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Walter Martindale 03-24-2017 10:04 AM

42
 
Not sure how many aikido people are Douglas Adams fans - used to be lots - but I recently heard an explanation of where Adams's use of 42 as "the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" may have come from...

42 is the decimal ASCII code for the asterisk (*) symbol.

The asterisk, is used to represent "whatever you want" or "anything".

So the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is - whatever you want ...

Adams had a lot of hidden references to religion, society, government, bureaucracy, and other things - some not so hidden.

PeterR 03-24-2017 10:54 AM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Walter Martindale wrote: (Post 350374)
Not sure how many aikido people are Douglas Adams fans - used to be lots - but I recently heard an explanation of where Adams's use of 42 as "the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" may have come from...

42 is the decimal ASCII code for the asterisk (*) symbol.

The asterisk, is used to represent "whatever you want" or "anything".

So the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is - whatever you want ...

Adams had a lot of hidden references to religion, society, government, bureaucracy, and other things - some not so hidden.

Who knew - but so obvious on hind sight. I saw that recently too.

sorokod 03-24-2017 12:16 PM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Walter Martindale wrote: (Post 350374)
The asterisk, is used to represent "whatever you want" or "anything".

That actually would be ".*" - match anything any number of times, in regular expression speak.

shuckser 03-24-2017 01:29 PM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

David Soroko wrote: (Post 350376)
That actually would be ".*" - match anything any number of times, in regular expression speak.

That's true, and "any number of times" can also be "zero" in this case. :D

However, while an old standard, I don't think Regular Expressions would have been as well known or well used among computer nerds of Adams' era as the de-facto * and ? file matching patterns. Especially for nerds who were tinkerers rather than programmers.

Rupert Atkinson 09-19-2017 10:43 PM

Re: 42
 
I'm an English teacher and like to have fun with my form class.

Two year 9 (aged 13) kids were arguing about whether 7x0 equalled 7, 1, 0 or infinity. The whole class was laughing at them. So what should a good teacher do?

I asked - "If you have no 7s how many 7s do you have?" None came the reply.
Then I asked - "If you have 7 zeros how many zeros do you have." Seven came the rely. Ah ... came the enlightened reply.

So 0 x 7 = 0 but 7x0 = 7 came the enlightened shoutback from one of the kids.

The rest of the class sat in stunned silence as they were all rethinking their math skill. I left it at that. Newly enlightened, not. Ha ha.

phitruong 09-21-2017 08:28 AM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Walter Martindale wrote: (Post 350374)
42 is the decimal ASCII code for the asterisk (*) symbol.

The asterisk, is used to represent "whatever you want" or "anything".

"*" is anything that's not fractional or hidden, in regular expression speak. you need "*.*". if you are on unix/linux systems, running as root id, and execute "cd /; rm -rf *.*" would cause some interesting reaction from your boss, and his/her boss, and his/her boss boss,...... :D

methink, aikido is "!"

Walter Martindale 09-21-2017 10:46 PM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 352244)
"*" is anything that's not fractional or hidden, in regular expression speak. you need "*.*". if you are on unix/linux systems, running as root id, and execute "cd /; rm -rf *.*" would cause some interesting reaction from your boss, and his/her boss, and his/her boss boss,...... :D

methink, aikido is "!"

Oh my... must look that up. NOT gonna try it out on my Linux box...

Nunchuka 11-30-2017 02:42 PM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote: (Post 352236)
I'm an English teacher and like to have fun with my form class.

Two year 9 (aged 13) kids were arguing about whether 7x0 equalled 7, 1, 0 or infinity. The whole class was laughing at them. So what should a good teacher do?

I asked - "If you have no 7s how many 7s do you have?" None came the reply.
Then I asked - "If you have 7 zeros how many zeros do you have." Seven came the rely. Ah ... came the enlightened reply.

So 0 x 7 = 0 but 7x0 = 7 came the enlightened shoutback from one of the kids.

The rest of the class sat in stunned silence as they were all rethinking their math skill. I left it at that. Newly enlightened, not. Ha ha.

Kids can be so fun when you get them to think outside the box like that :)

sorokod 12-01-2017 11:34 AM

Re: 42
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote: (Post 352236)
Two year 9 (aged 13) kids were arguing about whether 7x0 equalled 7, 1, 0 or infinity.

Nice!


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