Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: I'm actually reading something

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm actually reading something

I have never been a big fiction reader, and after 4 years of religion and Biblical languages study, I was definitely not picking up a book. The only things you will find me reading are as follows:

1. The Bible
2. John Stanley's Creature Features (the greatest horror review book)
3. Some kind of Bible reference.
4. Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

That's pretty much it. I have never been a big fan of "spiritual help" books, even though I do acknowledge several authors who seem to be genuine and have something of worth to say, such as Henri Nowen, Frederick Buechner and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (if anyone suggests I read Your Best Life Now, I am going to post a virtual puke session.)

However, since my marriage, I have been motivated to find something to read. Andi is a big reader, and since watching horror movies while she is around is completely out of the question, it seemed like a good idea.

After sorting through several possibilities, I finally decided to start reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. My brother has always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, and from what I have heard about the books, he seemed like a character I would really get into. (Sherlock Holmes that is, not my brother. Although my brother is a character. Anyway. . .) There are like 4 novels I think and then the rest are short stories. I read the very first story ever written, which was one of the novels called "A Study in Scarlet." What I found out quickly about Holmes is that he is brilliant, cocky, arrogant and knows that he is the best. I like him already.

Of course, what makes Holmes so amazing his incredible method of deduction. He can look at something and tell you anything about the scene, scenario, etc. I have just started the 2nd story, The Sign of Four, and early in the story Watson hands Holmes a pocket watch and asks him if he can tell anything about the person who owned it. (Watson was really just making fun of Holmes). Holmes turned around and said something to the extent that the person was a lazy guy who occasionally had moments of wealth and who died by drinking himself to death. All by looking at a watch! He then explains to Watson how he came up with that conclusion.

What I want to know is if it is really possible. Can you create a science of deduction that can draw even near to the astounding work of Sherlock Holmes. I don't think you can learn it. You just see it there when others don't see anything. Kind of like those posters that were popular in the early 90's where there was an image hidden in the chaos. Some people could see it, others couldn't. I think I will work on it.


Anonymous Rexwilder said...

One interesting thing about Holmes is that a lot of his "great" deductions actually don't use deductive reasoning, but use inductive reasoning. (Although there is a lot of philosophical debate about what those terms acutally mean, a simple (yet incomplete) answer is deductive is moving from the general to the specific and inductive is moving from the specific to the general). In many of Holmes great pronouncements, he is actual using inductive reasoning to move from the specifics in front of him to a general theory or proposition.

January 13, 2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...

In the first novel, he speaks with Watson about reverse Deduction, which could lend itself to your analysis.

January 13, 2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Although my brother is a character

You got that right...

January 13, 2006 4:30 PM  
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