I've always loved A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. I can still remember first coming across Holmes' disquisition on how he mentally organized information:
"You see," he explained, "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 skilful 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."(That's from A Study in Scarlet, published 1887.)
With all due respect to Mr. Holmes, I can't completely agree: the walls of the little room can be moved to expand the space. (Otherwise, what's the point of education?) Still, as Holmes notes, the problem is to lay your hands on the information you want when you need it. What follows is one of my methods.
Remember that crack I made up top about egocentrism? Wanna see how that can be expanded into pointless exhibitionism? Peep into my mind.
Vaguely interesting, in a boring kind of way.
Don't get me started.
Don't look now, but. . .
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