July 25th, 2019


Observation without metaphor: pre-dawn air

In a recent New York Times "Smarter Living" column, [You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be:
How to actually notice the world around you.
], the author relates advice from Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.”

Another of my favorite tactics Mr. Walker suggests: Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

I'm not sure this is a practice i need, but i am curious. Metaphor only or also simile?

I stepped out in the pre-dawn air, following a barking Carrie Dog. She had been awakened by something -- I assume some vehicle coming or going along the dirt road across from our driveway. The air was cooler than inside, fresh, dry. Cassiopeia shone over the house, moonlight shimmered through the trees. It made me realize the hot months may be about half over (assuming September brings relief).

Which didn't seem that hard, although i suspect "fresh" was once upon a time a metaphor. The word began as Old English fersc ‘not salt, fit for drinking’, per the Apple dictionary, and the metaphorical use broadened its definition. Since the fifth definition begins with "(of the wind)" i don't think it's currently a metaphor.

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Must stop thinking about this.

I'm taking a class today on persuasion and have 3 points to ponder
1. When was the last time your mind was changed by an argument? It might not happen often, so have a think. How did the other person change your view?

2. How do you normally try to convince people to your way of thinking? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “never,” how often are you successful at this?

3. When was the last time you were sold something that you didn’t really need? Chances are, there were some psychological tactics at play—what made you buy?
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I have a suspicion that my mental processes are far more fluid and flexible than average, so i don't think what works for me is necessarily going to work for others.