Abstractions assist in amassing knowledge, enabling the traversing of contexts that would have otherwise been impossible or downright difficult, as I sense. I realise that I rely on abstracting on information attained, to form a malleable piece of information which can be applied in novel contexts in an attempt to generate new information.
The process is intuitive and automatic. Automatic in the sense that it is not consciously constructed but instead it is self-constructed. It is the natural outcome of contemplating over a certain set of information produced by extensive investigation, evidence built by rigorous scientific methods.
The whole process it brings into my mind that article about the mechanism of intuition, I read in the New Scientist magazine a few years ago that so impressed me at the time. I have to dig that issue out and read it again.
As far as I can remember it mentioned about waves (brain waves!!) spreading indiscriminately in every direction, surpassing every nook and cranny, every hidden fold in our brains, back and forth several times, engaging therefore every thought, every bit of information stored in our brain, no matter how well hidden it might be, no matter how deep is buried in some remote crevice, it is bound to be resurrected in the successive wave sweeps and emerge in the surface of our consciousness plateau and surprise us.