My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Millions of years ago, a race of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings who manifest in our dimension as white mice built the second-greatest computer ever to exist. It was called Deep Thought, and it was given the task of calculating the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Deep Thought, after 7.5 million years of computation, discovered that it was, in fact, 42. The problem, however, was that no one really knew what the Question was, so the answer was out of context.

Of course if you've read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy you already know this. If you haven't, then you are a worthless strag and should read it, because it's a pretty good book. ;)

Lately I have been meditating upon the meaning of life and why we're here. If you think about it, our mundane life is pretty much meaningless. Why do we go to school? To get educated so we can get a good job. Why do we get a job? So that we can make money. Why do we make money? So that we can spend money on things we need to survive. Why do we survive? Well, because it's what all species try to do.

And that's the thing. Thus far, all of humanity's achievements, no matter how great, really all depend on this arbitrary worth assigned to them by humans. Everything in our society has been constructed on the basis of an arbitrary fiction, starting with the economy and ending with digital watches. It is really just a complicated system of survival, however, and does not remove us from non-sentient beings.

So what's the point? Why are we here? Why do we live, exist? Well, to quote Dr. Stephen Hawking...

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

There you go. We are able to comprehend that there's more out there; we are able to reach out for it, search for it. That's why I am so enthusiastic about science fiction and actual space travel and space exploration. Some people like to complain that space exploration is a waste of money that can be better spent on decreasing crime or feeding starving mouths. But it's not. Because there is more to life than perpetuating the mundane fiction of civilization that we have manufactured for ourselves on this planet. And it's out there for us to discover.

That's what we do as human beings to expand our understanding: we ruminate and philosophise. However, the universe is very, very big, and the Earth inhabits only a small, tiny, minuscule portion of it. So in order for us to better comprehend the universe, it only makes sense that we need to step out of our own backyard and take a look around.

I refuse to believe in the anthropic principle because it's a cop-out, and because life seems a little less exciting if there isn't any more to living than toiling away for the sake of little green pieces of paper. There is more out there, and we have to find it.

Of course...

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 more bizarrely inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

So there you have it. Really, do you have anything better to do? :D After all, we know that the amount of good television on is inversely proportional to the number of channels you have. So with some people having upwards of 400, even 800 channels, you really have nothing to watch. Since nothing good is on TV, you might as well take some time to explore the universe!

About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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