Most people reading this blog will find it useless. But some people have asked (which is a good way to put it when you cannot think of any one person who asked) what the 42 in my Musical Ramblings series is all about, so this blog is for those souls.
(Potential plot spoilers ahead)
42 is a concept taken from Douglas Adams‘s series of books — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a ‘trilogy in five parts’ as the author describes it. It is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The supercomputer Deep Thought is built to answer this, and after seven and a half million years of computing it gives the result : forty-two. The relevant lines from the book go something like this —
“Forty-two!” yelled Loonquawl. “Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”
“I checked it very thoroughly,” said the computer, “and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”
The creators of Deep Thought realize that they really don’t know the question. At this point Deep Thought offers to design an even more powerful computer — the Earth, to figure out the question. However, after ten million years of calculation and five minutes before the computation is completed, the Earth is destroyed by Vogons. So now, we’ll never know.