Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's in a Blog Name?

Hello there, Geek Girl here,

So some of you may be asking what is up with the blog title?

I imagine your inner monologue going something like this:

"I mean it's an obvious allusion to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but is she saying she's a better writer than Douglas Adams? Because if so I will have to either: A) Stop reading her blog out of deference to that author, B)Actually read one of the Hitchhiker's guide books my Uncle keeps bugging me to read C) Rent the movie and hope the blanks are satisfactorily filled in. Also, is it tea time yet?"

If this wasn't exactly what you were thinking, then hopefully at least you were entertained, as I am whenever I read the Hitchhiker's guide series. I like Douglas Adams as a writer and his continually ill-fated protagonist Arthur Dent is perhaps one of my favorite characters in the annuls of literature. And no, I am not comparing myself to him as a writer for several reasons; one being that he has a vastly superior vocabulary to mine, and two being that I don't think I could capture the humorous moroseness of his view of the Universe if I tried.

I am however utilizing the significance of the number 42 in his novels to my own ends.


In the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings decide they want to know the meaning of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" so they build a massive super computer called Deep Thought to calculate an answer for them. Millions of years later the answer, the ultimate answer that Deep Thought provides them with is 42. This unfortunately doesn't mean anything to our pan-dimensional philosophers, but as Deep Thought points out to them, they didn't really provide her with a definitive question. When they demand that Deep Thought work out what the question is, in her John the Baptist moment, Deep Thought says she cannot calculate it but that they must created another supercomputer greater than herself with biological life in its matrices, whose intricate program of life will produce the question. The same group of group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings, and subsequently created in the same manner that we earthlings might order a custom sofa for an oddly shaped room. However, a mere 5 minutes before the earth's 10 million year program can actually be completed; the earth is destroyed by the Vogons (a highly bureaucratic alien race) to make way for a new hyper-spatial expressway.

This happens of course because as a self-professed "radical atheist" Adam's continual theme throughout the series, is just when we think we can find meaning, or happiness, or any small variations of both, either we or some other equally self-absorbed life-form with come and screw it all up. We can have the answer 42, but never the question, and without it the answer is useless. This is because Adam's ultimate view of life is that since there is no answer to be had all we can do is resolve not to panic, to appreciate the beauty of the universe (such as fjords), and occasionally enjoy a good cup of tea as you quietly and humorously resign yourself to the hopelessness of it all.

This attitude towards life is one that many geeks adopt, embracing 42 as their answer.

And quite frankly, and with all due respect to Adams and his cohorts, I think there is a better, more satisfactory answer than 42, and it is Jesus.

Because as much as I laugh as I read and wish that I could give Arthur Dent a good hug and a nice cup of tea, I can't live my life the way that he does-towel in hand trying not to panic.

I must have more hope than 42 for the Universe and for myself. And I think geeks deserve a better answer as well, and with this blog I shall attempt to point them to it.


I couldn't resist, although it has little relevance to the blog title itself, exploring 42 a little further. Numbers have spiritual significance that is indicated by how they are used in the bible. You can find this in books by many different bible scholars, but for convenience here's a link to one bible webpage I found, that shows them.

The number 4 is associated with Creation which is interesting to me because Adams himself was very invested in creation, he has a lovely book called Last Chance to See, where he visits animals all over the world and marvels at their beauty and unique features. Interestingly enough, he also has earth created intentionally in his series, not the result of an evolutionary accident or anomaly. The number 2 is associated with union, division, and witnessing, and so go to town interpreting that if you like.

4 plus 2 equals 6, which is the number of man, or more accurately imperfect or sinful man (That's why the number of the antichrist in Revelation is 666-it is man trying to achieve divinity as 3 is symbolic of the Trinity and divine perfection).

6 times 7 equals 42, and 7 is associated with spiritual completion or perfection, so you literally have imperfect man reaching for spiritual perfection and you get 42.

Pretty wild, huh?


As some of you more observant folks may have noted my email is GeekGirl452, but this is actually coincidence and has nothing to do with the aforementioned 42. You see I created the email account when I was still trying to come up with the name of the blog, and since Geek Girl wasn't available with yahoo I had to assign a number with it. 452 is a special number to me not because it is spiritually significant of anything. I just happen to like 452 because in the computer animated television series Reboot, the city of mainframe's brave defender (and my favorite character) was Bob, guardian 452. So while 5 is associated spiritually with grace, I was not trying to break up 42 with grace or anything so complicated as that.

I just love me some Reboot!

~Until next time, dear reader, this is Geek Girl signing off

NEXT TIME: " A Worthy Obsession" or "I'm in the inner circle-in my own mind."




No comments:

Post a Comment