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The clue - Input Junkie
April 12th, 2016
10:43 am


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The clue
I've been reading the most recent Lee Child/Jack Reacher novel, Make Me (library book borrowed from a friend) and even though I've been a big fan of the series, I'm just not terribly interested in this one. I've been continuing to read it somewhat out of stubbornness, and I just remembered I'd dreamed about selling a (store-bought) copy of it to a friend, and I think that was before I'd finished reading it. Well, actually, I also dreamed about realizing that after I'd sold it, I'd previously promised it to another friend, but that plot thread wasn't addressed before I woke up.

I have no idea why I'm not devouring this one, though I remember the previous one was less fun than most of the series.

I think I've been given a message to not bother reading more of it.

This being said, I'd noticed that some of the books have emphasis on particular mental skills-- there was one that had Bayesian reasoning (making percentage predictions of what you think is going to happen and then adjusting them up or down carefully as you get more evidence), one that had keeping track arithmetically of the quantities in the information you've got, and this one seems to be focused on making deductions from close observation and a high level of background knowledge (yes, like Sherlock Holmes, but I think Child is playing more fair than Doyle did). Anyone notice specific mental skills in other books?

Also, I've seen discussion about remembering on dreams immediately after waking up, but nothing about remembering a dream later in the day. Any thoughts, experiences, or resources about this?

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(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:April 12th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC)
Well, Doyle can't really be accused of not playing fair, for the concept of a "fair" mystery hadn't yet been invented when he wrote the majority of the Holmes stories.
[User Picture]
Date:April 12th, 2016 04:21 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by "can be accused", since I do accuse him. Perhaps you mean "cannot fairly be accused"?

For what it's worth, I didn't like the Holmes stories much when I was a kid, and at least part of it was that it felt as though Doyle wasn't giving me a chance to figure out what was going on.

The desire for fair mysteries presumably existed before the idea what codified.

Possibly of interest: Competence porn vs. competence erotia
[User Picture]
Date:April 13th, 2016 08:09 am (UTC)
I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since childhood, but I too would accuse Doyle of not playing fair. Even granted Sherlock's extraordinary memory, powers of observation and deduction, and encyclopedic knowledge of everything he might find useful to know in any situation, a lot of his deductions are pretty far-fetched based on the evidence presented. Of course they're always correct in the end, because Sherlock Holmes is Sherlock Holmes: they wouldn't likely be so correct for anyone else, especially not anyone real.

I often remember my dreams when I first wake up, especially if I wake up on my own without the clock-radio. Other times, later in the day something will remind me, and the memory of the dream I'd had will suddenly arise, though usually not as vividly - sometimes it's just a single image or emotion that surges up, and is gone again in a moment.
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