Think of each theory or model as a point in a space. Think of abstraction or facility with analogy as the length of a radius that creates a ball around each point. Education should introduce you to new theories and expand your abstraction radius.
Two nice games: Given a phenomenon to explain, either pick an arbitrary theory and try to explain the phenomenon with the theory and sheer force of abstraction or identify the theory that explains the phenomenon with the smallest abstraction radius.
Communication falls into this. The better your own understanding, and the better your understanding of an interlocutor's understanding, the better you can identify the combination of theory and analogy that will convey insight into a phenomenon of interest.
For me, one of the greatest sources of joy is taking a circuitous route from theory to phenomenon ("ranting") and having my conversation partner grasp the abstraction and then compile it to a much shorter route and send it back.
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