Wittgenstein is the sincerest form of flattery

On Friday afternoon, at the height of #TheDress, I thought to myself, what is the silliest possible article that I could write on this topic? The one that will be held up as an example of how the media lost its collective mind? And I hit upon:

What can Wittgenstein teach us about #TheDress?


This is partly because I dimly remembered Wittgenstein talking about “the meaning of things” including pictures, and mostly because Helena’s adorable pet hamster is called Wittgenstein.


Imagine my surprise, the very next day, to see this upon the BBC News website:

What would Wittgenstein say about that dress?


Now, Giles the editor has reached out to me personally – as I believe the phrase goes – to assure me that they commissioned their piece before mine was published, and that there is no skullduggery going on.

I know Giles personally, and have no reason to disbelieve him.


It did strike me that this means I wrote mine as the silliest possible angle you could take on the story, and the BBC did theirs seriously.

What would Wittgenstein make of that, I wonder ;-)