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STEEPSTER BOOK CLUB: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2), Week Four Discussion HERE!

Here is the place where we can start discussing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2), Chapters 21-27.

Week 4 – June 21-27
Chapters 21-27

reading schedule: http://steepster.com/discuss/676-steepster-book-club-reading-schedule-h2g2

Here are a few questions to get you started thinking and discussing the book. I am hoping you all will also post more questions as we start discussing!

Borrowed from other online book clubs:

1. How different would the world be, if humans were not the first, nor even the second most intelligent beings on Earth?

2. Why 42?

my questions:

3. Were you surprised by what creatures turned out to be the second and first most intelligent creatures? Do you agree with the dolphins thoughts on why they were smarter?

4. What experiment do you think the mice were running?

5. Based off Chapter 25, what do you think Adams thoughts on professional philosophers are? What about programmers?

6. If you had the opportunity to as Deep thought a question, what would you have asked?

7. How do you feel about the answer when it was revealed? Did you know the answer ahead of time?

Again, I encourage you to submit your questions and can’t wait to read your comments!

7 Replies

1. How different would the world be, if humans were not the first, nor even the second most intelligent beings on Earth?

From our perspective, probably a lot. We have no experience of domination by another species, only of others within our own. Of course, I’m assuming that domination would come with the territory of not being the most intelligent beings. Maybe we would get lucky and live among a benevolent superior intelligence that didn’t seek to dominate us, but I’m a little too cynical to believe that would be true.

2. Why 42?

Why not?

3. Were you surprised by what creatures turned out to be the second and first most intelligent creatures? Do you agree with the dolphins thoughts on why they were smarter?

Yes on the mice, not really on the dolphins. They’ve long been thought to be intelligent largely because of the size of their brains. I think it’s only relatively recently that they’ve been found to be not as intelligent as we originally thought (or at least I think I either read that somewhere or heard it on NPR). On the second question, I dunno, I’m for mucking about and having a good time, but I don’t think it proves much of anything.

4. What experiment do you think the mice were running?

It seems they were trying to get the Earth to come up with the question to which the answer was 42.

5. Based off Chapter 25, what do you think Adams thoughts on professional philosophers are? What about programmers?

He pretty much lampoons everyone, doesn’t he? I mean, it’s a fairly satirical book.

6. If you had the opportunity to as Deep thought a question, what would you have asked?

What are the winning lottery numbers the next time the jackpot is over $200 million?

7. How do you feel about the answer when it was revealed? Did you know the answer ahead of time?

Yeah, it’s sort of one of the things from this book that has become lore. I knew about the answer being 42 and about “so long and thanks for all the fish” before I started reading the book. I was looking forward to reading them in context, though.

sadly i do think your right that it would probably not be very fun to be the non dominant species

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Based on living in my little town, I am pretty sure squirrels are the most intelligent, evil, and tireless workers of all Earth’s creatures! The things they do to my garden, my porch…just yesterday I saw a bushy tail sticking out of a tiny opening in my GRILL!!!!!

On Sunday I had a long talk with one of the teenager squirrels that decimated half of my lilies (just took the tops off which were ready to bloom, shredded them, and left them in the flower bed). He stood in the ginko tree and looked right in my eyes and LISTENED as I told him how hard I worked to plant 100 bulbs last fall (and how hard the lilies worked to grow so tall and beautiful!) and then he just went and destroyed the whole year’s bloom!!! I also told him to go bury his nuts elsewhere – the planters on my porch are OFF LIMITS. I haven’t had any damage since! He TOTALLY knew what I was talking about.

They break into the squirrel proof bird feeder. So I put in a squirrel proof pole to hang the squirrel proof bird feeder on, and I see them shimmying up that and hanging UPSIDE DOWN to get the seeds.

When I saw a cat trying to get one of the babies, the mama defended her baby like nothing I ever saw!!! They are good parents. I do admire them for that.

I’m not sure Douglas Adams knew, but the mice actually do the bidding of the squirrels from their control lairs inside of grills in the suburbs.

HA giggles that’s hysterical

Now knowing some rats I think they’re pretty smart too (the pet kind) a fare share smarter than mice…

so sorry your flowers got shredded :(

Yes – rats are amazing. They are too sweet and affectionate to try and take over the world I think :) I used to volunteer at the Morris Animal Refuge on Pine Street in Philly, and my most surprising love were the rats!! I thought I would of course love taking care of the dogs and cats, but I thought my other friends were going to be the bunnies but they always bit me. I now know that they have a nervous constitution and are really stressed out with strangers – it’s best to go very slowly with them. But the rats were so smart and friendly – I was so in love with them!!

gmathis said

That explains EVERYTHING, squirrel-wise :) My grandfather, in his 80’s, used to crack walnuts and leave them on the arm of his skanky old sling-back porch chair, then sit still as a statue while his “pets” would climb up his overalls to get a snack. Thanks for triggering a memory that makes me grin!

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1. How different would the world be, if humans were not the first, nor even the second most intelligent beings on Earth?

I would think, if the dolphins were running things, there would be a lot more play time and naps. we take ourselves so seriously. Also if we were not dominant we would be dominated, like pets, so hopefully we would be enjoyable pets who would get fed regularly and only need to do tricks for treats.

2. Why 42?

you ask a crazy question you get a crazy answer

my questions:

3. Were you surprised by what creatures turned out to be the second and first most intelligent creatures? Do you agree with the dolphins thoughts on why they were smarter?

i was surprised when i first read the book, i also had not come up with any good theories as to what animals they might be

I do think we sometimes tend to work to hard, i know i do, so it does seem like it would be better to have a bit of fun and no have wars, but that only works if everyone wants the same sadly

4. What experiment do you think the mice were running?

I think they were trying to have us come up with the question through science, since they were mucking about mainly with scientists, by pushing our science the way they wanted our scientists would succeed where they failed. I wonder where the answer would have been produced though, would have been fun if it had been in that awful poetry that got destroyed.

5. Based off Chapter 25, what do you think Adams thoughts on professional philosophers are? What about programmers?

the lambasting of the no nothing philosophers was funny, he seemed to think they were very argumentative and indecisive, which if you ever get into warm and fuzzy debates they really can go on forever.

i loved how the programmers went to the trouble to work out a machine to answer a question, and then didn’t ask a good enough question! Sometimes technology is all hype

6. If you had the opportunity to as Deep thought a question, what would you have asked?

what career is best for me?

7. How do you feel about the answer when it was revealed? Did you know the answer ahead of time?

I believe i did know the answer when i first read the book, since it had been out ahead of time, but i thoroughly enjoyed the build-up and then…wha! moment

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