A Conversation for 42

The question

Post 1


the reason we do not understand the question is because we are not a vast machine intelligence like 'Deep Thought'
to such an intelligence there is nothing extaordinary.
Everything is perfectly ordinary and so the answer must be
'a number, an ordinary, smallish number,'
When Douglas Adams sauid he didn't make jokes in base thirteen it reminded me of an article I once read.
It concerned a professor of literary criticism. He was holding a series of lectures on meaning in modern classics.
the aut5hor of one such story went to here the proffessor expound and after class told him
'that was very interesting but not really what the story meant'
'What makes you say that' the professor asked.
'because I wrote that story!'
'oh, you are Isaac asimov? Very glad to meet you, but just because you wrote the story doesn't mean you know what it meant. Most great stories are dredged up out of the subconscious and the author may not have the foggiest notion of what was meant.'
there were two other books written by the time the idea of 6 times 9 camne along amnd this was plenty of time for the sub conscious mind of DNA to compose a joke in base thirteen.

The question

Post 2

Baron Grim

Are you sure that wasn't Ray Bradbury? He insists his book Fahrenheit 451 was NOT about censorship but about how television is the death of reading and literature. At many public appearances audience members have argue with him about this. (I admit, I think he's wrong too. smiley - laugh)


I wouldn't be surprised if Asimov had similar confrontations.

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