bgathen at usxchange.com
Tue Oct 5 12:03:55 CDT 1999
Actually, we never really mentioned the cultural basis for 42.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Trilogy (which now has five books in
it) by Douglas Adams, was a geek touchstone for pretty much the entire 80's.
In it, a computer called Deep Thought was built by a technologically
advanced race to answer the really tough questions of their times. They
wanted The Answer: "You know, the ultimate answer to life, the universe and
everything!" After the computer thought about it for an insanely long time
(millions of years? I forget), Deep Thought announced the answer was 42.
This pointed out the fact that nobody really understand what the "Ultimate
Question" was. Deep Thought designed an even larger computer, the size of a
planet, to calculate the details of the "Ultimate Question" and this
computer was called: the Earth. Unfortunately, five minutes before it
completed its calculations (after millions of years) it was destroyed by
Vogons to make room for an interstellar bypass, but sometimes that's how it
If this isn't bizarre enough for you, read the books: they're much crazier
(and funnier). Don't forget your towel.
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