piece of work _in one go_ . Not a word here, a word there, OMG 100% of Shakespeare words have been randomly created.

Re:HRmm...... (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511940)

Exactly. So if it's going to be done in this way, then why not break it down into INDIVIDUAL characters. Have a monkey generate a single letter, and see if that happens to match something one of Shakespeare's works. I bet that algorithm would be even faster.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

meburke (736645) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511942)

Yeah, you got it right the first time. Despite the popularity of the idea that a million monkeys could randomly create the works of Shakespeare, It would take trillions of years for the monkeys to create the first few paragraphs. This is an obvious time-waster.

Re:HRmm...... (2)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512152)

Trillions of years is generous. A million monkeys each making a unique 100 bit binary string every second would still take around 40 quadrillion years [wolframalpha.com] . This *vastly* underestimates the time of an actual paragraph, let alone multiple paragraphs, and it's still 40,000 times larger than the trillion years estimate.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512166)

Ok, but how about this...

The next letter in the target manuscript is 'F'... count the number of keystrokes until a monkey randomly types F. The next letter is 'l', type the number of keystrokes until an l is hit... and at the end multiply the numbers together...

That sounds fairly reasonable to me.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511950)

I agree, a bored young man didn't understand the proposition. Goes to proper requirements definition. In reality, using his methodology success is going to be much HIGHER because of The Bard's extensive vocabulary.

Re:HRmm...... (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511986)

You nailed it. The problem becomes more difficult as the number of characters and words increases, for the simple reason that you have to go further without a mistake having been made. If something like a Bogosort [wikipedia.org] takes O(n*n!), I shudder to think how long recreating the works of Shakespeare would take, but that's the very point of the expression: to express the unlikelihood of a random set of occurrences leading to an outcome.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

the_enigma_1983 (742079) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512066)

The monkey-problem is exactly bogosort, with the "ordering" of "is this letter meant to come after the preceding letter and before the next letter in a Shakespeare work".

Re:HRmm...... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512226)

I was about to say that, but then I realized it's not. The difference being that bogosort deals with a fixed set of members to sort, whereas compiling the works of Shakespeare via random keystrokes does not. Or, put another way, the monkeys could repeat or fail to repeat any character any number of times, plus they need to order those potentially incorrect letters, whereas bogosort will always have the correct letters, and it's just a matter of ordering them.

An intuitive way to see that they're different is to think about what happens when you get to the last letter. With the bogosort, if you got to the last letter and all of the previous ones are correct, you know you're done since there's only one letter left in the set, thus it must be the correct one; with the monkeys, when you get to the last letter, you have a 1/26 chance of getting it correct, since they can enter any letter from the keyboard. Your chance of getting each successive letter correct increases as you construct the set with bogosort because you're reducing the number of remaining letters to draw from, whereas it does not with the monkeys.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512362)

I always thought the expression was saying the exact opposite. I've always heard it used in a similar manner as "even a broken clock is right twice a day". That not every genius-looking outcome required genius-level input. In other words, rather than being about unlikelihood, it is about inevitableness.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512428)

I've heard it both ways, now that you mention it. "Put some monkeys in front of enough typewriters..." vs. "That's like putting monkeys in front of typewriters and expecting..."

Re:HRmm...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512000)

Yeah, but that's pretty bloody unlikely. Like 30^(10^5) unlikely, and therefore an unrealistic goal.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512132)

Seconded. I'm not impressed. He's proven something we've known all along. A huge, wasted, effort.

Re:HRmm...... (1)

Schlaegel (28073) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512190)

The slashdot title should have been, "Man completely misunderstands the Monkey Shakespeare Theorem."

I noticed that the linked website has comments off, so no one can help the author understand what the theorem really means.

Re:HRmm...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512236)

That's what you get from a man who has no education...or at least no education worth noting on his resume.

Amazonian President?? (1)

Kiliani (816330) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511878)

Does this mean we can also create the next US President using Amazon? I mean, looking at the choices so far, how hard can that be?

Re:Amazonian President?? (-1, Troll)

Cito (1725214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511970)

We already got a monkey in there now, do we really want another? I think the monkey experiment failed and time to move on :P

Re:Amazonian President?? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511980)

Couldn't be worse at it than the last couple ;)

Re:Amazonian President?? (2)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512356)

Couldn't be worse at it than the last couple ;)

Clearly you haven't been watching the Republican debates... ;^)

Recreating subsets of Shakespeare (1)

klui (457783) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511888)

So the virtual monkeys are recreating a subset of the work of Shakespeare not an entire work. And the Hadoop instance is splicing them together?

Re:Recreating subsets of Shakespeare (1)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512328)

That's what it sounds like. Basically, it's a rigged system to get around the problem that it would take virtually an infinite amount of time to accomplish this if we were looking for a fully-complete work from one random string of characters.

Don't be misled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37511898)

It is not a small step for _a_ monkey, it is a small step for millions of monkeys. It is not what you would think - that one monkey eventually recreated the work - but that millions of monkeys writing out random 9-letter groups of characters, eventually created all the groups necessary to recreate the work. Color me bored.

By the way, even with infinite computation power, using a random generator like Mersenne twister wouldn't work - there are 'only' ~2^20000 possible sequences of a given length that you would ever get. This is orders of magnitude less than the number of possible strings of length 11621 (which is 26^11621 ~= 2^54000)

Re:Don't be misled (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512080)

...using a random generator like Mersenne twister wouldn't work...

Now, for the mathematicians in the room: What is the probability that the particular string of length 11621 that corresponds to a particular work of Shakespeare is one of the ~2^20000 possible sequences from the Mersenne twister?

Oblig. Simpsons (4, Funny)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511904)

"It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times! Stupid monkeys!" {strikes them with script...}

Point being? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511906)

srand (time(NULL));
while (1)
    if (rand()==1234)
        puts("OMGOOSES!");

Kinda a waste of CPU cycles...

Re:Point being? (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512008)

Yeah, it isn't completely random random, because of all the filtering done to ensure the randomly-generated words are part of the original text. Sure the words are generated randomly, but reducing them and checking for membership, and then checking to see if they're in the source kinda ruins the whole point.

bleh (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511908)

What a colossal waste of energy and computing resources.

this may not count (1)

zugedneb (601299) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511918)

this only shows that the output string of a generator contains a certain string... since the output of the generator is fixed, there are strings, literary works, that is, that can not arise, while others can...

this should be done with "true" randomness generated by processes in labs, or some HQ solid state noise generator...

thoughts?

Does anyone else think this is supid? (5, Insightful)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37511936)

and that he missed the point of the expression?

Of course it will work the Mersenne twister will eventually cover the entire 9 letter space and then he can search though for the parts that match (yes he is doing it concurrently but that’s just an inefficient way of doing it). If he had the RAM and time he could eventually recreate every book possible.

The Wikipedia page explains it better that infinite random sting is bound to contain something that is perceived as useful. Of course the literal take [wikipedia.org] on on the expression is the most funny.

Re:Does anyone else think this is supid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512044)

Supid - is that like supine?

Re:Does anyone else think this is supid? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512484)

Come on you know what it means.
My lack of punctuation on the other hand is pretty bad. Sorry to anyone who had to read a sentence again.

Re:Does anyone else think this is supid? (2)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512086)

Surely this is obvious.

1 million monkeys on typewriters coming up with 9 CHARACTERS of shakespeare each is just a tad more likely than any monkey (from a team of 1 million) coming up with the ENTIRE WORK of shakespeare.

I'm not really sure what this guy set out to prove.

Re:Does anyone else think this is supid? (2)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512454)

Ya, and they certainly got a lot of help to recreate Shakespeare... like human help.

These monkeys were no ordinary monkeys either. First and foremost, they BEHAVE.

It's like he didn't even understand the expression as GP said, yet went out to demonstrate his misunderstanding literally. ... and that is what makes this story interesting :)

Hardly a novel concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512034)

The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator was doing this properly back in 2003

http://web.archive.org/web/20061216060137/http://user.tninet.se/~ecf599g/aardasnails/java/Monkey/webpages/

I did this in 8 seconds on a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512082)

Once I got it randomly generating all 26 letters, that was it.

Talk about a project not worth the electricity.

Re:I did this in 8 seconds on a PC (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512272)

Ah HA, Shakespeare used spaces, too.

Given the process used, the title is misleading (1)

Schlaegel (28073) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512094)

I think that the goal is that one of the many monkeys types an entire work of Shakespeare, not that many monkeys each type a very small segment of Shakespeare mixed in with gibberish, and then the many very small segments of Shakespeare are cut from the surrounding gibberish and combined by a person of intelligence into a work of Shakespeare.

Re:Given the process used, the title is misleading (1)

mpetch (692893) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512320)

I totally agree. I thought it unbelievable that SINGLE monkey (or virtual instance) created the entire work. When I saw "9 characters at a time", I was thinking "Time to click the next Slashdot article"

meet your new programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512116)

now if the monkeys are typing out computer code he could copywrite all possible programs....

Birnam wood hasn't come to Dunsinane just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512118)

That's all well and good but how much virtual poop did they throw at each other?

What is the Bloom FIeld Membership test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512128)

The only reference that Google comes up with is from this same article.

Re:What is the Bloom FIeld Membership test? (1)

eljefe6a (2289776) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512186)

I am the submitter, they messed up my username in the article. Anyway it is a Bloom Filter. IMHO, it is one of the things that sets the project apart technically. The speed gains from using the Bloom Field filter membership test were significant. That is the part of the program that is used the most. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom_filter [wikipedia.org]

OMG really? (1)

eiiiI'monslashdot (1951772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512142)

what is the point? this is so stupid. you can recreate the entire internet given a big enough computer power but how cool is that? not cool, just a big waste of computer power.

Why is this interesting? (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512182)

Certainly this story must interest some people. To you, I ask this question: what makes this story interesting? To me it's a waste of energy that doesn't produce anything unexpected or particularly interesting. Compared to this, the Minecraft Enterprise-D [youtube.com] is useful--it's at least interesting.

(Note: I am a mathematician, so maybe I'm missing some of the novelty associated with random number generation and exponential growth.)

Re:Why is this interesting? (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512380)

Certainly this story must interest some people. To you, I ask this question: what makes this story interesting? To me it's a waste of energy that doesn't produce anything unexpected or particularly interesting. Compared to this, the Minecraft Enterprise-D [youtube.com] is useful--it's at least interesting.

(Note: I am a mathematician, so maybe I'm missing some of the novelty associated with random number generation and exponential growth.)

I reckon most of us are of this persuasion...colour me unimpressed as well.

Re:Why is this interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512408)

It's interesting to me because he got to the front page by randomly making 9 character combinations. That's just simply absurd, and not at all difficult to do. If he had successfully randomly achieved a shakespeare play, then THAT would have been interesting. Simply because the odds of actually doing it are astronomical, even if you use all the computing power on Earth. It would be like a flying saucer landing and informing someone that they won the galactic lottery.

The Status Of The Other Stories (1)

eljefe6a (2289776) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512204)

If anyone wants to see the status of the other works of Shakespeare, you can view them here (http://www.jesse-anderson.com/2011/08/a-few-more-million-amazonian-monkeys/).

What about copyright? (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512254)

If it can be proven that this is not a copy of the original. Who owns the copy right? Does this mean that in a couple of years Torrents and PirateBay will be replaced by virtual monkeys creating works of art for me? And, would I have to pay them virtual bananas, or do they work for peanuts?

infinite monkey power vs shakespear (1)

grizzifus (2021406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512270)

Slightly off topic, but thought someone might find this interesting.

In regard to the whole monkey/typewriter thing, even if you had infinite monkey/typewriter/time resources it would still never have any useful output.

Suppose you run the experiment long enough that you are guaranteed that one monkey on a typewriter has written romeo and juliet.
How do you find that monkey and his document?
Well you have to look through every document and find the one that matches romeo and juliet.
But you either initially require a copy of romeo and juliet to match with (in which case you already have the dam document)
Or worse, you need a human being who is capable of detecting such a document without seeing it beforehand, shakespear!, and in that case he might as well just write it himself.

Future Works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512286)

Now have the monkeys write a novel from the future and I will be impressed.

Real value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37512478)

Now we can mesure the computational power of systems in Shakespearian Monkey's per hour. I expect all future slashdot articles to convert to this notation.

BS (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 3 years ago | (#37512488)

can they provide the RNG and seed value that produces the poem? thought not
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