Me and Charlie were watching/listening to this Youtube video of some of Karl Pilkington’s stupidest moments last night, and when we got to the part about the infinite typewriting monkeys; Charlie decided to transmogrify into a female Karl and start saying how she didn’t think they could knock up the complete works of Shakespeare.
I decided to try and explain that as there are a finite number of characters used in a book, and therefore a finite number of combinations in which those characters can be placed; it’s a mathematical certainty that given an infinite number of monkeys, at least one would hit the correct combination to produce Shakespeare. Charlie responded with this:
“But what if he slips and lands on the ‘Z’?”
Once I had regained my breath and wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I decided to try a different tack and explained that it didn’t have to be infinite monkeys, but that it could be a single monkey with an infinite amount of time, and somewhere in there you would get the correct character combination. Charlie again responded:
“Aww, that poor monkey, he’d be really tired!”
When someone is pitying a hypothetically immortal monkey its definitely time to give up.