millionth monkey is owned and operated by Michael Huber, who has been an editor and staff writer at The Chicago Sun-Times, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and The Miami Herald. Michael also has extensive experience as an educator. He was a journalism professor at Florida International University and associate director of the Knight Foundation's Project for Writing in Journalism. He is co-author (with Kevin Hall) of the college textbook Words Into Flesh: How to Think Like a Writer. He holds B.A., M.A. and J.D. (magna cum laude) degrees. Michael is a licensed attorney and was a partner at a Miami law firm. He was executive editor of The Daily Business Review and editor-in-chief of The University of Miami Law Review.
Michael has won a number of awards for his writing and editing:
- Gerald Loeb Award Finalist, the top national award for financial writing, for investigative series on the corruption that led to the fall of General Development Corp. (1991). The Miami Herald nominated his series for a Pulitzer Prize.
- Florida Society of Newspaper Editors Awards, two first-place awards for coverage of L-1011 crash near Dallas (1985).
- Illinois Press Association Award, for coverage of DC-10 crash near O’Hare Airport (1979).
- Illinois Associated Press Editors Association Award, for investigative reporting on political abuses in the Illinois drivers-licensing system (1978).
- One of Michael’s newspaper pieces is anthologized in Periodismo y Creatividad, a widely used textbook for Spanish and Latin American writers.
View Michael’s curriculum vitae on LinkedIn.
View samples of Michael’s published writing here.
View Michael’s profile at the Editorial Freelancers Association.
View Michael’s profile at the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.
“Imagine a million monkeys randomly hitting typewriter keys and that, under the supervision of illiterate foremen, these monkey typists work hard ten hours a day with a million typewriters. The illiterate foremen gather the pages and bind them. And after a year, they would find that these volumes contain exact copies of books of all kinds and of all languages stored in the richest libraries in the world.”
— Émile Borel, “Mécanique Statistique et Irréversibilité,” J. Phys. 5e série, vol. 3, 1913 (excerpt trans. by M. Huber).
“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.”
— Douglas Adams. The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, London: Pan, 1979.
Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce prose the likes of Shakespeare. Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will
make a mess.
Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that primates left alone with a computer attacked the machine and failed to produce a single word.
“They pressed a lot of S’s,” researcher Mike Phillips said Friday. “Obviously, English isn't their first language.”
A group of faculty and students in the university’s media program left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they waited. At first, said Phillips, “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.”
“Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,” added Phillips.
— “Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare,” Associated Press, May 9, 2003.
Millions of virtual monkeys have almost typed out the entire works of Shakespeare by bashing random keys on simulated typewriters.
The virtual monkeys, created by an American programmer, have already typed up the whole of the poem “A Lover's Complaint” and are 99.99 percent of the way through the Bard's complete works.
The experiment attempts to prove the theory that an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of typewriters would eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare by chance.
Jesse Anderson, the programmer behind the project, said he was inspired by an episode of “The Simpsons,” which spoofs the famous problem.
Mr. Anderson set up millions of small computer programs, or virtual monkeys, using Amazon's SC2 cloud computing system, and programmed them to churn out random sequences of nine characters.
If the nine-letter sequence appears anywhere in one of Shakespeare's writings, it is matched against the relevant passage in a copy of the Bard's complete works, and is checked off the list.
The monkeys, which started typing on August 21, have already completed more than five trillion of the 5.5 trillion possible nine-letter combinations, but have so far only finished one whole work.
But the experiment is an imperfect reproduction of the infinite monkey theorem because it saves correct sections of text while discarding future wrong guesses, experts said.
Dr. Ian Steward, emeritus professor of mathematics at Warwick University, said that for the monkeys to type up the complete works of Shakespeare in the correct order without mistakes would take much longer than the age of the universe.
— “Monkeys at typewriters ‘close to reproducing Shakespeare,’” by Nick Collins, Science Correspondent, The (London) Telegraph, Sept. 26, 2011.
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