Metaphor (met’-a-phor): A comparison made by referring to one thing as another.

This time in history is a fissure in the bedrock of human experience–so much is unprecedented, unanticipated, unmanageable. In the Gulf of Mexico the scientists and the engineers–the magisterial problem solvers–are lost in the unmapped territory between technology’s intentions and its consequences: the ends it is developed for and what it ends up doing.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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