Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Donald Norman

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Although I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question, there can indeed be stupid answers. 42 is an example. Not only is this a poor ripoff of Doug Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide, but it isn't even a prime number. Everyone surely knows that numerical answers to profound questions are always prime. (The correct answer is 37.)
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"The Don" Reveals All: Part 1

 
Donald Norman

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It was 1971, and the eighteen-year-old Douglas Adams was hitchhiking his way across Europe with a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe that he had stolen (he hadn't bothered "borrowing" a copy of Europe on $5 a Day; he didn't have that kind of money).
He was drunk. He was poverty-stricken. He was too poor to afford a room at a youth hostel (the entire story is told at length in his introduction to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts in England, and The Hitchhiker's Trilogy in the US) and he wound up, at the end of a harrowing day, flat on his back in a field in Innsbruck, staring up at the stars. "Somebody," he thought, "somebody really ought to write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
He forgot about the idea shortly thereafter.
Five years later, while he was struggling to think of a legitimate reason for an alien to visit Earth, the phrase returned to him. The rest is history…

 
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I thank the Prime Minister for his remarks about me. Debating with him at the Dispatch Box has been exciting, fascinating, fun, an enormous challenge and, from my point of view, wholly unproductive in every sense. I am told that in my time at the Dispatch Box I have asked the Prime Minister 1,118 direct questions, but no one has counted the direct answers—it may not take long.

 
William Hague
 

[Steven Spielberg's films] are comforting, they always give you answers and I don't think they're very clever answers. (...) The success of most Hollywood films these days is down to fact that they're comforting. They tie things up in nice little bows and give you answers, even if the answers are stupid, you go home and you don't have to think about it. (...) The great filmmakers make you go home and think about it.

 
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For me there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don't look for an answer, because I don't think there is one. I'm very glad to be the bearer of a question.

 
P. L. Travers
 

The metric is what the person has to contribute, not the person's rank, age, or level of experience. If they have the answer, I want the answer. When I post a question on my blog, I expect the person with the answer to post back. I do not expect the person with the answer to run it through you, your OIC, the branch chief, the exec, the Division Chief and then get the garbled answer back before he or she posts it for me. The Napoleonic Code and Netcentric Collaboration cannot exist in the same space and time. It's YOUR job to make sure I get my answers and then if they get it wrong or they could have got it righter, then you guide them toward a better way... but do not get in their way.

 
James E. Cartwright
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