An infinite number of monkeys, or Sesame Street brought to you by the letter ‘s’

Back in October, Eugene Volokh posted about logical flaws in the old cliche about an infinite number of monkeys eventually producing the works of Shakespeare.

Since the cliche relies on randomness of the monkeys typing, and since chimps don’t type randomly (even if we aren’t able to discern the patterns), they would never accomplish a play — let alone a sonnet.

This argument is now backed up by science, apparently.

According to a report from BBC News

    Lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth wanted to test the claim that an infinite number of monkeys given typewriters would create the works of The Bard.

    A single computer was placed in a monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo to monitor the literary output of six primates.


    But after a month, the Sulawesi crested macaques had only succeeded in partially destroying the machine, using it as a lavatory, and mostly typing the letter “s”.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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