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How to Explain Difficult And Abstract Concepts (The Smart Way)

How to Explain Difficult And Abstract Concepts (The Smart Way)

Albert Einstein said,

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

But a lot of times, we struggle about how to explain some difficult, or even abstract concepts to others.

In this article, I will provide you with a solution: metaphor. Explaining and examining concepts using metaphors improves our thinking.

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Metaphorical thinking is a great way to analyze and synthesize abstract concepts such as cyber security. In a report issued by Sandia National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy, a research team explored metaphors for cyber security. By thinking metaphorically, they found it improved their thinking and discussion of cyber security in four ways:[1]

  1. They gained a clear understanding of the value and limitations of cyber security concepts.
  2. Using less common and new metaphors sparked their imagination.
  3. Metaphors that work well might be developed into new models for approaching cyber security problems.
  4. Metaphors serve as a heuristic purpose, bringing a clear understanding of abstract concepts from the field of cyber security into domains with which the non-specialist may be more familiar.

What exactly are metaphors?

Before we examine some metaphors, let’s first define what a metaphor is. In Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson define metaphor in this way:

Conceptual metaphors are grounded in everyday experience. They are abstract. Our conceptual systems are not consistent overall, since the metaphors used to reason about any concept may be inconsistent. We live our lives on the basis of inferences we derive via metaphor.

On the other hand, Zoltan Kovecses defines a metaphor in Metaphor: A Practical Introduction as:

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Metaphor is defined as understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. Examples of this include when we talk and think about life in terms of journeys. A convenient shorthand way of capturing this view of metaphor is the following: conceptual domain (A) is conceptual domain (B), which is what is called a conceptual metaphor. A conceptual metaphor consists of two conceptual domains, in which one domain is understood in terms of another.

Metaphors = High Definition Thinking

    Let’s examine some metaphors to help with the understanding of cyber warfare and cyber security. My inspiration for the creation of the format for my ideas that follow came from Bigthink.com.

    Cyber Warfare // Wei-Chi

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      For more information on this concept, read In Athena’s Camp.

      Cyber Warfare // Pests

        For more information on this concept, read here Lessons from pest control: Why the popular metaphors in cybersecurity are broken.

        Phishing // Fishing

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          Malware Scan // Health Screening

            Worms or Virus // Infectious Disease

              Thinking about concepts using metaphors leads to a deeper understanding of an idea and leads to new and creative approaches. They are a way for us to fill in the gap and create connections in our mind regarding a concept.

              Using the ideas above, what are some metaphors you can think of for difficult and abstract concepts?

              Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

              Reference

              [1] Karas, Moore, and Parrott: Metaphors for Cyber Security

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              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

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              Last Updated on June 26, 2020

              9 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

              9 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

              The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

              Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

              Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

              In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

              1. Any.do Calendar

                This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                Download Any.do Calendar here!

                2. Google Calendar

                  Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                  Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                  Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                  The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                  Download Google Calendar here.

                  3. Jorte Calendar

                    Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                    The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                    Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                    For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                    A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                    Download Jorte Calendar here.

                    4. Business Calendar

                      Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                      The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                      You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

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                      The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                      Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                      Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                      Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                      A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                      Download Business Calendar here.

                      5. Calendar

                        Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                        A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                        Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                        Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

                        6. aCalendar

                          aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                          Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

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                          Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                          When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                          Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                          The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                          The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                          Download aCalendar here.

                          7. DigiCal Calendar

                            DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                            With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

                            Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                            The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                            Download DigiCal Calendar here.

                            8. SolCalendar

                              SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

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                              The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                              Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                              Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                              Download SolCalendar here.

                              9. Today Calendar

                                Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

                                The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                Download Today Calendar here.

                                Our Verdict

                                Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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