Thursday, July 18, 2013

Analogies

Lab - Syracuse, NY

A famous quote by Albert Einstein goes: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."

It immediately strikes us as true. Very apt indeed.

Let us examine the quote above. There is something big, viz. life. There is an everyday activity, viz. riding a bicycle. And there is an analogy between these two, the simplicity of which is attractive.

My friend also came up with a post about an interesting analogy - a break-up with a common cold. Read it here.

So, such quotes/analogies are of the kind:
X is like Y. (Connected by) Z. 
<X is a deep thought, perhaps philosophical, or just something larger. Y is an everyday activity or a common object. The statement Z connects the two>.
There seem to be many quotes on the internet. Some strike a chord, like the two above. Many others come across as dumb or lame - I won't dwell on these.

The following exercise is to take everyday activities/objects for the variables X and Y and then try to create Z, the second part of the "newly formed quote".

Before I begin this exercise, I must confess - I don't know how to classify this post - perhaps somewhere between light-hearted humour and a valiant attempt at sounding meaningful. If you are in a serious mood, I hope some thoughts make sense. If you are just lazing, I hope the sarcastic humour is evident. But take with a pinch of salt - #fail alert :) Here goes.

Oh, and if by some chance, some already exist in the same or another form, please let me know and I'll cite the source. I haven't done much "literature survey" for this :)

Let's first pick some candidates for X and Y.

Table: Sample values of X and Y
XY
TrustTree
LifeA game of poker
Human mindRiver
PeaceMusical instrument
RelationshipsBook

Let's join these columns. Consider randomly chosen ordered pairs (X, Y), I don't want to attempt all 25 combinations. I'll do 10 instead. Each of X and Y are picked twice.

Remember: 
X is like Y. (Connected by) Z.
1. Trust is like a tree. It's strength depends on its roots.

2. Trust is like a river. Deep enough, it can overpower anything; shallow and a little heat can dry it up.

3. Life is like a game of poker. The probability of your bluff working depends on your position.

4. Life is like a river. Starts off young and energetic, and ends up meandering its way to the ocean.

5. The human mind is like a musical instrument. You can work it and choose to play like a maestro, or keep it rusty and sound like something ran over a cat.

6. The human mind is like a book. Dog-ear it, don't shelve it.

7. Peace is like a tree. As you sow, so do you reap.

8. Peace is like a musical instrument. Out of tune, the music can never sound good.

9. Relationships are like a game of poker. You don't win much if you don't put enough in the pot.

10. Relationships are like a book. The prologue must be interesting to continue.

There it is. Ten new "quotes" created. Let me know which work and which don't!