42 (answer)

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The Answer to Life

42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. It was computed by Deep Thought, the second greatest computer ever[1]. The descendants of Deep Thought's creators are upset by the numeric nature of the answer, not understanding what to do with it or what to tell the people who had commissioned the 7.5-million year project.[2]

When asked to produce The Ultimate Question to go with the answer "42", Deep Thought admits it is not capable of computing that itself, but that it can help to design an even more powerful computer, which can. This new computer will incorporate living beings into the "computational matrix" and will run for ten million years. It is the planet Earth.[3]

The number 42, in ASCII, is an asterisk. An asterisk means "Anything or Nothing".{citation required}

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Adams, Douglas (1981). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Pocket. ISBN 978-0-671-46149-2. 
  2. Adams, Douglas (1981). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Pocket. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-671-46149-2. 
  3. Douglas Adams (1980). Life, the Universe and Everything. ISBN 978-0-345-39181-0.