Mastermind - How to Think like Sherlock Holmes

"I find myself more than a little disappointed in this book by Maria Konnikova," said Sherlock Holmes. "It's a pleasant conceit: to tell the reader, 'You know my methods. Apply them!'. But after a promising prelude heavy on words like mindfulness and motivation, there comes a muddle. Actionable suggestions for better reasoning are scanty. The few quantitative facts that appear are presented with false precision, too many digits to be statistically sound. Obviously: avoid overconfidence, beware premature closure, eschew cognitive fallacies. Of course! But how?"

"And worst of all," the great detective continued, "the entire enterprise of Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes hangs upon a huge fallacy. I am but a fictional character, designed to divert, to sell a product, perhaps tangentially to teach. But taking words written by Arthur Conan Doyle out of context, and loosely linking them to anecdotes about logic? As you yourself quoted me, Watson, in your description of the incident involving the horse named Silver Blaze: 'The difficulty is to detach the framework of fact — of absolute undeniable fact — from the embellishments of theorists and reporters.' Konnikova is an engaging reporter but a weak theorist. Her embellishments undeniably entertain. But the framework of metacognition is missing. Few readers will learn critical thinking from such an ill-structured collection of clippings and commentary."

Watson looked up from his newspaper. "Holmes? Were you addressing me?"

Sherlock Holmes sighed.

(cf. Sherlock Holmes (2005-12-19), Memory Leaks (2011-03-03), ...) - ^z - 2017-01-31