Saturday, 12 December 2015
A Link To Holmes And Dreyfus
Bertillon measurements; (Read this Wiki article!)
"'We can expect them to check that set of physical data against every ID office in the country. And when they find the same identification under different names and numbers in each and every file - all hell is going to let out for noon.'
"'It will take time, of course,' said Fourre. 'We have put in duplicate sets of non-Brother data too, as you know; that will give them extra work to do. Nor can they be sure which set corresponds to Donner's real identity.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Psychotechnic League (New York, 1981), p. 58.
I do not fully follow this. The Brothers are clones who live in different parts of the country with different names and occupations. Because they are clones, their physical data are identical. Trying to establish Donner's identity, the enemy will check the records, will find the same data under different names and therefore will not know which of these names is Donner's but will know that something strange is going on. But why and how has the UN Secret Service put in duplicate sets of other data and how will that give the enemy extra work?
When I read the reference to "Bertillon measurements," I took this to mean some kind of credible scientific system. However, according to Wikipedia, although Bertillon was commended by Sherlock Holmes, he was involved in the framing of Dreyfus, who is mentioned in the Time Patrol series. It is impossible to predict emergent links.