The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator
August 8, 2003 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Can monkeys really recreate Shakespeare? So far they've managed to get 6 letters from King John. Set your own monkeys at work, and see if they can do better!
posted by Orange Goblin (20 comments total)
Probably have better luck if they used Bush speeches.
posted by RavinDave at 5:15 AM on August 8, 2003

I think they're seriously handicapping themselves by not accounting for the additional size of the space bar. They'd get way better results if the simulation allowed space to come up more often.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:22 AM on August 8, 2003

I'm happy to do anything that has a bar that reads Monkey years elapsed.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:28 AM on August 8, 2003

This makes SETI@home look like a cakewalk. As it would take more than 10E+813 monkeys to have the probability of cranking out a single sonnet in 5 years, I think we'll be waiting a little while before we see more than a word or two. How many MefiMonkeys will join this promising project I wonder? Spacebars be damned!
posted by cbrody at 5:33 AM on August 8, 2003

" 'It was the best of times, it was the blorst?! of times?' Stupid monkey!" -M. Burns

I vow to keep this tab open and not sleep my ibook as long as it takes.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:46 AM on August 8, 2003


Can you spot the "All's Well That Ends Well" quote in my plagaristic monkey's spaz typing!
posted by kenaman at 5:51 AM on August 8, 2003

Infinite monkeys : Shakespeare :: MetaFilter : ???

I think I'll re-take my SATs.
posted by cbrody at 6:16 AM on August 8, 2003

Proletariat primates.
posted by ElvisJesus at 6:20 AM on August 8, 2003

great previous thread on this idea (not this site). I've actually been thinking more about this recently though... maybe I'll add a comment later. I haven't had my coffee yet and infinity is a little too much to address in a pre-caffeinated state.
posted by mdn at 6:24 AM on August 8, 2003

On the other hand maybe I'll just make some pancakes while I'm waiting for the first sentence. Should only take 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years, give or take billion or so.

posted by cbrody at 6:39 AM on August 8, 2003

To get those first 6 letters in King John right the odds were about one in 100 billion. So not a bad start virtual monkeys.
posted by dgaicun at 6:47 AM on August 8, 2003

Some monkeys just have too much time on their hands.
posted by Fofer at 7:06 AM on August 8, 2003

i heard an interview with a guy that worked with monkeys, if i remember it right it went something like this:

"so you work with monkeys. do they try to communicate with you and learn things?"
"no, thats chimpanzees, monkeys break things and smear shit all over the place"
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 7:56 AM on August 8, 2003

Were they the first six letters in King John? Or just six letters from the middle somewhere?
posted by scarabic at 8:29 AM on August 8, 2003

It seems they only match the beginnings of lines, so all the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 letter matches so far coincide with the character name at the beginning of a line. There would be more and longer matches if the match could be anywhere in the middle of lines.
posted by beagle at 8:41 AM on August 8, 2003

Metafilter: With enough monkeys, anything is possible.
posted by DaShiv at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2003

This is pure bliss. I could watch this for days. DAYS.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:53 AM on August 8, 2003

i agree that the space bar should be weighted more heavily, I also think they are weighting Shift combinations as evenly as any other keystroke, which I don't agree with.
posted by o2b at 11:41 AM on August 8, 2003

I agree with o2b, they should get some sample data by gathering some actual monkeys to calculate an accurate statistical model for each key and use that for generating random keystrokes.
posted by joquarky at 1:27 PM on August 8, 2003

Did anybody get this to work with Linux? Is there supposed to be a Java applet theretobe or not to be that is the question

Damn...what is the chance of *that* happening?
posted by salmacis at 2:33 PM on August 8, 2003

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