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The Infinite Apple Monkey Theory

Monday, 5 February 2007 apple digg rant

Reading some of the tripe that splats out of the Apple section of Digg, I got thinking that somebody (unknown) is testing out the Infinite Monkey Theory.

Apple Monkeys

The theory states that through possibility a set of infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters could write any set text, the most common quoted: the complete works of William Shakespeare.

The quantity that Apple rumours come pouring out of the Apple section at Digg is just amazing. Moreover the rate they get promoted to the front page! Rumour-mongering for Apple is a major traffic-earner for sites like The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

The presentation of them is all disastrously similar too two of the most recent promoted (then buried) articles that spurred me into writing this entry were:

I think the formula for a rumour is the same: “Apple <to do something amazing|releasing something amazing|showing true underdog spirit by doing something>?” – the key part being the question mark.

I know Digg is not exclusively a social news website but how do stories like that get to the front page in the first place? Who are the people that are digging unsubstantial (and often nonsense-spam) into the common viewport?

Back to the theory: if the (seemingly) infinite hoards of Apple monkeys keep typing this crap, one day, if I hadn’t mentioned the theory, I would be eating my words about unsubstantial rumours. But because they keep banging away on their funny, little, borderless keyboards, they’re eventually going to strike gold… But if they carry on at the rate they are, we’re all going to drown in the inaccurate ones with sites like TUAW getting banned (from Diggg) along the way.

If I was running something like TUAW, I would tone down the hyperpredictions and write things a little more accurately, showing the ounce of journalistic talent that people seem to see in them.