I make use of a lot of analogies, for instance ‘like dancing’ and ‘the ice skating thing’ are particular phenomena I often think about, and I get value from thinking about meta-ethics as if it were romance, or saving the world as if it were a party. I wonder if providing a variety of concrete experiences that other things might be analogized to is a big source of value from doing new things.
For instance, recently I took up knitting and I think there are things about it that my other experiences don’t have. For instance, I got some knitting patterns, and they have this very brief and utilitarian jargon, and a bunch of concepts, and I got a sense of this rich world of actionable and actioned knowledge about how to do a concrete thing, with much doing of it, which is pretty unlike other things I engage in, I am sorry to say.
I was also struck by the experience of being able to take a relatively simple substance (wool) and turn it into a useful object of the kind one buys in a store (a hat, or it seems like it will be a hat).
These things are of course what I expect in the abstract, but it is something else to experience things.
I’m not sure how these new experiences compare to the value I have had so far from the activity of knitting, but it seems like much more than the value of a generic hat, and I only have maybe a quarter of one of those.
My current guess is that filling out my repertoire of concrete intuitions about specific kinds of occurrences or relationships between things is pretty helpful.