Infinite Number of Bloggers Produces Works of Shakespeare
‘We never thought we’d see it!’ say amazed statisticians.
Cambridge, MA | In a shocking development that has stunned scientists around the world, the so-called “infinite monkey theorem” has tentatively proven true.
This theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Alternative versions of the theorem posit an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters.
“We were always using monkeys and typewriters in our calculations,” said Dr. Arthur Vandelay, head of the Harvard Center for the Study of Infinite Monkeys, “and hadn’t realized that with millions of bloggers out there, we had a critical mass of monkeys, so to speak.
“We recently discovered the blog of a Natalya Dvorzhetskii, a five year old Russian girl living in Kissov, Siberia. She has never been exposed to the works of Shakespeare, yet her last twelve blog entries comprise the complete texts of Shakespeare’s tragedies! Of course, there are a few glitches here and there.”
One of the inconsistencies occurs in the Bard’s most famous passage. Ms. Dvorzhetskii’s version of the “To be or not to be” soliloquy came out as
To be, or not to be, that is the Catch-22:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the slithey toves
The fucking fucks and the fucking furious fusilli of Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a sea of I could not stop for death,
And by opposing how shall I compare thee?
No more. . .
“Other than this infelicitous passage, she has the texts off perfectly!” exclaimed Dr. Vandelay.
In a parallel development, a wild ring-tailed lemur in Madagascar recently broke into the municipal office in Amparafaravola, sat down at a computer station, and wrote letter-perfect versions of seven Ernest Hemingway short stories.
News of the literary lemur didn’t impress Dr. Valdelay as much. “On the face of it, this, too, seems remarkable, but considering that it’s Hemingway, it’s more surprising that a monkey or lemur hadn’t already done it.”
Previous efforts to induce primates to type a classic of literature haven’t been successful.
In 2003, lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth MediaLab Arts course studied the literary output of real monkeys. They left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Celebes Crested Macaques in Paignton Zoo in Devon in England for a month.
Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, the dominant male bashed the keyboard with a stone. The other monkeys joined in by urinating and defecating on the computer.