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Archive for the ‘the mindbending properties of infinity’ Category

They say if one gives an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, one of them will eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare.

That all seems a bit of a rigmarole to me. The complete works of Shakespeare are readily available from the likes of Borders and Waterstones, after all.

It appears to me that there is a number of issues which would have to be resolved.

1) How would you feed them?
It seems irresponsible in a time of food shortages to waste an infinite amount of food on this folly.

2) Where would you keep them?
On the face of it, this seems a much easier problem to solve. You could keep them in one of those infinity pools. But you wouldn’t want them to drown. Monkeys, as you know, can’t swim.
So you’d have to empty the pool. But how long would that take?

3) How would you source them?
Frankly, I’m not sure which would be harder to get hold of these days – an infinite number of monkeys or an infinite number of typewriters. Manual typewriter production has been scaled down for years, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a typewriter ribbon.

Supposing you overcame these obstacles, what level of accuracy would be acceptable? I mean, it could be quite frustrating if you were expecting perfection. Imagine your dismay if a manuscript was finally delivered, and Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy made reference to “outrageous frotune.”

If you are hell-bent on going down this lavish path, I recommend that you restrict yourself to, say, a million monkeys with a million typewriters. You would probably be in for a longish wait, but nothing ventured…

In any case, I wish you luck.

In other news, my alter ego has set up a Facebook group, which you are more than welcome to join.

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