Infinite Monkey Theorem


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Infinite Monkey Theorem

(humour)
"If you put an infinite number of monkeys at typewriters, eventually one will bash out the script for Hamlet." (One may also hypothesise a small number of monkeys and a very long period of time.) This theorem asserts nothing about the intelligence of the one random monkey that eventually comes up with the script (and note that the mob will also type out all the possible *incorrect* versions of Hamlet). It may be referred to semi-seriously when justifying a brute force method; the implication is that, with enough resources thrown at it, any technical challenge becomes a one-banana problem.

This theorem was first popularised by the astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington. It became part of the idiom through the classic short story "Inflexible Logic" by Russell Maloney, and many younger hackers know it through a reference in Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

See also: RFC 2795.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jesse Anderson was inspired by the infinite monkey theorem, which suggests that an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters would be able to produce Shakespeare's works by accident.
That or it's meant to illustrate the infinite monkey theorem, as a roomful of typing monkeys (or chimps, since they are apes) could come up with jokes funnier than anything found here.
WINE The Infinite Monkey Theorem 2012 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Grand Valley, Colorado; $20).
Ben Parsons, owner of Infinite Monkey Theorem winery in Denver, Colo.