Life, The Universe & Everything: 42 or 4He2?

In 1979, Douglas Adams published ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, a science fiction novel featuring a supercomputer Deep Thought.

Deep Thought’s purpose was to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years, it had completed its data mining and machine learning mission and arrived at the answer of 42.

42 made little sense, nor did the supposed Question offered to explain it, ‘What do you get when you multiply six by nine?’

Perhaps 42 was misheard and misunderstood. Maybe they needed to look at the Answer from another angle

‘From one came two…’


‘… From two came three…’


‘… From three came ten thousand things.’ – Lao Tzu


Who knew there was so much stuff to count in the universe?

While our ancestors may have looked up to the stars for answers, these days big data is changing the way we look at the world.

Whether it’s analysing sub-atomic particles at CERN, monitoring a patient’s vital signs or investing on the stock market, data science is promising a helping hand in pattern recognition and decision making for scientists, governments and business alike.

What does this mean for you and I, and how do we get involved?

Data science needs deep thought.




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