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Help me understand color theory from a mechanistic perspective

How can we (as precisely as possible) characterize what colors go well together? What underlying physical/biological or mathematical explanations underpin the recommendations of artistic color theory? I am particularly interested in the culturally invariant component of these models, if any such components can be extracted. [more inside]
posted by Jpfed on Jul 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Explanations of your favorite deep and meaningful ideas

I still remember vividly the moment that I got the idea of entropy in information theory; I spent weeks seeing the world in those terms, and playing out the implications (as I understood them). Likewise Nietzschean "eternal recurrence" -- not just as a hypothesis about things repeating on a cosmic scale, but to see if the world and history can be taken as a choice, as something we can affirm. What are your favorite deep, rich, meaningful concepts to think with? (They don't need to be scientifically accurate, necessarily, or something you personally believe -- just things that offer the pleasure of understanding, for you.) Links to explanatory resources, or explanations in the comments welcome, or just names and starting points. [more inside]
posted by the brave tetra-pak on Mar 4, 2013 - 32 answers

Fired. Helped me get hired again.

How do I talk about being fired in future job interviews? Advice and encouragement needed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 7, 2013 - 16 answers

We don't go to Dubai-holm

In most Western media, what little I've read of Dubai has largely been negative, terming it a 'folly', a mistake, a blunder, and other synonyms. (apologies for no links) Can someone explain someone who knows nothing about the place, what the matter is with that city? What's wrong about it, and why doesn't the West like it, as opposed to other Asian developed Asian cities like Kuala Lumpur or Singapore? [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Nov 18, 2012 - 27 answers

.....wat?

I'd really love a detailed explanation of the terms and humor in this math / science related XKCD cartoon. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 25, 2012 - 14 answers

How is everything related to politics?

How is everything related to politics? [more inside]
posted by espada0 on Apr 4, 2012 - 18 answers

Is joint parameter estimation always strictly better than individual parameter estimation?

Is it true that it is always better to estimate parameters jointly, even when they are completely unrelated? [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Feb 20, 2012 - 3 answers

Good lies for my suicide scars.

What are some good excuses for suicide attempt scars on the inner wrist? Particularly keen to hear plausible explanations that fit with the appearance of the scar. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 16, 2011 - 53 answers

Let me count the ways

[Philosophy/Language/HistoryFilter]: What's the name of this rhetorical or logical technique, where you explain a subject by making a lot of lists? [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus on May 27, 2011 - 6 answers

How to illustrate U.S. public debt?

How would you illustrate the U.S. public debt of $14 trillion in a concrete way? [more inside]
posted by keijo on Apr 26, 2011 - 21 answers

Help me understand why this is happening

Suicidal ideation under stress -- help me. [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Mar 12, 2011 - 14 answers

... They shoulda gotten kilt in summer.

TrueGritTheMovieFilter: Please explain the meaning of the last ~10min. of the movie to me. [more inside]
posted by the NATURAL on Jan 19, 2011 - 18 answers

I don't get it.

Just watched A River Runs Through It, and I think most of it went way over my head. [more inside]
posted by LarrenD on Dec 20, 2010 - 11 answers

Looking for literature that explains explanation

Looking for philosophers/social theorists, both classic and modern, who have written about what it means to "explain" something. [more inside]
posted by pluckemin on Oct 20, 2010 - 10 answers

You are Socrates, I am Meno's slave.

Please explain what calculus is to a dummy. [more inside]
posted by Sova on Jan 17, 2010 - 48 answers

cheesedick for a year.

how do i explain the concept of "cheesy" to non-native English speakers? [more inside]
posted by yonation on Jun 18, 2009 - 35 answers

x-files alert: Looking for a track featuring a monotone narrator explaining the entire X-Files conspiracy mythology.

Does anyone know of a spoken word explanation track that explains the entire mythology of the X-Files? [more inside]
posted by codybaldwin on Apr 8, 2009 - 7 answers

How can I improve my ability to explain things better?

How can I improve my ability to explain things better? This could be anything from describing a film I watched yesterday to a friend...to explaining technological solutions such as GPS, or 'RSS feeds' to non-technical managers at a business. Are there any basic rules with explanations which could help improve general explanation skills? Were you crap at explaining things but have now improved? How did you do it?
posted by razzman on Mar 9, 2009 - 20 answers

What are some examples of psychological studies demonstrating how people are less perceptive than they believe?

What are some examples of psychological studies demonstrating how people are less perceptive than they believe? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes on Aug 1, 2008 - 11 answers

Help me explain when I only want to keep working

I wish for a web site full of pre-written explanations, or links to such collected here, for various good web practices, so that I can send them to my clients (some of whom are pro-bono) when I'm too impatient or frustrated to calmly say why editing the web _shouldn't_ be like editing a "Word" document; or why putting a huge snapshot on their home page isn't a good idea... [more inside]
posted by amtho on Nov 2, 2007 - 10 answers

Marx for dummies.

MarxFilter: Trouble understanding the concept of "alienation of labor" in the Manuscripts of 1844. Can anyone explain to me exactly what he means? [more inside]
posted by lovejones on Feb 13, 2006 - 9 answers

Is there any real danger?

I've got a nine month old baby. I bought one of those car rugs at Home Depot and got it home only to happen to read one of the tags on it that says "Not suitable for children under 36 months". My question is, what danger does this rug pose to my 9 month old that it no longer poses to a 36 month old child?
posted by fenriq on Apr 5, 2005 - 15 answers

Explain to me, what is "production" in music?

Explain to me, what is "production" in music? [MI] [more inside]
posted by Skyanth on Jan 4, 2005 - 21 answers

Question about cars and clutches

What, exactly, is "riding the clutch"? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by crunchburger on Feb 19, 2004 - 16 answers

explain to me all of the steps involved in e-commerce?

Can someone explain to me all of the steps involved in e-commerce? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by hijinx on Dec 11, 2003 - 12 answers

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