Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Meaning of Forty-Two

Ah... The Hitchhiker's series, a terrific line of comedy novels written by a literary genius, featuring such central themes as tea, Improbability,

Life, The Universe, Everything, and most importantly, Philosophy,

no, that last one is me being totally serious.

a major plot point in the novels is the Infinite Improbability Drive, this drive works on the observation that the more improbable something is,

the more likely it is to happen, and will function by simply working out exactly how improbable what you want is and giving it that number.

It does some crazy stuff, but makes more sense then it should.

in a similar vein, there is the Bistromathic Drive, which functions on another observation,
Numbers written on Restuarant Checks within Restuarants do not follow Mathematical Laws (I can confirm this one myself)
while we are not told exactly how this affects space travel, it does make the ship into a simulated italian bistro, for whatever reason.

while both are clearly absurd, the fact that they actually make sense is what makes this series so notable, nearly every absurdity in the

series makes similar sense, for example, you cannot change anything by traveling back in time, because the changes already occured,

you are just making sure they did. (similarly, time travel has always existed because it was sent back in time)

except one,

nearing the end of the first book, after quite a bit of insane hijinks, a group of hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings (mice, yes as in Jerry

from Tom and Jerry) build a giant super computer to find the meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

it takes a few million years, but the computer does get a result, with bated breath, the descendants of the original two rodent philosophers

are at the computers mainframe, ready to hear the Answer.

(heres a secret, the answer is Forty-Two)

naturally the mice are sort of mad that it makes no sense, they demand and explanation for this, the computer simply replies that the reason

they do not understand the Answer is because they do not know the specific details of The Question. so they build another supercomputer

to find the answer, which gets blown up five minutes before outputting the result. (there is a lot more to it, but this is the bare details)

The Question is never revealed in the series, however, 3 years later, I have figured it all out.

now, I'm no philosopher, much less a supercomputer, but here is what I have found.

The Question, when combined with the Answer, naturally would reveal the meaning of life, (in the series it is claimed that if both are known

that they would cancel each other out and remake the universe as something stranger) correct?

so what is the meaning of life? we can do some philosophy algebra here,

Q?= The Question
42 is naturally the answer,

so lets list some meanings of life

Q?+42=Love, nah doesn't work
Q?+42=Food nope,
Q?+42=Religion, no, more then 42 different religions
Q?+42=nothing, so Q? is negative Forty-Two? no.
Q?+42=Find your own.

......

......................................


BINGO!!!!!

The Meaning Of Life is to find your own place in it, YOU create your own meaning. Life is Itself Defined by your search for meaning!

Ergo, the Question is actually "How Many Times Has This Question Been Answered" when you know both, the answer goes up by one,

ergo they cancel out, The Search for The Meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything, IS The Meaning of Life, The Universe, and

Everything!

This makes too much sense, the above examples of "absurd but sensible" statements are just that, absurd, but this is actually true. I wish

Douglas Adams was still alive, he would get a kick out of this.

unless he knew it himself and took it to the grave.........

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