Let’s see… If a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters had a thousand years, could they reproduce Shakespeare?
Well, let’s look at a real word example, slightly skewed from the intent of the original saying.
The home computer is essentially a typewriter. Well, with pics of LOLcatz… So, let’s say a computer is only 1/4 as effective as a typewriter. (I mean, really, how much time at a computer do you spend doing work versus looking at dumb stuff on the Internet?) Maybe 1/4 is a bit high. Let’s go with 1/8.
A quick check of the Internet tells me that monkeys usually sleep more than humans, dependent on breed, from 11 to 18 hours a day, with chimps at about 9 hours a day. So, I don’t feel like factoring that in.
As of March, 2013, there were 1.11 billion unique Facebook users. Not connections, not logins, but users. Which overshoots our required 1,000 monkeys. Unless we consider how effective the computer is versus the typewriter, still not factoring in sleeping patterns. So, 1/8 of 1.11 billion is still… 138,750,000 (effective) users. Oh, still overshoots things a little.
If 1,000 users requires 1,000 years to perpetuate this story, then, (using my understanding of modern economics,) 1,000,000 users should be able to do the same work in 1 year, conversely 1 user would take 1,000,000 years.
So, how long would it take 138,750,000 users?
Ooh, look, a LOLcat picture!
Um… My math says about 31.5 seconds…
Well, I never was any good at math. And, on the bright side, the Internet has spawned things like NaNoWriMo, so I s’pose it works out.
Aw. LOLcatz are so cute.