Douglas Adams · 250 pages
Rating: (184.8K votes)
“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.”
“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.”
“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
“It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.”
“If I ever meet myself,' said Zaphod, 'I'll hit myself so hard I won't know what's hit me.”
“To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”
“Life is wasted on the living.”
“My universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay.”
“The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question 'How can we eat?' the second by the question 'Why do we eat?' and the third by the question 'Where shall we have lunch?”
“It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in "It's a nice day," or "You're very tall," or "So this is it, we're going to die."
His first theory was that if human beings didn't keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.
After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this--"If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”
“He has personality problems beyond the dreams of analysts.”
“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.”
“One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history—the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.
The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be descibed differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is futher complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.
Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.”
“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.”
“But what about the End of the Universe? We'll miss the big moment."
I've seen it. It's rubbish," said Zaphod,"nothing but a gnab gib."
Opposite of a big bang. Come on, let's get zappy.”
“Shee, you guys are so unhip it's a wonder your bums don't fall off.”
“The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy offers this definition of
the word "Infinite".
Infinite: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some.
Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a
totally stunning size, "wow, that's big", time. Infinity is just so
big that by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy.
Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly
huge is the sort of concept we're trying to get across here.”
“How can I tell," said the man, "that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?”
“It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their own eyes and ears.”
“...and the Universe, ... will explode later for your pleasure.”
“In the beginning the Universe was created.
This had made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
“I'm so great even I get tongue-tied talking to myself.”
“The trouble with most forms of transport, he thought, is basically one of them not being worth all the bother. On Earth — when there had been an Earth, before it was demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass — the problem had been with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm's way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another — particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e. covered with tar, full of smoke and short of fish.”
“His mouth started to speak, but his brain decided it hadn't got anything to say yet and shut it again. His brain then started to contend with the problem of what his eyes told it they were looking at, but in doing so relinquished control of the mouth which promptly fell open again. Once more gathering up the jaw, his brain lost control of his left hand which then wandered around in an aimless fashion. For a second or so the brain tried to catch the left hand without letting go of the mouth and simultaneously tried to think about what was buried in the ice, which is probably why the legs went and Arthur dropped restfully to the ground.”
“Could be. I’m a pretty dangerous dude when I’m cornered.”
“Yeah,” said the voice from under the table, “you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.”
“In an infinite Universe anything can happen.”
“The waiter approached.
'Would you like to see the menu?' he said. 'Or would you like to meet the Dish of the Day?'
'Huh?' said Ford.
'Huh?' said Arthur.
'Huh?' said Trillian.
'That’s cool,' said Zaphod. 'We'll meet the meat.”
“Twelve months later, when the Iraq survey group, Blair’s inspectors of choice, couldn’t find the weapons either, he changed tack again. Speaking to the House of Commons Liaison Committee, he said: ‘I have to accept we haven’t found them and we may never find them, we don’t know what has happened to them . . . They could have been removed, they could have been hidden, they could have been destroyed.’ The evidential dance was now at full tilt. The lack of evidence for WMD in Iraq, according to Blair, was no longer because troops had not had enough time to find them, or because of the inadequacy of the inspectors: rather, it was because the Iraqi troops had spirited them out of existence.”
“How can you be lonely? You've got yourself, haven't you? If you ever lose yourself, then you'll really be lonely...”
“What differentiated us was our perception of our mutual reality, which made no difference.”
“I’m an idiot for thinking that one performance would change anything.
Maybe I should stop writing songs and start writing fiction.”
“Then she said that truth was all relative. Truth often came down to what is the most believable version of events.”
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