• MotoAsh@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    99
    arrow-down
    6
    ·
    edit-2
    1 month ago

    But Hamlet was written with intention.

    The point in the expression is to underline how critical coincidences are, and how correlation is not causation. It’s not that Hamlet is long and nigh impossible to “randomly” generate, but that at scale, seemingly impossible coincidences do actually happen.

    • Donkter@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      39
      ·
      1 month ago

      It’s kind of an outdated now too since it was a thought experiment and the monkeys were a stand-in for an abstract concept of a machine that creates an infinite amount of text. We have proof that even a finite number of randomly generated words will produce at least the first 1,312,000 characters of Shakespeare.

      https://libraryofbabel.info/

      • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        18
        ·
        edit-2
        1 month ago

        Wrll that’s exactly what I mean: The monkeys themselves have zero consciousness in the allegory. The ENTIRE POINT is they do not understand what they’re writing. They are standing in for chaos, and Hamlet is standing in for any meaningful structure arising from chaos.

        To add desire and intention to the allegory is SPECIFICALLY choosing to miss the entire point that the monkeys DO NOT know what they write, and that’s critical to them being an agent of chaos.

    • RadicalEagle@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      7
      ·
      1 month ago

      I don’t quite understand what you’re saying. You say “Hamlet was written with intention”, which in the case of that it was written by humans I agree with. But what about in the case of the monkeys?

      We know Hamlet can be written with intention, but do the monkeys with typewriters imply that it needs to be or not to be? That is my question.

      • PhlubbaDubba@lemm.ee
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        10
        ·
        1 month ago

        The infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters schtick is about random output.

        Basically the monkeys don’t intend to write anything, it just happens that stuff gets written whenever they get bored and hit a key to hear the funny pinging noise.

        They’re an inefficient random text generator and the thesis of the thought experiment is that even given completely random outputs enough time to observe makes any possible specific string output a certain part of the complete output string, no matter how silly or absurd or improbable.

        A randomized system will produce all results over infinite time. All results of a random text generation includes the complete works of Shakespeare.

        • kryptonianCodeMonkey@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          3
          ·
          1 month ago

          Right, the logic is this. First, out of 26 letters in both upper and lower cases, 10 Arabic numerals, whitespace and various common punctuation marks, there are dozens of symbols that can be typed at any time. Let’s call it a nice round number like 50.

          So when any of them has equal odds the likelihood that the next symbol you randomly type is any specific character, like the lowercase ‘g’, is 1 in 50. The liklihood that the letter after that is a lowercase ‘o’ is also 1 in 50. So the liklihood of both the ‘g’ and then the ‘o’ being pressed in succession to spell the work “go” is 1 in 50^2, i.e. 1 in 2,500. The liklihood of any specific 3, 4, and 5 characters would be 1 in 125,000, 1 in 6,250,000, and 1 in 312,500,000, respectively. As you can guess, to write a play like Hamlet with 130,000 letters in it, the odds would be astronomical. 1 in 50^130,000, to be specific.

          You can’t even comprehend how big a number 50^130,000 is. You can’t even conceive of something at that scale. When I say that that number is more than all of the nanoseconds since the big bang multiplied by the number of molecules in the observable universe, that is such an understatement that it is funny. That doesn’t actually even put a dent into how big that number is.

          So then the chances of writing Hamlet may feel, intuitively, like the odds are actually 0. Something with such unbelievably low odds simply cannot practically happen, right? But that is not the case and I can prove it. Imagine a random letter generator that puts out a random series of letters, numbers, whitespace and punctuation. Imagine it had to output a selection of 130,000 characters. What does the output look like in your head? Probably a random mess of gibberish, right? The odds are good of that, after all. But, wait. What are the odds that the SPECIFIC mess of gibberish, that specific set of letters, was selected? Well, obviously, it would be 1 in 50^130,000. The exact same odds as Hamlet. The thing that feels literally impossible. That exact string of meaningless nonsense and the masterpiece by Shakespeare have the exact same odds of happening, and one of them already did. If one can happen, so can the other.

          • funkless_eck@sh.itjust.works
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            1
            ·
            1 month ago

            I posted this in a different thread recently:

            =====

            it is to illustrate the vastness of infinity not the efficacy of monkeys

            assuming one infinite monkey:

            sonnet 18 has 592 characters- or a chance of 4.3x10^-848

            For scale - the universe is 1.3x10^10 years old.

            And the ^-848 was 14 lines, a onehundredth of a single percent of the complete works.

            However, it’s infinite monkeys, so the time it would take is effectively how every long it takes for one monkey to type that many lines. A few days? A week? In an infinite monkey cage it’s done at the first attempt: that’s the size of infinity.

            If you converted all the mass in the universe to energy, and all the time until it’s heat death and could combine them into one machine: probably not enough to clear Titus Andronicus.

      • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        6
        ·
        edit-2
        1 month ago

        The case of the monkeys is a hypothetical to highlight that seemingly impossible things, like a fully cogent and understandable stage play, resulting from effective chaos is not actually impossible despite any human concept of impossible.

        The monkeys with type writers are allegory for random. Adding intention makes it a decision, not a random event. The expression is not saying anything about decisions, but “form” rising from chaos.

        • RadicalEagle@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          3
          ·
          1 month ago

          I guess I don’t think I see how that contradicts the initial post, but maybe that’s just because I’m reading the post as saying the same thing as “leave enough hydrogen alone for long enough and eventually it starts thinking”

          • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            4
            ·
            edit-2
            1 month ago

            Well, it’s more that observing that the allegory is based in reality … is quite literally turning it on its head. Saying, “but it’s tru tho” is a thought-terminating statement that ignores the entire reason WHY it is a valid allegory.

            It is a valid allegory specifically because the monkeys didn’t intend to write a play. Shakespear wanted to write a play. The monkeys did not. It is a fundamental detail for the allegory to even work.

            • RadicalEagle@lemmy.world
              link
              fedilink
              English
              arrow-up
              2
              ·
              1 month ago

              Gotcha gotcha. In other words: us being monkeys generating random output is an unfalsifiable hypothesis, so saying “it’s true” is unscientific. Yes, it could be true if free will didn’t exist, but since that’s not something that can be proven we shouldn’t use it as the basis for how we view reality. Something like that?

              • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
                link
                fedilink
                English
                arrow-up
                1
                arrow-down
                1
                ·
                edit-2
                1 month ago

                I mean, yea that works if you want to continue to carry it in that direction, but my point is… The expression is not commenting on humans what so ever. It’s commenting on the the law of averages vs the law of large numbers. The probability is not zero, so eventually, even seemingly impossible things WILL occur, and that it’s NOT some mystic sign if something rare does happen.

    • trustnoone@lemmy.sdf.org
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      1 month ago

      Thanks for this, never actualy seen Hamlet so it’s interesting to hear thr actual of where its from.

    • feedmecontent@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      1
      ·
      1 month ago

      Yea but to offset that we set up the monkeys without typewriters and they gave us the typewriters, Hamlet, and the desire for both

    • fishos@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      6
      arrow-down
      11
      ·
      1 month ago

      You assume intention. Fallacy of free will. Whoever wrote it, you would claim had “intention”. But given enough humans just faffing about randomly, one will eventually think up and write down “Hamlet”. It’s the same, you just want to ascribe higher meaning to it because it’s human.

      • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        17
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        edit-2
        1 month ago

        You’re just describing the mechanics of a coincidence, which is exactly the entire point.

        I don’t assume intention with Hamlet. There WAS intent there. The entire fucking point of the expression is people add intention when there IS NOT any. By using a situation that DID have intent, it is quite literally missing the entire point.

        It is utterly stupid to try and twist a reality in to a different, incompatible hypothetical. Especially when reality is antithetical to the entire point.

        • fishos@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          3
          arrow-down
          6
          ·
          1 month ago

          If no free will, no intention. It’s that simple. In strict determinism, every action, thought, feeling, whatever, was predetermined at the moment of the big bang by the starting state and physics.

          I’m absolutely saying that all of humanities creations are “coincidence”. Just because you don’t like what I have to say doesn’t make me stupid. I know what I was describing.

          • JackGreenEarth@lemm.ee
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            7
            ·
            1 month ago

            Why does intention have to be a nondeterministic thing? Can’t people indent to do something, even if they were determined to intend to choose it?

          • MotoAsh@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            2
            ·
            edit-2
            1 month ago

            You’re reading the expression totally backwards. It says absolutely nothing about choice, but the illusion of coincidence. If anything, the point backs up a lack of choice and reinforces the point that humans are full of themselves…

          • Ech@lemm.ee
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            2
            ·
            1 month ago

            But given enough humans just faffing about randomly, one will eventually think up and write down “Hamlet”.

            In strict determinism, every action, thought, feeling, whatever, was predetermined at the moment of the big bang by the starting state and physics.

            Determinism and randomness cannot coexist.

      • StrongHorseWeakNeigh@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        6
        ·
        1 month ago

        The thing with humans as opposed to simpler primates randomly mashing keyboards for eternity is that we’re able to synthesize complex ideas related to our own experiences. That’s what the difference is. Hamlet is the culmination of and synthesization of the many experiences of humans and Shakespeare.

        • fishos@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          4
          arrow-down
          4
          ·
          1 month ago

          We think we are able to. Prove we aren’t just fancy biological computers. No one has proven what consciousness really even is yet.

          If the quote was “a million microbes”, maybe you’d have a point. But it’s monkeys. Our closest ancestors. What we are one step removed from. And y’all trying to act like monkeys are robots and were transcendent beings made of energy or some shit. We’re animals, just like them. Slightly smarter, but animals. We are the monkeys.

    • Ephera@lemmy.ml
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      9
      ·
      1 month ago

      I think, they mean across generations. Theoretically, infinite generations could follow, with therefore infinite new humans.

      Either way, it doesn’t actually need to be infinite, but rather just approaching infinity, to give high enough of a chance for a monkey to produce hamlet. Even just the 8 billion humans alive are already a pretty massive number of monkeys.

      • I<3HEATPUMPS@lemmy.one
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        3
        arrow-down
        1
        ·
        1 month ago

        But universe is is finite with finite ending. Humans will die out way before the heat death of the universe

        • oce 🐆@jlai.lu
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          4
          ·
          1 month ago

          But universe is is finite with finite ending.

          I don’t think there’s scientific consensus about that, is there?

          • I<3HEATPUMPS@lemmy.one
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            1
            arrow-down
            1
            ·
            1 month ago

            Finiteness of the universe is not certain, but inevitability of entropy is pretty sure.

  • onion@feddit.de
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    15
    ·
    edit-2
    1 month ago

    “Ford!” he said, "there’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they’ve worked out.

  • ObjectivityIncarnate@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    18
    arrow-down
    7
    ·
    edit-2
    1 month ago

    This is pretty dumb, the whole point of the monkey with typewriters thing is that they’re typing random characters, not knowing the language.

    • Poplar?@lemmy.worldOP
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      19
      arrow-down
      3
      ·
      1 month ago

      You’re right, but it isnt trying to actually argue that, its a joke.

      • ObjectivityIncarnate@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        3
        arrow-down
        17
        ·
        1 month ago

        I understand it’s a joke, but it’s a poorly-formed joke that exposes its writer not understanding the thing they’re riffing on, lol.

        Would be kind of like making a joke based on a stereotype of NBA players mostly being redheads, with no such stereotype existing, lol.

        • Poplar?@lemmy.worldOP
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          10
          arrow-down
          2
          ·
          1 month ago

          Jokes necessarily often leave behind details to work.

          Here the whole joke is pointing out similarities we see are forced.

          And besides, it’s obvious the author was intentionally being “wrong”, otherwise we’d be suggesting the author assumed the thought-experiment was monkeys who knew language, intentionally typing out great works. That’s a pretty useless situation to make up, it doesn’t suggest anything interesting.

        • pyre@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          1
          arrow-down
          1
          ·
          1 month ago

          you can take the redditor out of reddit, but you can’t take reddit out of the redditor.

    • ameancow@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      4
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      1 month ago

      The meta of the joke, as well as the philosophical idea that underpins it, is that the universe is based in probability and we are the result of those infinite dice rolls eventually making a human race that can think and be conscious and create Hamlet.

    • hark@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      arrow-down
      2
      ·
      1 month ago

      But what is random, really? Why did those monkeys smash the keys that they did?

  • Sotuanduso@lemm.ee
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    3
    ·
    1 month ago

    hjfhsi ibghrkbkjkab orulkjd obno pmykb gthskt a otjsnono wobfrtinoe Hamlet hbjnsthon vjbigl hjkkohs jwaklnesgk;]]]]]];

  • paddirn@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    3
    ·
    1 month ago

    So the experiment was a success then? What are we still doing here? Are we supposed to be writing Hamlet II: Electric Boogaloo? 2 Hamlet 2 Furious?