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Infinite Monkey Theorem

humour "If you put an infinite number of monkeys at

typewriters, eventually one will bash out the script for

Hamlet." (One may also hypothesise a small number of monkeys

and a very long period of time.) This theorem asserts nothing

about the intelligence of the one random monkey that

eventually comes up with the script (and note that the mob

will also type out all the possible *incorrect* versions of

Hamlet). It may be referred to semi-seriously when justifying

a brute force method; the implication is that, with enough

resources thrown at it, any technical challenge becomes a

This theorem was first popularised by the astronomer Sir

Arthur Eddington. It became part of the idiom through the

classic short story "Inflexible Logic" by Russell Maloney, and

many younger hackers know it through a reference in Douglas

Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".