“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is your smartphone

The super computers we all carry in our pockets — our so-called “phones” — are remarkably close to Douglas Adams’ descriptions of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

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I say this in reference to the physical book-like-item that was the “Guide”, not to the website of information that the book accessed. The website-information-site of the “Guide” is, to be honest, just Wikipedia + TripAdvisor + Google Maps.

Case in point: “…the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words Don’t Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover…

Today’s modern equivalent of the physical “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is the super computer that we all have in our pockets. It’s your phone.

Sure, our phones don’t have physical buttons and don’t have a large red button, as did the physical version of the “Guide”. Nonetheless, “…[The Guide] was battered and travelworn as it had been hurled into prehistoric rivers, baked under the sun that shines so redly on the deserts of Kakrafoon, half-buried in the marbled sands that fringe the heady vapoured oceans of Santraginus V, frozen on the glaciers of the moon of Jaglan Beta, sat on, kicked around spaceships, scuffed and generally abused, and since its makers had thought that these were exactly the sorts of things that might happen to it, they had thoughtfully encased it in a sturdy plastic cover and written on it, in large friendly letters, the words “Don’t Panic”…

So… how do you travel? How to pull a Patrick Leigh Fermor? How do you pull a Jack Kerouac? Well, a. travel with your phone, b. buy a cheap roaming plan with unlimited data, and then c. use Wikipedia, TripAdvisor and Google Maps to get around. That is the hitchhiker’s guide to our galaxy.

Earth: mostly harmless.



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