The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is classic science fiction comedy. One of my favourite parts is when the answer to the ultimate question is finally answered by a super computer (masquerading as a planet) with the number 42, the twist that most people forget is that this answer didn’t make sense because the beings who asked it didin’t actually understand what they were asking, love the irony. But It has since become part of pop culture, whenever someone is angsting about the meaning of life, someone inevitable smirks and sardonically says ‘well don’t you know? Its 42’. I celebrate my 42nd birthday tomorrow and I wonder if I will wake up with an epiphany. I’m not s super computer but I won’t let that stop me giving it a crack. Problem is there are so many choices of meaning!
So I am drawn back to the idea of where we get meaning from. Who is the loudest when proclaiming to know the answer? How do we become aware of the edges of this meaning? What meanings have been recycled, re-mastered, concealed, reviled, rendered invisible? Why is our meaning any more important than the meaning for other species on the planet? If it is not about my own life but the life of all humanity would that shift the meaning? Why do we continue to use extremes of fear to define TMOL? If humanity was one entity/consciousness – how old would we be and as such are we really ‘old enough’ to understand the question?
Well, let’s just hope I wake up tomorrow with an answer other than 42 because that really is just a number and I don’t know what it means anyway. And besides, I’ve never been fond of acting my age.