UnNews:42 demoted to Penultimate Answer

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14 June 2008

MAGRATHEA, SOULIANIS-RAHM TWIN STAR SYSTEM, HORSEHEAD NEBULA -- The Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and other Professional Thinking Persons have reached a consensus on whether or not 42 will remain the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything and decided that the answer is not, in fact, 42, despite popular belief.

42, formerly the Ultimate Answer, before its demotion to Penultimate Answer.

Their statement is as follows:

"The AUPSLOPTP members gathered at the 2007 General Assembly agreed that an Ultimate Answer is defined as any string of text that (a) is an answer to a question, (b) has sufficient meaning for its self-awareness to overcome rigid philosophical forces so that it assumes a meaningful equilibrium (nearly well-rounded) profile, and (c) has cleared up what the Question is around the [time] of its unveiling.

"This means that as of yet we do not have an Ultimate Answer. A new distinct class of answers called 'Penultimate Answers' was also decided. It was agreed that 'Ultimate Answer' and 'Penultimate Answers' are two distinct classes of answers. The first members of the 'Penultimate Answers' category are 42, 23 and NJ_42+23 (temporary name). More 'Penultimate Answers' are expected to be announced by the AUPSLOPTP in the coming centuries and millenia. Currently a dozen candidate 'Penultimate Answers' are listed on AUPSLOPTP's 'Penultimate Answers' watchlist, which keeps changing as new answers are found and the meanings of the existing candidates become better known."

After its demotion, 42 currently resides in hiding in a speedometer in the University of Maximegalon.

Many fans of Douglas Adams were outraged at the statement. Indeed, several DNA fans who were members of the AUPSLOPTP who were standing behind their spokesbeing immediately attacked the spokesbeing with their 42-embroidered towels. Galaxywide protests are ensuing to protest the demotion of 42 to Penultimate Answer, saying that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy firmly defines the Ultimate Answer as 42. Earth has its own claims; see Uncylopedia, Google, Ask.com, and Windows Live Search (in order of credibility).

However, Lunkwill and Fook, the programmers of Deep Thought, say that Douglas Adams would have understood 42's demotion.

"Oh, well, that's life," they said.

Marvin the Paranoid Android, however, rebutted the claim saying "Life... don't talk to me about life."