One of the underappreciated benefits of technology is that it provides analogies.
We’re used to seeing technology proceed from the lab to the world by analogy. A pointing device for a computer is like a mouse. We surf the addresses of the web by navigating. (Nobody said the analogies had to be consistent with one another.)
It’s always been like this. When automobiles arrived, it made sense to identify them as horseless carriages: like a carriage, but without the horse. The analogy keeps a helpful concept alive in the mind long enough for people to become adapted to the new consensus. So we move from the idea that automobiles are like carriages but without the horse to the idea that carriages don’t actually need a horse. Hence, now we tend to call an automobile a ‘car’; in other words, the same thing as a cart, a buggy, or a railway carriage.
This is the application of analogy to new developments. As I say, sometimes change brings with it a new analogy of its own.
Having just enjoyed a bank holiday weekend, brimful of relaxation and enjoyment, I expected to return re-energised and buzzing. Instead, I feel more drained than ever. I can probably explain why; I really needed another four or five days at least to unwind fully.* But I can’t describe it better than to say I feel like a mobile that’s been hastily recharged. While on my rest and recharge cycle I look and feel as though I have been topped up. It’s only when I attempt to do anything that I realise that I’m far from fully charged. I need to be drained right down, then recharged over a long period before I become fully functional again.
* Like a tensed spring that needs to be uncoiled, analogy watchers.