Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Evasive Question

“The Answer to the Ultimate Question Of.....Life, the Universe and Everything.....(is) Forty-two.” Douglas Adams

Yes, you saw that right. Today's quote is placed at the beginning, and not the end, of the post. Aren't I being unpredictable today?

There is a reason for this madness. You see, the rest of this post deals with that quote. I was sitting in my adolescent psychology class and was hit with a revelation. Douglas Adams has it right! The answer IS forty-two. Whoever said that we couldn't know both the answer and the question simultaneously was dead wrong, and I can prove it!

All we need is this simple equation:

ANSWER(life) Ʌ ANSWER(universe) Ʌ ∀x ANSWER(x)

which is easily solvable when we have the value of x, which is

[(Hod)/(32 ft/sec2)] log {(k log 16,000words/human/day)*[6,789,000,000(1+pct*Nd*∞dy/dx)]π}


k = Aristotle's Golden Mean of Plato's Divided Line, and
Nd is the percentage of people who have an out-of-body near-death experience.

When we plug in these variables and take into consideration the truth-functional conjunction, we can see that the answer comes out to be a neat 42.

For those of you who didn't quite follow the reasoning:

To find the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, we must take the logarithm of Fechner's Law of Psychological Sensation (which is Ψ = k log S) multiply it by the growing human population of earth (which is approximately 6.789 billion multiplied by (1+pct*Nd*∞dy/dx)) and because the earth is almost spherical, we must also multiply it by pi, which is approximately

S, of course, equals the average number of words spoken daily by a person (about 16000 - I congratulate the discourse analysts for discovering this), and naturally ∞dy/dx is the number of angels that can dance on the head of pin. We must then multiply all this by Hubble's expanding universe constant divided by the free-fall acceleration on earth.

It gives my life a lot more clarity, actually. I may have to rename this blog something other than "The Wanderer".


Carla said...

The apple does not fall from the tree. Dawn Masucci

art said...

I have to admit I don't get the formula. For example, you make reference to the Gravitational Constant which is normally G and has a value of 6.673x10^-11 m^3/(kg*s*s) and I don't see where that fits into the formula. Also, I don't think the units work out. At least you have clarity on this and I suppose that is what is important.

Another interesting thing about 42 is if you sum the values of the first 7 prime numbers (1+2+3+5+7+11+13) = 42, you get forty two. I don't think that is a coincidence. Although it must be noted in recent times, the number 1 is no longer considered to be prime by many (Wells 1986) so the answer of 42 is now put into question by many mathematicians. A good case could be brought forward for using 41 as it is the 13th prime number of which the first 6 prime numbers sum to it and of course 6 * 7 - (7 - 6) = 41 and 6 + 7 = 13 and both results are prime.

Also, if apples do not fall from trees, where do they fall from? That is quite a provoking thought.

Carla said...

Oops. I fixed the formula. The gravitational constant is implied within the Golden Mean. I just got the free-fall acceleration and gravitational constant mixed up.