Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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1'000 Monkeys Fortune Cookies

Adjgu, shjdlif fghsfr gfslhfrt!
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

Apart from the opportunity to steal porcelin chopstick rests, the highlight of a Chinese meal is the fortune cookie.

We sit and wait with anticipation, as if Confucius himself is writing them as we sip our strong Chinese tea. The cookie's arrive. We crack them open and pull out the fortune. 'You will read this allowed to your date'. Somehow, most fortunes are written by Confused, Confucius' lesser known younger cousin.

If a thousand Monkeys, working at a thousand typewriters for a thousand years can come up with Shakespeare, then surely they can come up with a few fortunes. And thus, the 1'000 Monkeys Fortune Cookie is born, providing gibberish to all but the thousandth customer.

tyskland, Nov 14 2002

(?) Not The Nine O'Clock News http://www.museum.t...nine/notthenine.htm
No transcripts, but it does quote po's snippet. [Nick@Nite, Oct 17 2004]

(?) Koko's CD debut http://www.wfmu.org...play;num=1036863813
Reuters item about gorilla recording artist who's written her own songs [snarfyguy, Oct 17 2004]

(?) Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare http://www.wired.co...,1284,58790,00.html
May 09 2003: Plymouth Univ. actually tried the monkey/typewriter experiment, with predictable results. [krelnik, Oct 17 2004]

BBC News: Virtual Monkeys Write 99.99% of Shakespear http://www.bbc.co.u...technology-15060310
To be fair, they are using a rather sneaky algorithm that means that any 9-character combination can be tested to see whether it forms a part of the shakespearian canon, rather than for the monkeys to generate the whole thing in sequence. Once identified, each sequence fills in a gap - which is cheating really. [zen_tom, Sep 26 2011]


       Actually, I think it was a million monkeys.
DrCurry, Nov 14 2002

       Yeah, but then they might form a union.
tyskland, Nov 14 2002

       My particular favorite at a Chinese restaurant is the chopsticks wrapper that says, verbatim, “Welcome to Chinese Restaurant please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glonous history and cultual.”
Isis, Nov 14 2002

       The new restaurant in town makes excellent glonous and cultual.
Amos Kito, Nov 14 2002

       Adjgu, shjdlif fghsfr gfslhfrt! ...in the bedroom.
phoenix, Nov 14 2002

       The fallacy to the whole thing is that monkeys do not type randomly, any more than we do. The keys are arranged in a certain order on the keyboard, and our fingers hover over certain spots. With monkeys, they will just pound the keyboard, producing bursts of letters from the pounded area. So certain combinations of letters will recur over and over again, and certain other ones will never come up at all.   

       So those monkeys will *never* write Shakespeare or anything else worth reading.
Nick@Nite, Nov 14 2002

       From The Simpsons:   

       The goons take Homer to Stately Burns Mansion, where... Monty shows ...A room with a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters. (``It was the best of times, it was blurst of times.'')
Jinbish, Nov 14 2002

       Could what the monkey's write possibly be anyworse? at least now sometimes they teach you a chinese word or phrase.
notme, Nov 14 2002

       The other fallacy about the 1000 monkeys theory is the distinguishing of good information from nonsense. Shakespeare might just as easily end up on the cutting-room floor as ascii-garbage.   

       If you put 1000 monkeys inside Schroedinger's box, would they discover custard?
RayfordSteele, Nov 14 2002

       The idea is that, given enough randomness, a certain amount of "order" will occur. Although it has its charms, the monkey analogy is not so great, as Nick@Nite correctly notes.   

       tyskland: If the highlight of your meal is a fortune cookie, you should try a different retaurant.
snarfyguy, Nov 14 2002

       As stated in the above idea, the highlight is the chance to steal porcelin chopstick rests.
tyskland, Nov 14 2002

       whimsy/bliss: you need to insert the http:// bit.
Nick@Nite, Nov 14 2002

       I like the modern version of this old saw, not sure who came up with it: "They say a million monkeys with a million typewriters, given enough time, would eventually come up with the works of Shakespeare. Now that we have AOL, we know empirically that this is not the case."
krelnik, Nov 14 2002

       acknowledge Smith and Jones (UK Comedy duo)   

       Trainer: "When we captured Gerald he was of course wild."
Gerald: "Wild? I was absolutely livid"

       can anyone can find the full transcript?
po, Nov 14 2002

       [po] <pedant> Not the Nine O' Clock News, actually </pedant>   

       [bliss] Excuse my dodgy linky - it's never happened to me before...
whimsickle, Nov 14 2002

       MONKEY! Vietnamese exhortation for luck, great fun to sit at a blackjack table with them, fearless gamblers.
ty6, Nov 14 2002

       [po] <pedant> Not the Nine O' Clock News, actually </pedant>   

       yes, find transcript - pendant alert <slaps whimsy> find transcript - big head - you knew the gorilla I meant </slaps whimsy>- pendant alert - find transcript, yes
po, Nov 14 2002

       Ooh, ah, ouch.   

       <Nurses slapping wounds> I did actually look for transcript, but 15 minutes on Google didn't reveal anything </Nurses slapping wounds>   

       [Rayford] Re: distinguishing good stuff from garbage. Shirley one could use some straightforward computer algorithms (even MS spelling and grammar check if you were desperate) to sift out the junk. With a nice big processor doing the monkeying and checking, this might even be bakeable... I wonder what we would get.
whimsickle, Nov 15 2002

       [po] <pedant> you mean "pedant", not "pendant" </pedant>
hippo, Nov 15 2002

       if I say pendent, I mean pendant. dangly things yay?
po, Nov 15 2002

       // given enough randomness, a certain amount of "order" will occur //   

       Of course. Chaos theory - even apparently random behaviour is ultimately deterministic. c.f. Mandelbrot Set. Oh dear, not that again ....   

       "If you give an infinite number of monkeys a login to the HalfBakery......"
8th of 7, Nov 15 2002

       [8th] wanna share my banana?
po, Nov 15 2002

       I have that gorilla interview on a vinyl disc - is worth digging out and typing up? 3 ayes and I will do it.
po, Nov 15 2002

       one thanks[waugs]. I regretted that the moment I typed it.
po, Nov 15 2002

       See link for article about Koko, the songwriting gorilla.
snarfyguy, Nov 15 2002

       I think it's more like: "Given enough time..." A million monkeys....   

       Well if you believe in evolution.... it took about 10 million years before a "monkey like ancestor" evolved into Shakespear.
JohnnyOla, Jun 06 2003

       Eventually, we would have shakespeare's entire worls written out in fortune cookies.
DesertFox, Jun 01 2004

       // If you put 1000 monkeys inside Schroedinger's box, would they discover custard? // is Schroedinger's box the one where they put a cat in a sealed box with some poison and some atoms,and if the atom collapses,it kills the cat?
andrew1, Apr 17 2005

       I just found it,schrodinger's cat,its an illustration of the principle that at a quantum level all events are governed by probabilities,at a quantum level and therefore all levels,though at any level higher than the subatomic the cumulative effect of these probabilities is, in the normal course of events, indistinguishable from the effect of hard and fast physical laws.not only are quantum level events governed by probabilities, but these probabilities aren't even resolved into actual events until they are measured.up until that point all possible courses of action are open to, say, an electron,coexist as probability waveforms.Nothing is decided.Until its measured.
andrew1, Apr 17 2005

       [andrew1] Please take the time to research spelling & punctuation while you are at it.
37PiecesOf Flair, May 03 2005

       //andrew1] Please take the time to research spelling & punctuation while you are at it//
andrew1, May 05 2005

       Um... yes.   

       What you posted seemed like a pretty good summary of quantum theory. It was obviously not plagiarised off some site, because the spelling is dire. Run it through a checker - it doesn't take long.   

       Quantum theory, while beyond my understanding, has always fascinated me. On the surface, it appears to give one carte blanche to break physical laws willy-nilly.
david_scothern, May 05 2005

       I was just about to put up some nonsense on the back of the trillion monkey typing theory, when I found this - won't bother now as your idea is better - I loved it. Giving you a whole loaf !
xenzag, Oct 09 2005

       hmm... 1000 monkeys working for 1000 years won't be nailing it every //*thousandth* customer//   

       but... does this idea involve the selective breeding of those monkeys that produce something resembling human language? if so, i would like to see the resulting population in the year 3011.
swimswim, Sep 26 2011

       Sp.: "1,000"
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011

       You could compile interpretations of the monkeys' output. Maybe call it the _Book of Changes_.
mouseposture, Sep 26 2011

       "A suffusion of yellow."
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 26 2011


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