The name's Luna.
24/Los Angeles/wannabe blogger & researcher
Just another freak in the Freak Kingdom.
A place for me to ramble about books I love... also probably the only blog I'll ever have that will keep its theme. I don't want my page to be a mess so I'm only going to shelve books starting with what I've read in the past year.
I'm not always eloquent, and I'm certainly not pretentious. I am just a huge nerd who lurks in used bookstores and likes to read and do research for fun.
[This post is from my tumblr page, and it looks a lot better there. I didn't want to just link it though because I know no one will care to click the link and this is actually really cool and something I'm pretty proud of. :D]
So, recently I started watching Sherlock… which led to reading the stories… which led to buying a book called Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes… which turned into an obsession with his methods and practicing them myself. Every day at work I study how to read people and pay attention better. It’s a fascinating hobby that is actually really good brain exercise, and learning how to read body language and pay attention to detail is extremely useful when looking for jobs or attending social events. Aside from Mastermind, I have been using some dedicated reddit and tumblr pages as well as random other pages to help with my studies, and I have found some really great information. However, a lot of the pages are no longer active or can be hit or miss as far as content goes, and I’ve found myself sifting through pages of what I consider to be largely useless information to find pertinent posts (woo, alliteration!). SO, I’m gonna do a thing. I never say “once a week I’ll…” because, let’s face it, I still have no discipline; but let’s say “here and there” I will post bits and pieces of advice and information for people who would like to make deduction a helpful hobby of their own. I have a pretty good outline of notes and whatnot, so we can start from the beginning...
First of all, I very much recommend Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, because there’s a lot you need to know about how your brain works in order to teach it to properly observe, and she does an amazing job of concisely explaining all that… but skipping over the neuroscience, I’ll do my best to start off with some simple advice for beginning to acquire Sherlocking (deduction) skills.
Basically, the goal is to learn to ‘pay attention better’- to stop and think about what you’re paying attention to, what information you’re taking in, how you’re processing it, and what you might be missing.
(For example, when Sherlock first meets Watson and remarks that he has been in Afghanistan, one of the things that had caught his attention was Watson’s tan, something clearly not representative of London’s climate. That one detail opens up a whole world of possibilities that Sherlock narrows down by pairing that observation with others- no tan above the wrists, haggard appearance, military bearing, etc to figure out what he does and where he was stationed.)
In order learn to pay attention properly, Konnikova points out two essentials:mindfulness and motivation. You have to be present, and you have to want to pay attention. ‘Our minds are wired to wander, it’s their default; the brain is constantly gathering information from both the external world and our internal states and monitoring that information for signs of something that is worth its attention. Getting your mind not to wander requires an act of conscious will.’ Being able to properly observe also means being aware of and overcoming all sorts of biases.
The next step is applying what you know to your observations… which you will find in ‘Sherlocking’- the basics (pt.2), which is queued up and will be up shortly!
Thanks for reading, fellow nerds. <3