Letter to the Daily Telegraph
17 September 2003
I find myself unable to rest, as a result of the contents of today’s edition of your publication.
I note with some distress that the leader in the fantasy football competition has a team called “Schrodingers dilema” (sic).
This marriage of soccer and quantum mechanics is not the sort of content that I expect from you. Readers of the Daily Telegraph have, for the last one and a half centuries, opened their morning newspapers knowing exactly what they were going to see therein. Never a surprise, and the same opinions and views as there have always been.
To make matters worse, Schrodinger did not, to my knowledge, ever possess a “dilema”. He had both a cat and a dilemma (although I have never seen either, and therefore should perhaps call into question the existence of them both). Perhaps a dilema is more like a cat than a dilemma. Could it be a pet, indeed a horned pet, thus explaining the quaint cliché “horns of a dilema”? Another alternative is that it is a misprint. You see, if you start to introduce new concepts, such as the relationship between philosophy and soccer, you risk falling into the habit of typographical error, as is the case with a rival broadsheet of yours, whose name I will not mention lest you feel obliged to print it. If you stick with the constant repetition of the same material, a talent which you have demonstrated so ably over the years, you can afford to pay more attention to detail. Perhaps the manager of the team in question was forced to omit the second M by the rules of your competition, which allow for only 20 characters. There are only 19 characters in “Schrodingers dilema” (including the space), which leaves me in something of a thingy, unless he meant there to be an apostrophe, and your software has edited it out.
Congratulations, then, to Mr. Williams, manager of the third placed team, called “Chelsea”, boring and unimaginative, indeed a name redolent of mental atrophy. Unfortunately, there is a team in 21st place called “Socrates”. I hope that this is a reference to the Brazilian soccer player, and not a further attempt to distort reality.
I look forward to some reassurance from you,