It’s been more than 130 years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, to the reading public in A Study in Scarlet. I would imagine that there are one or two of our readers who are fans of Mr. Holmes.
When Holmes met his biographer, Dr. John Watson, Watson was quite puzzled at the esoteric interests of Holmes and attempted to catalogue his knowledge—a catalogue that was cast into the fire in frustration. When Watson learned that Holmes did not know or even care that the Earth revolved around the sun, he was completely stunned and wanted to know why. Holmes then explained his thoughts on learning as follows:
“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like an empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort 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 he has a difficulty laying hands upon it. Now the skillful 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 do 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 extend 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.”
We hope that Food Quality & Safety will serve as a source of useful lumber for stocking your brain-attic so that you can utilize the information we provide to solve problems, build your business, and ensure the safety and quality of the foods or ingredients that you are making, or enhance the services that you provide.
Today, we do have one advantage that Mr. Holmes did not: We find pieces of lumber, bookmark them in our computer or phone, and look them up as needed so that the chances of them crowding out useful tools may be lessened.