‘The Indefatigable Frog’ by Philip K. Dick
Between the ages of about twelve and thirteen I read every short story Philip K Dick wrote. There are quite a few of them, hundreds in fact; his Collected Stories run to five volumes. I read them because I liked Dick and because they were available when so much else wasn’t. He is a writer who repays being read in bulk since so much of his work was variations on a theme. Inevitably, however, they all blurred together a bit.
‘The Indefatigable Frog’ is one of the few that stuck in my mind. This was because it introduced me to Zeno’s Paradox (technically the dichotomy paradox). Re-reading it now, I find that Dick used this paradox to produce a lame joke. Or perhaps I should be charitable and say several lame jokes: a satire of academia, a raspberry at the two cultures and zany version of the paradox itself. Dick doesn’t seem to have any real awareness or understanding of the elements he is using though and the results are fundamentally dumb.