Monday, 20 January 2014

Dumbing Down Sherlock

Dumbing Down Sherlock

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called Sherlock a calculating machine. But Watson, the narrator of the adventures and Sir Arthur's alter-ego, thought much closer to the truth; "He was....the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen."

The most interesting thing about Sherlock is not his ability to follow fact to conclusion, but what he finds interesting.

For all of us only really observe things that we find interesting, or unusual, or different.

And Sherlock finds that the most mundane facts can be a source of interest and enlightenment. Whilst we, that is the rest of us, carp over the bigger fish, he uses those smaller fishes to land him the bigger fish.

In fact Sherlock is like our seven or eight year old selves. Except that he's given up searching for the answers, that he knows are out there, by asking our now grown, and in un-inquisitive, selves the most irritating of questions "Why?". And whilst he can no longer verbalise those sentiments, without the risk of bringing ridicule, he therefore resorts to deduction, and is the better for it.

Sherlock is like a good scientist; he takes nothing for granted. Scientists observe things that most of us would put down as being simply natural, or of no consequence. They observe these things and then they choose to observe them and then they make them interesting. An outlier for them is not just a blip off the map, but a reason, a what for, and a why.

I would by now have hoped that you would have questioned my use of the word observe twice in the pre-previous sentence.
Didn't you find it in the least interesting?

The first use is in the sense of "saw". I wonder how many of you saw the second usage in the sense of observe, in the sense of thinking "that's unusual" or "that's interesting" or "what's going on here? That'll be worth some effort"?

Well that's what Sherlock does almost instinctively.
And that's what Science teaches.

And great Scientists go one step further, for them they make even the usual matter. For them even the usual is interesting.

Once we realise that it's that matter of astonishment that powered the Scientific Revolution, we should then be at a loss as to what popular Science tells us is otherwise.

Popular Science would have us believe that there is nothing unusual about life.
That life is natural.
That there is nothing there worth being astonished over it since we've explained it all.

Maybe we can credit those bastions of the now Science with its dumbing down.
After all most of Science nowadays is about the statistical number crunching of machines. Newton, Mendel and the rest might just be turning in their graves.

But Sherlock he would have deduced long ago that the likes of Dawkins are poor scientists, if at that.

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Monday, 13 January 2014



Over the rolling crest of land,
We sighted sea.

Through a beautiful green hill,
Came we,
Out of a hole, called tunnel.

And over the crest we saw
High on the horizon, sea.
And at that sight, we did guffaw and chortle.

Like we had seen a crock of gold,
so unexpected.
So looked for.

And many white sails,
Spotted here and there.

And many a commercial ship.
Advertisements for a life
Lived elsewhere.

We crossed the Marina,
And steeped below the white cliffs.


We had come over to you from our jungle of spires.
But where Churches are few.
From Londonium renewed.

To take back from you,
A new member of our family.
A tortoise, that we have chosen to call


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Friday, 10 January 2014


Is my poetising that much of a crime?
That my mentor forgets me,
Ignores me.
Disdains what I try make sublime.

His works tell stories.
Whilst mine ghost at ideas,
A moment, a phrase, a thought-span.

Maybe my thin voice hollows through my rhyme.
Or my scratchy hand casts spidery shadows amongst these walled fonts.
mOre perhaps my syntax lacks both metre and time.

So holds he, the wisdom of the three monkeys to be not in vain.
And elects to "Hear no, see no and ignores that pain."

Or maybe our cultures are different,
And whilst I straddle the twain.
He cannot comprehend my hidden meaning
That drips from me as an effluent from a factory plant.

Maybe I'm all made up,
And IKEA is my being,
My end, middle and beginning.

Where his stories are real,
Strumming chords
On hearts.
That my imitation cannot reveal.

My attempt at packaged art,
Boxed art.
Factory constructed, homely assembled words.
Makes my world, home.

Although I do not rate this as a beautiful poem. It has it's place. Just as a Dishwasher has a place in an IKEA fitted kitchen. :)

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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Just Me

Just me. (Poem)

Who do I want to be?
Is as much a determinant of who I am,
Than the next man.

Do I take the bait?
Hook, line and sinker.

Do I pick up the gauntlet?

Or do I make my own way?
Ignoring all those challenges.

Will they say I'm scared
Or admire my independence?

Yes. A man can be a godly man
Whilst ignoring the scandal that surrounds him
Is him.

Or he could be a cook
A master Chef
Who plays people as ingredients in a frying pan.

Or he could be buffeted
By all that they say
And thus loose his way.

And yet still think he be the cook.
Master Chef.
Cooked, crooked, mistook.

Served up on a plate.
For them to dribble and drooze at.
But is he palatable?

For me,
I'd rather not be.

For me.
I'd rather be neither ignoring
Nor palatable.

Bitter sweet.
Just me.

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