In the first novel and radio series, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. The Ultimate Question itself is unknown.Questions aren't easy. They can also be very dangerous. People are killed for asking the wrong questions. But here's a little guide to how to ask questions in conferences. Thanks to Mia for linking it in the #IR13 twitter stream.
When asked to produce The Ultimate Question, the computer says that it cannot; however, it can help to design an even more powerful computer, the Earth, that can. The programmers then embark on a further ten-million-year program to discover The Ultimate Question.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
From the Wikipedia entry on phrases from the Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy;