= I =
Infinite-Monkey Theorem n.
"If you put an infinite
number of monkeys at typewriters, eventually one will bash out the
script for Hamlet." (One may also hypothesize 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
one-banana problem. This argument gets more respect since
Linux justified the bazaar mode of development.
This theorem was first popularized by the astronomer Sir Arthur
Eddington. It became part of the idiom of techies via the classic
SF 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". On 1 April 2000 the usage
acquired its own Internet standard, RFC2795 (Infinite Monkey
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.