Saturday, June 16, 2007

Revelation

I've not done well fulfilling my Spring Reading Thing list. Oh, I've been reading, but the titles have been selections for the Young Adult Resources class I'm taking this summer. Some of the books have been very good, others are just -- meh -- there. And not what I'd recommend to young adults by any means.

Today I started reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If you've not read it, you should. Well, slight revision. If you enjoy droll British humor and you've not read it, then you should. It inspired a movie version in 2005 that my family and I have watched and laughed at many, many times.

Yet I digress. I had a revelation today -- nay, I say an epiphany. Douglas Adams wrote Hitchhiker in 1979. I do believe the man had prophetic skills. In describing the guide he used these words:

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words
DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

What could Adams be describing other than Wikipedia? How did he know of its existence 25 years before its wikibirth? Stay with me on this. We all know Wikipedia has "many omissions and. . .much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate". Yet for the everyday Joe, Wikipedia has replaced its print bound predecessors. It's flawed, we know it and we love it. We love it because it's "slightly cheaper," (read: free) and though it lacks the words DON'T PANIC written across the front page, it does communicate the idea that together, we can figure things out and that is a very calming and reassuring idea.

Want to know more? Check here to see what Wikipedia has to say about Hitchhiker and then go here to learn more about its prophetic creator, Douglas Adams.

So long and thanks for all the fish. And don't forget your towel. You never know what you might run into out there.

2 comments:

Suzanne said...

you are too funny!
it's been years since i've read it, but i want to again!

Brandy said...

you crack me up!

thanks for all your encouraging comments/tips. the girls now have color coded cups...and i love it! but i couldn't get to the video you wanted me to watch. still curious as to it! so if ya want to try getting it to me again, great!