Knowledge and knowers
The answer to life, the universe, and everything, as most people know, is 42. According to Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which this answer is revealed, it took a supercomputer called Deep Thought 7.5 million years to work out the answer. When asked to explain its answer, Deep Thought assured those responsible for receiving the answer that it had thoroughly checked its calculations, and there was no doubt about its accuracy. Sensing their disappointment, the city-sized computer added: ‘I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question was.’
The sum of our knowledge is vast. All of us have a vast range of opinions and beliefs and perspectives and tastes. We make hundreds of different decisions each day, sometimes consciously, sometimes without thinking. We hold positions on issues and events, again, forming these both instinctively and after a period of consideration.
But how did you get there? Where did your knowledge come from? What influenced you to opt for the position you eventually did? We already know what we think. But what is the reason for what we think? Just as Deep Thought pointed out, perhaps the real issue is the question, rather than the answer. None of us ever stops questioning how the world works and some people build a career out of it.