Are nations doing research in the same way they are playing football?

I can not take any credit for this post: it is all about a funny story a friend told me the other day, and it was another friend’s idea of turning it into a post. Maybe I can just be credited with being a good listener 🙂

Anyway, we were all sitting in a cafe, enjoying our beverages, and this friend says: “You know, I once saw a comic, that was showing how the Spanish, the Italians, the French and the Romanians organise their football players on the field. Firstly, the Spanish teams have their players arranged in parallel lines: the ball  starts from the first defender, then moves to the second, and so on, to the midfielders, strikers, who eventually score. Then come the Italians, who place all their players in a straight line, between their goalkeeper and the adversary terrain. And the ball follows this straight trajectory into the net. In opposition, there you have the French: they play the ball in an infinite number of combinations in between their players, trying to follow complex geometrical patterns, so that only one question comes up eventually: where is the ball? And of course you have the Romanians, who keep passing the ball from the goalkeeper to the striker, who in turn passes it back to the goalkeeper”.

Of course, this story should not be taken as anything more that a humorous interpretation. However, what I find funnier is that, regardless of its truth, the patterns described resemble quite a lot the way some of the research trends developed in these countries happen (the way the line of argumentation is built). So, is it possible that there are certain common frameworks of creating meaning that cross disciplines, so that for example the solutions found in football and research could be more similar than thought at first?
I will stop here and leave you meditate on that, or simply enjoy the joke. I will just throw in one more perspective (food for thought on a Monday morning 🙂 ): the way German and Greek philosophers might have played  football


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