Can I Be Like Sherlock Holmes

James Smith
• Saturday, 12 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Two new books purport to demonstrate to us more-or-less-ordinary civilians the brainy machinations of the world's most popular fictional detective. It's just past the 125th anniversary of the first Sir Arthur Doyle novel that features the shrewd sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

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The Scientific Sherlock Holmes : Cracking the Case with Science and Forensics, is by James F. O'Brien, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Missouri State University and a lifelong fan of Holmes, who has given numerous lectures and taught a college course on Holmes and science. This is for the genuine fan of Holmes as a brilliant thinker and literary creation.

The other is Mastermind: How to Think LikeSherlockHolmes, by Maria Konnikova, who writes the “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American and is a doctoral candidate in psychology at Columbia University. The main idea here is that Sherlock Holmes spent his life in mindful interaction with the world.

Holmes (yes, he's only a literary device, but that doesn't reduce his usefulness as a guide) made a point of observing constantly, rather than simply seeing. To think like Holmes, we must move, insists Konnikova, from passive absorption to active awareness.

She uses many examples from the Holmes books to elucidate ways to be mindfully observant, providing enough dialogue so that we don't need to have read Doyle's novels at all. With practice, we can overcome the automatic wiring of our brains to become more objective in our thinking.

Studies have shown that those who are motivated by their personal engagement in a situation are more likely to make the effort to counteract their autopilot- like initial judgments. We won't engage that fully in everything, but if we want to be more accurate in our thinking, we can manage our wandering minds.

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Holmes chooses his habits mindfully, writes Konnikova, each of them aimed at facilitating thought. When solving mysteries or sleuthing for the truth, one loveable character created by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle comes to mind: Sherlock Holmes.

Ever since his inception, Sherlock -- his essence, attitude, abilities, and even lifestyle -- has been molded and reformed to fit various storylines and narratives that fans of the detective have come to know and love just the same. It all began as a book, but now Sherlock has broken through various forms of media and has found its way into the realm of anime.

Like Sherlock, Cain has one mystery he wishes to solve above all others: who killed his parents in cold blood? One who is contacted by the police to help investigations, who takes pills to relieve pain in his head, and who finds the boredom of everyday life lifted by solving heinous crimes is seventeen-year-old high schooler Czech.

Richard regards Saga as a hero of justice, so they work to right wrongs all the while giving each other valuable life advice. AOI, while acting as his appraiser assistant, also becomes Holmes precious companion in the same way that Watson is to Sherlock.

It's a parallel storyline with less intense undertones and a slice of life feel, but with all the powers of deduction given to the Sherlock Holmes legacy. Literally diving into the mind of a suspect is Sakai do's job as he snuffs out killers and brings them to justice.

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Fukuoka is peaceful at first glance, but crime runs rampant in this city of professional killers and hitmen. Baba is a pro among pros when it comes to killing killers, but he's taken on the role of a private detective and weeds out those who are up to no good.

The Sherlock Holmes of Meiji Era Japan is a struggling genius poet by the name of Ashikaga Takuboku. One bizarre case after another falls into his lap until, together with his assistant Kindaichi Closure, Takuboku opens a detective service.

Takuboku's deduction skills are on par with Sherlock, but his personality is similar to a child's, especially when it comes to handling money. It's this dichotomy that creates a charged storyline and mimics the essence of the bond between Sherlock and his most trusted friend.

She spends her time binging the latest simulcasts, unearthing lesser known anime titles, and reading manga. Along with paying attention to what you see, rely on your sense of smell, taste, sound, and touch to create even richer mental notes.

While you work to become a better observer, develop your deductive ability by keeping an open mind and questioning every piece of information you gather. Everyone wants to think likeSherlockHolmes, the most famed and impressive detective of all time.

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Although he is a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes is famous for his intelligent detective skills and sharp perception. A healthy dose of skepticism helps you to not take things as they seem.

It is also important to be skeptical about your own thinking because we get into patterns of thought which may cloud our judgment. Be aware of how outside influences can change or guide your thinking and try to be objective when assessing the situation.

With practice, you can rewire your brain to be more objective about the situation in front of you. It may be indicative of a character trait or behavior which you can ’t yet put your finger on just yet.

Engaging in a situation properly will help you to control your automatic responses which can cause us to miss important information. Give situations your full attention, if though you may seem laid back in your responses.

It is easy to focus on the small aspects of a situation, but if you want to learn how to think likeSherlockHolmes, remember there is always a bigger picture. Sherlock Holmes is careful to constantly educate and challenge himself, and this is what makes him such a successful investigator.

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You never know what might spark your genius, so stay educated and mindful of maintaining healthy habits. Reviewing notes can help you recognize patterns and inconsistencies before reaching a conclusion.

The key to thinking likeSherlockHolmes understanding that it is not just an internal process, it is also about adaptability. Like anyone, Holmes knows that all brains need peace in order to function properly.

In fact, managing your energy properly is one of the key aspects of thinking likeSherlockHolmes. It can be difficult to see the secret picture behind a situation but, with a little practice, you, too, can learn how to think likeSherlockHolmes.

Francesca Forsythe is a professional writer who holds a dual award Master's degree in European Law and Philosophy of Law from Leiden University. She has written for several websites on a range of subjects across lifestyle, relationships, and health & fitness, as well as academic pieces in her fields of study.

Article Summary If you want to develop a ‘ Sherlock Holmes intuition, you’ll need to hone your observation skills and read body language, so you can know when people are lying! Take in the sights, smells, sounds, and texture of your environment, which will help you notice things you might have missed ordinarily.

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For extra practice, try people watching in a public place like a park or a coffee shop. That way, you’ll be able to pick up on their tone of voice and their body language, which can reveal a lot.

Mainly, this meant buying into Holmes theories of deductive reasoning, paying attention to the meaning of all the details that surrounded me, and reading the news for crimes and mysteries. Originated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1887 novella, A Study in Scarlet, hundreds of writers across the centuries have penned stories featuring Holmes and Watson.

Numerous adaptations and reimagining have been created, with stars like Robert Downey, Jr., Sir Ian McLellan, and Benedict Cumberbatch each putting their own spin on Holmes character. Before setting out, I picked up The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, edited by Otto Gentler, and immersed myself in all the different telling of Holmes character.

I have a strange habit of accidentally memorizing information, especially phone numbers, which comes in handy a lot of the time. Filled with a changing cast of characters, there were millions of deductions to be made, particularly in my longer commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Every time I stepped on the train, I'd start playing what I labeled in my mind as “The Deduction Game,” where I'd examine a person near me and try to decide where they were going, where they were coming from, what their life was like, etc. “I deduced that the pair of older women gabbing had just finished a book club meeting together.

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The two suit-clad bros behind me discussing their buddy's poor real estate decisions obviously worked in the Financial District. The young girl sleeping on her mom's shoulder was coming home from an overlong extra-curricular activity uptown.

But this week, as I tried to glean what I could from deductions, it meant that I had to pick up my eyes and really look at the people I was sharing the world with. This whole week, I couldn't stop thinking about David Foster Wallace's “This is Water” speech, in which he urges his audience to pull out of auto-pilot and pay attention to the world around them.

While Holmes and Watson's adventures deal with complex puzzles and sophisticated murders, the reality of crime is far uglier. Instead of promising a romp through London, reading the news made me feel upset and helpless.

Though I didn't catch any murderers or uncover any secret societies, there was one big success of this whole experiment: After a whole week of playing The Deduction Game, my head is filled with characters and scenarios that I'm just itching to write about.

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