Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Exercise In Randomness

A Random Walk Down Blog Street
Was in the lift with him yesterday. Any recent brand literature and concepts focus stronger than ever in the past on the design element of the brand building equation. I'd say this was a symptom of the panic that's gripping advertising now that more and more of the things we sell don't really exist. As my reward, a Nor'easter is dumping five to ten inches of snow on the mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor.

Food-wise, this place sweeps the floor with NIT Surathkal's gastronomic delights. I don't even know, I haven't looked in months. That Goodman’s playing style was in the forefront of Copland’s mind during the Concerto’s composition is everywhere evident, from the jazzy rhythms of the cadenza to the extensive use of the high register and the Rhapsody in Blue-like final glissando. The best part? It is foolish to pretend that one is fully recovered from a loss.

Still, the snow is gorgeous, isn't it?

What's Happening Here?
The other day someone posted on their Facebook page the fifth sentence from page 56 of a book they were reading. It was a random selection of text. Others were invited to do the same, and it was fun to pick up a few books and read a random sentence.

So I decided to visit random blogs and record the fifth sentence from each blog and write a story. Conclusions I drew from this exercise? Well, you can see that it's not Shakespeare. Which makes one wonder how a hundred monkeys on a hundred typewriters over a period of one million years would ever produce a Hamlet or even a Shakespeare sonnet.

This is the actual point of the Infinite Monkey Theorem. And I quote (from Wikipedia): The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

In this context, "almost surely" is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the "monkey" is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces a random sequence of letters ad infinitum. The theorem illustrates the perils of reasoning about infinity by imagining a vast but finite number, and vice versa. The probability of a monkey exactly typing a complete work such as Shakespeare's Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time of the order of the age of the universe is minuscule, but not zero.

That's just about what I concluded after fifteen minutes of looking at random sentences.

In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying your weekend. Maybe tomorrow we'll give our obligatorynod to the Super Bowl. Be well, friends, and have a good one.

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