4. The Number 42 Is the Answer
"'Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm."
Of why Douglas Adams chose 42, the answer to the ultimate question calculated over a period of 7.2 million years, the author answered, "The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do' I typed it out. End of story."
It's a grave reminder that there is no absolute answer, and that one-size-fits-all responses are trivial.