Monday, August 06, 2012

More on classic expository writing(and oral presentation)

"In the scene of classic joint attention, there is something directly perceptible.  In contrast, the network of ideas we want to present may not be directly perceptible.  The human mind—uniquely among species—is routinely skillful at blending things that don’t naturally go together.  In the complex network, the subject may be completely imperceptible. But in the blend, we treat the subject as if it is something directly perceptible. The result is that we can talk about anything at all as if it is directly perceptible: someone’s disappointment or sense of the absurd, a city’s magnificence or a country’s intransigence, a neighborhood’s poverty or a wine’s elegance—all these invisible things and an endless list of others are treated as if they were directly perceptible.

Nowhere in this quote is the word metaphor, but this is what's at play.

The "network of ideas" is what Shimon Edelman would call a "cloud" of thoughts, perceived not as distinct, but present in potential, waiting to be drawn out into actual utterance. 

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