One example that randomness can bring order is the theory that an infinite number of monkeys hitting keys at random on a keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

The odds of this happening are obviously infinitely small.

There have been a lot of authors more purposeful than monkeys pounding the keys and scratching thoughts out with their pens over the centuries, trying in a less than random way to write as well as Shakespeare.

Suppose the keyboard has 50 keys, and the word to be typed is ‘INTERNET’. Typing at random, the chance that the first letter typed is ‘i’ is 1/50, and the chance that the second letter typed is “n” is also 1/50, and so on, because these events are independent. Therefore, the chance of the first seven letters matching the word internet is: (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) × (1/50) ) × (1/50) × (1/50) = (1/50)7, less than one in 780 trillion.

So the difficulty, after hiring, feeding and providing bananas to the infinite number of monkeys, is the enormous amount of material that has to be reviewed to find any gems that actually make sense.

More sense than a seven letter word: “internet.”

Imagine looking through the stacks and stacks of paper that came spewing out of the infinite number of printers.  “Oh look, I think I have something here… woops, not really … it says “internnnnnnnenenafjoaiefaknhe.””

When I see the incredible proliferation of blog sites, I see the real life version of the infinite monkeys (me included) at work.

The infinite monkeys are loading up their internet with all kinds of opinion and information, some of it is even true.

What comes spewing out is a cacophony of sense and nonsense.

We are relying on Google and other search vehicles to sort it out for us; but the qualitative evaluation cannot keep up with the amount of babble spilling out. We need an infinite number of reviewers and then we have to trust that they know what they are reading too.

How does someone find the gems of truth and insight that might be out there.   Things like this blog?  (Well, you did find us, didn’t you.)  We are back trusting randomness or stumbledupon or our friend’s recommendations.  And who has the time to follow up on even the friends recommendations.

And with an infinite number of monkeys on the internet, blogging away on their keyboards, you are not as likely to find the profound truths you seek as you might think.

And you might find yourself reading “the meaning of life is gazortenflap!”

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