The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Humanity

Time to get on board or get left behind.

Why is science second to Wikipedia, even though it’s technically a foundational substrate for Wikipedia itself?

They’re both prime territory for hitchhiking, but science produces arcane encyclopedia and cumbersome textbooks, then humanity turns them into actually useful wikis, then normal humans can effectively explore those wikis.

As a human myself, I prefer the wiki setup 🙂

… and besides, it’s not like science isn’t also rife with error (and worse).

Of course, dig deep enough and you’ll still find content that reads like this: “This article is about transition systems as used in operational semantics. For an automata-theoretic view, see semiautomaton.” … le sigh.

The Encyclopedia Galactica is a fictional or hypothetical encyclopedia containing all the knowledge accumulated by a galaxy-spanning civilization. The name evokes the exhaustive aspects of the real-life Encyclopædia Britannica.


In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia 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 second, it has the words “DON’T PANIC” inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.


Unnecessary addendum:

Arthur C. Clarke said Douglas Adams’ use of “don’t panic” was perhaps the best advice that could be given to humanity.


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