A sinister topic

Paul Andinach pandinac at tartarus.uwa.edu.au
Sun Apr 1 10:37:34 EDT 2001

On Sun, 1 Apr 2001, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> Paul wrote:

> > There's a short story I read once, where a statistician tells a
> > friend about the monkeys-randomly-typing-Hamlet thing and the
> > friend, in a fit of boredom, buys twenty monkeys and twenty
> > typewriters and sticks them in his basement to see what happens. 
> I've heard of this, but not read it. I'd be grateful for any details
> about who wrote it and where I could find it!

A web search suggests that the story is
"Inflexible Logic", by Russell Maloney, and that I read it in
_Fantasia Mathematica_, a collection edited by Clifton Fadiman.

That is to say that I remember reading the story in a large collection
of mathematical stories, and that _Fantasia Mathematica_ contains all
the stories I remember, including "Inflexible Logic", the plot
synopsis of which fits my memory of the story in question.

"Hold fast to the one noble thing."

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