14 February 2011

How many monkeys does it take to write Illiad?

How many monkeys does it take to write Illiad ?

With apologies to Homer, it is said that if you put enough monkeys in front of typewriters, there is a probability that one of them would produce Illiad.

Before you discard this as pure lunacy , consider the possibility (in a mathematical , and a scientific sense) given a large number of monkeys (say million to power million) , how probalistically Illiad could be produced .

Now comes the second part , how probable is it that particular monkey who produced the first classic would go on to produce Odyssey ?

Once Illiad is done , our mind , which was hesitant of accepting the rare probability , accepts a rarer occurrence (of ape producing the second classic as well) with more certainty .

Now , let me draw your attention to many such things in everyday life , where we conclude that a rare occurrence would trigger another such occurrence . From random acts of kindness , to isolated incidents of devastations , from political history to financial market behaviors, don’t we draw patterns on random events and try to foretell future comings?

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