16 February 2015 Think Like Sherlock
In “Do You Think Like Sherlock Holmes? What the Detective Can Teach Us about Observation, Attention, and Happiness”, Maria Konnikova crafts up numerous valid points that can be applied to today’s society. Not everyone thinks about the importance of being observant, at least not as observant as Holmes. However, Konnikova wanted to take a deeper look into it and discover why and how Holmes obtained the skills he did. She thoroughly investigated and applied all that to her piece by utilizing research, and using her knowledge and emotion to imply pathos and ethos. Through this, she concocted a deeper understanding of Holmes skill set and lifestyle.
When first reading this piece, it is quite obvious how passionate Konnikova is about the subject at hand. For example, she states “I do not think like Sherlock Holmes. Not in the least. That was a rather disheartening conclusion I reached while researching a book on the detective’s mental powerness” (Konnikova, AR320). Konnikova had the desire to obtain the skill and mind set of Holmes, but unfortunately she came to the conclusion that her mindset was not lingering in the same realm as his. She continuously evaluates herself throughout her entire piece to better herself in the mindset of Holmes. She explains her struggle with her smart phone and social media distracting her. “ With my constant companion Sir Smartphone and my newfound love of Lady Twitter, and my devotion to count Facebook, and that itch my fingers got when I haven’t checked my email for, what, ten minutes already? OK five-but it seemed like a lifetime” (Konnikova, AR321). It seems as if a large portion of the reasoning for her mindset being different than Holmes is consumed with in the internet. Konnikova wants to overcome this and does so by utilizing the app store on her smart phone. She downloads an app that allows her to limit her internet/social media time so she can overcome her addiction to her issue that has such a tight grip on her emotions and observance. “I downloaded Freedom, a program that blocked my access completely for a specified amount of time, and got writing” (Konnikova, AR322). This simply displays her devotion and eagerness to obtain the mindset of Holmes. It would not be easy to prohibit the access to the internet willingly, it would take eagerness and the willingness to push through the addiction to obtain the goal at hand. Through Konnikova displaying her desire to obtain the mindset of Holmes, it greatly displays her grand amount of pathos implication in her piece.
So, what exactly is the mindset Konnikova so greatly desired of Holmes? She explains greatly through the piece by her use of research and application to her desire. She wants to obtain the focus and ability to observe like that of Holmes. “ Now I know there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed”( Konnikova, AR321) This is one of the examples that Konnikova uses from a conversation between Holmes and Dr. Watson that Holmes shared residence with. She adds this into her piece to simply imply what a detailed oriented person that Holmes is. It takes a very observant person to even consider counting the amount of steps that they are walking up. Most people just focusing on getting to the top, not the journey on the way there. She also informs the reader of scientifically proven facts in her piece, “Over the past several decades, researchers have discovered that mindfulness can lead to improvements in physiological well-being and emotional regulation” (Konnikova, AR321). Konnikova take her readers on a trip to psychology class here. She wants to thoroughly inform her audience of the other positive effects of having the mindset of Holmes. She then takes an even deeper look into what causes her as well as other people to become distracted as she discusses Neisser’s window reflection observation. He was simply looking out the window one