I call this guy Sherlock. He represents my intellectual side. He is concerned primarily with finding out the truth, and usually he is pretty damn good at it. He can sift fact from fiction, signal from noise, pertinent details from embellishments and flourishes. When he is on the case, he will not rest until he has answers. He will stay up late to put in hours of research, only stopping to sleep when the words on the screen begin to blur. You see, Sherlock has respect for the law of diminishing returns. In fact, he is a big fan of most laws: the law of cause and effect, the law of supply and demand, Newton’s laws of motion, (especially the first, though he keeps a sharp eye on the third,) Parkinson’s law, Godwin’s law, he’s even dabbled with the law of attraction. Then again, he’s never been above breaking the law if the situation calls for it: obtaining pirated media through black market channels, ingesting illicit substances to feed his hungry head, even the occasional bout of trespassing to satiate his curiosity.
This side of me likes to peel back the surface of things and see the gears moving underneath. He is a great explorer of attics and basements. He likes to listen to what his favorite musicians listened to, and read what his favorite writers read. He is a devourer of books on all subjects, and will judge a man by his bookshelf before he judges him by his face. He is a close reader, and will spy connections and resonances with his magnifying glass. Though on occasion, he will focus light a little too intensely and inadvertently burn what he is examining, and maybe himself in the process. Sometimes this combustion through scrutiny is not all that inadvertent.
He doesn’t go in for many of the gum shoe conventions. For instance: he only drinks infrequently, because he finds it dulls his abilities. He does conform, to a degree, to the ideal of the silent type. He believes you learn a lot more by listening than by speaking. He also possesses a cynical streak that prevents him from taking much interest in small talk. If he does get going on a topic though he can wax philosophical, though sometimes he merely drones professorially. He has been known to digress. He can braid the separate strands of a conversation together when he’s at his best, but he can also get tied up in knots, or pull a single thread until the whole thing comes undone. Understandably, he spends a lot of time alone.
Sherlock wants to have it all figured out. He is definitely of the look before you leap school. This is a guy who does his homework and the extra credit too, with a little independent study thrown in for good measure. But it is often impossible to have it all figured out before we act. There are times when a leap of faith is required. Sherlock understands this intellectually, of course, but he still doesn’t put it into practice as often as he should.