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Old 03-24-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Canada
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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.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:54 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Re: 42

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
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.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:16 PM   #3
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Re: 42

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 03-24-2017, 01:29 PM   #4
shuckser
Dojo: Brighton Aikikai, UK
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Re: 42

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
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.

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.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:43 PM   #5
Rupert Atkinson
 
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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.

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Old 09-21-2017, 08:28 AM   #6
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: 42

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
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,......

methink, aikido is "!"

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:46 PM   #7
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Canada
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Re: 42

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
"*" 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,......

methink, aikido is "!"
Oh my... must look that up. NOT gonna try it out on my Linux box...
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