|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
only? Only!? Do you have any idea how big 2^128 is?
Which is bigger than the number of cups of water in all the oceans (6*10^21)
Perhaps a secondary check is in order, but I'd hardly use 'only' when talking about 2^128 hash buckets.
Let's assume perlmonks has 300,000 nodes (3*105 ) and has 3*1038 buckets in its hashing algorithm. The ratio of nodes/buckets is 3*105 : 3*1038 or 1 : 1033.
Now, consider this lottery where you pick six different numbers from 1-49. Get all six right and you win the jackpot. As the page above notes, the chances of winning with one ticket are:
1 : 13,983,816 ( (49*48*47*46*45*44)/(6*5*4*3*2*1) ) or about:
Lets buy one ticket a week for four weeks... odds of winning *all* four lotteries with our four tickets are: 1 : (107)4 or 1 : 1028 .
That *still* doesn't get you there... after winning your four lotteries, we'll take you to one of the new huge NFL stadiums being built, and you have to gamble all your winnings on picking a specific, randomly-chosen seat (1 : 105)
So the chances of my next post colliding with a node already in the database (1:1033 ) are about the same as you winning four lotteries on four tickets, then picking the single correct seat out of a gigantic stadium (1 : 1028*105)