As I said in the closing line of my previous post, I have been trying to teach myself to practise the Science of Deduction.
I do not ever expect to be much good at it; certainly not anywhere near Mr. Sherlock Holmes’ expertise, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m no consulting detective. Whilst I do hope I will improve at it with practice, in the meantime it is proving a good project.
I have a little black notebook in which I have been writing down everything that might be useful to me in my study of the subject. While Mr. Holmes, with his superior intellectual capacities, may be able to retain all the relevant information he needs in his head, I think that as a mere learner, I will need to write down any references I may need.
I am quite an observant person. I tend to spot things that others overlook. My problem is that I can draw little or no inference from my observations, and I am not sure whether this is due to lack of knowledge or lack of logical thinking skills. Both of these can be improved, over time, as I attempt to train my brain like any other muscle.
Studying this subject seems to me to be the ideal way of training one’s brain, and with exams coming up later this year, I think this is a good course of action!
So. This little notebook is slowly being filled with things that might be useful. So far, I have an analysis of my own hands (my reason for this being: I know my hands pretty well, as one might guess. But if I can prove how I know what I know through a logical sequence from observation, then I can start to apply these techniques to another person’s hands. So far my deductions have been basic at best.).
I also have:
a detailed labelled diagram of the human skeleton
an analysis of different fonts used by various newspapers (with cutout articles to illustrate)
several pages worth of codes and ciphers
a miniature hand-drawn copy of the Periodic Table
a map of the British Isles showing geological features such as mountains and rivers
a map of the British Isles showing roads and towns (this map and the above ^ are on tracing paper and layer over the top of one another)
a note on soil – colour, pH, etc, and what might cause changes in colour/pH etc.
assorted notes pilfered from my school Chemistry exercise and textbooks.
a note on disguises
some logic puzzles
I will probably expand upon these notes in a later post.
And this is just the beginning. There is still so much more to add to it. If anyone has any tips or ideas then I would be delighted to hear them!