Secrets of the Deep Sky
In exposition the most common function of an analogy is to translate an abstract or difficult idea into more concrete or familiar terms. That is certainly one of the aims of O'Connor's analogy, as it is of this longer example, in which an astronomer explains the philosophy of science
Barjak (2006a) reported the results obtained from a survey carried out with approximately 1,500 scientists from five academic disciplines (astronomy, chemistry, computer science, economics and psychology) in seven European countries. The participants were asked to describe their use of new technology over a period of two years (2001 to 2002). The results showed quite clearly that the respondents using new technology produced significantly more working papers, journal articles, book chapters, monographs, reports and conference presentations than did the respondents who did not.
There are some outstanding personal pages with good information on such things as astronomy, cooking, ethnic history, medical conditions, auto leasing, you name it. There are fan pages with volumes of information on someone's favorite author or favorite movie star. A lot of these are frivolous, but many people are fans of classic authors like Edgar Allen Poe or Jane Austen and have posted terrific information about those people and their works.
I know the people in that story firsthand. I have lived with Chester Arthur Kinsman in my head for almost half a century. I have written dozens of short stories and several novels about him. Almost all of them were rejected, and even Fifteen Miles was bounced by the first editor I sent it to. Kinsman and I learned to write together. Father Lemoyne and Bok, the astronomer, are also people I know, composites of many people I have met and worked with over the years.
Say, where are you now The astronomer's voice sounded gritty with static in Kinsman's helmet earphones. Why don't you come on back, the astronomers s voice re turned, until he calls in. Then you can get him with the jumper You'll be running out of air yourself before you can find him inside the crater. The astronomer said guardedly, It sounds as though he's dying. Listen, the astronomer said, his voice rising, you can't leave me stuck here with both of you gone I know the regulations, Kinsman. You're not allowed to risk yourself or the third man on the team to help a man in trouble.
This is usually a more effective strategy than stressing the importance of the subject. You may play upon curiosity by opening with a short factual statement that raises more questions than it answers. Astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington begins a chapter in his book The Philosophy of Science with this statement
Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!