In Douglas Adams’ seminal series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a story is told about creating a computer who was able to find the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. They were looking for THE answer. And they did it. They came up with an amazing computer, called Deep Thought, who ran a program for many years and came up with The Answer. The Answer was 42.
The administrators of this computer freaked out. What kind of answer was 42? How could that help anyone? The computer observed that perhaps they did not know what the question was. It is a profound observation. To make sense of the answer we need to ensure we know and are asking the right question(s). Continue reading