# The meaning of life is 42. The ascii code 42 is “*”, which is a wildcard in regex. Thus, the meaning of life is whatever you want it to be :)

The meaning of life isn't 42. 42 is just the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, which nobody in this universe can know. It's sad when people miss out on the silliness that is the full joke. It aint "haha 42 so random". It's "hooray, we know the answer! But it's meaningless without knowing the question."

Saving this comment for contemplation when im high af

'm trying but itt doesn't make it any easier unless the question is "How many tokes does it take to understand the meaning of life?"

Happy to do my part

And asterix isn’t the wildcard in regex lol, 0/2

Asterisk. Asterix is a character, from Asterix and Obelix.

The true meaning of life is to always look on the bright side.

Are you... The Messiah?

You actually missed out on the joke, because the question was later to be found as “what is nine times six?”

Nah, but nice try. That's a totally different joke riffing off this one. Part of that joke is that it's the wrong question because Arthur wasn't the right form of life to come up with the question. He's not part of the equation placed on earth to arrive at the question.

Am I missing the joke bc that's 54

No, that is the joke

I though the joke was that because the Golgafringians crashed on earth and interbred with the cavemen that the program was corrupted and that even if the Vogons hadn’t destroyed Earth or they had gotten Arthur’s brain the mice would have gotten an incorrect question.

**That's a sentence.**

[удалено]

‘We apologize for the inconvenience’

Not in base 13 iirc

It was "what is six times seven" iirc

No, it was six times nine, the joke being that the universe is so fundamentally fucked up that it’s ultimate answer is an incorrectly answered math problem.

I stand corrected, my memory sucks lol.

It depends on which edition of book you have. A friend and I were arguing about this. He got his book, I got mine, and mine said “six by nine” and his said “six by seven”. I suspect an editor at some point “corrected” it.

I know the mice or rats or whatever they are suggested it might be 6 x 7 but when the scrabble letters were pulls was 9 x 6 or something

When Arthur refuses to have his brain sliced and diced, the mice decide to make up a question instead. They first consider “What is six times seven?”, but eventually settle for “How many roads must a man walk down?”. When Arthur (much much later) randomly pull scrabble tiles from a bag in an attempt to figure out the question, he gets “What is six times nine?”. At some point someone who can read his mind notes that the question has something to do with the number 13. 6 times 9 equals 54, which, when written in base 13, is 42, but the book never explicitly makes this point.

Douglas once specifically mentioned that he didn't write jokes in base 13.

Deep Thought would be disappointed

Thank you. I'm so sick of making this correction to people. It's good to know others have actually read the book.

Thank you, this makes me irrationally angry and if someone else hadn't said it yet I was going to be obligated.

Happy CAKE DAY! =)

Oh sweet, thanks!

Happy cake day

What the zark are you simians talking about?

Upvoted you to 42 points. Nice.

Add up the numbers of a dice, 6+5+4+3+2+1=21. x2=42. Two die. The answer to the ultimate question is to die

Exaaaaactly. The number 42 is the only tattoo I think I would ever get, as a reminder of the absurdity of it all.

I’ve only ever seen . as the wildcard character in regex. The * is different.

In regex, * means match the preceding character (or capture group) 0 or more times. I think OP means glob matching.

Right, so the meaning of life is more of what came before

I think this ☝ is the most accurate depiction of the original question

So the accuracy of this shower thought is inversely proportional to its inspirational value, then. Thanks, I guess.

0 or more of what came before *

I hope it's 0

Could be nothing. Could be everything.

Was going to say what you said.

Nothing happened. And for a moment longer, nothing continued to happen.

In programming, * tends to represent everything, so it sorta matches with what OP said.

Yeah, but OP specifically said regex instead of programming, which isn’t right.

So I give it half an upvote.

It’s been a while since using regex for me but I’m fairly certain . is any number of the following character and * is any character. I remember having to use .* a lot when learning Grep, Sed and Awk.

It's the opposite. The dot matches any character and the star is 0 or more occurrences. A plus is one or more occurrence.

you have it in reverse, `.` is any character and `*` is any length

Yeah. I realize that. I just remember saying “any number of any character” in my head as I typed “.*” 😅

Think in bash

bash's globbing syntax isn't regex syntax, and OP mentioned the latter.

\* is not a wildcard in regex

Also, 42 isn’t the meaning to life. It’s the answer to the great question of life, unfortunately we don’t know what the question is

The question, according to the the bag of scrabble tiles is What is nine times six?

The question was calculated to be "what do you get when you multiply six by nine?". So the answer was "6×9=42". Which is mathematically wrong, but its canon that there was interference with the computer's calculations which made it spit out this question

Exactly, so we still don't know what the "real" question was.

Well yearh but Arthur Dent and Ford are still convinced that that is the question (as far as i remember. I have the Ultimate Guide with all of the books in it but i may not have read the last couple)

This needs to be higher.

`/^(THANK)+ you\!\$/` Edit: well, that did not work as expected. Another edit: okay, now it did.

THANKTHANK you!

I know what I'm about, son.

It’s ‘select all’ so would still work lol

It isn't at all. For example, a\* would match any number of occurrences of "a" .. Not "a, then anything after it"

Ohh right I was thinking of .*

I guess the meaning of life is, keep doing whatever you're doing.

Zero or more times :)

4 and 2 are "shi" and "ni" in Japanese, translating to death. An equally deep but meaningless answer.

If only it were 72... *Na... ni?!*

What?

7 is nana not na

So it’s a stutter “Na-Nani?!”

Isn't 4 in japanese "yon"?

I don't know the translation, but the Japanese are superstitious about the number 4 because it is very similar to the word for death. Same way others are superstitious about 13.

So I've only heard about superstition regarding 4, is there any kind of that regarding 7?

I’m no expert by any means but my understanding is that they treat 4 more like we do 13, whereas with 7 they just prefer the alternate pronunciation. I don’t believe that 7 is actively avoided on its own.

Well thank you for posting this. I'm interested in Japanese culture so I enjoy learning new things about it.

7 is shichi not shishi.

Good catch, I apparently shouldn’t post before I have coffee or something!

Or 666.

In China many buildings are numbered to skip over floors 4, 14, 24, etc

r/jhinMains

Gami

The goal of life is death - Ainz Ooal Gown

This may be a stretch but it’s still a coincidence. half of 42 is 21. All the numbers on a regular 6 sided die add up to 21. Therefore if you have two dice (to make the number 42) and use the singular form of dice you have 2 die or the phrase “to die”

"*" is not a wildcard in regex. "." is a wildcard.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Don’t panic!

Asterisk isn't wildcard in regex, it means "0 or more times". The wildcard is the period character.

..so there are 0 or more meanings of life?

or it means that life can only be repetitive or short.

Holy crap, you literally just solved life! I'm gonna go and continue laying in bed browsing Reddit now.

That is indeed the solution to life.

So I guess OP successfully prevented from watching porn ? or not ?

You gotta slow down with your Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters man.

`.` is the wildcard in regex. `*` matches the previous set zero or more times greedily

* Life, the universe, and everything.

Half-Life 3 Confirmed

You beautiful bastard...

It's 8*6. Because the universe is fundamentally wrong. And it's cannon

052 is the ascii code for \* 042 is " And \* isn't the regex wildcard.

052 is the octal number, while the decimal number is 42. If you want to run this in python: `num = 42` `char = chr(num)` `print(char)` You should get \* as the result. And I agree, the regex wildcard is "."

It would be really satisfying for me to know for sure, that this statement of yours ultimately turns out to be true in the future. That "The meaning of life" could be something i can truly pick for myself, would relief so much stress and expectations of my shoulders.

Why is the meaning of life 42?

Not a shower thought, believe it's from some book or movie, possibly *hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy*

It is indeed from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A giant computer called Deep Thought is created to calculate "the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything". It takes 7.5 million years to come up with 'the answer' which is 42. The problem is, nobody knows what the question actually is. Deep Thought is asked to calculate the question, but it can't. Instead it designs a better computer which uses organic components to complete the calculation - The Earth. Unfortunately, The Earth gets destroyed (right at the start of the story) to make way for a hyperspace bypass and the calculation never gets completed. There's a lot more to it than that, but that's the jist. I would strongly encourage you to read the book, or better yet listen to the original radio play which is a fantastic work of both comedy and sci-fi.

Because Deep Thought said so. 42 is the answer to life, universe and everything. We don't know the question (because the question and answer can't exist in the same universe lest it destroy itself and turn into something even more bizarre).

You absolute hoopy frood!

In CSS, \* refers to "everything" So the meaning of life is all the things, all at once.

“*” means something different to Kurt Vonnegut

It's not a wildcard in regex. "." is a wildcard...* repeats the prior character. So the meaning of life is "just keep doing what you've been doing."

Why does everyone here have such "intellectual showers"?

now this is a high iq shower thought

I have no idea what this means, but it sounds nice so I upvoted it :)

My favorite version of this is dice. A pair of six sided dice sum to 42 total pips, suggesting life is random, don't think too hard.

The meaning of life is 1. Just one thing. You stick to that, and the rest don't mean shit.

Thanks Willy

This post: [https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/19botr/the\_meaning\_of\_life\_the\_universe\_and\_everything/](https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/19botr/the_meaning_of_life_the_universe_and_everything/) Was what brought the lightbulb moment to me, once read; it can never be unseen....

I feel like this is the real reason it was 42 in the novel.

My meaning of life then is to end it as soon as possible

Always look on the bright side of life...

Do a flip!

Thank you for this. As someone in the tech field,, I had never put this together.. Take my free silver!

s/*/. /g Replace everything with this, globally. Yes? BTW, this is the best interpretation of life that I've read on Reddit.

These young people and their regex/glob matching. I remember when * was a wild card in DOS.

Unless it's hex 0x42. Then it's 'B' whatever you want to B.

"Thus"

I choose it to be 42 then

That’s an anus.

the number was picked at random, and thats not the point of the book

Just a thought but the meaning of life could be creatures constantly breeding so younger generations can adapt better to their enviroment evolving the species until eventually we reach the singularity (basically god mode?) And the reason there are other animals also doing this is cause its basically a race to find what animal can become the singularity first assurting total control of earth Maybe just maybe...

r/HeimerdingerMains

From all of the corrections and debate, I am convinced that people have confused Deep Thought with Shower Thoughts and are losing sight of the fact that, in order to have a shower thought, the OP would likely know where their towel is and everyone should calm down before someone “gets nailed to a tree”.

My own theory is that 42 is misheard. When people ask "What is the meaning of life and everything?" the computer answers "Fuck you" which the people cannot comprehend so they interpret it as "42"

Checks out...

The 0 is implied

It looks like an anus.

According to neumorology, 42 means this >The numerology number 42 is a number of family, home, harmony, nurturing, and idealism. It's a dynamic and responsible force. Its drive is to take care of family and maintain a harmonious home, and to assist individuals and community with information about how to reach ideal goals. So the meaning of life is to forge relational bonds with family and communities while striving to manifest your dreams Sounds about right to me

wat

And also the number of dots on a pair of dice

The meaning of life is to survive and make more of yourself. Anything else is subjective.

* is a butthole in Breakfast of Champions. YMMV

I understood that. Maybe I shouldn't be so stressed out for my python exam in June then :)

the meaning of life is to tell people who want me to cringe at everything to just jump in the gutter, if life is so strenuous for them why not follow through?

So... In other words. Life is meaningless (with extra steps)

Did you get this from Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life?

42c is the average temperature of shower water.

I've always said the meaning of life is to live. Take it however you want.

Wholesome :)

Except that in HGttG 42 is actually a pun. 4 in Japanese is Shi, 2 is Ni. ShiNi together means death in Japanese, so really the meaning of life is death.

In regex it's "." not "\*" but in other programming situations \* is a wildcard. Like directories for things will often use something like "C:/foo/bar/\*" in their API to select everything from that folder

I always thought this was the meaning. Story time: For some reason it seemed like a big deal when I was a kid that "the meaning of life" was the ultimate question, and that there could be one final answer to it, which would somehow bring happiness to everyone who found it. I always just got annoyed and said it was a dumb question, because the meaning of life is what you make of it. Knowing this answer did not make me happy - in fact it's plagued me forever knowing that I have to come up with my own meaning. I can finally sympathize with those people searching for the meaning all those years ago. Not sure what to make of all this tbh.

I contest that 42 is not an answer, it is a seemingly random number used to provoke one’s own thoughts about life, the universe and everything. What I take from it is that people overthink what the question is and why 42 is the answer, after all it makes no sense at all, but maybe that’s what the lesson is. Not to overthink, to live freely and without hesitation. But that’s just me.

I heard it as "42 is the total sum of two dice, so the meaning of life is 'two die'". Some linguistic stretch there, but still good.

Can somebody 12 degrees of Kevin Bacon this for me?

We work in hex... Uppercase B or decimal 66

Life? Don't talk to me about life. Brain the size of a planet and the ask me to open a door.

So what you're telling me is life is written in ASCII? Fascinating...

how tf do you have an ascii decoder and regex guide in your shower?

Asterisk is a wildcard in many things, but regex is definitely not one of them.

Fairly certain my phone is listening to me because someone threw this theory at me today after I answered "42" to a question of theirs. They told me that their theory is that there are 6 different types of human sub-species. (Human being the species and each continent having a different type of "sub-species" living on them. However, Antarctica doesn't have a sub-species at all. So 7 continents, 6 subspecies. That being 42 if multiplied. Unfortunately, we haven't come to terms with this information quite yet as the human species. Thus, we are stuck in the matrix of Deep Thought configuring the answer based on the question that Earth was intended to answer.

what?

This is what people think about while they shower? Damn, I must be dumb...

Rainbows forms at a 42 angle away from the shadow of your head. Which also means you'll never see a sunset and a rainbow in the same direction.

You'd think that would be the case, but the universe isn't restricted to the ASCII alphabet.

I dunno. Usually the \* means "terms and conditions apply...." which actually feels pretty accurate.

I like how there are 4.2k upvotes lol

Meaning of life isn’t 42. * isn’t wildcard in regex. Dumb post.

I wasnt expecting this to be inspiring but it is

Thats so wholesome despite the fact you got the reference confused

Unless you want to select your future, on which case the answer is 37

Adams was quite computer savvy. There is zero chance this is coincidence.

wth does 42 have to do with anything. life means 69 and i dont have a life

Patent class 42 is firearms. The meaning of life is firearms. https://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspc042/defs042.htm

The sub and this thought reminded me of something some people might find interesting In some of the dorms at my school they had messages in the shower tiles encoded in ascii

holy fuck this dude solved it faster than deep thought

Wildcard B*tches!!!!!