Sherlock Holmes and the brain attic

“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. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

Of late, I have felt that there are too many thoughts running through my mind – about love, about life, the nature of things and even mundane things such as the reason why you can erase whiteboards. Following Sherlock Holmes’ advice, I effortlessly push them out and allow more productive thoughts to take their place. I feel guilty, though – because any and every thought that I throw away and lose at the end of the day is my own. That is why I feel that instead of just throwing them away, I should document them in one place so I can structure my thoughts clearly and view them at my leisure. Holmes spoke about the attic (and the BBC Sherlock called his brain a “Hard Drive”), but this blog is my backyard – a place where I will store all the thoughts which may take up too much of my mental space otherwise.

They did not have WordPress back in the 1800s, but I am sure Holmes would have approved.


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