Greater Egret

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Analog Man

I was listening to MSNBC on the radio for a few minutes the other day, usually can't take too much of the network. These young whippersnappers are just too damn smart, make me feel unschooled and verbally inadequate. They use really big words.

And occasionally misuse them. Rachel Maddow gets definite points for using redound properly in a sentence but do I have to hear it over and over again on her promos? Sheesh! You're smarter than the rest of us. I give.

Anyway some woman in the morning was talking about this or that occurring and she used the phrase, "That is the perfect analog for the event." And I wasn't really familiar with the term being used like that, something didn't sound right. I have of course lived a quite sheltered life.

I wish I remember the exact usage, chapter and verse but I unfortunately don't. But in this usage you will have to take my word that analog was a synonym for an example, a direct fulfillment of a conceptual line. It didn't sound like it was being used correctly.

So I looked up analog.

A relatively new word, 1946, do you remember Analog magazine, the great soft cover for science fiction? Had that cool Sputnik, Aasimov space age feel.

There are many meanings to the word, in literature; a literary work that shares motifs, characters or events with another, but is not directly derived from it. In technology it is a signal that contains information using non-quantized variations in frequency and amplitude. In science a functional analog is a chemical compound with similar properties. Similar.

It can also be used as word for a substitute, for certain foodstuffs. At coffee, Ken said that in radio it denotes a continuous power or signal source. Another thought it was any information signal that wasn't digital. We know that it has a parabolic waveform without any sharp digital corners.

The definition I want is this one; a thing from which an analogy is drawn. From which of course begs the obvious question, what is an analogy?
Analogy (from Greek ἀναλογία, analogia, "proportion"[1][2]) is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), or a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. In a narrower sense, analogy is an inference or an argument from one particular to another particular, as opposed to deduction, induction, and abduction, where at least one of the premises or the conclusion is general. The word analogy can also refer to the relation between the source and the target themselves, which is often, though not necessarily, a similarity, as in the biological notion of analogy.
Niels Bohr's model of the atom made an analogy between the atom and the solar system.
Analogy plays a significant role in problem solving such as, decision making, perception, memory, creativity, emotion, explanation and communication. It lies behind basic tasks such as the identification of places, objects and people, for example, in face perception and facial recognition systems. It has been argued that analogy is "the core of cognition".[3] Specific analogical language comprises exemplification, comparisons, metaphors, similes, allegories, and parables, but not metonymy. Phrases like and so on, and the like, as if, and the very word like also rely on an analogical understanding by the receiver of a message including them. Analogy is important not only in ordinary language and common sense (where proverbs and idioms give many examples of its application) but also in science, philosophy and the humanities. The concepts of association, comparison, correspondence, mathematical and morphological homology, homomorphism, iconicity, isomorphism, metaphor, resemblance, and similarity are closely related to analogy. In cognitive linguistics, the notion of conceptual metaphor may be equivalent to that of analogy.
Analogy has been studied and discussed since classical antiquity by philosophers, scientists and lawyers. The last few decades have shown a renewed interest in analogy, most notably in cognitive science.
So I guess that the difference is that the nature between host and analog has to be one of similarity rather than a direct causal relationship, if that makes any sense and if I am interpreting it correctly.

Niels Bohr's model of the atom showing analogy between the atom and the solar system.
I learned two more words today. First Stephanie at coffee stumped me with hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia , the fear of long words and George Will.

Then Shawn sent this over;

Pronoia is the delusional belief that other people are plotting our well-being or saying nice things about us behind our backs. Now there is a wonderful way to experience life!

Pronoia, I'll have some of that!


Anonymous said...

Analog sound recording anp photographs produce something similar to their target but which is not the same so the analog recording oe photograph is an analog of the target. Digital recordings and photographs are also an analog of the target but are not made with an analog method. Bubba blubber Jon said flicking his lips with a finger. I feel smart now!

Anonymous said...

'...Increases my pronoia, like lookin' in the mirror and seeing Santa's sleigh'

.....paraphrasing David Crosby.