quote:LUNKWILL: There, there, there is an answer? A simple answer?
DEEP THOUGHT: Yes. Life, the Universe, and Everything… There is an answer. But I’ll have to think about it.
[The door to the room is broken down]
FOOK: Who are you anyway?
MAJIKTHISE: We are philosophers.
VROOMFONDEL: But we may not be.
MAJIKTHISE: Yes we are!
MAJIKTHISE: We are quite definitely here as representatives of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries, and other professional thinking persons.
MAJIKTHISE: And we want this machine off, and we want it off now.
MAJIKTHISE: By law the quest for the ultimate truth is quite clearly the unalienable prerogative of your working thinkers
VROOMFONDEL: That’s right.
MAJIKTHISE: I mean what’s the use of us sitting up all night saying there may -
VROOMFONDEL: Or may not be
MAJIKTHISE: [Softly] …or may not be… [louder] a god, if this machine comes along the next morning and gives you ‘is telephone number?
VROOMFONDEL: We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!
DEEP THOUGHT: Might I make an observation at this point?
MAJIKTHISE: You keep out of this metal nose.
VROOMFONDEL: We demand that that machine not be allowed to think about this problem!
DEEP THOUGHT: If I might make an observation…
MAJIKTHISE: We’ll go on strike!
VROOMFONDEL: That’s right. You’ll have a national philosopher’s strike on your hands.
DEEP THOUGHT: Who will that inconvenience?
MAJIKTHISE: Never you mind who it’ll inconvenience you box of black legging binary bits! It’ll hurt, buster! It’ll hurt!
DEEP THOUGHT: [Booming] If I might make an observation … All I wanted to say is that my circuits are now irrevocably committed to computing the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.
VROOMFONDEL: That’s a -
MAJIKTHISE: Ahhh! With -
DEEP THOUGHT: But, but the program will take me seven-and-a-half million years to run.
LUNKWILL: Seven-and-a-half million years?
MAJIKTHISE: Seven-and-a-half million years? What are you talking about?
DEEP THOUGHT: Yes. I said I’d have to think about it didn’t I? And it occurs to me, that running a program like this is bound to cause sensational public interest.
VROOMFONDEL: Oh yes.
MAJIKTHISE: Oh you can say that again.
DEEP THOUGHT: And so any philosophers who are put off the mark, are going to clean up in the prediction business.
MAJIKTHISE: ”Prediction business”?
DEEP THOUGHT: Obviously. You just get on the pundit circuit. You all go on the chat shows and the colour supplements and violently disagree with each other about what answer I’m eventually going to produce. And if you get yourselves clever agents, you’ll be on the gravy train for life.
MAJIKTHISE: Bloody ‘ell! That’s what I call thinking! Here Vroomfondel, why do we never think of things like that?
VROOMFONDEL: Dunno. Think our minds must be too highly trained Majikthise.
My other favorite line is from when they have to fly the Heart of Gold manually because Eddie the Shipboard Computer is trying to figure out why the ape-man would want to drink boiled leaves (AKA tea). After determining that none of them knew how to fly it, Zaphod Beeblebrox decides: "Fine we’ll do it together."
I've used that line many times in real life as the situation would arise.
Also there's the one when Arthur Dent is about to experience a hyperspace jump for the first time:
quote:Ford: It's unpleasantly like being drunk. Arthur: What is so unpleasant about being drunk? Ford: Ask a glass of water.
Somewhere I encountered Douglas Adams having written about computer sex meaning what they're up to when we're not watching. In a list of definitions (eg, "interface", "dual floppies", "joystick", "stand alone") it's noted: "The thought of a man to machine interface is repulsive to most devices".
I know that I have that stored away somewhere in over three decades of archives, but I know not where -- basically, I copy the old computer's hard drive into a directory on the new computer since the new hard drive is so much bigger, now apply that practice over four generations of PCs.