In an interesting exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the latter informed Holmes of the Copernican view of the solar system and was surprised to learn that Sherlock knew nothing of it. But after learning of it, Holmes told Watson “Now that I do know I shall do my best to forget it.” Watson was stunned, “To forget it!” he cried. Holmes gave this explanation:
“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.”
Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes: The Collection (Kindle Locations 301-304). Kindle Edition.
Paul writes: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
I have found that with the twenty four hour information flow on as many channels or websites, I can fill my mind with a lot of stuff that is at best trivial. Perhaps we all need to reflect on our daily intake of information and ask ourselves: “Does my intake of information fit the qualifications enumerated by Paul?
Dr. Watson concluded the conversation with “(Sherlock) said that he would acquire no knowledge which did not bear upon his object. Therefore all the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him.”
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