Zaphod Beeblebrox. Now that is one hoopy frood. Of Douglas Adams’ crazy creations in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Zaphod works out as one of the more normal and acceptable. He is the self-involved politician, who holds no real power but is just a figurehead. Is he a parody of all politicians? A metaphor? Is he just the perfect politician – able to draw attention away from those with real power?
Who knows, but for some reason, this over-the-top character with two heads and three arms is an acceptable part of the universe. And he puts his position and situation to good use, stealing the Heart of Gold and allowing Adams to do literally whatever he wanted with these stories – thanks to the Infinite Improbability Drive. Ah, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you haven’t read it, I do recommend it, and the second book, in particular. And if you like those, the whole series. But for now, a couple of great parts about Zaphod Beeblebrox!
I initially started writing about Science Fiction as it relates to Religion in terms of aliens – and how the existence of aliens might do a lot to prove or disprove religions. There are a lot more science fiction worlds I could look at and discuss this point, and I may at some point in the future. However, a truly intelligent alien race, that was around well before us, is an entirely different train of thought.
And that leads me to today’s topic: Intelligent Design. A common theme in science fiction, the creation of humanity as the result of alien influence. Seen prominently recently in Prometheus, this thought comes up a lot, and while it doesn’t prove anything – the fiction aspect of the phrase – it does pose some hard scientific questions.
So let’s go with the best example of this: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Why have a stuffy intellectual conversation or a self-righteous religious one when we can have a fun conversation? If you haven’t read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, go do it. If you prefer audio books, Holly loved listening to it with Stephen Fry narrating. It is a good time, a fantastic parody, but with some solid thought that went into it too, which is a lot of its lasting appeal. So let’s take a look at what Douglas Adams did with Religion.
Welcome back for another round of Science Fiction Today. Last time, I considered what thinking about things like the sequester would be like a bit further into our future. Hey look, that ended up happening… Oh, and in terms of virtual vacations, I was reminded that this is also somewhat the plot to (either) Total Recall.
For today, I wanted to tackle another sticky situation, one where I feel like we seem to be missing the point as we argue politically.
That would be the environment. What will that look like in the future? Continue reading
Posted in IRL, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Today, Tech
Tagged Douglas Adams, Dune, Dystopia, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, NASA, Replicator, Sequester, Star Trek, The Dark Ages, The Environment, Total Recall, Unobtainium, Utopia