Think like ‘the genius’ Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes stocks up a lot of information in his head, and he has to be ready to figure out those facts as he points out his deductions, and cracks even the most mysterious cases.

According to an urban legend, the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos created the method, after visiting a banquet, that went wrong, where Simonides walked outdoors to meet with two young men. But when he went outside, they were not there. The hall behind him started to collapse and his fellow banqueters were poorly crushed. Though their bodies were unidentifiable, Simonides was clearly able to put a name with each body based on where they have been seated in the hall. That capacity to remember based on location came to be the method of loci, aka memory theatre, the art of memory, the memory palace and the mind palace.

To use this method, imagine a complex place in which you could physically stock up a bunch of memories. That spot is often a building such as your house. In the house, every room is ‘home to a specific item’ that you want to observe and remember. The Roman statesman, Cicero, utilized the mind palace technique to remember speeches.

However, with the invention of the printing press and with books handily available, there was less need for such powers of memorization. But its popularity saw a revival in the recent half of the 20th century.

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose,” Sherlock says John Watson in A Study in Scarlet, the first tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, published in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 and was urged by the public to continue the novel, which later came up to a series of short stories. When the author intended to end the story and published the death of Sherlock, people persuaded him to revive Sherlock back, which came up in 1893 as, The final problem.

Sherlock is so cautious to store his brain attic with memories that may be only helpful for him, such as cases from the past. ‘Only to make room for what was truly needed’. Sherlock threw the rest away, even the basic study of the solar system, that the Earth orbits the Sun. However, Jhon in contrast, has a brain attic just like the rest of us, mixed up with collections of memories both important and unnecessary.

Sherlock Holmes is the most welcomed novel, as well as the series of BBC’s Sherlock, for more than a century. I tend to see him as a real-life character, living in the 221B, Baker Street of London, as the cleverest man EVER, with nothing left unnoticed before him.

To a great mind, nothing is little.

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