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Douglas Adams (Writer)

The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
Douglas Adams perspective
We don't have to save the . The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.
Douglas Adams world
A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."
Douglas Adams learning
If you try and take aapart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.
Douglas Adams art
When you're a student or whatever, and you can't afford a car, or a plane fare, or even a train fare, all you can do is hope that someone will stop and pick you up. At the moment we can't afford to go to other planets. We don't have the ships to take us there. There may be other people out there (I don't have any opinions about Life Out There, I just don't know) but it's nice to think that one could, even here and now, be whisked away just by hitchhiking.
Douglas Adams hope
You are disoriented. Blackness swims toward you like a school of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot.
Douglas Adams war
Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game.
Douglas Adams football
The idea thathas appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place, and continues to do so today.
Douglas Adams technology
I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer.
Douglas Adams people
There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the . The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectualto slowly correct some of our misapprehensions.
Douglas Adams perspective
The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful. And … the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.
Douglas Adams life
(adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
Douglas Adams risk
(Co-written with John Lloyd)
Douglas Adams wit
(n.) One who changes his name to be further to the front. (vb.) To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly bad that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.(adj.) Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.(vb. n.) Polite word for buggery.(ptcpl.vb.) Struggling to extrude an extremely large turd.(abs.n.) The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat which is still warm from somebody else's bottom(vb.) To enter the kitchen with the precise determination to perform something only to forget what it is just before you do it.
Douglas Adams war
If it looks like a , and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.
Douglas Adams family
It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils … without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy.
Douglas Adams learn
If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t.
Douglas Adams time
Let usthe unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
Douglas Adams self
"What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?" This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table. Richard continued, "What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that's really the essence of programming. By the time you've sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you've learned something about it yourself.
Douglas Adams time
Theusually learns more than the pupils. Isn't that true? "It would be hard to learn much less than my pupils," came a low growl from somewhere on the table, "without undergoing a pre-frontal lobotomy."
Douglas Adams true
Thewas the way to... to... The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to.
Douglas Adams good
And that, apart from a flurry of sensational newspaper reports which exposed him as a fraud, then trumpeted him as the real thing so that they could have another round of exposing him as a fraud again and then trumpeting him as the real thing again, until they got bored and found a nice juicy snooker player to harass instead, was that.
Douglas Adams art
This was the evening of the last day of Gordon Way's life ... The weather forecast hadn't mentioned that, of course, that wasn't the job of the weather forecast, but then his horoscope had been pretty misleading as well. It had mentioned an unusual amount of planetary activity in his sign and had urged him to differentiate between what he thought he wanted and what he actually needed, and suggested that he should tackle emotional or work problems with determination and complete honesty, but had inexplicably failed to mention that he would be dead before the day was out.
Douglas Adams life
WFT-II was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus. The sentence would probably run along the lines of "WFT-II, unlike such major U.S. companies as Microsoft or Lotus ..." but it was a start.
Douglas Adams war
Or maybe she decided that an evening with your old tutor would be blisteringly dull and opted for the more exhilarating course of washing her hair instead. Dear me, I know what I would have done. It's only lack of hair that forces me to pursue such a hectic social round these days.
Douglas Adams you
The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last fifteen years of your life and will therefore furnish you with a basic sherry, but refuses to catch your eye.
Douglas Adams life
"Sir , renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!" "The what?" said Richard. "The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a ..." "Yes," said Richard, "there was also the small matter of gravity." "Gravity," said Dirk with a slightly dismissive shrug, "yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered." ... "You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap ... ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see."
Douglas Adams light
If thecame to aneverythere was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t. It’s like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don’t hurt it. Not even major surgery if it’s done properly.are just the scar tissue.andheal themselves up around them andsimply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.
Douglas Adams man
It can hardly be a coincidence that noonhas ever produced the phrase, "as pretty as an airport."
Douglas Adams
was theofand, frankly, acted like it.
Douglas Adams
The kid was deliberately and maliciously watchingat him.
Douglas Adams
You made us what you would not dare to be yourselves. Yet you will not acknowledge us.
Douglas Adams knowledge
If I walk along one of your streets in this... world you have made for yourselves without us, then barely an eye will once flicker in my direction. … Especially when I'm wearing the helmet!
Douglas Adams world
It can hardly be a coincidence that noonhas ever produced the expression "As pretty as an airport." Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk ( is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
Douglas Adams people
"My name is Kate Schechter. Two 'c's, two 'h's, two 'e's, and also a 't', an 'r', and an 's'. Provided they're all there the bank won't be fussy about the order they come in. They never seem to know themselves."
Douglas Adams
The usual people tried to claim responsibility. First the , then theand the . Evenrushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all, and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn't actually anything to do with them at all.
Douglas Adams people
In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was "nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation," or to put it another way--as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career--the check-in desk had just got "fundamentally fed up with being where it was."
Douglas Adams men
You would probably not say that he was sleeping the sleep of the just, unless you meant the just asleep, but it was certainly the sleep of someone who was not fooling about when he climbed into bed of a night and turned off the light.
Douglas Adams light
...he had a tremendous propensity for getting lost when driving. This was largely because of his "Zen" method of navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both.
Douglas Adams success
Always expecting this and expecting that. May I recommendto you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit isand disappointment. Learn to be one with theof the moment.
Douglas Adams life
Dirk was unused to making such a minuscule impact on anybody. He checked to be sure that he did have his huge leather coat and his absurd red hat on and that he was properly and dramatically silhouetted by the light of the doorway. He felt momentarily deflated and said, "Er..." by way of self-introduction, but it didn't get the boy's attention. He didn't like this. The kid was deliberately and maliciously watching television at him.
Douglas Adams men
The explosion was now officially designated an "Act of ." But, thought Dirk, what god? And why? What god would be hanging aroundof Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 flight to Oslo?
Douglas Adams god
The device [electronic I Ching calculator] also functioned as an ordinary calculator, but only to a limited degree. It could handle any calculation which returned an answer of anything up to 4. ...anything above 4 it represented merely as "A Suffusion of Yellow." Dirk was not certain if this was a programming error or an insight beyond his ability to fathom, but he was crazy about it anyway, enough to hand over twenty pounds of ready cash for the thing.
Douglas Adams present
It was a battered yellowwhich had had one careful owner but also three suicidally reckless ones.
Douglas Adams care
She held the car grimly to the road as it negotiated the bends with considerable difficulty and the straight sections with only slightly less. The car had landed her in court on one occasion when one of its front wheels had sailed off on a little expedition of its own and nearly caused an accident. The police witness in court had referred to her beloved Citro
Douglas Adams love
My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it's going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere I needed to be.
Douglas Adams strategy
...my methods of navigation have their advantage. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
Douglas Adams age
What was theprinciple? 'Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' I reject that entirely. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say 'Yes, but he or she simply wouldn't do that.'
Douglas Adams truth
It was his subconscious which told him this — that infuriating part of a person's brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.
Douglas Adams art
There was constant talk about hewing things and ravaging things and splitting things asunder. Lots of big talk of things being mighty, and of things being riven, and of things being in thrall to other things, but very little attention given, as I now realise, to the laundry.
Douglas Adams aging
Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of a Ferrari and a bottle of tequila.
Douglas Adams influence
The Great Zaganza said: "You are very fat and stupid and persistently wear a ridiculous hat which you should be ashamed of."
Douglas Adams you
A BBC Radio 4 radio programme on how new media and technology will change our lives
Douglas Adams change
The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I'd written both of them.
Douglas Adams books
It'd be like a bunch of rivers, the Amazon and the Mississippi and the Congo asking how the Atlantic Ocean might affect them… and the answer is, of course, that they won't be rivers anymore, just currents in the ocean.
Douglas Adams ocean
It's important to remember that the relationship between different media tends to be complementary. When new media arrive they don't necessarily replace or eradicate previous types. Though we should perhaps observe a half second silence for the eight-track. — There that's done. What usually happens is that older media have to shuffle about a bit to make space for the new one and its particular advantages. Radio did not kill books and television did not kill radio or movies — what television did kill was cinema newsreel. TV does it much better because it can deliver it instantly. Who wants last week's news?
Douglas Adams books
Generally, old media don't die. They just have to grow old gracefully. Guess what, we still have stone masons. They haven't been the primary purveyors of the written word for a while now of course, but they still have a role because you wouldn't want a TV screen on your headstone.
Douglas Adams grace
Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Douglas Adams man
Excerpts frombefore his death in May 2001.
Douglas Adams death
For us, there is no longer a fundamental mystery about Life. It is all the process of extraordinary eruptions of information, and it is information which gives us this fantastically rich, complex world in which we live; but at the same time that we've discovered that we are destroying it at a rate that has no precedent in history, unless you go back to the point when we are hit by an asteroid!
Douglas Adams time
If we think that the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it the way we have been destroying it, because we think we can do no harm.
Douglas Adams world
You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one.
Douglas Adams will
The Salmon of Doubt : Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002)
Douglas Adams time
Allare not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported inandthan others.
Douglas Adams cat
I'd take the awe ofover the awe ofany day.
Douglas Adams day
My absolute favorite piece ofis thethat young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of .
Douglas Adams you
"" is jumping upward with all four legs simultaneously. My advice: do not die until you've seen a large black poodle stotting in the snow.
Douglas Adams war
For Children: You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn't quite that simple. The fried egg isn't properly a fried egg until it's been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn't do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while.
Douglas Adams you
Anything that is in thewhen you'reis normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Douglas Adams art
There is no problem so complicated that you can't find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right ... Or put it another way, "The future of computer power is pure simplicity."
Douglas Adams power
I am fascinated by . (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!) It has had such an incalculably huge effect on human affairs. What is it? What does it represent? Why have we invented it? How does it keep going? What will become of it? I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing.
Douglas Adams love
My favorite piece ofis that , brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantelpiece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favorite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of .
Douglas Adams man
The hotel shop only had two decent , and I'd written both of them.
Douglas Adams
We are stuck withwhen what we really want is just stuff that works.
Douglas Adams work
In fact the only thing that I don't like about Whisky, is that if I take the merest sip of the stuff, it sends a sharp pain from the back of my left eyeball down to the tip of my right elbow, and I begin to walk in a very special way, bumping into people and snarling at the furniture. I have therefore learned to turn my attention to other tipples. Margaritas, I'm very fond of, but they make me buy very stupid things. When ever I've had a few margaritas I always wake up in the morning with a sense of dread as to what I will find downstairs. The worst was a 6ft long pencil and a 2ft wide India rubber that I had shipped over from New York, as a result of one injudicious binge.
Douglas Adams pain
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. "He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left." " Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there's no point trying to look in that direction because it won't be coming from there." "... Most of the words that airline staff used, or rather most of the sentences into which they were habitually arranged, had been worked so hard that they had died."
Douglas Adams love
To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.
Douglas Adams money
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams love
Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
Douglas Adams learning
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adams experience
I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.
Douglas Adams need
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
Douglas Adams people
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
Douglas Adams think
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
Douglas Adams people
He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
Douglas Adams dream
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
Douglas Adams family
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.
Douglas Adams wrong
I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.
Douglas Adams believe
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.
Douglas Adams bizarre
The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
Douglas Adams learning
It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
Douglas Adams people
This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Douglas Adams day
You live and learn. At any rate, you live.
Douglas Adams live
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
Douglas Adams problems
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
Douglas Adams beautiful
Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
Douglas Adams time
He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
Douglas Adams life
The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.
Douglas Adams reality
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.
Douglas Adams integrity
I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.
Douglas Adams reason

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