Metaphor are devices for understanding

Metaphors are basically devices for understanding and have little to do with objective reality, if there is such a thing. The fact that our conceptual system is inherently metaphorical, the fact that we understand the world, think, and function in metaphorical terms, and the fact that metaphors can not merely be understood but can be meaningful and true as well—these facts all suggest that an adequate account of meaning and truth can only be based on understanding.

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

No such thing as inherent meaning in sentences

understanding. A sentence can’t mean anything to you unless you understand it. Moreover, meaning is always meaning to someone. There is no such thing as a meaning of a sentence in itself, independent of any people. When we speak of the meaning of a sentence, it is always the meaning of the sentence to someone, a real person or a hypothetical typical member of a speech community

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

Purpose in metaphor

The most important thing to bear in mind throughout our discussion of coherence is the role of purpose. A metaphorical structuring of a concept, say the journey metaphor for arguments, allows us to get a handle on one aspect of the concept. Thus a metaphor works when it satisfies a purpose, namely, understanding an aspect of the concept.

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

Metaphor vs. metonymy

Metaphor and metonymy are different kinds of processes. Metaphor is principally a way of conceiving of one thing in terms of another, and its primary function is understanding. Metonymy, on the other hand, has primarily a referential function, that is, it allows us to use one entity to stand for another.

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

Mental models and metaphors

Ontological metaphors like these are so natural and so pervasive in our thought that they are usually taken as self-evident, direct descriptions of mental phenomena. The fact that they are metaphorical never occurs to most of us. We take statements like “He cracked under pressure” as being directly true or false. This expression was in fact used by various journalists to explain why Dan White brought his gun to the San Francisco City Hall and shot and killed Mayor George Moscone. Explanations of this sort seem perfectly natural to most of us. The reason is that metaphors like THE MIND IS A BRITTLE OBJECT are an integral part of the model of the mind that we have in this culture; it is the model most of us think and operate in term

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

Question: What mental models do we have, about Automattic, about WordPress, about startups?

What you can conceive, you can do

“That’s the problem with a lot of people”, he continued, “they don’t try to do stuff that’s never been done before, so they never do anything, but if they try to do it, they find out there’s lots of things they can do that have never been done before.”

“I guess, I’ve always believed that nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do. Most people think the opposite – that all things are withheld from them which they have conceived to do and they end up doing nothing.”

–Joel Runyon An Unexpected Ass Kicking

Advice to my 22-year old self

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.

Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity.

–Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Prestige: conjuror’s tricks

You might, for example, be interested to know that the word “prestigious” is derived from the Latin praestigiae, which means “conjuror’s tricks.” Isn’t that interesting? This word that we use to mean honorable and esteemed has its beginnings in a word that has everything to do with illusion, deception, and trickery.</

–Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar