Main Aliens Never Invented The Wheel Discussion

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03:11:55 AM Sep 16th 2011
(from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy)
  • The problem is that Arthur asked the computer to make tea while there were no such leaves onboard nor any previous record of the plant. The computer had to recreate it all from the molecular level, starting with nothing but a nice story about British ships sailing to Asia.

Incorrect. The end of this section of the story makes it clear that the question that stumped the computer was not "what is tea" but "why does Arthur want tea." Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth solves the problem by telling the computer that Arthur is an ignorant monkey who doesn't know any better, which wouldn't have worked if the computer had been confused in the way this describes.
01:06:53 PM Jul 24th 2011
"The Road Not Taken" is by Turtledove, not Harrison.