31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Universality of Analogy

This reversibility and this polyvalency endow analogy with a universal field of application. Through it, all the figures in the whole universe can be drawn together. There does exist, however, in this space, furrowed in every direction, one particularly privileged point: it is saturated with analogies (all analogies can find one of their necessary terms there), and as they pass through it, their relations may be inverted without losing any of their force. This point is man: he stands in propo...
Folksonomies: similarity analogy
Folksonomies: similarity analogy
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29 MAY 2014 by ideonexus

 Organic Chemistry as a Tropical Rain Forest

Organic chemistry just now is enough to drive one mad. It gives one the impression of a primeval, tropical forest full of the most remarkable things, may well dread to enter. may well dread to enter.
Folksonomies: analogy
Folksonomies: analogy
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Letter to Berzelius 28 January 1885 Friedrich Woehler 1800-1882

29 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Memetic Sex

There are many similarities between genes and memes. Just as genes transmitted during sexual intercourse in the biosphere, so are ideas trans¬ mitted during social intercourse in the mental realm, or ideosphere. [...] The memetic realm also hahas some important differences from the genetic realm. Memes combine, recombine, mutate, and reproduce much more flexly and rapidly than genes do. This is one way that genetic sex does not map completely to memetic sex. For example, the memetic count...
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Many of the concepts in genes apply to ideas, including cross-breeding, safe-sex, inbreeding, and species.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Evolution is Like a Rolling Snowball

Evolution is a blind giant who rolls a snowball down a hill. The ball is made of flakes—circumstances. They contribute to the mass without knowing it. They adhere without intention, and without foreseeing what is to result. When they see the result they marvel at the monster ball and wonder how the contriving of it came to be originally thought out and planned. Whereas there was no such planning, there was only a law: the ball once started, all the circumstances that happened to lie in its ...
Folksonomies: evolution metaphor analogy
Folksonomies: evolution metaphor analogy
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With the flakes it picks up being circumstances that amass onto it.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Ignorance as Friction

Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance, what Buddha called 'the greatest evil in the world.' The friction which results from ignorance ... can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent.
Folksonomies: knowledge ignorance analogy
Folksonomies: knowledge ignorance analogy
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Retarding human progress.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Originality of the Telescope

The mighty steam-engine has its germ in the simple boiler in which the peasant prepares his food. The huge ship is but the expansion of the floating leaf freighted with its cargo of atmospheric dust; and the flying balloon is but the infant's soap-bubble lightly laden and overgrown. But the Telescope, even in its most elementary form, embodies a novel and gigantic idea, without an analogue in nature, and without a prototype in experience
Folksonomies: nature analogy
Folksonomies: nature analogy
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All inventions have some analog in nature, but the telescope is truly unique (What about the eye?)

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 How Humans Resemble Rats

...[T]he natural history of the rat is tragically similar to that of man ... some of the more obvious qualities in which rats resemble men — ferocity, omnivorousness, and adaptability to all climates ... the irresponsible fecundity with which both species breed at all seasons of the year with a heedlessness of consequences, which subjects them to wholesale disaster on the inevitable, occasional failure of the food supply.... [G]radually, these two have spread across the earth, keeping pace ...
Folksonomies: prejudice analogy race
Folksonomies: prejudice analogy race
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Down to our racial oppression of one another.

06 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Genetics and Atomic Theory

Genetics is to biology what atomic theory is to physics. Its principle is clear: that inheritance is based on particles and not on fluids. Instead of the essence of each parent mixing, with each child the blend of those who made him, information is passed on as a series of units. The bodies of successive generations transport them through time, so that a long-lost character may emerge in a distant descendant. The genes themselves may be older than the species that bear them.
Folksonomies: analogy
Folksonomies: analogy
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Are analogous in their relationships to biology and physics.

04 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Functions of Analogies and Models in Science

... one of the main functions of an analogy or model is to suggest extensions of the theory by considering extensions of the analogy, since more is known about the analogy than is known about the subject matter of the theory itself … A collection of observable concepts in a purely formal hypothesis suggesting no analogy with anything would consequently not suggest either any directions for its own development.
Folksonomies: metaphor analogy
Folksonomies: metaphor analogy
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To inspire ways to extend the analogy.

19 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Empty Space in an Atom

A favourite analogy portrays the nucleus as a fly in the middle of a sports stadium. The nearest neighbouring nucleus is another fly, in the middle of an adjacent stadium. The electrons of each atom are buzzing about in orbit around their respective flies, smaller than the tiniest gnats, too small to be seen on the same scale as the flies. When we look at a solid lump of iron or rock, we are 'really' looking at what is almost entirely empty space. It looks and feels solid and opaque because o...
Folksonomies: wonder atom analogy model
Folksonomies: wonder atom analogy model
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Our senses are not adapted to experience the empty space between atoms.