sherlock holmes on the acquisition of knowledge

Es­ti­mated reading time is 1 minute.

“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.” – Sher­lock Holmes, A Study In Scarlet

Acquisition: photo of Watson and Holmes from 1942 movie A STUDY IN SCARLET.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is from the 1942 movie Sher­lock Holmes and the Voice of Terror star­ring Nigel Bruce (Dr Watson), Evelyn Ankers (damsel in dis­tress), and Basil Rath­bone (Sher­lock Holmes).


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