Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

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In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

Have you ever had the feeling that our world was created for a more meaningful purpose than for simple existence? If your answer is yes, then you should definitely consult the “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the book that puts our Earth in the center of a complex quest for the Great Question of Life, Universe and Everything. And I mean precisely that – quest for the question and not for the answer. Because it is not always the answer that really matters, it is often the question and the way we are putting it. As the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy states: “There are of course many problems related to life, of which some of the most popular are `Why are people born?’ `Why do they die?’ `Why do they spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches?’ The answer to such questions can be very easy and obvious, sometimes even too obvious to notice – such as 42. It seems the real problem that we have is that our life is way too complicated for that kind of simple answers.

The Hitch Hiker’s guide is a book about the Universe and our place in it. The story follows Arthur Dent, the last human who managed to hitch a ride off Earth just a few moments before it was destroyed due to making a way for an interstellar bypass. And even more, it also describes the adventures of an alien who has spent years living on the Earth, the troubles of a famous galactic president and the boring life of an incredibly smart and yet depressed robot. Still, it is also a story about humanity, a work that explores some of the deepest questions about our species. For example, one of the questions raised about humans is about “their habit of continually stating and repeating the very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?” Ford Prefect, a researcher for the most famous guide in the universe, spent years of his life trying to come up with a good explanation about this phenomenon, such as: “If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.”

While mysteries like this one were not resolved even by this great trilogy in five parts, some questions about humanity were finally answered. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy contains the piece of our history that was always missing – the part that explains how humans came to existence on Earth. You will be surprised to read about the long way that our ancestors had to pass so you could live on this beautiful planet; but you will be also shocked to discover that we were wrong thinking that humans are the most intelligent species inhabiting it.

Finally, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one exciting adventure through the Universe. And the Universe is large! It is “bigger than the biggest thing and then some more.” And not only big – it is infinite, which has long-lasting implications on the human mind – as it is not an easy thing to comprehend. Like, did you know that because of the infinity of our universe its total population equals zero? This comes from the fact that there is finite number of inhabited worlds among the infinite number of worlds situated in the infinite space. “Any finite number divided by infinity is as near as nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero”. Thus, “any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination”. Now I bet this sounds scary, and that’s why it’s always advisable to carry around this greatest book in the whole universe, which has one big advantage to the others of its sort – its cover inscribes in big capital letters: DON’T PANIC!

Dragan Atanasov, Macedonia

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