“Inflexible Logic,” Russell Maloney, 1941

“Inflexible Logic,” Russell Maloney, 1941 — Mr. Bainbridge, a sober bachelor from Connecticut, visits New York. While there, he attends a cocktail party at which he hears the “old cliche of mathematicians” regarding the “six chimpanzees.”  According to the law of averages, six chimpanzees pounding on typewriter keys will eventually reproduce all the books in the British Museum.  Bainbridge can’t resist trying the experiment out for himself.  Chimpanzee A, known as Bill, quickly turns out Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, “word for word and comma for comma.”  He hurriedly phones Professor Mallard and confesses what he’s done. Bainbridge becomes increasingly unhinged by the accuracy and rapidity of the reproductions.

Comments: Read in Fantasia Mathematica.

Author: ISFDB entry


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, language/libraries, logic/reason, mathematics. Bookmark the permalink.

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