Three-minute thought: analogies and treasure stores

“Three-minute thoughts” are quickly written, minimally fleshed out, possibly wrong, certainly non-comprehensive, and may or may not become a regular feature in some form.

We learn through analogies (“this is like that, except for…”), and most of our useful thinking is done through analogies. The boundaries of our thought are, generally, constrained by what we can mentally access for analogy. Being mostly a “surfer” of the intellectual world is not inherently deficient, as long as you maintain velocity–the more ideas and models of the world you encounter, the more you can organize your intellectual library of curiosities, the more likely you are to recognize the value (or lack thereof) of an idea, and the richer will be your treasure store of material for use in analogy.

Offhand questions: How does this connect with the ideas of spaced repetition for retention of important knowledge, the value of forgetting in maintaining a functional mind, or the ideal of T-shaped knowledge?

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