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Rumsfeld that the number of insurgent attacks was going up, the defense secretary replied that they're now "categorizing more things as attacks. Woodward quotes Mr. Rumsfeld as saying, "A random round can be an attack and all the way up to killing 50 people someplace.


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So you've got a whole fruit bowl of different things -- a banana and an apple and an orange. Woodward adds: "I was speechless. The official categories in the classified reports that Rumsfeld regularly received were the lethal I.

Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE

Response to Metaphors, or thought mappings Isn't an "explanatory" metaphor an analogy? Or perhaps a parable? Maybe a fable? I don't know who first said "analogy is always suspect in an argument," though I recall reading it in a Robert Heinlein novel. Using any of the above concepts for explanation risks highlighting the wrong aspect of the comparison to those who don't share a very high percentage of similar experiences. We would all like pithy one-liners that result in epiphanies.

He distinguishes between "rhetorical" metaphors use of the familiar and "cognitive" metaphors often relying on the unfamiliar.

MTO Zbikowski, Metaphor and Music Theory

Ghyczy notes, "Indeed, linguists would rather uncharitably classify most rhetorical methaphors used in business Some "rhetorical" use of the familiar metaphors are so popular that they acquire the status of a 'figure of speech', and become a debating short-hand. For example, in creative engineering communities, the phrase "let's not re-invent the wheel! For such metaphors, it would be good to see counter-metaphors to avoid the original metaphor forcing an argument, fait accompli.

For example: "many hands make light work" is countered by "too many cooks spoil the broth". I can think of plenty of examples in my software development career where the unarguable "let's not re-invent the wheel" metaphor has led to very poor decisions being made. While good metaphors have a high explanatory value, a bad metaphor in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Such metaphors are inevitably dequantified, turning data into vague, cute shapes. Multifaceted metaphors Useage of the term 'tree' in 'tree of life' may be a bad metaphor, yet it has been used to describe hierarchies so often that its definition has been extended beyond the physical object.

It has become an idiom, and as such, good useage. Metaphors are valuable when there are many parallels between the subject and the metaphorical object. If this metaphorical object is commonly well understood, then the metaphor is even better. This also applies to extended metaphors metaphors which are repeatedly referenced, perhaps as the subject of the essay. Sometimes, extended metaphors will make the most important of the parallels explicit. This may mean that the parallels are unobvious, likely indicating a bad metaphor.

With normal metaphors the reader is left to think about these parallels. This thinking reinforces the subject matter within the reader's brain, perhaps offering a memory tool for some. This is, of course, for the multifaceted metaphor. A programming metaphor for the value of metaphors is found in the language Lua. In this language the primary data structure is a table linking keys to values. Lets say you have a new task which requires a table which is similar to a table used by a different task.

Rather than recreating the new table from scratch, you copy the other table and modify it a little. With metaphors you are able to reuse your knowledge of something, with a little contextual modification. Most of them are full of metaphors, though not all are good ones.


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There are definitely a few jems. Most of the essays are very long, and there are many - it would take too much effort to find the exemplary ones. From Robert Weintraub in Slate, about the OSU-Florida football game: "The pregame buzzword was speed, and Florida definitely made the Buckeyes look like they were wearing anchor chains. More important than mere speed was scheme, and how Florida used all those burners. Meyer deploys a fleet of quick players to engage the defense, spread the field, and keep the other team off-balance and unsure of itself.

From transfer to emergence: the network model of conceptual integration

As Fox analyst Charles Davis aptly put it, "cloudy minds equal slow feet. As a responsible citizen I have engaged in a process of understanding where our global climate is going to.

Mapping the brain's metaphor circuitry: metaphorical thought in everyday reason

This is obviously no small feat but a necessary one if one wants to come to a good personal view on the whole situation. One of the more stricking discussions is, as already mentioned above, the "hockey stick" discussion between, amongst others, Professor Edward Wegman opponent and profesor Michael Mann proponent. Additionally, most temperature data is inferred from other data like the width of tree rings and ice core air samples and many more. On a more public level it is highly interesting to observe that many discussions seem to focus on the hockey stick effect only, ignoring most if not all relevant details from both proponents and opponents.

The whole global warming discussion appears my view to be divided into two groups in favour and against who are increasingly focusing on data that speaks in favour of their views. I have some difficulty finding an open discussion between proponents climate is changing due to human carbonization and opponents climate is changing due to natural changes in carbon levels. May I suggest that the global climate discussion would be deserving of a separate discussion on this website. Paul van Oppen -- Paul van Oppen email.


  1. Metaheuristics for Bi-level Optimization (Studies in Computational Intelligence, Volume 482);
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  4. Metaphor and Music Theory: Reflections from Cognitive Science!
  5. On Maxima and Minima: Chapter 5 of Rules for Solving Sophismata, with an anonymous fourteenth-century discussion.
  6. George Orwell really has to be one of the masters, not only of the English language, but of correct use of metaphor. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not.

    This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.

    When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning.

    Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations I think the following rules will cover most cases: 1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

    Never use the passive where you can use the active.

    Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. Current Topics All Topics. Click here for more information about ET's course and to register. Response to Metaphors, or thought mappings In my work as a discussion butler I use the story of 'Flatland' Abbott as a foundation for understanding levels of perception. Advice for effective analytical reasoning. Apples and oranges--a graphical comparison.

    Conceptual mappings and neural reuse

    Computing Lie Factor by Dividing Percentages. Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations. Dequantification in scientific images. Evidence and assumptions in cladograms and other tree diagrams. Evidence blocking: secrets, censorship, and cover-ups as threats to learning the truth. Evidence presentations: At the leading edge of serious practice.