Essay: Douglas Adams

Sample Essay

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This essay is about Douglas Adams. History and technology rapidly changed during Douglas Adams’ lifetime. He was one of the strongest advocates of the staying power of the Internet, though one distinguished journalist compared the Internet to the ham-radio fad of the 1950s.

In May 2001, Adams was living in Santa Barbara, California  working on the screenplay for a feature film version of The Hitchhiker, when he died suddenly of a heart attack (Biography).

History and technology rapidly changed during Douglas Adams’ lifetime. He was one of the strongest advocates of the staying power of the Internet, though one distinguished journalist compared the Internet to the ham-radio fad of the 1950s. In an article first written for the News Review section of the The Sunday Times on August 29th, 1999 he argued that the Internet had already become an integral part of people’s lives, though it was very new to most people. In this  particular article he demonstrates that Douglas Adams was not only a creator of science fiction, but that he was a humorist of the satirist genre, capable of looking at the current world and commenting on its flaws in a humorist way. For example, he writes about the steps of an invention’s acceptance—from “everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal” to “anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.”

Changes in technology greatly affected his life and he took advantage of each one, such as radio, television and computers. Though he embraced the technological changes of his time, he did not, however, forget the ancient art of writing. Throughout his life he was able to make each medium work for him whether it be a historical or new medium.

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