Douglas Adams and inspiration

“Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

I love Douglas Adams. I have since I read “The Hitchiker’s Guide” in middle school. When I was in college, my mom gave me a copy of the “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide” (all five books in one) and reading the five stories in one just throws you full blast into Adams’ quirky, crazy, brilliant world. So recently I’ve been reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, a good friend of Douglas Adams (you can read his “a friend’s lament for Douglas Adams” here). Dawkins dedicated the book to Adams and mentions him quite frequently throughout. Adams was converted from agnosticism to “radical atheism” after reading Dawkins’ books “The Selfish Gene” and “The Ancestors Tale“, and said, with regards to religion “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”. In “The God Delusion”, Dawkins breaks out of his somewhat arrogant, pedantic tone after mentioning Adams to say “Douglas, I miss you. You are my cleverest, funniest, most open-minded, wittiest, tallest, and possibly only convert. I hope this book might have made you laugh – though not as much as you made me. . . Douglas’s conversion by my earlier books – which did not set out to convert anyone – inspired me to dedicate to his memory this book – which does!” (p 117).

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately (I’ll have to put up my reading list here), but they all seem to be coming together synergistically… “The God Delusion”, another book I’m reading called “The Sociopath Next Door“, and I severely anticipate beginning Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” when Stephanie is done with it. I feel this need to figure out why people behave the way they do (individually and in group settings) and these readings are all converging on that question. I’ve always found abnormal psychology interesting to the point where case studies are almost pornography to me (for example, the classic “The Mask of Sanity” by Hervey Cleckley, which is almost unbuyable, but is available online).

So, the inspiration for this blog was Luke mentioning this weekend while visiting, that he and Meghan were going to set me up with a blog and a del.ici.ous account for Christmas so I would have a centralised place to post the crazy links I send everyone all day. Fortunately, I already have a del.ici.ous account and once I figure out the correct OUT_URL for blogger (assuming it’s supported), my daily del.ici.ous links will show up here. And I guess I’ll post the links up here with a little blurb about what they are so you can decide whether or not to read them.

Frogstar World B is a place in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is “the most totally evil place in the galaxy” as it is the home of the Total Perspective Vortex, and the future home of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened. ”

– Douglas Adams

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2 Responses to “Douglas Adams and inspiration”

  1. Darmok Says:

    Hitchhiker’s Guide has so many awesome lines. My favorite is probably the one about the dolphins at the beginning of the book (why man and dolphin each thought he was smarter).

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