Structure Mapping Theory

More old notes to be edited later… so many of these to be done… In analogy, the relations between objects (e.g. friend(Bill,Ted)) are matched rather than the individual attributes (e.g. tall(Bill)) of those objects. This is distinct from literal similarity where both attributes and relations are matched, mere-appearance matches where primarily attributes are matched, and anomaly where very few attribute or relations are matched. Metaphor (e.g. ‘Bill is a rock’) is seen as a reduced form of analogy with usually just one (contextual?) attribute being matched. Abstraction is seen as a similar process to analogy but with mappings between objects that have few or no attributes, and in abstraction, all the relations are matched rather than just some. This view of analogy appears to be confirmed by empirical psychological studies (Falkenhainer89). Analogy can be split into three distinct subprocesses (Falkenhainer87.IJCAI): (i) access, (ii) mapping and inference and (iii) evaluation and…

Insight

Is insight creativity applied to thought processes? I mean, if art is creativity using materials, and maths creativity using symbols, can we distill the notion of insight right down to creativity using partial world views? It could fit: the idea of generating then analyzing and reducing sets of ideas down to ones with higher value (for a given notion of value), of combining partial views, refining them and creating leaps by adapting or removing base assumptions. So are the people who spot the moving patterns and understand trends fast enough to profit from them creative (as they’re adapting their models quickly) rather than purely logical. Possibly. Could we use structure-mapping to model those processes? Some, but that would definitely need deep parsers, large knowledgebases and one heck of a legal framework… When we created the 4-tier fusion pyramid (data-information-knowledge-insight/wisdom; you’ve been using it for years chaps, and now you can…

Thinking Simply

I’m not a very intelligent person, but I am lucky enough to know several of these creatures. I got to wondering this weekend about what, apart from the ability to assimilate and use vast amounts of information faster and more efficiently than us mere mortals, really sets them apart. And the thing that strikes me most is their ability to think very very simply. Now I’m not talking about thinking simplistically, i.e. with the sort of logics found mainly in the Daily Mail or the town pub after 10 pints. I’m talking about the ability to take a topic, a known topic, to reach into its core and retrieve an idea that seems so simple, so obvious, that you wish you’d thought of it yourself. And that little inner voice tells you that you could have done, if only you’d noticed, but you know in your heart that only someone…