Friday, 15 October 2010

Pointless Rage

Yesterday evening was pretty harrowing.  Not only did I have to sit through the dissection of one of my terrestrial cousins by a bunch of smug biologists (clearly in thrall to the International Leopard Conspiracy), including one who thought himself qualified to assert that being eaten by a squid would be way worse than a shark, but then I had to suffer through this:

OK, so it's just an advert, it doesn't have to make rigorous mathematical sense.  And yes, I like watching monkeys messing around as the next person.

Still, must I tolerate such despicable warping of my specialist subject? Give enough monkeys enough coffee machines and they'll create every cup of coffee imaginable.  And rather faster than they'll recreate Shakespeare, I would imagine, since they're clever and curious and will presumably soon become addicted to caffeine themselves.  Sure, a lot of their efforts won't even constitute a cup of liquid, just as most of their typed pages would be random gibberish.  Many of their cups of coffee will be entirely undrinkable, just as the monkeys are no more likely to rewrite As You Like It than they are to produce a copy of Littlejohn's Britain (though one imagines they might choose to tighten the prose here and there). But they'd get there in the end.

Unless Costa is arguing cottontop tamarins (or, as BT and I christened them, "Jimmy Saville monkeys") tend to like their coffee over-brewed, I suppose.  Or that the perfect cup of coffee cannot physically exist.  Which, I guess, is probably true, but unlikely to be what Costa is aiming for: "We can't make you the perfect coffee, but we'll make you a more or less acceptable one far faster than a troop of mandrills could".

In fact, I'm not even sure that's true. I'd suggest something even more humble: "Our staff are functionally indistinguishable from a baboon flange, but some of them look nicer, and they're trained not to fling their shit at you".

Actually, that's got me thinking.  If you gave an infinite number of Shakespeares an infinite number of bananas and tyre rings, would they eventually start throwing poo at each other?  ANSWER ME, SCIENCE!

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