And Other Important Items, by Rich Paschall 

You may be asking your AI-infused search engine, “What is the meaning of life?”  It will probably tell you that the answer is too profound to be known and understood.

Ha! We here at the Serendipity’s Think Tank and Boulangerie have been contemplating this and other critical universal questions. There is nothing artificial about our intelligence. We offer you honest answers to the meaning of life as well as, “What are black holes?” “Why does WordPress keep tweaking its editors?” “What is the purpose of deep dish pizza?” and “Why does the rain in Spain stay mainly on the plain?” There are no Eastern philosophers here — or Western ones for that matter — only the sharpest minds in this dull world.

Even dogs are searching for the meaning of life and treats. Mostly treats.

While Bing or Nat or Burl or any of your other friends are Searching For You, we will provide you with the wisdom of the ages. There are a lot of ages around here so you definitely can not go wrong. Let us first consider other popular theories.

“Only an artist can divine the meaning of life.” 

Friederich Schlegel

Shortly after offering this opinion, we fired Friederich. We found his material to be neither rational nor scientific. We considered burning it with the Torch of Science but we needed the light in case of a power outage. By the way, he was a lousy artist anyway.

Thinking about the Meaning of Life.

“Cognizance of order, coherence and purpose in one’s existence, the pursuit and attainment of worthwhile goals, and an accompanying sense of fulfillment”

— Gary Reker and Paul Wong

Clearly, there was too much thinking in their tanks. Half of our team did not understand what they were saying and the other half went to refill their tankards. They were not even adequate in the Boulangerie. We fired them too.

A good crew of lads came to us and joined the Think Tank immediately.  We found them to be of superior intellect and put them to work on the all-important question right away. They went straight to work and while they were not as fast as any of your Christmas friends with the strange names, they were nevertheless efficient and trustworthy. Here is their answer:

“Well, it’s nothing very special. Uh, try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”

— Monty Python

Of course, this was not specific enough for the scientists in the room. They found that the parameters were too vague and they could not adequately measure peace, good and brotherhood. So we tried a little Crystal Blue Persuasion. Jeremy Bentham chimed in with the “happiness principle.” We thought “being” was being forgotten and in favor of measuring external value.

“So don’t you give up now, ooh-ooh, It’s so easy to find, Just look to your soul (look to your soul), And open your mind.” 

— Tommy James

In the corner, Immanuel was mumbling something about moral worth but I Kant understand him so we will pass on that theory. Adam Smith found value in labor and property so the conservative thinkers loved him. Zeno (obviously a nickname) was trying to teach harmony with the universe. It is hard to teach harmony when you don’t even know the melody, so let’s move on, shall we?

“Everyone dies alone. But if you mean something to someone, if you help someone, or love someone. If even a single person remembers you then maybe you never really die at all.”

— The Machine

People of a certain age and hitchhikers across the galaxy know the meaning of life so there is no need to Google it or search any longer. We will give it to you. We have given it deep thought. If you had a supercomputer you might get it, but Douglas has rushed over from the Think Tank with it and here it is.


In Chicago, however, the meaning is 23. Ponder that for a while.

See Also: “Searching For You,” A New Search Engine
SERENDIPITY, February 19, 2023.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,by Douglas Adams
Harmony House, October 1980.

Categories: Computers, intelligence, Rich Paschall, Science

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. Hello
    Nice Read
    Rich Paschall is a Columbus, Ohio resident who has been writing about the meaning of life since he was a young boy. Paschall is the author of the website, Serendipity’s Think Tank, where he offers honest answers to the most important questions in life.
    Scott Dubois


  2. In New Mexico, the meaning of life is “Green chiles”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay. Here’s my question: what is the difference between green and red chilis? I use mostly the red ones, probably because that’s what I can usually find at the grocery — but I have noticed there are now a LOT of hot peppers ranging from “ghost peppers” so hot that you need an ambulance waiting for you after you taste one to Hungarian peppers which are a little bit spicy, but not overwhelming, to a variety of red, green and yellow chilis many of which I’m afraid to test drive lest they try to kill me. I need a special app for my phone. I could call it the “Chili ID Authenticator.” Sort of like one of my bird apps which has every bird in the world EXCEPT the one I am looking at. Just saying.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There is a Hispanic supermarket nearby that has them all. I don’t buy what I don’t know. The Colombian guy does not like anything too spicy.


      • the primary difference is when you pick them. Green will turn to red if you leave them on the plant longer to ripen. Green chiles are usually fresh or roasted. Red chiles are tied together into what we call ristras and let them dry. you can then cook with them or grind them into a fine powder.
        We make green chile stews with roasted chiles and we make rellenos by stuffing the fresh chile with cheese, battering and frying.
        With red chiles you can make red enchiladas or adovada.
        I love them both!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. All the quotes are interesting and all have some relevancy to me. A most entertaining post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would have said 42 if anyone had asked me but I think that Monty Python and The Machine were on the right track.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As it happens, 42 was also Jackie Robinson’s number, so when Garry first saw “the meaning of life” as 42, he got confused and thought it was all about baseball. But maybe it really IS all about baseball.

    And what is 23 please?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 23 is all about basketball. No one else brought us 6 championships.


      • Ah. The OTHER sport I actually enjoy watching. It’s also, other than baseball, the only sport for which I bought a ticket and attended the game. It’s a GREAT game to see in person — much better than watching it on TV.

        Of course now, the tickets are so wildly expensive, banish even the thought of attending a game. Worse, you also can’t see baseball on TV without buy a special package — $40 A MONTH. Just to see the Red Sox. You gotta wonder how they will build up a fan base amongst youth if they never get to see a game.

        Liked by 1 person

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