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What is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

 , September 30, 2016
The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is a parody of computing and quantitative analysis that appears in the 1979 fiction The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
In the book, a super computer named Deep Thought is fed the question "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything." It commutes for 7.5 million years and returns with the answer "42." The computer points out that the answer is meaningless because the question is meaningless, particularly the phrase "ultimate question". It is considered a parody of garbage-in-garbage-out and the tendency for people to seek to use quantitative analysis to solve problems that require qualitative judgement.
Fans of Douglas Adams established numerous theories as to the significance of the number 42 while the author consistently insisted it was just a joke based on an arbitrary number.
Overview: Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
TypeTechnology Culture
DefinitionA parody of computing and quantitative analysis that suggests the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is 42.
Related ConceptsTechnology Culture
Artificial Intelligence
Garbage In Garbage Out

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