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Math Help - Infinite Monkey Theorem

  1. #1
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    Infinite Monkey Theorem

    Wow, mathemations sometimes have a very uncreative way of naming theorems. For example, PigeonHole Principle, sounds funny. Also the Ham Sandwich Theorem sounds funny.

    But anyway, I have the Math Page of Wikipedia set as my homepage. This is what appeared today. I find it quite interesting.
    The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type or create a particular chosen text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Note that "almost surely" in this context is a mathematical term with a specific meaning, and that the "monkey" is not an actual monkey; rather, it is a vivid metaphor for an abstract device that produces a large, random sequence of letters.
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  2. #2
    Member Glaysher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePerfectHacker View Post
    Wow, mathemations sometimes have a very uncreative way of naming theorems. For example, PigeonHole Principle, sounds funny. Also the Ham Sandwich Theorem sounds funny.

    But anyway, I have the Math Page of Wikipedia set as my homepage. This is what appeared today. I find it quite interesting.
    I've heard this one before. It is often mentioned in a non mathematical context.
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  3. #3
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    This is not quite clear to me. What is the specific meaning of the phrase 'almost surely' that has been used here? I also have a problem with the 'monkey'. I'm not being able to visualize the kind of device for which the word 'monkey' has been used. Please explain these to me so that I too may appreciate the beauty of the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
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  4. #4
    MHF Contributor Quick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nirmalya basu View Post
    This is not quite clear to me. What is the specific meaning of the phrase 'almost surely' that has been used here? I also have a problem with the 'monkey'. I'm not being able to visualize the kind of device for which the word 'monkey' has been used. Please explain these to me so that I too may appreciate the beauty of the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
    I don't understand the "almost surely" part either, because if given enough time, it will make whatever you want (I assume without capitols)

    Imagine a monkey given a keyboard, and it starts to hit the keyboard with its hands, randomly. So it just is a metaphor for something that randomly types the letters.
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  5. #5
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by nirmalya basu View Post
    This is not quite clear to me. What is the specific meaning of the phrase 'almost surely' that has been used here? I also have a problem with the 'monkey'. I'm not being able to visualize the kind of device for which the word 'monkey' has been used. Please explain these to me so that I too may appreciate the beauty of the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
    Almost surely as used here means with probability 1. This is not the same
    thing as is certain to occur, which is why we use weasel words that allow
    for the possibility that it won't occur.

    RonL
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  6. #6
    Super Member Rebesques's Avatar
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    the complete works of William Shakespeare

    I think something like this (or even the works of a lesser talent) would require the monkey to type for a very, very, very long time...
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    Super Member Aryth's Avatar
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    I read about this in a book once about how, if monkeys had unlimited time to pound a keyboards, then they would type "Hamlet" verbatim at least once. It was pretty interesting.
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