Saturday March 23, 2013

Note: As has been noted before, there is an obscure derivation of Eddington's Law (the one about an infinite number of monkeys and the works of Shakespeare) positing that in an infinite universe, with an infinite number of points of view upon an infinite number of vistas, eventually you'll recreate all the great movie posters of the 20th century.

Tagon's comment may suggest a different derivation of Eddington -- perhaps lines of movie dialog are similarly ensured re-creation in an infinite universe -- but it is, in fact, just a reflection of the simpler principle of linguistic memeticism. Some words and phrases are like viruses, infecting host cultures in order to replicate themselves. Words like "infection" and "host" may be worrisome, but even the most heavily meme-infected tongues survive the process, proclaiming proudly that they're not dead yet, and would, in fact, like to go for a walk.

Book 14: Broken Wind
Part II