Tag Archives: Hitchhiker’s Guide

Seeing the silly in the serious

Last week, traveling on business, I stopped for dinner in a Chinese restaurant. As is often the case when I dine alone, I had a book under my arm: Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

At the end of the meal, I cracked open the fortune cookie and was quite taken by the message I found inside:
Fortune cookie: Your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far.
That certainly was true for Douglas Adams. It was also true for the characters who populated his books. They literally went far:  to the ends of the galaxy, to the end of time and back.

I think it’s true for me as well. The ability to find the silly in the serious has helped make me a good technical writer. Continue reading

The Hitchhiker’s Guide and today’s technical documentation

Thirty-four years ago this week, Douglas Adams’s classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was released in book form. While the version that I read was a plain old printed book, the actual Hitchhiker’s Guide—the one that Ford Prefect carried with him—was a pretty cool example of 21st-century technical documentation. Continue reading