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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Virtual Monkeys Rewriting of Shakespeare Nearly Complete

A computer programmer has created a few million virtual monkeys on a mission to rewrite the complete works of William Shakespeare by random thrashing on a keyboard, a project that is nearly completed.

Jesse Anderson, a computer programmer from Nevada, has created more than a million virtual monkeys that bash on keyboards creating gibberish. The gibberish is monitored by a computer program written by Anderson, which compares the characters typed by the monkeys to works from Shakespeare.

"Currently, the virtual monkeys have finished 99.99 percent of Shakespeare’s entire catalog since the project began on Aug. 21, which includes 5.5 trillion possible nine-letter combinations. The first completed work by the monkeys was “A Lover’s Complaint,” which has nearly 12,000 characters. According to Anderson, the project will proceed until every work Shakespeare has written is reproduced by the virtual primates."

Now someone might wonder what the purpose of this is.

One answer might be that is is fun. What is wrong with having fun? I think it's pretty interesting.

Of course there is that little creationist argument against evolution which often takes the form of 'a million monkeys typing on a million keyboards would not be able to write a Shakespeare play'... this is a little jab at another ridiculous claim by creationists.

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