[Haskell-cafe] Re: Who started 42, and when?

jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr jerzy.karczmarczuk at info.unicaen.fr
Fri Feb 1 17:43:33 EST 2008

Martin Lüthi: 

> In the Japanese culture the number 42 has a very special meaning. I
> realized that while discussing cultural differences with a Japanese.
> Pronouncing 42 sounds like "death" or "to die". No hotel in Japan has a
> room 42.  
> After knowing that it is hard to think that Doug Adams was not aware of
> that meaning.

Phil Molyneux:
> ... it does have a basis in the standard  model of physics ---
> a paper in Phys.Rev. of the early 1970s  described the unification of the
> Electro-Weak and Strong nuclear  forces --- the arbitrary constant 
> (of nearly) 42 appears in the  calculations. I forget the original paper 
> but if you get hold of  Frank Close ``The Cosmic Onion'' a graph 
> reproduces the result. I met Douglas Adams once at a book signing and 
> asked him how he got hold of  the Phys.Rev. paper so early. Technically he 
> should have written that  ``42 is the answer to life, the universe and 
> everything except for  gravity and a few other arbitrary constants''


You will discover the third (or the sixth?) moment of the Riemann zeta
function which has this 42 in it, and without doubt, you will find
something in Talmud and the Pyramides. And the mass of the Galaxy which
is 3*10^42.
And it takes light 10^(-42) sec. to cross the diameter of a proton,
although if I were light, I wouldn'd do such silly thing. Fortunately
I am heavy. 

And at least one of YOU is 42 years old, and I was once. (Yes, the number
1 which is even more magical). 

Perhaps before claiming before you know really something, because Adams
told you so personally, you have a look here. 


... And if you run a non-optimized Haskell program which computes the
Fibonacci of 42, then you have to wait so long, that you must build a
special Supercomputer for it. It has, BTW. been built, and it is called
the "haskell-cafe mailing list". 

Jerzy Karczmarczuk 

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