A short checklist for elaborating on analogies

I frequently use a notepad while reading books away from computer in order to write down some interesting thoughts. I use notepad specifically to minimize distractions (of which there are plenty if I would have opted to writing digital notes using computer directly instead), and generally I feel that it works somewhat well for me.

There are problems, as you can imagine. As using pen is slower and more energy consuming process than typing using a keyboard, my handwritten notes are more concise and thus somewhat more difficult to understand later.

In a specific scenario of me digitizing notes I took while reading "The Mind is Flat" (which I enjoyed a lot and can recommend) couple of weeks after taking them, I was dumbfounded when encountering a note with a structure "X is really similar to Y". In this particular situation, it took me a while to figure out what Y meant, but that didn't make sentence more meaningful to me.

No big deal, my brain tends to generate tons of ideas of various quality, and it doesn't look like that one was particularly actionable. However, it made me think about that there might be a better way to preserve those kind of analogies for consumption further in time. Here are some questions I thought might be useful to elaborating on spontaneously occuring analogies.

  1. If ambiguous, what are the working definitions for X and Y for which the stated analogy makes sense?
  2. How exactly does the analogy hold?
  3. Why I feel that this particular analogy is important?

The second question is probably the most important one. If you forgive me an unclear analogy about analogies, this one is like providing a member of equality type in constructive mathematics instead of stating that the equality type is inhabited in classical one.

(perhaps ironically, I'm not going to go into details using these questions for this particular analogy here, but in case that one is unclear but looks interesting, Propositions as Types paper is of great use)