ir·reg·u·lar·i·ty /əˌreɡyəˈlerədē/ noun the state or quality of being irregular.
Here be things useful to
Sherlock’s BS Irregulars
Sherlock Holmes’ BS Irregulars are his merry band of street urchins, makers, and hackers who help him by keeping their ears to the ground, their heads in the clouds and their voices in the ears of the rich and the powerful.
They were once called the Baker Street Irregulars. However, because they are now global and broader in scope, they have changed their name to BS Irregulars.
The BS Irregulars don’t fall for BS, but rather they strive to see the world as it is, they dream of a better world for us all, and they work toward truth and justice.
If they are students, they are being trained to re-engineer and rebuild the modern world, but they don’t want to become minions to the followers of Professor James Moriarty.
If they are working, they are vigilant, always aware that although they might have good intentions, there may be unintended evil consequences of their actions. They suspect they might be manipulated to do the bidding of people with nefarious intent.
If they are unemployed, they know that even if they aren’t doing something for pay they must do something anyway. They keep busy doing interesting and productive things, otherwise: their skills will atrophy, their relationships will stagnate, and they run the risk of becoming cynical and depressed.
BS Irregulars must
FIND EACH OTHER
You cannot save the world alone; you need company. However, saving the world is a risky business because there are powerful people who like it just the way it is.
Change-for-the betterment-of-humanity is change-for-the worse for some people, and this means being Openly Irregular might expose you to prejudice and retribution. The Openly Irregular might lose their jobs or not get one in the first place. Until BS Irregulars take over the world they might have to do their best work in secret.
BS Irregulars need a Radically Open Secret Society. Although the BS Irregulars need to be secret, they accept anyone into their ranks because to be exclusive is to be evil. For this reason they need to create a radically open secret society, where everyone is welcome as a member, even evil infiltrators.
A Radically Open Secret Society might already exist, and it might be evil. Sherlock Holmes suspects there already exists a secret society for Moriarty’s followers.
To investigate, go to The Case of the Radically Open Secret Society.
Know the Difference Between
a HYPOTHESIS, and
hy·poth·e·sis /hīˈpäTHəsəs/ noun a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
The Case of Moriarty’s Murder
Consider this question: “Who killed Professor James Moriarty?”
Sherlock and Lestrade of Scotland Yard arrive at the scene of a crime, a hotel room in Islington. The are given the following information by the police:
- Clue: Moriarty is naked in the bedroom.
- Clue: He is handcuffed to a bed post.
- Clue: He is dead.
- Clue: His body is covered with bruises.
- Clue: Irene Adler was found alive and naked in the closet.
- Clue: She has a riding crop in her hand.
Using his smart phone, Holmes opens The Case of Moriarty’s Murder, which he shares with his BS Irregulars. He posts these facts and concludes: “It looks like Irene Adler killed Moriarty in the bedroom with a riding crop.”
Lestrade says, “I knew it, she’s guilty.”
Sherlock says the case is not solved yet because that is not an established fact. But it is a good working hypothesis.
Because Lestrade doesn’t know what a hypothesis is, he lets it go. Instead he begins making the case that Adler killed Moriarty. He knows she never liked Moriarty, she probably wanted him dead. That means she had the motive, the murder weapon, and she was on the scene of the crime. Lestrade asks Irene if she killed Moriarty and she says, “I wish.”
Lestrade turns to Holmes and says, “She confesses. The case is closed.”
Holmes says, “Not so fast. After you have eliminated the impossible, what’s left, no matter how improbably, must be the truth. You are trying to convict Irene. You must try your best to prove she is innocent, and if it is impossible to eliminate that possibility then, no matter how improbably, she did it.”
Sherlock asks Irene, “You wish you had killed Moriarty, but did you actually kill him?”
She says, “No such luck. I got a note saying that if I came to his room at 7:30 I would be paid handsomely for my services. I arrived at the appointed time and there was a note on the door saying I should not wake him until after I had taken a shower. He was under the covers so I assumed he was asleep. I took a shower and when I heard people knocking on the door I came out and tried to wake him. That is when I discovered he was dead and handcuffed to the bed. I got scared and hid in the closet. Then the police broke down the door.”
Lestrade says, “Likely story. Your credit card records indicate that you bought a riding crop only 30 minutes ago. You are guilty. An innocent person would have mention that?”
Before Irene can answer Sherlock says, “You’re jumping to conclusions.”
Lestrade ignores him and says to Irene, “Irene Adler, I accuse you of the murder of Professor Moriarty. Now, if I can just find my handcuffs I’ll be taking you in.”
“She winks at him and says, “I’ll be happy to use mine.” She slaps a pair of handcuffs on her left wrist and Lestrade’s right. “Now, would you like me to don clothes, or shall I go as I am?” she asks coyly.
Watson says, “Not so fast. This body is frozen solid. The bruises don’t match the riding crop. By the bitter almond smell on his breath, and the time it would take to freeze a body this size, I would say he was poisoned by cyanide between 48 and 96 hours ago.”
Irene says, “I was with a client in Dubai for the last 10 days. I just arrived this morning, and the immigration authorities will confirm that.” Then she begins playing with Lestrade’s tie, “I don’t think you have grounds to take me down to the Yard, but you might like to come back to my place. I never carry my handcuff keys with me; they are at their night table.”
Sherlock had been inspecting the body on the bed. He looks up and laughs, “Now I know three things. Firstly, Moriarty was not killed by Irene Adler in the bedroom with a riding crop. Secondly, upon inspection, I see this isn’t Moriarty after all.”
Sherlock turns to Watson and says, “Let’s go. We’ll get back to Baker Street and check in on-line with our Irregulars and see what they have found.”
Irene had been playing with Lestrade’s’ hair and he looked decidedly uncomfortable. “What’s the third thing you know?”
“You are about to understand why Irene is the woman.” Watson and Holmes leave. After the door closes behind them, the think they hear someone say “giddy-up” but they can’t be sure and don’t want to jump to conclusions.”
An investigation is called a CASE.
Sherlock Holmes might open a case and yet it might be solved by multiple teams of BS Irregulars competing with each other.
The story of an investigation is called an ADVENTURE.
Teams of BS Irregulars might publish their own investigations independently of Sherlock’s own investigations. Their adventures may be different from his, and their conclusions might be different, even if they are on the same case.
BS Irregulars use Annotation.
Since the beginning of books, truth seekers and BS hounds have used margin notes to add their own thoughts to those of others. For example, you might inherit a Bible from your parents that contained notes from generations of your forebears. If you are lucky, they did not fill the margins with doodles and inane comments, but rather, their insights into what the words in the Bible mean to them.
Watch this video to learn more:
There two broad categories of annotation that BS Irregulars call: LOOK AT ME annotation and FIND THE TRUTH annotation.
“LOOK AT ME” annotation is the most popular by far. This is the kind of annotation where the author says something innocuous or stupid to let you know they exist. They want to appear smart and/or angry, even though often they come off as stupid and/or petty.
Imagine you are at a party having a meaningful conversation with a few people who are all trying to agree on some facts so you can get something done.
Now imagine other party goers interrupted you with comments like “Way to go” and “You look mahvelous.” Or they might offer advice about what they would do if they were you, complaints that you aren’t doing enough, or perhaps a few personal insults.
That is what it feels like when you try to do something in public in an environment rich with people who want you to look at them. This kind of “feedback” has been a big commercial success and that is why nearly every publication allows comments. Usually the only thing those platforms prohibit is advertising (that they want to keep for themselves).
Of course you wouldn’t think of going to a party with some friends in the hopes of getting anything done.
The problem is that the internet makes it hard to get anything done because even though you are trying to have a serious discussion everyone else thinks you are holding a party.
“LOOK AT ME” annotators write whatever they want wherever they want whether you like it or not. The most successful annotation to date is FACEBOOK where everyone annotates themselves and each other. But on Facebook you cannot annotate people and things that are not in Facebook. So the geniuses at Genius.com have created the Genius Web Annotator that lets you show off how smart and angry you are anywhere you like no matter whether anyone else likes it or not.
If you like Facebook then you will love “LOOK AT ME” annotation because it turns everything into Facebook.
DO SOME HOMEWORK FIRST
Get started by wathching the Monty Python Argument Clinic video.
Did you hear this:
“An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.”
Next read this Wall Street Journal Article: Start-Up Genius Wants to Annotate the Internet. If you access it through this link you will probably see annotations as well as the story (depending on your browser).
have good VALUES,
are CIVIL, and
ground rules /ɡround/ /ro͞ols/ plural noun basic principles pertaining to the limits of play on a particular field
BS Irregulars use
This simply means that when on a case, BS Irregulars keep all their annotations focused on the task at hand and they do not say anything that might be irrelevant or distract the reader for the collective search for the truth.
Rather than invent our own rules, let’s start with some what other people have produced. Here is something called The 4-Way Test.
Before you post anything, ask yourself:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to All Concerned?
- Will it Build GOODWILL and Better Friendships?
- Will it Be BENEFICIAL to All Concerned?
Other advice picked up here and there:
- Be civil
- Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say face-to-face
- Stay on topic
- Links should take people to something that supports the case you are making, not take the reader somewhere else they might not come back from
- Don’t repeat what has already been said
Best of luck.