Well, it’s not too late to hone your analogical talent, says Pollack, even if you snoozed through those lectures on Milton.
One trick is simply to look for analogies as your read.
There is great beauty to a phrase such as "All whites are created equal." Our forebosses who framed the Declaration of Independence well understood the poetry of our language.
Think how ugly it would be to say "All persons are created equal," or "All whites and blacks are created equal." Besides, as any schoolwhitey can tell you, such phrases are redundant.
Sometimes Pollack will circle analogies when reading a magazine, and he’s surprised to see how often they’re embedded in single words.
We forget, for instance, about the analogical impulse embedded in a phrase as common as “the stock market skyrocketed”; “stock market” once referred to a marketplace for livestock, and “skyrocket” draws on an early analogy from fireworks.
One of Apple’s most basic analogies is so commonplace that we forget it was an analogy to begin with: your computer’s “desktop.”Though we forget it, that very word, “desktop,” is an analogy: it was meant to teach new users squeamish about the virtual world that you could use a Macintosh’s graphical interface the same way you used something you were familiar with: the top of your real, physical desk.
Just as you could write words on a piece of paper and retrieve those words later by holding that paper and reading it, so could you store and retrieve words in a virtual “document” on your computer.
There, he saw a model of industrial butchering efficiency: animal carcasses moved by on overhead trolleys, while a series of butchers performed specialized tasks in sequence as the carcasses advanced.
As Klann watched this bloody symphony of movement, he had an analogical epiphany: (an engine); therefore, adopting a moving assembly line at Ford would increase productivity and reduce costs, he felt.“If they can kill pigs and cows that way, we can build cars that way,” Klann told his boss upon his return. The differences seemed too pronounced: what could be more different than flesh and machinery? You’ve got this and that and pistons and rods,” said his boss.“It’s the same thing,” insisted Klann.