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A Few Million Monkeys Finish Recreating Shakespeare's Works

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the everything-loops-back-to-stephen-falken dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 186

eljefe6a writes "The Million Monkeys project has finished every work of Shakespeare. The last work was The Taming of the Shrew (insert shrewish joke here), which finished on October 6. I give my thoughts on going viral. If this article about going viral goes viral, it will create an infinite loop that will bring about the destruction of the world. The project source is released, too."

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A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (3, Funny)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | about 3 years ago | (#37657150)

But could they direct better versions of planet of the Apes?

Re:A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 3 years ago | (#37657196)

If given enough time.

Re:A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657624)

Man this is some hilarious shit. So Rosanne Barr (you know that fat nasty redneck woman who used to have a show) says the US should have a maximum wage. She ("she" heh - that thing doesn't register as female to me) said if the rich can't manage to live off of 100 million dollars a year they should be sent to "re-education camps" and if that doesn't work, they should "be beheaded".

You see, people like her have no sense of irony. None whatsoever. Their simple minds cannot grasp obvious parallels.

She's a big fat lard-ass. This is her own form of gluttony. The rich have theirs, she has hers. She might as well have said "you know, if those fatasses can't manage to live on 2500 calories a day, they should be sent to re-education camps and if that doesn't work, they should be beheaded." Fuck, that would work for me. I'm not a lard-ass. If I was a lard-ass, I'D FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT instead of telling everybody that my decision to eat a HELL of a lot more than I need is somehow not my fault. In fact I'd do something about it at the first sign of it before it got bad. Anyway, I don't want my health insurance payments to subsidize someone's fat, lard-ass, can't-put-the-fucking-fork-down lifestyle. I'm all for this proposal.

Before you go around telling people how they should live, get your own shit together. Don't recommend extreme retaliation against one kind of gluttony while eating ten pounds of lard every day. Is there something about entering a Hollywood studio that makes you bat-shit insane? Lots of Scientologists and hyperemotional liberals keep coming from there. Can't be a coincidence.

Re:A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 years ago | (#37657282)

No, these couldn't.

By any normal persons definition, these monkeys also never actually produced any of Shakespeare's works either. They basically produced the right number of As, Bs, Cs, ect ... and then the guy running the project rearranged them into the right order and says the monkeys wrote shakespeare!

I guess if you count the guy who is reassembling the letters as a monkey, then its probably true that 1 million virtual monkeys and 1 human monkey could do it, though I'm guessing he probably fucked up the reassembly as well considering everything else about this 'project'.

Re:A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657534)

whoosh

Re:A million monkeys can complete Shakespeare... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37658148)

Yes. 10 monkeys, 4 days.

Dupe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657154)

Dupe

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/11/10/09/2252225/a-few-million-monkeys-finish-recreating-shakespeares-works

It's also to world class stupid (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 years ago | (#37657290)

the set up for this is that it they just emit 9 character random strings and cross off anything that matches. Emit 8 character ones and it's 26 times easier. So why not just emit 1 character strings.
perl -e 'print "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" '

there done.
 

Re:Dupe.. (4, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | about 3 years ago | (#37657382)

And if the submitter or the editor had read the article, they'd have come across this gem:

On Sunday night October 25, 2011, I was reading through my RSS feeds on Google Reader. Some new Slashdot stories appeared and I dutifully started reading them. When I started reading about myself and my project, I started to think I had clicked on the wrong feed or I had erred in some fashion. I could not believe I was reading about myself on Slashdot after many years of reading it. My wife was next to me at the time and I tried to explain why I was so ecstatic to be on Slashdot. Explaining to a non-geek about Slashdot is difficult, but I think she could see it was important to me. If the media blitz had died at that point, I would have been happy. It didnâ(TM)t. Over the course of the next day, the story kept on gaining momentum, getting more news stories, and more hits on the website.

If I had posted this, after such a clear dupe reference in the article, I'd have been humiliated.

Re:Dupe.. (3, Funny)

RMingin (985478) | about 3 years ago | (#37657528)

October 25, 2011 hasn't happened yet. Is it a Dupe From The Future!?!?

Re:Dupe.. (2)

Sensible Clod (771142) | about 3 years ago | (#37657696)

Some bored guy at CERN posted it while beta-testing a FTL neutrino network card.

Re:Dupe.. (1)

dropzonetoe (1167883) | about 3 years ago | (#37657838)

Damn you John Titor!!!

Re:Dupe.. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37658418)

It all makes sense now. Somewhere in the future they lost control of the monkeys. He came back to get some specific hardware to be able to talk some sense into them.

Re:Dupe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657706)

Can't be, there's no flying cars or hoverboards.

First Post? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 3 years ago | (#37657158)

But could a million monkeys ever get a first post?

Re:First Post? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657226)

Make that, could 999,999 monkeys get a first post.

Re:First Post? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | about 3 years ago | (#37657288)

Make that, could 999,999 monkeys get a first post.

+1000000

Re:First Post? (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#37657444)

Yup, mod parent up, that was exactly my idea. I don't know the number of slashdot articles, but it should be close.

Re:First Post? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 3 years ago | (#37657680)

There have been about 38,000,000 comments. At 100 comments per article (sheer guess), that would be 380,000 articles.

Re:First Post? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37658136)

The number of comments per article is probably closer to 300 or 500.

It's a cheat. (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 years ago | (#37657170)

This doesn't come even remotely close to the real situation postulated in the Million Monkeys concept.

It proves nothing, and isn't even very good as a publicity stunt.

Re:It's a cheat. (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 3 years ago | (#37657212)

Yes, we hashed through all this last time. The "monkeys" generate 9 character blocks of random letters, then that chunk of text is fitted wherever it can be into the actual works of Shakespeare. And as I said last time around, it would be vastly more efficient, and just as pointless, to generate random SINGLE characters and fit those into works of Shakespeare instead.

Re:It's a cheat. (3, Interesting)

robbyjo (315601) | about 3 years ago | (#37657298)

Then, it's not really monkeys. It's more of monkeys with an oracle. That oracle thing made a whole world of difference.

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657600)

Reminds me of intelligent design....

Re:It's a cheat. (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37658248)

Then, it's not really monkeys. It's more of monkeys with an oracle. That oracle thing made a whole world of difference.

The guy who set this up has almost as much intelligence as a monkey but is a whole lot more intellectually dishonest much more of a publicity whore.

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657668)

That doesn't matter man - IT'S GONE VIRAL!!!!111!!!

Re:It's a cheat. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 years ago | (#37657760)

Yes, I recall. But since the story reared its ugly head again, I felt an urge to denounce it... again.

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658112)

It would be like a really drawn-out recreation of the launch sequence discovery by Joshua in WarGames. That general would have a lot of time to find a sparkplug to piss on, if it would do any good.

Re:It's a cheat. (5, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37658228)

Announcer: Hello, and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local monkeys write the complete works of Thomas Hardy on this very pleasant July morning. And here they come, here come the line of monkeys walking towards the typewriters. They look confident, relaxed, very much the modern novel writing monkeys in form as they mug for the very good-natured bank holiday crowd. And the crowd goes quiet now as the monkeys settle themselves at the desks, scratching themselves, pondering the unfamiliar pieces of technology. A monkey reaches over and pushes a key! It's the first letter, no wait, it's just a tab stop, a meaningless button as there are no points given for formatting. Oh dear what a disappointing start! But another monkey is off again and there he goes, the first letter of a Thomas Hardy novel at 10:35 this very lovely morning, it's an "H", Dennis.

Dennis: Well, this is true to form, no surprises there. The letter "H" appears in every Thomas Hardy novel so far, comprising one third of the definite article. The letter "H" is not the most popular letter of the alphabet but it does have a solid showing. We've matched up this letter and we appear to have completed 5.93% of the complete works of Thomas Hardy finished so far. Oh dear, the monkey appears to have flung poo at his typewriter obscuring the letter "H"! The only letter written so far and now we're starting over.

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658416)

How funny, haven't thought about that sketch in years. Well done.

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657270)

Bravo for the truth. Heck why not reduce each monkey's random string length to 1 and see how long it takes to come up with every letter of the alphabet, in any order ( a few microseconds), then claim that your monkeys have covered the set of all human knowledge, past, present, and future in the English language.

Re:It's a cheat. (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | about 3 years ago | (#37657304)

Bravo for the truth. Heck why not reduce each monkey's random string length to 1 and see how long it takes to come up with every letter of the alphabet, in any order ( a few microseconds), then claim that your monkeys have covered the set of all human knowledge, past, present, and future in the English language.

And then you're screwed by an introduction of letter etalon to the english alphabet.....

Re:It's a cheat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657852)

Shhhh. Humanity isn't supposed to know about etalon until October 25.

Re:It's a cheat. (2)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 3 years ago | (#37658260)

Yeah, I got about two paragraphs in and, expecting to read a description of the actual project, all I found was a bunch of 'look at me!!!'. Then, I realized that *was* the actual project. Distributed Narcissism. Yay.

Re:It's a cheat. (4, Informative)

pnot (96038) | about 3 years ago | (#37658342)

It proves nothing, and isn't even very good as a publicity stunt.

On the contrary. It proves that with the right link-bait buzzwords and sufficiently lazy editors, even the most pointless project can make the Slashdot front page -- twice.

Come back Bitcoin stories, all is forgiven...

Fourth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657174)

Fourth!

Randomly produced time travel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657176)

"The Million Monkeys project went viral starting on October 25, 2011 and went into full swing on October 26, 2011. On October 26, 2011, over 25,000 unique visitors viewed the Million Monkeys project, 300 sites referred traffic, and people viewed it from 119 countries."

Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657180)

Were the monkeys spanked if they made an error?

Re:Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658156)

I do believe the author mentioned that he spanked the monkeys to keep them on task.

Deception. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657182)

This is not newsworthy and it's not what you might think. It used small chunks of text and only kept ones that made sense. A better description of why this is complete bullshit can be found here. [wsj.com]

Re:Deception. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37657832)

That's a good summary of it. I always imagined it was an infinite number of monkeys out of which a smaller number typed in its entirety one of Shakespeare's plays and that a sufficient number of them did so independently so as to finish the complete works. Probably with a few duplicates and an unimaginably large number of near misses.

Breaking it up into small chunks that aren't even the size of an act really degrades the whole point of the activity in the first place. I doubt that the computing power will ever be there to really simulate this in it's full scope, but simulating it at least at the sentence or act level is really necessary for this to be of any particular value.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657190)

Haven't we been through this?
The project doesn't really hold up to the ideals of the 'million monkey' experiment.
The program randomly creates words, compares them to a database (the works of William S.), and ticks them off when a correct one is found.

Poppycock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657204)

Dear Sir,

    Poppycock!

Signed,
Anonymous

It went viral when? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37657218)

The Million Monkeys project went viral, but not in the cool, apocalyptic way. The Million Monkeys project went viral starting on October 25, 2011 and went into full swing on October 26, 2011

It's amazing what a few million time-traveling monkeys can do.

Re:It went viral when? (1)

A.Bettik (989117) | about 3 years ago | (#37657326)

The time-traveling nature of this article honestly hindered my ability to read it. Boo bad editing.

Re:It went viral when? (1)

eljefe6a (2289776) | about 3 years ago | (#37657436)

Thanks for pointing that out. I have fixed it in the post.

Re:It went viral when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657590)

Check again.. those virtual monkeys are flying through time and are still trying to predict the future... the virtual monkeys predict that "on October 25 2011, you will spend a few hours E-mailing every news outlet that you could think of."

Re:It went viral when? (1)

eljefe6a (2289776) | about 3 years ago | (#37657744)

Thanks, I fixed that one too. See what happens when you let monkeys randomly generate your posts?

This isnt the original idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657224)

Original idea was for a million monkeys to come up with the entire play as a whole, not individual sentences from the play and piecing them together after the fact.

This is like calculating the odds of getting the winning lottery numbers from a random number generator, but doing it one number at a time as opposed to the number generator getting all 7 numbers at once.

Misleading name (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 years ago | (#37657248)

The name of this project is completely wrong compared to what anyone who knows of the Million monkeys can recreate Shakespeares works' concept.

If a random sequence output from one of the 'virtual monkeys' matched some sequence of characters in a work, they counted it as if the monkey typed part of that work.

At no point did any one of their virtual monkeys ever turn out even a single coherent sentence, let alone one that could be found in a work of Shakespeare.

This guy seems to think that if you get enough output from /dev/urandom that you can account for all the characters in a book, then you've recreated the book. Doesn't matter than /dev/urandom didn't actually spell out the words in the book.

Re:Misleading name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657496)

But it's okay, because the project was able to see in the future.

The Million Monkeys project went viral starting on October 25, 2011 and went into full swing on October 26, 2011. On October 26, 2011, over 25,000 unique visitors viewed the Million Monkeys project, 300 sites referred traffic, and people viewed it from 119 countries.

Note that today's date is October 9, 2011. Those monkeys may not have composed a single Shakespearean sentence, but they caused a rift in spacetime, so I'll take it.

Re:Misleading name (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#37657510)

Agreed.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

There, I created each and every Shakespeare work by typing every letter. I must be a genius. Oh, and even better, look at the dot at the end of this sentence -> [.]
When multiplied and put in the right place in a 2D grid, it represents all the works of Shakespeare all by itself.

He did know that it was not correct, he just implemented an approximation and abused the title for his hobby project. No harm done. He did even explain that he was just testing some techniques and warns people not to get angry, which I will implement by drinking a Lagavulin single malt on his health.

Re:Misleading name (5, Informative)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 3 years ago | (#37657652)

This was discussed to death in the original version [slashdot.org] of this story. Here's a copy of one of several +5 comments describing the strategy:

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.

(source; taken from martin-boundary [slashdot.org] )

The author knows it's not the regular interpretation. Here's his response to one of my comments:

I found that mathematicians and statisticians had the most adverse reaction to my project. If you have half an infinite resource to give me I would gladly use it and run the project again. I even wrote a brief section on the post saying: I realize there are different interpretations to this saying/theorem and I have done 2 different ones already. I understand the definition of infinite and infinite monkey theorem and I realize that this project does not have infinite resources. This project was funded and written by myself and was not supported by any grant money or federal money. No monkeys were harmed during the making of this code. This project is my attempt to find a creative way to attain an answer without infinite resources. It is a fun side project.

(source; taken from eljefe6a [slashdot.org] )

And here's a repost of some of my own calculations concerning the improbability of the real version:

If he had successfully randomly achieved a shakespeare play, [...] It would be like a flying saucer landing and informing someone that they won the galactic lottery.

It's far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, (...), far more improbable than that. The text of Hamlet (see Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org]) is around 180 KB long, so around 1.44 million bits. Being generous and lopping off half (since most of the characters aren't present), and then rounding down, let's say it's 500,000 bits. There are 2^500,000 possibilities; this is a number with around 150,000 decimal digits. It's comparable to the odds of winning a 1-in-a-million lottery 25 thousand times in a row.

Winning a galactic lottery, in comparison, would be extremely, almost incomparably, frequent. There are something like 300 billion stars in the Milky Way. Suppose each star had 30 planets with 100 billion "people", being very generous. That's only about one million billion billion inhabitants. Winning such a lottery would be the same as winning 4 1-in-a-million lotteries in a row. 4 versus 25,000, and that 25,000 is an exponent--these two can't just be divided to property compare them.

It's closer to winning 6 thousand galactic lotteries in a row.

(source; taken from me [slashdot.org] )

Re:Misleading name (1)

eljefe6a (2289776) | about 3 years ago | (#37657870)

Yes, and now the source code is released so anyone can run their "correct" version. Better start now, the universe isn't getting any younger.

Re:Misleading name (4, Informative)

retchdog (1319261) | about 3 years ago | (#37657896)

the point is more that he apparently doesn't realize how completely pointless this is, whatever his resources. the coupon collector's problem has basically been completely solved (in the sense we have an asymptotic rate, and shakespeare's work are long enough that this limit applies). there's no point whatsoever in simulating it.

it would be exactly like taking physics I and then trying to create an ideal point mass or a completely frictionless surface because they talked about that in a few of the lectures... 1) it's impossible; 2) you've missed the point entirely.

Re:Misleading name (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 3 years ago | (#37658210)

actually, i take it back partially. this is somewhat interesting, but not because of the infinite monkey "theorem"; that's just silly.

what's interesting is that there are different ways to get 9-character covers of the same text. for example, i could pull "tobeornot" and then "tobethati". alternatively i could pull "rnottobet" and then "hatistheq". either one will cover the substring "rnottobethati" and remove it from the pool.

i'm pretty sure there is a way to find the approximate number of draws by an entropy argument, but it is not a trivial application of coupon collecting, since a draw can give you more than one coupon.

Re:Misleading name (1)

epine (68316) | about 3 years ago | (#37658240)

he apparently doesn't realize how completely pointless this is

No, he has the psychological structure where he enjoys pretending he doesn't get it, then he slurps up the ensuing attention because it gives him a troll woody.

I'd like to take all his 9-tuples and pave the Bulwer-Lytton or the collected utterances of Wesley Crusher or the cc: transcripts from Howard Stern. It would cover them all.

Re:Misleading name (1)

mmontour (2208) | about 3 years ago | (#37658292)

it would be exactly like taking physics I and then trying to create an ideal point mass or a completely frictionless surface...

That reminded me of http://xkcd.com/669/ [xkcd.com]

Nine characters substrings, eh? (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#37657284)

Would have gone faster had he settled for one character (and faster yet with just one bit).

Re:Nine characters substrings, eh? (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 3 years ago | (#37657578)

Yup, with one bit it would take just 5 tries to have a success rate of over 90%. You may not need a fast computer to accomplish it. Heck, the piece of shit calculator in my brain could easily do the job. Unfortunately generating usable random numbers is extremely unreliable as well :)

I suppose ... (2)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37657342)

... this will satisfy the need for .NET programmers [slashdot.org] .

And the point is? (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37657346)

I'm sure there is something I'm missing from this, so what is the point in spending time doing something like this? Programming techniques? Or simply for insight in to random character generation?

To me it seems fairly arbitrary and pointless.

Re:And the point is? (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#37657476)

I'm sure there is something I'm missing from this, so what is the point in spending time doing something like this? Programming techniques? Or simply for insight in to random character generation? To me it seems fairly arbitrary and pointless.

Slashdot whoring is the only point as far as I can tell. The "Monkeys" are virtual processes. The methodology is flawed and arbitrary as everyone keeps pointing out. Yet it keeps appearing on slashdot as if this were news for nerds. Heck it's not news for a first year comp sci student.

Re:And the point is? (1)

BillX (307153) | about 3 years ago | (#37658432)

That, and near the beginning of TFA the guy is actively soliciting someone to contact him if they want to "do a story". I dare not count the occurrences of the word "viral".

Re:And the point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657978)

The point is that this is necessary to prove that evolution is viable and God is unnecessary. If these monkeys cannot, in the assumed lifetime of the universe, randomly produce the works of William Shakespeare, then there is no way evolution could have formed the slightly more complex universe we see around us in that time either.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657360)

Now do it on a virtual machine written in Java that runs on a browser inside another virtual machine wirtten in batch file on top of about a million other layers of abtraction, obfuscation and lazines, with dozen of libraries, dlls, routines and APIs that you didn't write and will never get close to understanding, and do it all in Python, no, Metro because that's the latest thing, then blame the hardware for being too slow. Because, software!

Article is redundant (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37657426)

This story was already posted and it wasn't random even then.

misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657462)

>If this article about going viral goes viral, it will create an infinite loop that will bring about the destruction of the world
What if, say, nobody gives a crap because what they did isn't even close to what the phrase they're trying to ape (huh-hah!) really means.

Million /. monkeys (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37657472)

Million /. monkeys can repeat the same stories over and over, that's what happens when the keys are on a touchscreen instead of having the proper clickety click keyboard.

Time Travel?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657474)

How does rewriting Shakespeare's works relate to time travel? I still can't wrap my mind around the number of times the article says that it will go viral on October 25th and 26th... Do the monkeys also tell him what will happen in the future? If so, I have a test next Friday, and need to get my hands on virtual monkeys to write out the questions and answers..

Do give him merit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657480)

Of course we could all get a million computers to generate random output of strings and check if any of those matches any Shakespeares (fully, without a single mispelling, nor character missing). It's just that it makes no sense resource wise... On the other hand it would be legit.

I guess we all know what it means. The real question for me: would he be infringing copyright by producing the words that way? Or by the million (real) monkeys... would they?

"The Library of Babel" (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37657530)

My favorite version of this meme is Borges' story "The Library of Babel" [wikipedia.org] .

Bad monkeys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657536)

These monkeys need to learn to stop plagiarizing. We need to teach each and every one of them a lesson.
Who wants to join the million monkey spanking project?

It will be at least as important as this dumb ass project.

million monkey spanking project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657650)

These monkeys need to learn to stop plagiarizing. We need to teach each and every one of them a lesson.
Who wants to join the million monkey spanking project?

It will be at least as important as this dumb ass project.

Well, here you go: the million monkey spanking project [google.com] . Sign right up!

It was the best of times... (2)

Deaths Proxy (1795932) | about 3 years ago | (#37657594)

...it was the blurst of times. STUPID MONKEY!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcSUWP0QNeY [youtube.com]

Re:It was the best of times... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 3 years ago | (#37658440)

God Damn plagarism... I ripped off that Simpson's quote LAST WEEK! I mean, it's getting to the point you can't even get credit for remembering and randomly regurgitating lines from TV shows any more.

Yet again, Slashdot is weeks behind (1)

raaum (152451) | about 3 years ago | (#37657602)

The foundation of the story was posted on the linked blog on September 23rd [jesse-anderson.com] , and most blogs and news outlets covered it then (e.g. ars technica [arstechnica.com] ).

Good job being timely, slashdot. At one point I could come here for breaking information. Those days are long gone.

Re:Yet again, Slashdot is weeks behind (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 3 years ago | (#37657710)

The original version of this story appeared on September 26th [slashdot.org] . The Ars Technica piece you linked was published on the same day, the 26th of September, actually later (~3am on /. vs. 12pm on Ars). In fact my link appears in the "Related Links" below the summary on this story, though I have to admit I typically never look there. It would have been nice if the summary had linked to the previous story to prevent all these stupid reposts.

Re:Yet again, Slashdot is weeks behind (1)

raaum (152451) | about 3 years ago | (#37658068)

Point taken. Yet, if Slashdot is going to retain any relevance whatsoever, some mechanism to (mostly) eliminate weeks-late reposts needs to be developed.

Re:Yet again, Slashdot is weeks behind (1)

raaum (152451) | about 3 years ago | (#37658080)

Note that Ars isn't reposting this on a bi-weekly basis... Not that they are the be-all and end-all of internet news, but they're beating the pants off slashdot in the last few years.

Dash, dash dash dash, dash dot dot dot, dot ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657608)

I can generate the entire works of Shakespeare using Morse Code in just a few nanoseconds.

Methinks it is like a weasel (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about 3 years ago | (#37657610)

The early 80's wants its program back.

The only thing this has demonstrated is computing power has increased. Whoop de doo.

The doesnt belong here (1)

westyvw (653833) | about 3 years ago | (#37657636)

Sensationalist crap. Not interesting in the least. A very misleading title to boot. Make it go away.

Poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657704)

This site has gone downhill lately.

It's always bugged me (2)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 3 years ago | (#37657774)

...that monkeys are an extremely poor imitation of a random text generator. In Wikipedia's words:

In 2003, scientists at Paignton Zoo and the University of Plymouth, in Devon in England reported that they had left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Sulawesi Crested Macaques for a month; not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, they started by attacking the keyboard with a stone, and continued by urinating and defecating on it.

(source [wikipedia.org] )

Here's their output [vivaria.net] and a little more info/some pictures.

Re:It's always bugged me (1)

3dr (169908) | about 3 years ago | (#37658320)

So, the monkeys used pretty much the same tactic I used for term papers in English lit.

Work harder monkeys!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37657794)

The next big question, how many monkeys will it take to reproduce wikipedia in it's entirety?

ok? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 3 years ago | (#37657858)

So, if this is a real test and success - then the filter can be reconfigured for chunks of lines from Star Wars - or the writings of jim butcher and those books should be there too right?

Re:ok? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about 3 years ago | (#37657916)

Yep - it's called data mining. Used already to look for secret coded messages in the bible, etc. If you look hard enough and don't particularly care what you find, then you're sure to find something.

Funny ... (1)

ProfM (91314) | about 3 years ago | (#37658120)

The last work was The Taming of the Shrew (insert shrewish joke here)

She doesn't look Shrewish

Oh stop (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37658154)

Goddamn, this story again? It was bogus the first time it came around.

Man, the weekend staff around here needs a little supervision.

Re:Oh stop (1)

Nationless (2123580) | about 3 years ago | (#37658462)

Or more monkeys.

Or is that less..? I get those two mixed up at the worst of times.

what irritates me is claiming that monkeys typed s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658222)

It's not enough to say that the criticisms are invalid because he didn't have access to infinite resources. The fact is, he claimed that his program had randomly recreated the works of Shakespeare, and he didn't come even close.

Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658236)

It is a slow, very slow, slashdot day :(

False claims of importance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37658250)

"This is the first time every work of Shakespeare has actually been randomly reproduced."
Fixed: This is the first time every word contained in every work of Shakespeare has actually been randomly produced.

But even then it is still false, billions of humans have already randomly reproduced every word contained in every work of Shakespeare.

Million Monkeys and Probability (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | about 3 years ago | (#37658356)

1) This Million Monkeys Project is dumb because it cheats to increases the probability so much that it is basically unrelated to the original million monkeys scenario.

2) From Wikipedia on the real million monkeys scenario:
"Even if the observable universe were filled with monkeys the size of atoms typing from now until the heat death of the universe, their total probability to produce a single instance of Hamlet would still be many orders of magnitude less than one in 10 to the 183,800 power. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, "The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event", and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed "gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers." This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys.[2]"

Not just dumb, but old news. (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 3 years ago | (#37658388)

Slashdot got scooped by Language Log days ago...

Fails to impress me somehow (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37658422)

Now I challenge the monkeys to create a grand unified theory. You have 2 weeks. Go! What do you mean it only works backwards?

How much energy was wasted doing this? (2)

myforwik (1465003) | about 3 years ago | (#37658456)

This reminds me of distributed.net and their pointless brute forcing of encryted string that they already know only contains A-Z ascii characters that form a message. I wonder how much CO2 emissions are pumped out of pointless activities like this.
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