This will be the second section of my Sherlock Holmes formula. It will deal with premature judgments that get individuals or group leaders into frightful trouble that is very hard to get out of, once launch has been initiated. Section three will deal with the problem of not only building on sand, but even worse, building on rot. Building on solid bedrock is of course the goal, and section four will deal with a simple method for achieving that goal.
Many mega scale blunders are linked to systems of thought being mass produced like a virus pandemic due to simple and foolish errors at a very basic level. A basic thought flaw can make you open to infection. A solidly assembled mental system can give you immunity to mental viruses.
As mentioned earlier, the covid-reaction is a classic reality example to test the Sherlock approach on.
Formula for Disaster: Three Clues to Blastoff!
Most day to day detectives use the “Three Clues to Blastoff” approach – one-two-three-Blastoff! An unusual approach to a launch! The approach is not associated with effective planning and ultimate success. Unpredictable, ineffective, aborted, and disasterous launches are inevitable!
Winning and losing decisions and actions in Life can be seen as being based on detective performance. Success and failure in Life is like a timed-move chess game. ‘Life’ is by the minute and second and necessitates pressured decisions and associated actions. Static is not a condition associated with Life. If you call 911 regarding a medical emergency, it would not be cool to get a recording saying that you are 12th in line and can expect a longer than usual wait! If you are alive, you have to make moves – often quickly. What are they going to be? Where will each move lead? What are the implications of each move? It is rare that you can back track in time without some sort of implication.
Many decisions and actions are like pushing a toboggan over the lip of a long, steep, hill. Once that move is made, the show is on. There are no effective brakes. Steering is somewhat limited. Snow cover looks good. There are no visible rocks or trees that appear to be a hazard. Looks like fun. We need to be home by 5:30. We are off!
A mind that is loaded with micro-clues might do a pre-inspection for hidden rocks. Perhaps the mind is familiar with the slope from summer inspection and is aware of hazards or lack of hazards. Perhaps the mind is familiar with snow conditions and fast and slow snow factors. Perhaps the mind knows that under certain snow conditions where sliding conditions are optimal, the slope will take a toboggan far enough to fly off a distant cliff or enter a distant boulder field.
Perhaps the mind is aware of previous toboggan outings where a whoop-de-doo, part way down the hill, created an airborne state that does not end well for riders. Perhaps the mind is aware of structural aspects of the toboggan and realizes that the sled is in danger of breaking and splintering, given the stresses imposed by the hill of choice.
So, using the 1-2-3-Blastoff approach may be a disaster. We want fun – we have a steep hill – snow looks good – Launch! The detective making a better analysis of the facts might add several more steps prior to initiating action and thus avoid some major trauma. Marking rocks. Doing a mid-hill test run. Securing a more durable toboggan. The point is that a wise detective looks at a broader range of clues and facts before launching on a course that is likely difficult to abort without serious implications.
What makes a ‘three clues to blastoff’ personality? There could be many factors; the decision maker is immature, short sighted, too much of an impulsive gambler, pressured, foolish, stupid, impatient, herd-think impacted, selfishly motivated, an insecure grandstander, deceived, a boot licker, morally faulted, panic stricken. Once the ‘decision’ is made, often there are no brakes or parachute, and steering control is limited. And insecurity and a desire for self justification may add damage to the trajectory even when evidence is immediate and clear that a mistake has been made.
So why do intelligent adults make foolish decisions where it seems it is a case of simply acting with unwarranted confidence based on too few solid facts? Surely they would learn the lesson that such decisions based on sketchy support are dangerous – sort of like playing Russian Roulette when 5 chambers out of 6 are loaded? All decisions have risk but better to have 1 out of 6 odds of failure rather than 5 out of 6!
Why don’t the wise learn from their mistakes and the wiser learn from the mistakes of others? People do learn but it seems to be a grass roots educational reality that to enjoy being a ‘free living being’ we need the right to learn via our own stupidity or wisdom, individually and as a group, and the stupidity mode seems to be the initial default in our programming!
‘Herd thinking’ impact can provide positive stability but can also promote ‘thoughtless dumb’! The quicker we can manage a conscious reset on this programming reality, the sooner we will progress without taking a beating at every turn! Right here we have a type of vital but often overlooked ‘maturity related micro-clue’ that we can incorporate into our mind that will get us on the road to detective excellence! ‘Micro-clue’ in this case may not be the best title. A ‘Macro Reality’ that is so often not appreciated, would be a better description.
The detective who insists on 10 solid clues (solid meaning proven clues, all of which connect with each other without conflict) prior to making a major decision may exercise a logical ‘10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- Blastoff’ style that truly delivers reliable performance. Better a 10 trick pony than a 1 or even 3 trick pony, especially if the 3 trick pony uses a reversed countdown!
The best way you can get the micro clue inventory that is necessary to be a good Sherlock is via constant ‘questioning observation’, constant theory generation to explain your observations, and then testing your currently held theories over time. Discard, alter, correct, refine, home in on theory that perfectly fits multiple tests of reality. This takes time. And time involves age. As you age, you want to become wiser and not simply move towards being a close minded, self justifying old fool. This attitude and habit is a vital basic necessity but there are also ways to speed and supercharge your progress.
Through temporary or permanent contact with an experienced and skilled mentor/maestro, you can tap into the age/experience enhanced capability of others. The mentor influence may come through reading and study, second party teaching, or ideally, personal contact. Ancestors, parents, siblings, friends, associates in a community or project, role models – all can be positive as well as negative influences. I experienced this issue in my own business career – I learned on my own – slowly. One of my sons had the mentor/maestro jump start in a narrow specialty of building and repairing bridges.
Stirling Moss, the famous British auto racing driver, got to be part of the ‘train’ and learned from the world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. For a Formula 1 season, Moss got to trail Fangio at high speed and learned all sorts of tricks from the man who was dubbed ’The Old Man’ and ‘The Maestro’. To get immediate performance in an unfamiliar environment you need a guide. Early explorers found routes through wild territory such as mountains by utilizing native guides who had likely learned from their ancestors as well as their own travels and exploration. Parental and grand-parental contact provides a similar boost.
Fangio and Moss and 'The Train'.
The 'Old Man' and Stirling Moss.
Corbett combined mentoring from old hunters and poachers with careful observation habits (the banshee tree), and an early start on learning about the jungle. He could see major clues and then had the inventory of detail (micro-clues) to be a Jungle Sherlock. He had a questioning mind that gave him an immunity to herd error influences. His early start at observing, theorizing, and testing not only had direct results but also provided him with a capacity to wisely select his mentor influences. He developed the capacity to appreciate Living minds with an approach that was similar to his own and to stay clear of influence that was based on crap thinking.
The next challenge that faces the serious Sherlock detective is how to avoid making faulty decisions because of phony clues being passed off as established fact. The covid experience is a wonderful test bed to make the world ask "Is the virus the problem or is the virus simply a warning indicator of deeper and more serious problems that need to be rectified?" Will the efforts to starve the virus (hard to starve a puzzling entity that doesn't appear to be alive) prove to have been a waste of time and resources and end up doing far more harm than the virus would have done if it had been ignored and simply allowed to do its job? Is the viral generating system so integrated into the Life system and so powerful that human effort against it is, in the long run, inconsequential? Physical/health related viruses are one type of virus but mental viruses may well be even more deadly and they have a close connection to the physical medical world virus as well as to the Sherlock detective model. The next chapter probes that thinking!