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It’s random

January 2013: Accomplishing a complex task by mere chance creates seemingly endless possibilities.
bob_berman_2009
As observers, we assume random events created most of what we see in the universe. The cratering pattern in the Moon’s southern region appears as random as a jackal’s markings. And in the quantum world of the tiny, we only understand things probabilistically. This works splendidly. Yet “chance” is a fascinating process that’s often misunderstood.

A famous illustration of “probability” is the monkeys-and-typewriters thing. We’ve all heard it: Let a million monkeys type randomly on a million keyboards for a million years, and you’d get all the great works of literature. Is this true?

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