Anybody read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

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In summary, the computer in Douglas Adams' "42" fails the Turing test because humans are able to guess which screen is the computer.
  • #1
Has anybody here read Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ?
I just started the series and am only about 56 pages into it. The whole book is hilarious so far. It's so full of puns, humor, and whim. Has anyone else noticed some subtle parodies to Asimov's Foundation trilogy? Like how they call the series a trilogy when it has five books. Or the parody with the Encyclopedia Galactica, and it's humorous equivilent, the Hitchhiker's Guide?

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  • #2
Would it spoil the book for you if I posted the answer to "life, the universe, and everything"?
  • #3
too late

Too late Integral. A friend who has read the book already told me it's 42. Now that really gave me laugh.:wink:
  • #4
The whole series is amazing.

You can download the radio series of the first book-and-a-bit, which is also great, but give the TV show a miss...

  • #5
A fantastic read. It first appeared on the Radio when I was about 16/17 and I loved it. SO original. I had tapes of the series somewhere but lost them... Where can you download them from Jono?

When you've done with Hitchhikers, give 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, a go. (Also by D, Adams) It is a very funny book with some very strange concepts in it. In fact, I've just took it off the shelf and am going to read it again now. Bye!
  • #6
42 Turings?

Scientists finally build a super-smart, self-aware computer and proudly challenge the world to a Turing test.

There are two screens, behind one is the computer, a human the other. A room full of people gets to ask each 'blank screen' a question; they judge which one is the computer and which the human. The computer fails the Turing Test if the room full of people can unerringly guess which screen is the computer.

First question, from a schoolkid: "If '42' is the answer, what was the question?"

Computer: "What's 6 times 7?"

Human: "You've got to be kidding! You can't possibly expect a really smart computer to be tripped up with something as transparent as that!"

Scientists conclude that common sense isn't.
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  • #7
Anyone not read it? :wink: I've read the whole series more than once. Plus one of the Dirk Gently books. I'm currently listening to "Salmon of Doubt" (book on tape)...which is excellent, and his topic therein entitled "Is there an artificial God?" is amazing. One of these days, I need to find his book "Last Chance to See".

And of course, I tend to quote him in my sig lines.

Related to Anybody read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

1. What is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series written by Douglas Adams. It follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a human who is rescued from Earth's destruction by an alien named Ford Prefect. Together, they travel through space and encounter various strange and humorous situations.

2. Who are the main characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

The main characters are Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox (a two-headed alien and the President of the Galaxy), Trillian (an astrophysicist and the only other surviving human), and Marvin (a depressed robot).

3. Is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a book or a movie?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy started as a radio series in 1978 and was later adapted into a book, a TV series, and a movie. However, the original version is the book, which was published in 1979.

4. What is the meaning behind "Don't Panic" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

"Don't Panic" is a common phrase used throughout the series, appearing on the cover of the Hitchhiker's Guide book. It serves as a reminder to not take things too seriously and to keep calm in the face of chaos and absurdity.

5. Is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy suitable for all ages?

The series contains some mature themes and humor, so it may not be suitable for young children. However, it is generally considered appropriate for teenagers and adults.

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