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Some studies suggest that one in every 25 words we use is a metaphor. The choice of metaphor can form the way we see the world and act upon it.
In a series of experiments, participants were given two identical reports about crime, except that one report described the crime as "a wild beast preying on the city" and the other "a virus infecting the city." When asked for solutions, those who read the first report suggested stricter law enforcement, while those who read the second proposed social reforms.
Metaphors, like “trickle-down economics” and “red wall,” help frame the issues and also our responses to social and political discussions.
When politicians compare the national economy to a household budget, they want us to think in specific ways about national debt or policies of austerity.
Metaphors also play a role in science. Science accepts that metaphors can be limiting, but admit that they are an essential tool for thinking.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
An analogy is a comparison that asserts a parallel between two distinct things, based on the perception of a shared property.
Analogies appear in metaphors, similes, political...
Analogies are arguments that operate unnoticed. Like icebergs, they conceal most of their mass and power beneath the surface.
Analogies are also used in innovation and decision making. For instance, the "bicycle for the mind” that Steve Jobs envisioned as a Macintosh computer.
Using analogies help us to communicate effectively. For example, Warren Buffett noted "You never know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out,” meaning when times are bad, hidden weaknesses are exposed.
Lack of awareness of an analogy's influence can come at a cost. The ability to construct a good analogy can help you reach your outcomes.
Humans are different from animals in that we don't sense time only as passing. We dice time into units or think of time to go beyond our lifespan, such as millennia. We rely on time concepts that allow us to make plans, follow recipes, and discuss possible futures.
Recent research suggests that across all cultures, the concept of time depends on metaphor, known as a conceptual metaphor. We build our understanding of duration and sequences of events out of familiar spatial ideas such as size, movement, and location.
But the "time is like space" metaphor takes on very different forms from one culture to the next.
The human body is made up of trillions of human cells. There are possibly three times as many microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and other microbes) living in and on the human body. The micro...
Metaphors that scientists use to talk about the microbiome influence scientific understanding and can shape medical treatment. For example, viewing the microbiome as an "organ" or a "part of the immune system."
Some physicians support fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) - treating the malfunction of the gut microbiome by swallowing a pill full of someone else's poo. It follows the same basic principles as an organ transplant, and the treatment is probably a consequence of understanding the microbiome as an organ.
To think of a microbiome as an organ creates a limited perspective because organs are relatively set. Generally, a heart will develop and remain the same in each person. But a microbiome is not one thing. It's trillions of things and responds to small changes in our diet, environment, and behavior. It works together with the human body in a symbiotic relationship.
Each metaphor can only capture a part of what the microbiome is. We need all the metaphors to understand the complexity of the microbiome and its role in our bodies.