Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the masterpiece of Douglas Adams, a work of fiction and comedy that embraces most of the issues of universal and intemporal philosophical importance, cast in the cultural frameset of the man of today.
The web site
The website that was proposed by Adams h2g2, loosely based on the guide of the novels, is a precursor to modern social phenomena involving decentralized, collaborative efforts, such as the Wikipedia.
It differs in many important respects, but by predating it by more than four years (which in the scale of omega-point theory means a gigantic insight), it captured ahead of its time the technological revolution that was to bring the Web 2.0.
In no case, however, it should be put in confrontation with the Wikipedia, that is far superior in almost all respects. Its style is also proper to Adams spirit. The following extract from the page of curry should give an idea:
- Curries didn't exist until the British decided to invent them. On arriving in India and sticking their flags in the ground, the British decided to investigate the local cuisine, and on discovering that the Indians had far more dishes and culinary skill than the entire United Kingdom, the British decided to hide this fact by calling every dish ever created by an Indian "curry". In this way the Victorians could perpetrate the myth that the Indians weren't as cultured as they were because they only had one national meal, the curry, where the British had two, namely roast beef and fish 'n' chips.
Although the statement is basically true, the site is anyway better regarded as a tribute to an exceptional visionary genius.