A passing thought on analogies...

I have always failed to appreciate the importance of analogies while explaining any concepts be it an engineering one or a management jargon or any damn thing. The apparent lack of appreciation comes from the simple fact that when one proposes and analogy B for a real event/topic A, a thorough and just problem solving would warrant a perfect similarity of B with A i.e. in terms of degree of freedoms, constraints, influences etc. However of all the analogies that I have been subjected to I rarely find, in fact have never found a mirror event for the one that is being analysed. And this fact would definitely entail a bias on basic problem solving step thus rendering the correlation essentially a futile exercise...The case is more severe in non engineering usages of analogies...Its funny that we actually love an orator or a teacher who explains a theory and then further diverts into the phrase "for instance" or "like"...this maybe because perhaps it aids the understanding process. I can fairly understand the need of analogy if mere "understanding" is the goal and "creativity" or "reimagination" is shelved as too utopian a perspective. But then that is what the goal of education is, if there ever is any goal...i.e. you understand the structures and try and reimagine them to make them better or in the language of computers..upgrade them.

To my mind however the reliance on analogy does not seem to be a thorough futile pursuit, but I think an apreciation of its limitation i.e. sum of parts might not add upto the whole; should always be kept in mind and the consequence of which is failure to appreciate the analogical reasoning as an unbiased problem solving method.