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Locard’s MacGuffin Theory #television

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TV is great, and I watch lots of it while playing on the computer, whether that’s researching a blog or real work. I love the workings of the mind and the workings of science. Which is why I like CSI, Bones and Numb3rs. The latter one annoys me often by using Mathmatics as the Deus Ex Machina, not that the former two are any better with their liberal use of the MacGuffin. CSI and Bones have the advantage of “Locard’s Exchange Principle” to produce the MacGuffin.

Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.” – Professor Edmond Locard*

Alfred Hitchcock gave the example of a MacGuffin thus:

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh that’s a McGuffin.’ The first one asks ‘What’s a McGuffin?’ ‘Well’ the other man says, ‘It’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers ‘Well, then that’s no McGuffin!’ So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all.

Originally posted here.

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

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