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The Hitchhiker's Guide

ENG2502: Text, Culture, Context (Science Fiction and Society)

Camilla Hoel

on 27 March 2014

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Transcript of The Hitchhiker's Guide

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
ENG2502 "Science Fiction and Society"
March 27 2014
Dr Camilla Ulleland Hoel
The Hitchhiker Trilogy
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Mostly Harmless
Doctor Who
Radio Play
TV series
between the 60s and the 80s
economic problems
political paralysis
microprocessor (1975)
Apple & Microsoft
The Mother of All Demos (1968)
"a device which looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press-buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million 'pages' could be summoned at a moment's notice. It looked insanely complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic cover it fitted into had the words DON'T PANIC printed on it in large friendly letters." (21)
"The other reason was that this device was in fact that most remarkable of all books to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor --
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
. The reason why it was published in the form of a micro sub-meson electronic component is that if it were published in normal book form, an interstellar hitchhiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around." (21-22)
Star Wars
Doctor Who
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Trek
"The Pirate Planet"
"The City of Death"
François Lyotard:
The Postmodern Condition
"an incredulity towards metanarratives"
Fredric Jameson: cultural logic of high capitalism
popular culture
rejection of aura

Monty Python
Video game

"You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number."
"Er, five," said the mattress. "Wrong," said Marvin. "You see?"
"That's a pity," said Arthur. "I'd like to hear what he had to
say. Presumably he would know what the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer is. It's always bothered me that we never found out."
"Think of a number," said the computer, " any number."
(--- Life, the Universe and Everything)
The triumph of human spirit
Glorious science makes glorious machines
Communication with the other
Artificial intelligence
The heroic quest (with heroes)
Earth the centre of the Universe
Where should we have lunch?
What is 6x7?
What is 6x9?
Full transcript