The Cricinfo headline reads: “Tendulkar not thinking of 100th ton”.
Now we haven’t got time to actually click the link and read the article, but we have got time to sit here with a beer or two, spending hours thinking about that headline.
How can Cricinfo know that Tendulkar isn’t thinking of his 100th ton? They state it with some certainty, but how can they actually know it to be true?
Option one: Cricinfo have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar
This can’t be true. Even if it were true, you can’t ask someone what they’re NOT thinking about. Is it possible to know? Surely if you mention a thing, you must be thinking about it in some small way.
If you aren’t thinking about a particular thing even slightly, you’re not cognisant of the true meaning of the words that describe that thing and therefore cannot state with certainty that you aren’t thinking about it.
You have to understand the question in order to answer and in so doing, you have to think about the thing you’re not thinking of.
Conclusion: Cricinfo have not spoken to Sachin Tendulkar.
Option two: Cricinfo have developed some sort of mind-reading device
This must be true. Furthermore, the device in question must be scanning Sachin Tendulkar’s brain for every hour of every day. How else could Cricinfo state with certainty that the diminutive batsman isn’t thinking about his 100th ton?
This is slightly unsettling, because we had until now considered Cricinfo to be a peaceful organisation that did not possess sinister futuristic technology that could potentially be used to enslave mankind.
We’re also interested to know what will happen should Sachin read this Cricinfo headline. Surely, if this were to happen, the 100th ton will be thought about, if only for a split second.