Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001)


English author and satirist, most famous for his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of radio plays and books.
Douglas Adams
"What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?"
This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table.
Richard continued, "What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that's really the essence of programming. By the time you've sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you've learned something about it yourself.
Adams quotes
I am fascinated by religion. (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing.
Adams
It was a couple of days before Kate Schechter became aware of any of these things, or indeed of anything at all in the outside world.
She passed the time quietly in a world of her own in which she was surrounded as far as the eye could see with old cabin trunks full of past memories in which she rummaged with great curiosity, and sometimes bewilderment. Or, at least, about a tenth of the cabin trunks were full of vivid, and often painful or uncomfortable memories of her past life; the other nine-tenths were full of penguins, which surprised her. Insofar as she recognised at all that she was dreaming, she realised that she must be exploring her own subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was very clear what the other nine-tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins.




Adams Douglas quotes
Part of how we come to take command of our world, to take command of our environment, to make these tools by which we're able to do this, is we ask ourselves questions about it the whole time. So this man starts to ask himself questions. "This world," he says, "so who made it?" Now, of course he thinks that, because he makes things himself. So he's looking for someone who would have made this world. He says, "Well, so who would have made this world? Well, it must be something a little like me. Obviously much much bigger. And necessarily invisible. But he would have made it. Now why did he make it?" Now we always ask ourselves "why?" because we look for intention around us; because we always intendĖ we do something with intention. We boil an egg in order to eat it. So we look at the rocks, and we look at the trees, and we wonder what intention is here even though it doesn't have intention.
Adams Douglas
"He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left."
Douglas Adams quotes
CLIXBY (adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
Douglas Adams
This was the evening of the last day of Gordon Way's life ... The weather forecast hadn't mentioned that, of course, that wasn't the job of the weather forecast, but then his horoscope had been pretty misleading as well. It had mentioned an unusual amount of planetary activity in his sign and had urged him to differentiate between what he thought he wanted and what he actually needed, and suggested that he should tackle emotional or work problems with determination and complete honesty, but had inexplicably failed to mention that he would be dead before the day was out.
Adams Douglas quotes
It was a battered yellow CitroŽn 2CV which had had one careful owner but also three suicidally reckless ones.
Adams
The device [electronic I Ching calculator] also functioned as an ordinary calculator, but only to a limited degree. It could handle any calculation which returned an answer of anything up to 4. ...anything above 4 it represented merely as "A Suffusion of Yellow." Dirk was not certain if this was a programming error or an insight beyond his ability to fathom, but he was crazy about it anyway, enough to hand over twenty pounds of ready cash for the thing.
Adams Douglas
WFT-II was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus. The sentence would probably run along the lines of "WFT-II, unlike such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus ..." but it was a start.
Douglas Adams
The door was the way to... to... The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to.




Douglas Adams quotes
The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I'd written both of them.
Douglas Adams
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "As pretty as an airport." Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
Adams quotes
Or maybe she decided that an evening with your old tutor would be blisteringly dull and opted for the more exhilarating course of washing her hair instead. Dear me, I know what I would have done. It's only lack of hair that forces me to pursue such a hectic social round these days.
Adams Douglas
All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
Adams Douglas quotes
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
Douglas Adams
A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."
Douglas Adams quotes
Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Douglas Adams
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
Adams Douglas
There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world. The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.


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