The Power of Redescription
Let's think a little bit more about some of the strategies that we can use to find analogies. Now. We already talked about one, which is to use punch lines of jokes. There are other things we can do if you want to find the essence of a problem you're trying to solve. Another thing that you can do is to is to give your problem a title. Imagine that I am. I'm working on a problem. And I asked myself, You know, if this if this were a book and that book, we're going to capture the real essence of the problem. What would I call it? And in the process of doing that, you may stumble on a description or a word or a phrase that will help. You have to really distill the essence of that category. Sometimes it's even a label that that that refers to broad categories of things. I encourage people to begin to look at the entire world as if it's a proverb. Okay, because if you think about proverbs right, the noise of the wheels doesn't measure the load of the wagon. Well, that's ah, that is that has ...
an essence to it. There's a meaning underneath it, right? The surface properties of something are not a good reflection of its inner essence. And chances are almost every problem you're trying to solve also has, in essence, also has some meaning underneath it that would help you to think about the problem in a new and different way. Now, I want you to practice this. And so the way you're gonna practice it is to go to this proverb. Practice page 43. There are about 10 proverbs on here, and I want you to go ahead and define those as your first your first chance. I know you weren't doing fake work now, but I still want you to define some problems. And I really want to reiterate that when I talk about problems that you're solving, um, I really don't mean to constrain this very much, right. This kind of a strategy works whether you are in business, trying to solve a particular problem with with your product that you've developed or your advertising strategy. But this can work in social relationships when you're when you're dealing with with conflicts that have come up. Um, I'm gonna summarize here. I apologize. This one is three ish. Okay, Um, we talked both about similarity and analogy Here. Similarity is your ability to use the literal similarities of the world to help you to reuse your past knowledge and new situations. When you do that, you tend to focus on what the new situation has in common with previous knowledge, as well as the differences that relate to what things have in common. But if there's a unique property of some new situation that doesn't really match on to something that you've seen before, you tend to miss that those unique properties, those nonaligned herbal properties tend not toe, not tow leap to the forefront. When you get stuck solving a problem, that means that you haven't been able to find anything in your prior knowledge that's really gonna help you to solve that new problem in those situations, sometimes you have to leap from literal similarity to analogy analogies are those situations those comparisons in which you are finding things that have similar structure from one situation to another. So the structure is similar, even if the surface details aren't. We're very good at making analogy comparisons when they're there in front of us. They're very powerful in those situations. But we have to work hard when we're trying to retrieve analogies. The way we have to do that is to remember that when you get stuck, it means that nothing is coming to mind if you want new things to come and Mont to come to mind, which have to do is to read, describe the situation, re describe the problem by finding its essence. And when you find that essence, you will discover that other things that you know about that share that essence will also come to mind.
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