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A Monkey Typing Shakespeare – The Odds

By Paperstone on March 14, 2011 in Computer Supplies, Keyboards, Office Machines & Supplies

Watch this video for a lesson in probability.

A genial professor asks, What are the odds that a monkey tapping away at a typewriter keyboard its whole life would type, “To be or not to be”?

”That is the question,” jokes the professor and we are told that a monkey typing three characters a second its entire life without any sleep would type in total 2.4 billion characters. Assuming random hitting of keys, the probability of the monkey typing the 18 character string, “to be or not to be,” in its lifetime is one in 20 million billion, or one in 2 x 1016.


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