“The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Knowledge is power. What are the most powerful and meaningful questions one can ask?
Unfortunately, as Adams’ Deep Thought super computer tells us, we don’t actually know what that questions are.
But what’s fascinating about 42?
Computers can only understand numbers. There are different numerical representations for characters, such as ASCIII and Unicode, so every machine can translate codes into readable text.
For example, 065 translates into A and \f544 translates into .
In computer language, an asterisk is often used as a wildcard or sort of “whatever you want it to be” symbol.
And guess what? In the ASCII table, 42 is the designation for asterisk.
When Deep Thought was asked what the true meaning of life was all about, it answered as a computer would.
Anything you want it to be.
As you might have already noticed, voilà a humble mammal’s speculations about Life, the Universe and Everything.
PS: Yeah! The post title was intentionally misleading. We’ll have the opportunity to talk about Hari Sheldon’s discoveries in the future.