How to Explain Difficult And Abstract Concepts

How to Explain Difficult And Abstract Concepts
From Lifehack - February 12, 2018

Albert Einstein said,

If you cant explain it simply, you dont understand it well enough.

But a lot of times, we struggle about how to explain some difficult, or even abstract concepts to others.

In this article, I will provide you with a solution: metaphor.Explaining and examining concepts using metaphors improves our thinking.

Metaphorical thinking is a great way to analyze and synthesize abstract concepts such as cyber security. In a report issued by Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy, a research team explored metaphors for cyber security. By thinking metaphorically, they found it improved their thinking and discussion of cyber security in four ways:1

What exactly are metaphors?

Before we examine some metaphors, lets first define what a metaphor is. In Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson define metaphor in this way:

Conceptual metaphors are grounded in everyday experience. Theyare abstract. Our conceptual systems are not consistent overall, since the metaphors used to reason about any concept may be inconsistent. We live our lives on the basis of inferences we derive via metaphor.

Metaphors = High Definition Thinking

Cyber Warfare // Wei-Chi

Cyber Warfare // Pests

Phishing // Fishing

Malware Scan // Health Screening

Worms or Virus // Infectious Disease


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