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Taber
04-10-2005, 03:23 PM
So I've read the Hitchhiker's series, and was curious what your thoughts were on what the big question was.

I'm sure this has been done before, but it wasn't on the first 2 pages of search, so I figure it's old enough to start again instead of necro-ing

I was unsure whether this is Great Debates or Cafe Society, so if this is wrong I apologize.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, the first theory would be the one explicitly stated in the book "What do you get if you multiply 6 by 9?" This of course does not multiply into 42, implying that the universe does not make sense, and provides a great anticlimax.

My personal theory is that the question is actually "What do you get if you multiply 6 by 7?" because, well, that multiplies to actually be 42. Why then did Dent get it wrong? Well, it is because the Golga-whoziwhatis (The ship full of telepone sanitizers and the like) landed on Earth, and killed the original inhabitants. Dent is the decendent of these telephone sanitizers, and Ford and Dent have a conversation that says that whatever result they get will be twisted by the Golgabarglegargle's right before they draw the letters of the scrabble board, suggesting that their 6X9 solution to be twisted.

Other theories include the one about 6X9 = 42 if you use base 13, which Douglas Adams himself has rejected "I'm not sad enough to make jokes about base 13," and one about it being "Pick a number," because Martin, who knows the question from reading Dent's brain waves, at one point asks a mattress to pick a number, and when the mattress answers 5, Martin claims that the mattress is wrong.

What do you think? Are there more theories floating around?

Bryan Ekers
04-10-2005, 03:37 PM
Frankly, the entire series is one big anticlimax, with the point being that the universe doesn't make sense, will never make much sense and it's downright senseless to expect it'll make much sense. The only patterns of order we can expect are the purely arbitrary systems of beaurocracy and ritual imposed by ourselves on ourselves.

MEBuckner
04-10-2005, 04:56 PM
Moderator's Note: Since this really isn't about the meaning of life so much as it is about a series of books, I think it belongs in Cafe Society.

04-10-2005, 05:18 PM
The truth telling guy - I can't remember his name - says that the question and the answer are mutually exclusive as well, they can never both be known in the same universe.

So does that mean there is even a question for the answer? Thinking about if, had the makers of Deep Thought worded their question correctly, and asked What is the Question to the matter of Life, The Universe and Everything, I am sure some sort of unanswerable question would have resulted.

Giles
04-10-2005, 05:26 PM
If, indeed, the question is, "What is 6 times 9?", then either:

(1) There is a bug in the program, so that for some reason it can't do simple arithmetic. (And presumably can't do more complex stuff, like finding the Ultimate Question, i.e., the Earth was doomed, not because of the Vogon Planning Department, but because of a programmer's error.)

(2) The computer is working in base-13 arithmetic, where 6 times 9 really is 42.

I'm sure there's a better answer, but it will take me several millenia to calculate it on a much better computer than the one I have now.

ultrafilter
04-10-2005, 09:13 PM
The Earth was destroyed *five minutes* before coming up with the question. For a planet-sized computer, that's an eternity.

Personally, I like to think that the ultimate question really is "What do you get when you multiply 6 by 7?". It would fit in very well with the flavor of the books.

WhyNot
04-10-2005, 10:05 PM
There's also, of course, the Alice in Wonderland Theory, which points out that the King of Hearts invokes rule 42 to try an have Alice thrown out of court.

Rule 42 being, "All persons more than a mile high must leave the court."

DNA was reportedly a big Lewis Carroll fan. Make of that what you will. :dubious:

pope_hentai
04-11-2005, 01:55 AM
well if i remember right arthur would have been wrong simply because he was descended from the golgafrinchams and not the cavemen that were originally a part of the earth-supercomputers programming. as for the 42 question... it cant be know what the answer and question are in the same univers or the whole thing would collapse and be replaced by something even more confusing.

Teelo
04-11-2005, 02:03 AM
... at one point asks a mattress to pick a number, and when the mattress answers 5, Martin claims that the mattress is wrong...

Good times. :)

HPL
04-11-2005, 02:07 AM
well if i remember right arthur would have been wrong simply because he was descended from the golgafrinchams and not the cavemen that were originally a part of the earth-supercomputers programming. as for the 42 question... it cant be know what the answer and question are in the same univers or the whole thing would collapse and be replaced by something even more confusing.

Was he? I could have sworn somewhere that there was something about the residents of the 3rd ship dying off and the cavemen outliving them.

Maybe I imagined it.

Marley23
04-11-2005, 02:16 AM
People, this thing wasn't intended to be a brain teaser. The Question was "What do you get if you multiply six times nine?" and the answer is 42. It doesn't work, you're left to think, because the universe, fundamentally, is just off. By 12. In the universe of Hitchhiker's, you can't just puzzle your way into the whole thing making sense, like saying "Oh, it's base 13." If the answer isn't wrong, the joke doesn't work, and it'd be totally out of keeping for the Ultimate Question and Answer in that universe to be deep, satisfying, correct, or even comprehensible because that universe is none of those things.

AmbushBug
04-11-2005, 02:20 AM
And don't forget that Arthur and company were in Earth's past with the "bloody useless" Golgafrinchams, thousands of years before the Question to the Answer was due to be determined by the Earth-as-computer. So one of two possibilities occurs to me:

The "what is six times nine" scrabble-bag question is an Earth-computer expression of a "working hypothesis", or

Arthur's involvement with the process allowed the Earth-computer to utilize him as the resource to finish the Question, being that he was on Earth right before the Question was due, and he may have somehow been in subliminal possession of the nearest-to-final calculations. I like this one, because if we will recall, the mice wished to puree and analyze his brain because they thought much the same thing.

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 03:11 AM
The truth telling guy - I can't remember his name - says that the question and the answer are mutually exclusive as well, they can never both be known in the same universe. His name was Prak...and he laughed himself to death.

From the introduction to The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe:
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another which states that this has already happened.

Adams has (or rather had) stated that he picked the number 42 completely out of the air, in desparation to meet one of those wooshing deadlines he so loved to ignore. Ulterior justifications, such as a solution in base 13, or something to do with monks, et cetera are entirely incidental and just another one of those random, bizarre things that life continues to throw out, like a whale and bowl of petunias suddenly appearing twenty miles above the surface of a planet.*

Sorry about that. We apologize for the inconvenience.

So long, and thanks...

Stranger

Oh no, not again.

Peter Morris
04-11-2005, 04:39 AM
The question is about how to make people happy without moving small green bits of paper, or nailing anyone to anything. This is stated on page one, folks.

WhyNot
04-11-2005, 07:31 AM
The question is about how to make people happy without moving small green bits of paper, or nailing anyone to anything. This is stated on page one, folks.
No, no, no. That was what "a young girl [we later find out it's Fenchurch] sitting in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized. It was right, it would work, and this time no one would get nailed to anything." It had nothing to do with The Question, it was God's Last Message To His Creation. Which, Fenchurch and Marvin eventually find burning in letters of fire, in the middle of a desert tourist trap (in one of the more maudlin scenes in the series) is:

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Quotes from memory of the Simon Moore audiotapes I listened to incessantly as a kid, not referencing the books, so don't quote me on 'em.

chrisk
04-11-2005, 07:31 AM
The Earth was destroyed *five minutes* before coming up with the question. For a planet-sized computer, that's an eternity.

I thought that too. The thing is, though... if it didn't actually deliver the question, then what the heck was it Fenchurch got?? The feeling she described of 'being connected up to everything' for days leading up to that final mysterious revelation doesn't sound like it can be coincidental.

There's also, of course, the Alice in Wonderland Theory, which points out that the King of Hearts invokes rule 42 to try an have Alice thrown out of court.

Rule 42 being, "All persons more than a mile high must leave the court."

DNA was reportedly a big Lewis Carroll fan. Make of that what you will.

Iiinteresting!! And douglas was, by all accounts, a very tall person himself!! (When his class went on a school trip, they were told to "meet under Adams." :D )

Arwin
04-11-2005, 08:01 AM
And don't forget that Arthur and company were in Earth's past with the "bloody useless" Golgafrinchams, thousands of years before the Question to the Answer was due to be determined by the Earth-as-computer. So one of two possibilities occurs to me:

The "what is six times nine" scrabble-bag question is an Earth-computer expression of a "working hypothesis", or

Arthur's involvement with the process allowed the Earth-computer to utilize him as the resource to finish the Question, being that he was on Earth right before the Question was due, and he may have somehow been in subliminal possession of the nearest-to-final calculations. I like this one, because if we will recall, the mice wished to puree and analyze his brain because they thought much the same thing.

It's been a long while since I read the Hitchhiker's Guide, but about 42 I remember the original question being put in the book - what is the meaning of life - and it couldn't be answered by the first computer, but the first computer ultimately came up with that he could build a computer that could build a computer that would be able to come up with the answer, which was then, some generations on, 42. The people were going 'wtf' and the computer then said, well are you sure you understood the question? I thought it was awesome. But now I'm wondering if it's all in my head. :D

Probably the whole deal showed up elsewhere in one of the other parts that I've forgotten about.

WhyNot
04-11-2005, 08:08 AM
It's been a long while since I read the Hitchhiker's Guide, but about 42 I remember the original question being put in the book - what is the meaning of life - and it couldn't be answered by the first computer, but the first computer ultimately came up with that he could build a computer that could build a computer that would be able to come up with the answer, which was then, some generations on, 42. The people were going 'wtf' and the computer then said, well are you sure you understood the question? I thought it was awesome. But now I'm wondering if it's all in my head. :D

Probably the whole deal showed up elsewhere in one of the other parts that I've forgotten about.
Close. They told the computer, "We want you to tell us: The ANSWER!" To which the computer inquired, "The answer to what?" They hesitantly reply, "Well, you know...the answer...to life, the universe and...everything!"

Pretty vague. If they had been a little more specific, like asking for the meaning of life, they might have gotten a useful answer. As it is, we'll have to argue about it some more. :D

Electronic Chaos
04-11-2005, 08:15 AM
It's been a long while since I read the Hitchhiker's Guide, but about 42 I remember the original question being put in the book - what is the meaning of life - and it couldn't be answered by the first computer, but the first computer ultimately came up with that he could build a computer that could build a computer that would be able to come up with the answer, which was then, some generations on, 42. The people were going 'wtf' and the computer then said, well are you sure you understood the question? I thought it was awesome. But now I'm wondering if it's all in my head. :D

Probably the whole deal showed up elsewhere in one of the other parts that I've forgotten about.

You got it sort of right. Just a bit muddled.

Scientists built a big computer to which they could propose the Ultimate Question: "What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?" The big computer (Deep Thought) says okay, but this is going to take awhile. Eons or so later, the computer is ready with the answer. Okay, they say, give it to us.

"Forty-two."

They're all befuddled, and ask what kind of answer that is. The problem was that it was only the answer. What they needed was the question (Much like Jeopardy yay!). So Deep Thought proposes they build an even bigger computer to which they can propose the Ultimate Answer to, to find out the question. That planet, it so happens, was Earth.

av8rmike
04-11-2005, 08:15 AM
His name was Prak...and he laughed himself to death.
IIRC, Prak died tesily because he was trying to give Arthur the location of God's Final Message to His Creation, but Arthur couldn't remember it.

Cliffy
04-11-2005, 08:21 AM
Was he? I could have sworn somewhere that there was something about the residents of the 3rd ship dying off and the cavemen outliving them.

Maybe I imagined it.

Backwards -- by the end of Restaurant the cavemen are all disappearing, and IIRC one of them goes off to die after Arthur fails to teach him Scrabble.

--Cliffy

ISiddiqui
04-11-2005, 10:35 AM
Yes, and that is why Arthur is saddened. Because he realizes that the Golgafrinchims will become future humans, and thus explains the stupidity of the human race, him included.

Oh, and I agree with the person who said it isn't supposed to make sense. That's the joke, people!

Whack-a-Mole
04-11-2005, 10:51 AM
Adams has (or rather had) stated that he picked the number 42 completely out of the air, in desparation to meet one of those wooshing deadlines he so loved to ignore. Ulterior justifications, such as a solution in base 13, or something to do with monks, et cetera are entirely incidental and just another one of those random, bizarre things that life continues to throw out, like a whale and bowl of petunias suddenly appearing twenty miles above the surface of a planet.*

I'll second that. I saw Douglas Adams at a talk/book signing and someone in the crowd asked him about how he came up with "42". He responded that he has been amazed at the effort people have put into the deeper meanings behind the number (ala base-13). The reality of it he told us was that he was writing, needed something to put in for the "Answer", paused, looked out his window and decided "42" sounded good a few seconds later. As others have said "42" being meaningless is the joke (at least plugged together with the proper question)...looking for actual meaning in it defeats the sense the book was trying to convey.

I also recall Adams talking about a possible movie being made from the books. At the time (geez...10+ years ago...perhaps more) he said he was in the process of selling the rights and was in a meeting with a movie company exec. The exec supposedly told him something like the following (I may have it wrong but this is the sense of it)...

"We think the book is interesting and people will enjoy it but there is one issue we have. This whole search for the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is fine but we think the audience will feel ripped off to learn the Answer is 42."

Adams said he was seriously worried for the future of the movie at that point.

Marley23
04-11-2005, 10:55 AM
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Well, I feel good about it.

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 11:10 AM
IIRC, Prak died tesily because he was trying to give Arthur the location of God's Final Message to His Creation, but Arthur couldn't remember it.

Prak was quiet. For days they had lived with constant manical laughter ringing round the ship, only occasionally relieved by short periods of light giggling and sleep. Arthur's very soul was clenched with paranoia.

This was not the silence of sleep. A buzzer sounded. A glance at a board told them that the buzzer had been sounded by Prak.

"He's not well," said Trillian quietly. "The constant laughing is completely wrecking his body."

...

"There is one other thing I can remember from the truth drug. Apart from the frogs, and that is God's last message to his creation. Would you like to hear it?"

For a moment they didn't know whether to take him seriously.

"'Strue," he said. "For real. I mean it."

His chest heaved weakly and he struggled for breath. His head lolled slightly.

"I wasn't very impressed with it when I first knew what it was," he said, "but now I think back to how impressed I was by the Prince's Reason, and how soon afterwards I couldn't recall it at all, I think it might be a lot more helpful. Would you like to know what it is? Would you?"

They nodded dumbly.

"I bet you would. If you're that interested I suggest you go and look for it. It is written in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the sun Zarss in Galactic Sector QQ7 Active J Gamma. It is guarded by the
Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob."

There was a long silence following this announcement, which was finally broken by Arthur. "Sorry, it's where?" he said.

"It is written," repeated Prak, "in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the ..."

"Sorry," said Arthur again, "which mountains?"

"The Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet ..."

"Which land was that? I didn't quite catch it."

"Sevorbeupstry, on the planet ..."

"Sevorbe-what?"

"Oh, for heaven's sake," said Prak and died testily.So, yeah, he died testily, but from the laughter (all the bits about frogs, I guess), not due to Arthur's insufficiency.

I liked the story of Reason, which Prak related before he died, but it's rather too long to quote here. It puts so much of human behavior in perspective.

Stranger

friedo
04-11-2005, 11:33 AM
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, the first theory would be the one explicitly stated in the book "What do you get if you multiply 6 by 9?" This of course does not multiply into 42, implying that the universe does not make sense, and provides a great anticlimax.

#include <stdio.h>

#define SIX 1 + 5
#define NINE 8 + 1

int main() {
printf("six times nine = %d\n", SIX * NINE);
}

Works for me.

ultrafilter
04-11-2005, 11:37 AM
#include <stdio.h>

#define SIX 1 + 5
#define NINE 8 + 1

int main() {
printf("six times nine = %d\n", SIX * NINE);
}

Works for me.

That line should be printf("%d times %d = %d\n", SIX, NINE, SIX * NINE);.

Taber
04-11-2005, 11:48 AM
People, this thing wasn't intended to be a brain teaser. The Question was "What do you get if you multiply six times nine?" and the answer is 42. It doesn't work, you're left to think, because the universe, fundamentally, is just off. By 12. In the universe of Hitchhiker's, you can't just puzzle your way into the whole thing making sense, like saying "Oh, it's base 13." If the answer isn't wrong, the joke doesn't work, and it'd be totally out of keeping for the Ultimate Question and Answer in that universe to be deep, satisfying, correct, or even comprehensible because that universe is none of those things.

Well, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun arguing about it does it?

And I would argue that the joke would be how inconsequential the question is, compared the Life, the Universe, and everything, rather than that the question doesn't mathematically work. I mean, Douglas Adams seriously implies that the scrabble bag answer isn't the actual question, due to interferences with the Earth. What do you get if you multiply 6 by 7? is just about as anticlimactic anyway.

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 11:53 AM
#include <stdio.h>

#define SIX 1 + 5
#define NINE 8 + 1

int main() {
printf("six times nine = %d\n", SIX * NINE);
}

Works for me.Those little coding oversights will get you every time.

:D

av8rmike
04-11-2005, 01:28 PM
So, yeah, he died testily, but from the laughter (all the bits about frogs, I guess), not due to Arthur's insufficiency.

I liked the story of Reason, which Prak related before he died, but it's rather too long to quote here. It puts so much of human behavior in perspective.
Oh, sorry, I didn't my copy of the book with me to work, just in case I might need to quote entire paragraphs to prove someone else wrong.. :rolleyes:

But yeah, the story of The Reason. It comes to mind every time I'm in some kind of discussion with people who want to know The Reason behind something. You go to look something up, and by the time you find it, you don't remember why you were looking it up, and you don't remember it by the next time the subject comes up. That's my job to a 'T'. :)

RTFirefly
04-11-2005, 01:51 PM
I'm going with what the mice went with:

"How many roads must a man walk down?"

Yes, I know the mice borrowed that particular question just to have something intriguing and nonspecific enough to go on the talk-show circuit with. Fair's fair, though - that question was after all a byproduct of their planetary computer's computation.

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 01:53 PM
Oh, sorry, I didn't my copy of the book with me to work, just in case I might need to quote entire paragraphs to prove someone else wrong.. :rolleyes:
Well, I can quote whole passages from memory*, but you can actually find the text of all the Hitchhiker's novels online. (Not sure that it's legal, copywrite wise, so I'm not going to post the url, but you can search for it.)

Stranger

* Yeah, I know. :rolleyes:

FordPrefect
04-11-2005, 03:05 PM
Was he? I could have sworn somewhere that there was something about the residents of the 3rd ship dying off and the cavemen outliving them.

Maybe I imagined it.

They're not cavemen.

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 03:23 PM
They're not cavemen.
They look like cavemen.

:D

Stranger

FordPrefect
04-11-2005, 03:35 PM
They look like cavemen.

:D

Stranger

:)

Given my username, that was a setup I could not refuse

Marley23
04-11-2005, 04:00 PM
Well, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun arguing about it does it?
Far as I know.
What do you get if you multiply 6 by 7? is just about as anticlimactic anyway.
Yeah, but it's not as funny if the math is right.

iamthewalrus(:3=
04-11-2005, 04:02 PM
My take was always that the whole:
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another which states that this has already happened.relates to Fenchurch, and that her discovery of the question bifurcated the universe into two possibilities: one that was even more bizarre and inexplicable, and one in which she was destroyed along with the answer to maintain that universal constant. That's why there is one universe in which the earth was destroyed, and plenty of others, it seems, where it exists (sometimes with dreary thigh-biting creatures).

Marley23
04-11-2005, 04:03 PM
But what Fenchurch discovers isn't even a question. It's just a statement that would make everybody feel better about things.

FordPrefect
04-11-2005, 04:09 PM
My take was always that the whole:
relates to Fenchurch, and that her discovery of the question bifurcated the universe into two possibilities: one that was even more bizarre and inexplicable, and one in which she was destroyed along with the answer to maintain that universal constant. That's why there is one universe in which the earth was destroyed, and plenty of others, it seems, where it exists (sometimes with dreary thigh-biting creatures).
The multi-universe deal didn't have anything to do with Fenchurch. I can't recall right now why there were multiple universes, but I am pretty sure the Vogons were involved.

The thigh-biting creatures, "It was probably trying to say 'Hello'" and "Fuck the ducks." were the only two parts I found amusing in that book. "Fuck the ducks" had me laughing for days though :)

Stranger On A Train
04-11-2005, 04:11 PM
That's why there is one universe in which the earth was destroyed, and plenty of others, it seems, where it exists (sometimes with dreary thigh-biting creatures).You must be referring to that book that Adams started on but never published. Something to do with a Guide Mk II and multiple universes...sounds awful. I'm glad he never went anywhere with that. It was an evolutionary dead end. So to speak.

I do wish he'd managed more Dirk Gently novels, though.

Stranger

Marley23
04-11-2005, 05:21 PM
You must be referring to that book that Adams started on but never published. Something to do with a Guide Mk II and multiple universes...sounds awful.
You must be referring to that proposed form of humor where posters would talk about things they didn't like indirectly, as if they were pretending it never happened. I'm glad everybody decided not to post like that, because I bet it would get old.

;)

Duggy Fizzle
04-12-2005, 01:20 PM
The cavemen are Arthur's ancestors because the caveman pulls the answer "42" from the bag of Scrabble tiles, thus prompting Arthur to pull tiles to see if he subconsciously knows the question. Its interesting to note that when Arthur pulls the tiles to form the question he uses every last tile in the bag. Perhaps the question is longer, but he simply ran out of tiles.

I'm curious to see if the movie, which opens April 29, can come anywhere close to being as funny as the books.

04-12-2005, 01:51 PM
They're not cavemen.That is so condescending.

Lightnin'
04-12-2005, 02:11 PM
That is so condescending.

:D

Stranger On A Train
04-12-2005, 03:16 PM
The cavemen are Arthur's ancestors because the caveman pulls the answer "42" from the bag of Scrabble tiles, thus prompting Arthur to pull tiles to see if he subconsciously knows the question.First of all, they're not cavemen. They don't live in caves. Second, the natives (okay, we'll call them cavemen) are dying off, out of apparent lethargy after the Golgafrincham 'B' Ark crashes on Earth. The Golgafrinchams (who are surprisingly skeletally and developmentally similar to the cavemen...probably nothing to worry about, just another effect of the Inifinite Improbility Drive, rippling backward and outward through the spacetime wash and causing all sorts of strange effects) end up replacing the hominids in the life matrix of Earth, resulting in a distortion in the program which results in a wrong answer, e.g. "What do you get when you multiply six by nine".

This results in a whole chain of events culimating in a guild of philosophers, psychiatrists, and other professional thinkers contracting with the Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz to have the Vogon Construtor Fleet demolish the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass that'll probably never be built anyway. Also, it causes, through a convoluted tangle of events, a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias to come into existence twenty miles above the surface of a planet, shortly to be extinguished by the hard reality of Newtonian physics. Oh no, not again.

Arthur's ancestors (and yours, and mine) are the hairdressers, advertising account executives, hairdressers, and telephone sanitizers, along with a load of other bloody useless looneys who crashed with the 'B' Ark. The remaining Golgafrichams were, as everybody familiar with galactic history is aware, wiped out by a particularly virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

Wow...previewing the post I realize that I really need to get a new obsession, preferably one involving something that might actually make me attractive to the opposite sex. Jazz, film noir, Irish whisky, and Douglas Adams novels just don't seem to be doing it for me. :dubious:

Stranger

rjung
04-12-2005, 03:20 PM
Frankly, the entire series is one big anticlimax, with the point being that the universe doesn't make sense, will never make much sense and it's downright senseless to expect it'll make much sense.
I forgot who said it, but someone usmmarized Adams' philosophy in the Hitchhikers' books as follows:

"The rest of the universe is just like our world, only moreso." :)

Ragiel
04-12-2005, 04:16 PM
Wouldn't it work just as well something like this?

We know that the version of Earth upon which the Golgafrinchans crashed was subsequently populated by their descendants, who displaced the original population.

This Earth might have been the same as the one that produced Arthur, the protagonist.

If so, our Arthur would have been a descendant of the Golgafrinchan crew, and not part of the Earth's natural fauna.

But since the Earth exists on an infinite number of potential timelines, each with a slightly different history, Arthur's birth planet could have been a different earth from the Golgafrinchans' adopted home.

So, he might or might not have been an intrinsic part of the final configuration constructing the Question, and might or might not have unconscious access to the nearly-completed result.

So, clearly ... wait, that doesn't clear up anything.

Nevermind!

FordPrefect
04-12-2005, 09:37 PM
That is so condescending.

Ain't I a stinker? :)

psiekier
04-14-2005, 03:25 PM
Given my username, that was a setup I could not refuseThat's a good username. I find it nicely inconspicuous.

Stranger On A Train
04-14-2005, 03:52 PM
That's a good username. I find it nicely inconspicuous.Just wait until he starts playing drinking games with you. I hear he plays to lose.

Stranger