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Why the meaning of life is 42

Stephen Fry claims that Douglas Adams told him why he picked 42 as “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Fry says that the answer is “fascinating, extraordinary, and when you think hard about it, completely obvious.” He also said that he’ll never tell.

This spawned a Reddit thread yesterday. But I think the answer is not fascinating, sort of plebeian, and you don’t have to think hard about it. Here goes:

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is four two…which is to say, that it’s for two. It’s all about the love!

I have no reason to think that that’s what Adams intended, and it’s the sort of sentimental answer he would mock, so I’m guessing I’m wrong. Still: The meaning of life is for two.

Or possibly it’s for tea, too. I’ll get back to you on that.

4 Responses to “Why the meaning of life is 42”

  1. You old hippy, you!

  2. […] (Why the meaning of life is 42.) […]

  3. Adams used to post to a few usenet groups back in the early days. I vaguely remember when a thread developed speculating on this that he jumped in and said that there was no special meaning — the number just popped into his head while he was writing and looking out the window. Of course he could have been making that up for all I know.

    I also seem to remember that he eventually bailed out of usenet because people kept questioning if he was really THE Douglas Adams, and no amount of proof seemed to satisfy them.

  4. […] spurningu um lífið, alheiminn og alltsaman. Það er 42. Um daginn lásum við skemmtilega bloggfærslu hjá David Weinberger sem túlkaði þetta sem svo að tilgangur tilverunnar væri sá að lifa lífinu með öðrum. […]

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