Digital photo of a piece of physical art depicting a digital Save icon which is based on the look of an actual 3.5 inch floppy drive that saved digital data to a physical disc. BTW, in case you are wondering, this object was really floppy to touch, but the magnetic material inside of it was. But there was a time when the whole thing was sort of floppy and much larger, That is, larger on the outside and smaller on he inside if you know what i mean, the opposite of Dr. Who’s Tardis. Might this thing actually be a Roger MacGuffen?

Digital photo of a piece of physical art depicting a digital Save icon which is based on the look of an actual 3.5 inch floppy drive that saved digital data to a physical disc. BTW, in case you are wondering, this object was really floppy to touch, but the magnetic material inside of it was. But there was a time when the whole thing was sort of floppy and much larger, That is, larger on the outside and smaller on he inside if you know what i mean, the opposite of Dr. Who’s Tardis. Might this thing actually be a Roger MacGuffen?

Digital image of an analog clock pretending to be a digital icon pretending to be an analog clock

Digital image of an analog clock pretending to be a digital icon pretending to be an analog clock

It is the nature of a metaphor to challenge the audience’s notion of reality. That’s how it works. That’s what makes metaphor different from simile or other forms of analogy where the audience is notified that an analogy is present. Metaphor is a pure statement of what is and it is up to the audience to detect that someone is pulling their leg or yanking their chain to make a point. If you’re inspecting your leg and looking for your chain, you might be missing my point.

It is the natural progression of language to introduce new or abstract ideas wrapped in the familiar. Repetition causes those new ideas to eventually become the familiar. The metaphor falls away like scaffolding and the ideas stand on their own. Or sometimes, the metaphorical packaging remains a permanent representation indefinitely,

Someone’s kid found an old floppy disk and commented that they thought it ingenious that someone made a storage device to look like the save icon.

Metaphor, skeumorphism is icons pretending to be real objects. So what does that make this?

Any context where new ideas, particularly abstract ideas abound, metaphors abound. The books of the bible are filled with many of them, often mixed with actual statements and history. And as is the nature of metaphor, there is often debate as to which is metaphorical and which is historical. The fact that this question and debate exists demonstrates the power of metaphor and also its sometimes precarious nature.

New ideas are packaged in the familiar, using analogy. They borrow form and structure from the familiar things to explain something of their own nature. Eventually the new ideas become establish on their own. sometimes the metaphorical packaging will com of like a pair of training wheels and the idea stands as a thing on its own. Other times the original metaphor will remain a permanent part of the thing’s identity,

A literal depiction of a figurative name, Blockchain, which represents a technology that is technically an abstract concept.

A literal depiction of a figurative name, Blockchain, which represents a technology that is technically an abstract concept.

 
 
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It's in the cloud. What does that mean?  We use metaphors constantly to express digital or otherwise intangible or simply new ideas.  Why?  This method of communication has been used for thousands of years.  Must work pretty well.

Here’s a cloud with a polished aluminum lining. Is your information in there?

Here’s a cloud with a polished aluminum lining. Is your information in there?