## Can the Internet Write a Book in 1 Day? 138

An anonymous reader writes

*"A whole book will be created, from start to finish on March 21, 1999 (including the topics, all aspects of organization, etc). Claus Sørensen (Initiator of ELY) want to dramatically demonstrate what world-wide collaboration and the open source method is capable of."*
## SO WHAT???? (Score:1)

B) 1000 monkeys on 1000 computers can write a book in one day.

C) I'm going to be part of of this book writing thing and submit incorrect information that can't be researched for validity, such as autobiographic information on somebody who is dead but I knew the person well enough to have information that can't be found anywhere else. But instead I'll make up lies!

D) I'll sign up as an editor and add new mistakes by accident because I'm lazy.

## Trained monkeys... (Score:1)

## HERE IS MORE INFO ON THIS!!! (Score:1)

http://linuxtoday.com/stories/4124.html [linuxtoday.com]

## If a music cd can be created on the internet.. (Score:1)

## the Shaggy Dog story (Score:1)

The book would be appropriately titled "the Shaggy Dog story." Because, it would go on and on and on. Although, I don't doubt that thousands of people across the Internet could write a book length something, just look at all the crap

--

Proud member of SVLUG

## This will show it alright (Score:1)

Yeah, right. This will more likely show how silly a bunch of people can be. Open source is a nice idea, but these people are starting to sound like the legalize hemp crowd: "Open source will save the world!", "Did you know George Washington used open source? It's true!" It's a good idea, not the second coming.

I predict this thing will either blow over (I can't even get into the site), or it will be as successful as the Windows Refund Day. I can't wait to see where Obi Wan appears in this soon-to-be work of art.

## European Linux Yearbook (Score:1)

What's "the power of OpenSource" got to do with writing a book without coordination, idea and probably without meaning?

I am a Dane, and have found some pages describing their idea in danish (http://aalug.linux.dk/ELY/index.htm), here is a quote [my translation]: "We will attempt to compose a book, stating the status of Linux in Europe anno 1999. Since the idea is, that no plans should be made, we must each keep our idea's to ourselves".

There is no concrete idea or purpose stated anywhere.....

If we wish to give OpenSource a good name, we should stop yelling "OpenSource" every time we do something that's so bad that someone else has to fix it for us.

## the correct quote (Score:1)

I am curious to know where this infinite monkey thing first came about. Do you think it was Douglas Adams? Is that at all possible, or does it predate him and I'm just too illiterate to realize this because whenever I see infinite monkeys I'm reminded of that 'smashingly good script to Hamlet', which I suppose, is the least of their capabilities if they are truly infinite.

## Scalable Infinity (Score:1)

I was discussing this with some people the other day, the variations in infinities. There is a word that I can't recall that represents a multiple of infinities, but for example you can take a simple infinity like all the natural numbers (0,1,2,3,4,5..) and obviously by adding one each time you can go on forever. But between each jump in natural numbers (1 to 2, 2 to 3) there is an infinite number of real numbers. Hence the infinity of real numbers is in some way larger than that of natural numbers.

When dealing with probability though, you can look at an example like that in the movie Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead (highly recommended). One of the pair flips a coin hundreds of times, and every single time it comes up heads. Each instance can be taken as an individual probability of 50/50, so there's even odds it will come out heads or tails each time. The problem that occurs is that as you repeat, the probability for the same occurance every time drops dramatically, but there always exists the possibility that it will land heads. In the same way, there exists a possibility such that an infinite number of moneys typing on an infinite number of typewriters will all hit the exact same key over and over again. However it's highly unlikely. Of course, it's highly unlikely you'll ever get that many monkeys typing, and if you do, I'm not cleaning up after them.

|Devoid|.

## actually (Score:1)

## Quote (Score:1)

## That's the One... (Score:1)

## A thousand people to write book in one day? (Score:1)

## the correct quote (Score:1)

0.101001000100001000001000000100000001

Obviously that will never contain, say, the digits 42. Another example...if no monkey typed the letter "j", Romeo and Juliet would be unlikely to be produced. Obviously, one would almost certainly type it; however, I don't see any reason to think that it's required that Shakespeare's works be generated. Any particular finite string of characters could be absent from the output.

Daniel

## GNU/Book (Score:1)

## Hhmmm... (Score:1)

^D

## Rob--you should do this! (Score:1)

2) People here are good at making good and bad comments

3) Given the amount of participation, I think we could get one in 7 hours. That's when the more popular topics exceed a couple hundred posts.

The only problem is getting rid of the first comment posts, the "me too" posts, and all the dupes from people who don't read what other people wrote.

<tim><

## Even quicker if it were about... (Score:1)

## current record to build a home = 2.2hrs (Score:1)

Any doubts? I'm sure there are links to the housebuilding competition (in Calif. I think) where homebuilders plan out the complete construction of a home from the ground up, including landscaping, appliances, etc. The current record is 2:10 or thereabouts. They used about 300 skilled craftspeople working in parallel (ex: roof constructed at same time as walls, then placed by crane), and did a quality job, i.e. there are people who purchased and live in these homes. (It's been a few months since I saw the documentary film on it, so I might be a little off on the time, or the record might have been broken by now.) It really is amazing what you can do with a good plan combined with good people.

If, on the other hand, we're talking about creating a novel, I'd subscribe to the previous poster's comment about expecting a baby in a month by having 9 women become pregnant. Ain't gonna happen. That would be more in the realm of direct mindshare than a shared task. And if by some chance it did happen, I'd be frightened that the Borg walked among us.

## current record to build a home = 2.2hrs (Score:1)

Title Four hour house [videorecording]

Call Number TH4812

Other Title 4 hour house.

Publisher San Diego, Calif. : Image Dynamics, c1992.

Description 1 videocassette (25 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

Credits Producer, Bertrand Wilbur.

Two construction teams compete against each other for world

record in building a house. Illustrates the value of

teamwork, planning and communication, and includes the issue

of quality control.

Subject(s) House construction.

House construction Quality control.

Construction industry Quality control.

Quality control.

Wilbur, Bertrand.

Building Industry Association of San Diego County.

Image Dynamics.

order info: BIA, 1-800-746-0440

## the correct quote (Score:1)

To say nothing of the infinite amount of monkey poop they would generate... that could really be a problem.This has already been done. Witness NT source code. Now they just have to debug and demaggot it to get the right version.

## the correct quote (Score:1)

It's long been said that an infinite number of monkeys, pounding away at an infinite number of

typewriters, would eventually recreate the works of William Shakespeare. Thanks to the

Internet, we now know that this is not true.

~Brandzburg v. Hayes

Clearly he doesn't understand infinities. As soon as infinitely many monkeys typed one letter each on infinitely many typewriters, the resulting text would include *all* the works of Shakespere.

Infinity is big.

;-)

...richie

## Free math lesson (Score:1)

Read a bit about Set Theory especially Cantor's theory of the infinite. There is lots of good stuff there, very simple yet profound truths. Like one farmer can tell whether he has more sheep than another even if he can't count, (he can just match the sheep up one by one and who ever owns the left over sheep has the most). This same method can be used compare the sizes of sets. By doing this we find that some infinite sets (the real numbers) are larger than others (the integers)As I thought little more about it, my orginal comment about infinitely manu monkeys wasn't right. After all all the monkeys could type the letter "A" and the entire text would consist of an infinitely long sequence of "A"s. In any case the original point was about a finite number of monkeys banging randomly on a bunch of typewriters for a really long time.... Another way to consider this problem is to write a program that will generate every possible page of text by simply going through all the combinations of letters on a 80 columns by 100 lines page. There is only finitely many such pages, but they include all the written works that were produced or ever will be produced....## If a music cd can be created on the internet.. (Score:1)

## If the book was about Hate for Apple, /. could wri (Score:1)

administrated a setup of two Sun Server's with 80 NeXT stationsIt took :-)

eightyNeXT stations to administratetwoSun Servers???Not quite what you meant to say, I suspect.## Quote (Score:1)

There's plenty of monkeys out there.. just waiting for their chance at their very own version of 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

## If the book was about Hate for Apple, /. could wri (Score:1)

>it was about "Why I hate Apple, and you should

>too".

Certainly wouldn't take long at all.

Of course, it'd be one enormous factual error, but that's okay. There's a market for that.

- Darchmare-Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net## Apparently... (Score:1)

---

## Hhmmm... (Score:1)

## Hhmmm... (Score:1)

## or (Score:1)

winblows, windoze, winsloth, win....

slowlaris....

crapintosh, macintrash....

An entire book could be written using only the combined creative forces of 12 year old boys trying to make other OS's look bad by coming up with ULTRA clever parodies for their names. Keep up the good work.

## Forbidden (Score:1)

Wah wah wahh......

## Shutup! they run linux+apache (Score:1)

(which reminds me to go to the preferences section to add the "--\n" at the beginning of my

## Can hardly be a good book then. (Score:1)

## Obvious nonsense (Score:1)

## correction (Score:1)

Thankyou.

## *sigh*, rather long rant about infinity follows (Score:1)

Infinity is not a number, it's a mathematical concept.You started off so promisingly.

You can't actually get an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters together.Let's just stick to mathematics.

Your example about a nonterminating, nonrepeating decimal doesn't really apply with monkeys and typewriters.Actually the analogy fits very well.

In fact, since you didn't even type out your example number all the way, ....Ellipsis (...) is a mathematical notion. For example I may write 0.0101000100000001000000... to mean:

The limit as n tends to infinity of the sum 0.1^(2^i) where i is an element of the set of integers from 1 to n.

...Whatever the chance may be that a monkey will not press a given key, it approaches zero as the number of monkeys at work approaches infinityApproaches but never reaches zero. So no matter how many keys a monkey types there is always a non-zero probability that the monkey types just one key many times.

So, at infinity, which is attainable in a thought experiment...This is rubbish, or at least it is a sequence of words with no mathematical relevancy.

Instead of thinking about a monkey typing consider a sequency of digits, let d(i) denote the ith digit in the sequence. Let x be the limit as n tends to infinity* of the sum (0.1^i)*d(i) where i is an element of the set of integers from 1 to n.

Now x does not necessarily contain the sequence of digits 123 (for instance if x = 0.000... = 0),and in fact we can not be certain that it will contain any given sequence. By the same logic (or a weakened form of it as we have left our pristine mathematical environment) a monkey typing an infinite sequence of characters will not necessarily reproduce any work of Shakespeare.

*If you want a rigorous definition of what the statement the limit as n tends to infinity means visit your nearest library and pick up a book on Calculus that covers "Sequences and Series", any half decent university Calculus text book will cover this.

## Free math lesson (Score:1)

If any non-zero probability situation is repeated an infinite amount of times, the probability becomes one for that set.Your thinking is not rigorous enough. "repeated an infinite amount of times" has no mathematical meaning.

Follow my advice and read a bit about sequences and series. Understand what it means for a sequence to converge to a value (learn and understand the rigorous definition which is something like the sequence a(n) converges to x if for all epsilon > 0 there exists an N such that for all n > N, |a(n) - x| epsilon).

Try to find a text that explains how to construct the real numbers out of the integers (we take the set of all integer sequences that converge and partition it by placing sequences in the same partition if they converge to the same value, each partition defines one real number). (There is real beauty here, especially after dealing with these real numbers purely on the basis of (13) axioms that define their behaviour).

Read a bit about Set Theory especially Cantor's theory of the infinite. There is lots of good stuff there, very simple yet profound truths. Like one farmer can tell whether he has more sheep than another even if he can't count, (he can just match the sheep up one by one and who ever owns the left over sheep has the most). This same method can be used compare the sizes of sets. By doing this we find that some infinite sets (the real numbers) are larger than others (the integers).

Then you will understand infinity.

## Excellent! (Score:1)

## Consider yourself corrected (Score:1)

## the correct quote (Score:1)

## Mythical Man-Month legend (Score:1)

was written in an old book about the ibm os/360

project called the "Mythical Man Month" - if it

takes 60 programmers 6 months to write an os, it

will take 120 programmers only 6 months to write the same os.

BTW:

If 8 perl programmers take 8 days to write 8 programs, how long will it take 16 programmers to write 16 programs? ANS: 8 days.

Dr. Software Speaks [bell-labs.com]

## the Infinite Monkey Theorem disproved (Score:1)

## "Book In A Day" not a good example of OSS strength (Score:1)

This project should

notbe used as an example of the strengths of the open-source development model, since this book will likely be a poorly-organized and largely useless piece of trash.(Just like any OSS software written in 24 hours from scratch, I'd bet.)

Look how long it took Linux to get from the raw kernel Linus started to the OS that's stable and efficient enough to use today; look at how long it's taking for Mozilla to get something out the door.

The real strength of the open-source development model is that, if mistakes are made, there are a LOT more eyes to catch, correct, and distribute fixes for them.

Jay (=

## Can hardly be a good book then. (Score:1)

## Infinite # Monkeys! Where do we get the bananas? (Score:1)

How many volumes of Shakespeare will be written

that day?

## Mac VS NeXT (Score:1)

NOTthe same as a NeXT. At the operating system level, they cannot even be compared because the NeXTs are so much superior. Jeez...Mac's don't even use protected memory. Sure, the NeXTs ran on slow hardware, but i would rather use a NeXT than a Mac.Doviende

## You obviously have no short-term memory (Score:1)

## Microsoft took years (Score:1)

Windoze. . . what a crock of shit.

## Damn, I thought of that (Score:1)

Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity## Again with the monkeys Babble. (Score:1)

## Not even all 15 letter phrases (Score:1)

* 1M Years

* 4 (4 apendages per monkey)

* 100 words per minute

* 6 letters per word

*

-------------------------------

~ 1.2 X 10^21

26 distinct letters

^ 15 characters per phrase

-------------------------------

~ 1.6 X 10^21

That's not counting spaces, punctuation and numbers (forget about case sensitive)

Tekhne

## Dude, chill.... (Score:1)

~PanIc~

## the correct quote (Score:1)

It's long been said that an infinite number of monkeys, pounding away at an infinite number of typewriters, would eventually recreate the works of William Shakespeare. Thanks to the Internet, we now know that this is not true.~Brandzburg v. Hayes~

~PanIc~

## Bob Sucks (Score:1)

I am sure he have crack in that smoking pipe.

--

## the correct quote (Score:1)

Whoever came up with this quote didn't know a damn thing about set theory. What the hell is "an infinite number" anyway?

## It is still Forbidden (Score:1)

## Oh and BTW (Score:1)

## Dictionary is not an authority (Score:1)

> deeply offended if you referred to their holy

> scriptures as the "Mohammedan Bible".

I suppose you would be already dead ( about 5-10 seconds after you call those scriptures ( I think it is called Quaran, not sure of spelling though ) you will most probably find about a dozen ( or by the number of present muslims ) daggers in various parts of your body

## Actually, strength of massive distribution.. (Score:1)

A parallel distributed operation like this might be great for transcription of materials found in many disparate places, in pieces, or because of length, in portions, and collecting them. The problem with that model is that this data must somehow find it's way into people's hands, so if you wanted to transcribe every single article of the National Geographic into an electronic form in a day, which I'm sure can be done, it would require that each contributor have a relevant magazine beforehand. So if we held such an event at

The alternative of course is to create the material from scratch, which is what is suggested that this operation is attempting. However, there is a distinct lack of quality control if no one person has the oversight or ability to edit and rewrite the entire thing, since a story, factual or fictional, is a serial thing.

AS

## RFC 1925 (Score:1)

Paragraph 2, section 7a:

"Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't have all three)."

For the complete text of the RFC, see

http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfc1925

## Dictionary is not an authority (Score:1)

## Shutup! they run linux+apache (Score:1)

-------------- PASTE ------------------

zero@nagash:/home/zero > telnet ely.dkuug.dk 80

Trying 195.215.30.67...

Connected to set.dkuug.dk.

Escape character is '^]'.

GET / HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden

Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 21:01:27 GMT

Server: Apache/1.2.5 mod_perl/1.07

Connection: close

Content-Type: text/html

403 Forbidden

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /

on this server.

Connection closed by foreign host.

zero@nagash:/home/zero >

-------------- END PASTE ---------------

Warning! below you will see my signature

--

## Scalable Infinity (Score:1)

Actually there are multiple different *kinds* of infinities - an infinite number of them, in fact - some which are vaster than others. For example, there are an infinite number of powers of 2, but the number 3 is nowhere to be found in that infinite set.Actually I don't think it has been mathematically shown that there are an inifinite number of different types of infinity. However I'm not a set theoretician so I'm not sure on this point. I only know of two different types that commonly appear in mathematics, the countable inifinities and uncountable infinities. The example you give of the set of powers of 2 is equivalent to the set of rational numbers or integers even though it does not contain 3 or powers of 3.

## Yes, but how do you grep(1) to find it? (Score:1)

## HEY! Let's write an OS in one day! (I'm in...) (Score:1)

Then, we could give this kernel a name like "Harem-ess" to keep RMS happy...[And if it works, I propose we make a Micro$oft Week to rewrite every major apps they have so we can free the market...]

## If the book was about Hate for Apple, /. could wri (Score:1)

Linux has a LONG road to go still before it becomes a desktop standard ANYWHERE in business, Mac and (UGH) Windows have proven their ability on the desktop. Neither can do servers worth beans.

Now if someone can post the right URL I'm interested in this book...

## SO WHAT???? (Score:1)

## Scalable Infinity (Score:1)

I recommend Rudy Rucker's book "Infinity & The Mind" for a thorough and entertaining treatment of this subject.

## Can hardly be a good book then. (Score:1)

The goal is to produce a book in one day. Not finish one.

Like an applicaiton "A [book] is never finished, just abondoned." G. Lucas.

## See "Everything" (Score:1)

I agree, it would be interesting...

## Hey, you're right (Score:1)

From dictionary.com:

bible \Bi"ble\ (b[imac]"b'l), n. [F. bible, L. biblia, pl., fr. Gr. bibli`a, pl. of bibli`on, dim. of bi`blos, by`blos, book, prop.

Egyptian papyrus.] 1. A book. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

2. The Book by way of eminence, -- that is, the book which is made up of the writings accepted by Christians as of divine

origin and authority, whether such writings be in the original language, or translated; the Scriptures of the Old and New

Testaments; -- sometimes in a restricted sense, the Old Testament; as, King James's Bible; Douay Bible; Luther's Bible.

Also, the book which is made up of writings similarly accepted by the Jews; as, a rabbinical Bible.

3. A book containing the sacred writings belonging to any religion; as, the Koran is often called the Mohammedan Bible.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

## Trained monkeys... (Score:1)

greatlybenefit from continual debugging and rewriting, but OSS projects also have somebody who dictates the overall design and ensures quality.Oh please.

## European Linux Yearbook is back on track - NOT! (Score:1)

The requested item could not be loaded by the proxy.

Netscape Proxy is unable to locate the server: ely.dkuug.dk The server does not have a DNS entry.

Check the server name in the Location (URL) and try again.

## Shutup! they run linux+apache (Score:1)

2. That was his signature.

## the correct quote (Score:1)

## It predates Adams. (Score:1)

There was a funny story based on the monkey idea by R.A. Lafferty titled "Been a Long, Long Time". It was about a seraph who was punished with indecision by being given the responsibility of overseeing six monkeys typing randomly to produce the complete works of Shakespeare. To keep time, the seraph was given a clock, made from a cubic parsec of solid stone and a bird that would come to sharpen its beak every thousand years. If you want to read the story, it's published in the Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy.

## I think you're confused. (Score:1)

Your example about a nonterminating, nonrepeating decimal doesn't really apply with monkeys and typewriters. In fact, since you didn't even type out your example number all the way, I can't even be sure that it will never contain the digits 42. For all I can tell from what you show, the equation the number you give is based on could be: (some equation that generates a nonterminating, nonrepeating decimal with only the digits 0 and 1, with one more 0 being added between the ones each time) + 4.2*10^-56 or something else along those lines.

In any case, it's silly to say that the monkey and typewriter thing might not work because there might be some restriction on what the monkeys can type. Obviously there will be some chance that the monkeys will press any given key. Whatever the chance may be that a monkey will not press a given key, it approaches zero as the number of monkeys at work approaches infinity. So, at infinity, which is attainable in a thought experiment, there really is zero chance that a given character that can be typed will be typed. Also, whatever the chance that Shakespeares entire works will be produced, with an infinite number of monkeys, they will be produced. Sure, the ratio of gibberish to complete works will redefine enormous, but that's not the point. In fact, the revised editions, total rewrites, modern retellings, etc. will probably dwarf the complete works. Of course, you'll still have an infinite number of complete works.

## It's a thought experiment. (Score:1)

Even if you had enough monkeys and typewriters to have three hundred quadrillion to one odds that you'd get the complete works of Shakespeare, there's still a chance that you won't.

## One day internet book (Score:1)

## One day internet book (Score:1)

You can even print and publish it for free.

See more at ely.dkuug.dk [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY.

## Trained monkeys... (Score:1)

The URL is http://ely.dkuug.dk/ [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY

## European Linux Yearbook (Score:1)

The idea is that you only have the idea when you start. 24 hours later you have the product because of hundreds of peoples team work.

The project is an Open Content project where we release some text and other proof read it etc.

See more at ely.dkuug.dk [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY.

## It isnt about IF one can, its about WHY? (Score:1)

Here we show these ordinary people how powerful the Internet is if we do things together.

That's why.

See more at ely.dkuug.dk [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY.

## "Book In A Day" not a good example of OSS strength (Score:1)

Why do you think it becomes crappy?

Is it because you won't review it and give your feed back to make the book better?

Join the project - and see what you can do?

Thanks in advance.

See more at ely.dkuug.dk [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY.

## European Linux Yearbook is back on track (Score:1)

Join the project and show the World how we work in the Linux Community - in a way ordinary people understand.

See more at ely.dkuug.dk [dkuug.dk].

Claus Sørensen, Initiator of ELY.

## The rules of production (Score:1)

you can have it done right

you can have it done cheap

you can have it done fast

pick 2.

Now let's see, this is supposed to be fast and free. What's left?

## The rules of production (Score:1)

Welcome to MIT!

Friends

Work

Sleep

Choose two

## Vote on a word system (Score:1)

## Her heaving bosom (Score:1)

"Your bodice," heaved the Captain, "seems to be ripped."

"Oh take me, you fine specimen of a 90s stereotype of a desirable hunky member of an oppressive, male-dominated society!" she groaned. "I'll do anything you want!"

"

Paint my house," he snarled, his lips curled in a Billy-Idolesque sneer....Yeah, we can do this.

DT