The Power of Metaphors

‘Will Egypt’s revolution spark a Domino Effect?’. Almost anywhere one looks for analysis of events, a metaphor stares back. But metaphors are no substitute for the generation of ideas.

‘Will Egypt’s revolution spark a Domino Effect?’; ‘Could a political-unrest contagion potentially spread elsewhere?’ Like the ‘perfect storm’ whipped up by the financial crisis of 2008, the current uprisings in the Arab world have certainly prompted politicians and the media alike to flex their metaphors. In his seminal essay, Why I Write, George Orwell argued that ‘the sole aim of metaphor is to call up a visual image’. Now it seems the burden on metaphors is much greater: they are being used to probe our unconscious mind. But metaphors are no substitute for the generation of ideas.

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
  • Prejudice is typically perpetrated against 'the other', i.e. a group outside our own.
  • But ageism is prejudice against ourselves — at least, the people we will (hopefully!) become.
  • Different generations needs to cooperate now more than ever to solve global problems.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less