1. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
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    29 Jan '08 06:14
    I recall seeing someone say that X number of monkeys on a key board hitting keys would through random change type out a book or
    series of books I now forget which.

    With random number generators we should be able to figure out the
    odds and put this to a real test by setting up this type of condition and
    see if it can really happen. I do not believe it is possible for example
    to randomly type out the "Hobbit", and I have serious doubts about getting all the text right in a book so small as "Good night Moon."

    How long before random chance kicks in a writes a book for us?
    Kelly
  2. Cape Town
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    29 Jan '08 06:32
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I recall seeing someone say that X number of monkeys on a key board hitting keys would through random change type out a book or
    series of books I now forget which.

    With random number generators we should be able to figure out the
    odds and put this to a real test by setting up this type of condition and
    see if it can really happen. I do not believe it ...[text shortened]... "Good night Moon."

    How long before random chance kicks in a writes a book for us?
    Kelly
    We do not need random number generators to figure it out. All we need is some very basic mathematics, and the list of starting conditions. For example:
    1. What keys are on the typewriter?
    2. Are all keys hit with equal frequency (ie completely randomly across the whole keyboard?
    3. At what frequency are they being typed.
    4. Is the challenge: a) To write a book. or b) to write a book that has been written before or c) to write a specific book - eg "The Hobbit".

    With all the necessary information we can work out how long it would take. For some conditions it would take millions or billions of years or even more.
    However, for simple things such as single English words using a computer to do the 'monkey typing' it would not take very long at all.

    Of course the example you give was, I believe, first introduced as a misguided challenge to the Theory of Evolution. However it simply doesn't apply.

    A totally different, scenario is one where a random sequence of characters is produced and information appears in the sequence. That is extremely different and it is impossible to produce such a string without information actually being produced. To demonstrate this concept, would someone like to type a string of about 50 characters?
  3. Subscribercoquette
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    29 Jan '08 06:351 edit
    The monkeys typing is a fallacy based on the notion that their keyboard strokes would be totally random. Their strokes wouldn't be random, they'd be fairly repetitive in their patterns, and even random keystrokes would not likely get around to writing the Hobit or reproducing any other complex literary work. Generally, they would be repeating patterns of nonsense over and over again with senseless variations.

    The monkeys metaphor is a variant of what would happen with a serial typist that would type every alphabet letter and punctuation until every possible combination of letters and punctuation would be typed. The product of this serial typist would type every known, and every possible, work of literature. All that you would have to do is take the body of work and cut and paste everything of value. Nothing else would be left to write or create in the written word.
  4. Joined
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    29 Jan '08 06:391 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I recall seeing someone say that X number of monkeys on a key board hitting keys would through random change type out a book or
    series of books I now forget which.

    With random number generators we should be able to figure out the
    odds and put this to a real test by setting up this type of condition and
    see if it can really happen. I do not believe it "Good night Moon."

    How long before random chance kicks in a writes a book for us?
    Kelly
    Actually, if the truth be known, I am an actual monkey. My posts thus far have all been a random event. What are the odds?

    Edit: Of course I am only kidding so I better not hear any monkey jokes about whodey. 😠
  5. Joined
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    29 Jan '08 06:481 edit
    This reminds me of a Borges story called The Library of Babel.

    Basically it's the story of a civilization of humans who're trapped in a universe that essentially consists of an infinite number of octagonal rooms. Each room has four doors leading out, and a spiral stairway in the middle going up, and down. Each door, and each stairway, just leads to another octagonal room. That's the library, and it appears to go forever in every direction.

    On each of the eight walls in each room, there are shelves, and on the shelves there are books. Each book is 200 pages long. Most of the books are gibberish; apparently random letters, periods, and spaces.

    Eventually the people of this civilization realize that each book contains one possible sequence of letters, and that all the possible combinations, every way that the 26 letters, plus spaces and periods can fill 200 pages, are what fills the library. Every possible combination exists in one book somewhere in the library.

    Which means that, even though the letters are random, every possible book is waiting somewhere on one of the shelves. Somewhere in the library is the book that explains your life and tells the true story of your death. So everyone starts looking for their book. They go on pilgrimages, searching. There are legends, rumors, of different mysterious books. But in all recorded time, no one ever finds his book.

    There's more, but I don't remember. And I don't want to spoil the end. But it was a pretty cool story.

    I'm going to sleep now.

    ...

    there was no point to this if you were wondering
  6. Cape Town
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    29 Jan '08 07:51
    Originally posted by whodey
    Actually, if the truth be known, I am an actual monkey. My posts thus far have all been a random event. What are the odds?

    Edit: Of course I am only kidding so I better not hear any monkey jokes about whodey. 😠
    whodey ... wohdey ... mohdey ... mondey ... monkey 🙂
  7. Joined
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    29 Jan '08 07:53
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    whodey ... wohdey ... mohdey ... mondey ... monkey 🙂
    LOL !!! 😵
  8. Joined
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    30 Jan '08 13:43
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I recall seeing someone say that X number of monkeys on a key board hitting keys would through random change type out a book or
    series of books I now forget which.

    With random number generators we should be able to figure out the
    odds and put this to a real test by setting up this type of condition and
    see if it can really happen. I do not believe it ...[text shortened]... "Good night Moon."

    How long before random chance kicks in a writes a book for us?
    Kelly
    They were supposed to create the complete works of Shakespear.

    There is a website somewhere with a simulation of this. However, it also has the option of adding the 'differential survival' aspect. Essentially, if a string of characters could be part of an english word, it survives to the next generation. Add that feature and it all becomes far more likely that a book will be written.

    Would still take an awful long time though.

    --- Penguin.
  9. Joined
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    01 Feb '08 00:21
    I didn't plan one word of this post-- I thrashed wildly at my keyboard and these are the letters I collided with. It's a post-modern form of writing I use in every post.
  10. Joined
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    01 Feb '08 00:30
    when you are trying to make a specific thing, it increases the odds. for example, if the monkeys tried to write a book that has already been written, the odds of that happening would be much larger than if the monkeys were trying to just write up a new book. its not like the big bang was intended to make the life that is here today, it just happened to do so.
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    01 Feb '08 00:34
    Originally posted by The Dude 84
    I didn't plan one word of this post-- I thrashed wildly at my keyboard and these are the letters I collided with. It's a post-modern form of writing I use in every post.
    kjh cvjkh kjsdhh;doih ohoiuyr08tuoiuer eroh h ouhg e98y roh dughdf jkghdalgi eyudh udfhg me too kljh kfh ufh doh fuh k.u hkuh duhdfhfkhjkh jh fduh uh fiuh iuhyhj'd g gh liughdf udfg to be or not to be .kj hljh dfh kjvh jkvh fjk fjkh dfkjh dfjkh fh fh o;dhb d that is lsk hkjdfh kjdfhg kjdfhg kdfhg kdfghdf the question lskuh kfhg dfkuh dfiluh dof;hg dfh dfjgh dfkjghndf
  12. Joined
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    01 Feb '08 00:39
    Originally posted by amannion
    kjh cvjkh kjsdhh;doih ohoiuyr08tuoiuer eroh h ouhg e98y roh dughdf jkghdalgi eyudh udfhg me too kljh kfh ufh doh fuh k.u hkuh duhdfhfkhjkh jh fduh uh fiuh iuhyhj'd g gh liughdf udfg to be or not to be .kj hljh dfh kjvh jkvh fjk fjkh dfkjh dfjkh fh fh o;dhb d that is lsk hkjdfh kjdfhg kjdfhg kdfhg kdfghdf the question lskuh kfhg dfkuh dfiluh dof;hg dfh dfjgh dfkjghndf
    hdjr rjufgbdsbsi fsisdggisdtd jgd gdgdilds sdits oitsri osedtjigs n m jsdti isligsit stiopd otbotgns 8weisteiti iooit i8stoto iotst bo.
  13. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    01 Feb '08 00:518 edits
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I do not believe it is possible for example to randomly type out the "Hobbit"
    You are mistaken. It is not only possible but guaranteed to happen in any experimental formulation in which the monkey is allowed to type an infinite sequence of characters, each with a non-zero probability of being chosen at any given keystroke. This is a very basic consequence of elementary discrete probability theory. A rudimentary genetic algorithm could probably generate the Hobbit in a very reasonable amount of computational time, something on the order of days at most.

    Check out the demo at the bottom of this page for a proof of concept:
    http://vlab.infotech.monash.edu.au/simulations/evolution/genetic-algorithm-weasel/

    Or the one here, which generated "sodomites must die" for me in a mere 96 generations (about 10 seconds of computation, less time than it takes to turn a woman into a pillar of salt):
    http://vlab.infotech.monash.edu.au/simulations/evolution/richard-dawkin-weasel/
  14. Cape Town
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    01 Feb '08 11:401 edit
    Originally posted by amannion
    kjh cvjkh kjsdhh;doih ohoiuyr08tuoiuer eroh h ouhg e98y roh dughdf jkghdalgi eyudh udfhg me too kljh kfh ufh doh fuh k.u hkuh duhdfhfkhjkh jh fduh uh fiuh iuhyhj'd g gh liughdf udfg to be or not to be .kj hljh dfh kjvh jkvh fjk fjkh dfkjh dfjkh fh fh o;dhb d that is lsk hkjdfh kjdfhg kjdfhg kdfhg kdfghdf the question lskuh kfhg dfkuh dfiluh dof;hg dfh dfjgh dfkjghndf
    To demonstrate that it is almost inevitable for any random string to contain not only information but meaning full information, let me list some of what is hidden in the bits that were not 'intentionally' typed out.
    Notice in the second word we have 'vjk' which is KJV backwards.
    In the fifth word we have 'oho' and then 'yr08' (short for Year 2008)
    A bit later we have 'dug' - an English word and 'dalg' which is 'glad' backwards.
    Then latter we have 'duh fuh k.u' which I am sure you can interpret and I wonder whether or not amannion intentionally inserted that.
    Later there is a repeating pattern of 'kjdfhg' and slight variations thereof, methinks something is evolving here!
  15. Joined
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    01 Feb '08 11:42
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    whodey ... wohdey ... mohdey ... mondey ... monkey 🙂
    I knew it!! 😠
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