Monday, April 15, 2024

Epic 100 Douglas Adams Quotes

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1.“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

2.“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

3.“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

4.“Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

5.“The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

6.“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”

7.“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer”

8.“There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick.”

9.“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

10.“If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”

11.“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.”

12.“The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”

13.“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”

14.“Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.”

15.“The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

16.“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

17.“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

18.“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

19.“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

20.“What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer.”

21.“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

22.“Don’t you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see.”

23.“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

24.“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”

25.“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

26.“He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.”

27.“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?”

28.“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

29.“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

30.“One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

31.“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

32.“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

33.“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”

34.“God’s Final Message to His Creation: ‘We apologize for the inconvenience.”

35.“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”

36.“He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”

37.“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

38.“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”

39.“If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.”

40.“If I ever meet myself,’ said Zaphod, ‘I’ll hit myself so hard I won’t know what’s hit me.”

41.“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”

42.“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.”

43.“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”

44.“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

45.“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

46.“We can’t win against obsession. They care, we don’t. They win.”

47.“I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”

48.“There is no point in using the word ‘impossible’ to describe something that has clearly happened.”

49.“Ford… you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”

50.“There’s always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it’s with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it’s one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again.”

51.“A cup of tea would restore my normality.”

52.“The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

53.“Did I do anything wrong today,” he said, “or has the world always been like this and I’ve been too wrapped up in myself to notice?”

54.“and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks.”

55.“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”

56.“To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”

57.“The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.”

58.“My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre and that I am therefore excused from saving universes.”

59.“Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.”

60.“All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.”

61.“One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn’t be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so—but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence, the act. He preferred people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous.”

62.“Ford!” he said, “there’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they’ve worked out.”

63.“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.”

64.“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

65.“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?”

66.“Don’t believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.”

67.“The point is, you see,” said Ford, “that there is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.”

68.“This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

69.“The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. ”

70.“First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure.”

71.“Perhaps I’m old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.”

72.“Life is wasted on the living.”

73.“Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.”

74.“Life… is like a grapefruit. Well, it’s sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast.”

75.“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

76.“See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.”

77.“In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.”

78.“Exactly!” said Deep Thought. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.”

79.“Life,” said Marvin dolefully, “loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.”

80.“and we’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere … and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.”

81.“It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else’s point of view without the proper training.”

82.“I don’t want to die now!” he yelled. “I’ve still got a headache! I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it!”

83.“I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed.”

84.“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is…42!”

85.“My universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay.”

86.“My capacity for happiness,” he added, “you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first”

87.“The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.”

88.“The first ten million years were the worst,” said Marvin, “and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.”

89.“A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.”

90.“I’m up to here with cool, okay? I am so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for a month. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis.”

91.“Capital Letters Were Always The Best Way Of Dealing With Things You Didn’t Have A Good Answer To.”

92.“One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.”

93.“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

94.“One is never alone with a rubber duck.”

95.“And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.”

96.“Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.”

97.“Let the past hold on to itself and let the present move forward into the future.”

98.“We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.”

99.“Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying “Blood…blood…blood…blood…”

100.“Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else becomes eerily easy.”

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