The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (great movie, may need a few viewings to make complete sense) a race of pan-dimensional hyper intelligent beings disguised as mice construct a supercomputer, Deep Thought, to calculate the answer to the Ultimate Question. After seven and a half million years of pondering, Deep Thought provides the answer: “42?.

Super intelligent being: “Forty-two!? Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million year’s work!??

Deep Thought: “I checked it very thoroughly and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem is that you’ve never actually know what the question is.?

A more powerful supercomputer, Earth, was then constructed to find the ultimate question, but the computer, mistaken for a planet, was destroyed by the Vorgons to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

But anyway, after scouring the net, ’42’ may not be that ill-contrived after all:

  • If you flip 42, you get something which resembles ‘2b’. So the meaning of life is ‘to be’
  • There are 42 letters in ‘answer to life the universe and everything’, including spaces
  • Google says so
  • There are 42 Laws of Cricket
  • 42 is 101010 in binary which is the * (asterix) as an ASCII character. In pattern-matching * is often used as a “wildcard” symbol that matches any string. This is ironic, since 42 is the answer to “life, the universe and everything
  • ‘Four’ and ‘Two’. Fortuitous?
  • Jesus was the 42nd generation from God’s convenant with Abraham
  • There were 42 little flag-shaped windows in the original Microsoft Windows Logo
  • Elvis died aged 42
  • There are 42 known Mersenne prime numbers
  • If you add up the numbers on a dice (1+2+3+4+5+6), you get 21. With two dice, you would get 42. That is, ‘two dice’ = ‘to die’
  • Two dice is a ‘pair of dice’ = ‘paradise’
  • It’s possible that Deep Thought made an error in his calculations, and the real answer is 43 which in hexadecimal is expressed as ‘2B’

Coincidence? Most likely. But still, what a good way to kill some time!

Some sources: Deep Thought, Wikipedia, BBC Guide: The Ultimate Answer

Have a nice day


One Response to The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

  1. Wayland says:

    Jimmy you are no less than a God of Procrastination. I must admit that stuff you came up with is really interesting. But then I guess if people look hard enough you could find those kind of meanings in a lot of things. Not to mention Douglas Adams’ genius. We’d better not find out the answer though, else our Universe might be destroyed…not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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