What’s the answer?

Even if you’ve never read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, you probably already know that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. The problem is that we don’t really know what the question is.

Getting an answer to a question isn’t the end of a process. If the answer is in any way interesting, it sparks a whole load of new questions. If you think we’re converging on the ultimate answer to some question, then the question you’re asking probably isn’t an interesting one.

I’m not saying we can’t find answers. We can answer many questions. But the more answers we find, the more questions we can ask. Knowledge is like a balloon. The bigger it gets, the bigger its surface becomes, and the more we know we don’t know. So life gets more interesting

It’s like a novel. At the start of a novel we know nothing about the characters. We don’t even know who the characters are. But the more we learn about them, the more questions we have about what they are doing and what’s going to happen to them. The balloon gets bigger. In a satisfying novel, all the interesting questions get answered at the end of the book. But life isn’t like that. It seems there’s always a sequel. And that’s just as well, or else at some point in the future life would become really dull.

Are you, like me, wondering what life is all about? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have no answers. I can only offer more questions.

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