195 posts tagged with theory.
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Why Do Some People Become Conspiracy Theory Cranks as They Age?

I know conspiracy theories aren't limited to the elderly, but a recent visit of my 70-year-old father got me wondering. He's always been a bit Fox-newsy and right wing, but recently he's started to espouse views that (a) make no sense, and (b) are definitely in tin-foil hat territory. Why does this happen to otherwise rational people? He has no history of mental illness and shows no signs of dementia. [more inside]
posted by GorgeousPorridge on Oct 28, 2015 - 46 answers

Sun Tzu for the filmmaking world?

In the world of media (and more specifically filmmaking), wars are commonplace and there are basic Sun-Tzu-like tenets that guide people through it. One example is Jean-Luc Godard's " In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie." Any others? [more inside]
posted by omar.a on Oct 19, 2015 - 2 answers

Remedial economic theory

I've had this concept in my head that I'm pretty sure I picked up in economics/management studies but I can't recall its name: The division of labor between an executive and her direct support staff is that staff can advise the executive about decisions to make, but ultimately she makes the decision and they then have to carry out that directive or policy (regardless of whether it's justified in their opinion). I had assumed I was thinking of the principal-agent problem, but that's clearly something else. What is this concept called?
posted by psoas on Oct 14, 2015 - 6 answers

Help me music my offspring

Where do music and piano teachers of beginners get their goodies - the piano key charts, the very basics for teaching music theory and the scaffolding that enable the path toward reading (and understanding) music? [more inside]
posted by Emperor SnooKloze on Oct 12, 2015 - 3 answers

The Footprint on Crusoe's Island & its use in critical theory

The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
posted by 0bvious on Sep 9, 2015 - 3 answers

Best sites for news of the weird/occult/bizarre?

What sites do you visit to find news of the weird? Huffington Post's Weird section is kind of bland - I'd like something that covers bizarre crimes, fortean news, unusual findings in science, conspiracy theory related stories, and news of the occult.
posted by clockworkjoe on Sep 4, 2015 - 8 answers

Theoretical Illiteracy Dept: "Reading Against the Grain"?

I think I know what reading against the grain means and it seems like a common phrase and practice in academic arenas, but who said it first? [more inside]
posted by xaryts on Aug 13, 2015 - 7 answers

Help me build my own mental model for front end web development

A couple of months ago, I started an internship doing front end web development, an area of programming I had almost no experience in, for a small startup. I crammed in some basics beforehand, and I've learned a lot, piecemeal, on the job, but I feel my work is lacking because I don't have an unbroken foundation of theory for scaffolding. I've said as much to the big boss, and asked to take a week to just bone up on fundamentals, which he's generously granted. What resources should I be aware of? [more inside]
posted by dee lee on Jul 5, 2015 - 9 answers

I can haz critical race and disability theory

How does a non-academic find interesting academic texts? For months I've been trying to find stuff written about the intersections of systemic oppressions, namely racism, with bodies, health and disability. I feel so sure that some smart academics have written about this, but how do I find that writing? [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 23, 2015 - 14 answers

That's all well and good in practice

but how does it work in theory? [more inside]
posted by aetg on May 13, 2015 - 6 answers

Primers on Bourdieu

I'm interested in becoming more familiar with Bourdieu's ideas of habitas, fields, and forms of capital. I'd like to start with a primer book, or perhaps a collection of essays, that go over his ideas. Can you recommend one that covers these main ideas, frames them in terms of contemporary theorists, and is fairly accessible?
posted by codacorolla on Mar 9, 2015 - 7 answers

What is a good academic introduction to transgender theory?

I'm updating a graduate survey course in critical theory that cavasses all the main 'isms' and is quite high level. It includes readings and discussions on feminist and queer philosophies and literary theories but there is currently no section on transgender at all. I'd like to change this. What's the best academic introduction to transgender or transgender theory/politics, the position of transgender within queer theory that you've read? It needs to be scholarly but memoir or personal reflection or journalism could also be okay as further readings. Suitable for Masters students so it can be philosophical/dense/complex. Happy to hear of any ideas for readings that fall outside these requirements if you think I'm going about this the wrong way too. It would need to be a book chapter or journal article not a whole book. Thanks!
posted by JayAlfred on Jan 20, 2015 - 11 answers

Chaos Theory Explained for Non-Math People?

My curiosity whetted by the first few paragraphs (and double pendulum illustration) of the Wikipedia entry, I want to learn as much and as deeply about chaos theory as possible without needing to know mathematics. Also interested in philosophical implications. Videos? Books or apps or web sites? My math may be weak, but I'm otherwise intelligent, so I'd prefer something much more thorough than, say, "Through the Wormhole" (I realize the math limitation's a huge hindrance, though).
posted by Quisp Lover on Jan 17, 2015 - 8 answers

Question about management theory/description

Some time ago, I read an account (I think on a webpage) of a particular type of manager (within a typology) who creates a particular type of work situation. That account stayed with me. It has the following three qualities. Can you help me find it? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Jan 11, 2015 - 1 answer

Texts about a philosophy of practice?

For the last few months, I'm trying to find essays, texts, thoughts, manuals, blogs, about "a philosophy of practice" or a "philosophy of experience", and failing to do so. I'm looking for philosophers, scientists, artists, architects, military generals, business practitioners, etc, who write about ways of thinking that are applicable to practice. Defined more specifically inside: [more inside]
posted by suedehead on Jan 3, 2015 - 12 answers

Turing Machines and (Gothic) Horror

I am interested in any writings connecting (Universal) Turing Machines and horror. The idea of computers being able to imitate the behaviour of anything speaks to me of the monsters and doppelgängers from the Gothic tradition onwards. Know any writings on this? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 3, 2014 - 8 answers

Help me mix & match my new clothes!

I just purchased a bunch of new clothing at Theory, which is definitely a much hipper store than I'm used to shopping at. (My old standby was Banana Republic.) The sales staff was very helpful, and I'm very pleased with what I came home with, but I'd love some help in mixing and matching everything. Photos of (almost) all of the items I bought can be found here. [more inside]
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell on Sep 15, 2014 - 8 answers

Dear Literary God: What are the best techniques to analyze prose?

I signed up for a senior-year seminar class for prose fiction. My GPA cannot suffer. I'm willing to learn anything and everything on the subject. Book recommendations are also appreciated. (English TAs and Profs are preferred! You are the next best thing to Literary Gods)
posted by lorn on Sep 14, 2014 - 5 answers

I'm just a caveman. Your modern guitar tech frightens and confuses me.

The electric guitar switch in my brain recently flipped itself back to 'On' after 18 years of hibernation, and I'm feeling like Rip Van Winkle. Where and how do the cool kids learn how to shred these days? [more inside]
posted by usonian on Sep 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Music nerds, please help me figure out chords on the mountain dulcimer

I would like to be able to tune my 3-stringed diatonically fretted mountain dulcimer, typically stuck in the key of D, to other keys such as G, C, A, F, E, and Am. Then I would like someone to teach me how to figure out the notes on each fret so I can build the chords to play whatever song I'm in the mood for. [more inside]
posted by Buckt on Jun 28, 2014 - 7 answers

Lost time is never found again. - Franklin

If time (as measured on Earth) were speeding up or slowing down (relative to what it had been in the past) would there be any way for us to notice or measure it? [more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Apr 10, 2014 - 18 answers

Examples of applied critical theory

I'm looking for examples of critical theory being successfully used to bring about progressive social change. Is there a particular legal, policy or social reform that can be clearly ascribed to the influence of critical theory (or any of its offshoots, such as queer theory or postcolonial theory)? I can think of many examples of activists who are influenced by theory and its concepts -- from queerness to performativity to the panopticon -- but is there any clear evidence of campaigns influenced by theory having tangible impact on lived social conditions, beyond merely "awareness raising" or "reshaping the discourse".
posted by dontjumplarry on Apr 5, 2014 - 13 answers

Like Gleick is to Information Theory, X is to Social Choice Theory

What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Theory about Internet and judging personal probabilities already exist?

I have an original pet theory I came up with a long time ago involving the Internet and how people judge probability. It probably would fall into the anthropological, sociological or psychological fields. I'm not intending to make this post to discuss the theory itself as a sort of "let's b.s. back and forth about my idea" kind of thing. Reason I'm posting is because I'd like to know if this theory already exists or is an application of something broader that already exists. Maybe it's a theory being applied onto the communications medium of the Internet of some older theory in one of the above field(s) of study, or maybe it's a piecemeal construction of a few theories spliced together. Anyway, enough babbling, actual theory after the cut. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Mar 28, 2014 - 7 answers

Song for which there is only one existing recording?

So I'm discussing Walter Benjamin. Has anyone else heard the story of a guy winning the copyright to a song and choosing never to market it? [more inside]
posted by Milau on Feb 6, 2014 - 4 answers

Intro to Deleuze's concept of the "nomad", "nomadology" and "nomadicism"

I am looking for an introductory text (preferably available online) that will outline these concepts for me. Thanks.
posted by PhDStudent on Sep 18, 2013 - 1 answer

Futuristic functional food inspiration needed

I want to write a science fiction story where somebody spends a few weeks or so living off a food that was intended for people colonising another planet, with odd effects. I'm not that scientifically knowledgeable and I want this to be grounded in facts. More details below. [more inside]
posted by KateViolet on Jul 7, 2013 - 14 answers

Pick a color, any color...

This post on the blue reminded me of a site i saw some time back. Essentially, you picked up to, I believe, three colors, and the app would find images all across the web that matched those colors. [more inside]
posted by erskelyne on Apr 20, 2013 - 5 answers

Use of The City as a metaphor for the Internet/Web

I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Apr 12, 2013 - 9 answers

Can a transcendental number raised to an algebraic power be algebraic?

Can a transcendental number such as pi, be raised to an irrational, but algebraic power resulting in an algebraic solution? Complex solutions would be acceptable. There might be a quick proof here, or there might not be. - Thanks for any help you can offer answering this! (And I promise that this isn't for a class or anything like that!)
posted by ch3cooh on Mar 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Looking for awesome alternate theories about the plots of movies

What are some of the most interesting theoretical models for understanding the plots and themes of movies that were not designed to generate them like Inception was? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 16, 2013 - 33 answers

OMG, storytelling in journalism is changing. What to read abot this?

Here's an European writing a book/thesis about storytelling in journalism. What texts (linguistics, literary theory etc – preferably *not* mass communication theory) might help in analysing contemporary changes in that field? [more inside]
posted by earthwormsleg on Jan 24, 2013 - 2 answers

Recommend me books on critical / (post) marxist spatial theory

I am interested in critical theoretical and marxist spatial theory, please recommend me some books that provide a good overview or introduction to this area! Thanks!
posted by FuckingAwesome on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Suggestions for modern books and essays that address art and creativity?

I've been re-reading Tolstoy's "What is Art?" and Ayn Rand's "Romantic Manifesto". I would like to read more about how we think about art and what we consider to be art as well as the relationship between the artist and society/culture. I'm especially interested in how we think of art and what is my responsibility as an artist to the greater society and culture. [more inside]
posted by Tchad on Jan 11, 2013 - 20 answers

What is this key change?

In More Than a Feeling, the chorus, a simple I IV iv V (G C e D), finished off with an Eb chord - totally not in the key - and then transitioning to em7. What is this transition to Eb, which is not at all part of the key of G, called?
posted by plinth on Jan 8, 2013 - 11 answers

Music theorists: What makes this song so compelling?

Could anyone break this song down for me from a music theory perspective? [more inside]
posted by mermily on Dec 27, 2012 - 6 answers

What's your theory on this term?

I'm trying to think of a word.... Is there a term for a 'theory' (in the scientific sense) that explains the majority of the data/observations, but is not fully complete? [more inside]
posted by mockjovial on Dec 14, 2012 - 14 answers

Who wrote this LGTBQ theory?

Help me figure out who wrote this LGTBQ theory? [more inside]
posted by obviousresistance on Sep 4, 2012 - 11 answers

What makes this game genre so popular?

What makes you gravitate toward time management and city simulation games? Looking for anecdata and citable studies. [more inside]
posted by These Birds of a Feather on Aug 16, 2012 - 19 answers

Speculative Realism 101

Speculative Realism: What are the key texts I need to read. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jul 26, 2012 - 3 answers

On rituals and algorithms

What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jul 17, 2012 - 16 answers

I am a sick man... I am a wicked man.

I'm looking for examples of and quotes about cowards and wretches in film, literature, philosophy, and painting. [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Jun 12, 2012 - 17 answers

Sloppy MicroChips: Can a fair comparison be made between biological and silicon entropy?

Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jun 5, 2012 - 4 answers

Do They Have Queen Victoria as a Pekingese?

Where can I purchase faux Victorian Aristocratic-Military Dog portraits such as those that were featured in last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory? [more inside]
posted by Hanuman1960 on Apr 27, 2012 - 5 answers

I want to buy this table.

I am trying to find a kitchen island/table similar to the ones pictured here and here. [more inside]
posted by msali on Apr 9, 2012 - 7 answers

Podcast about pop music song construction.

I want to listen about popular music songs. I don't want to listen to just songs, but rather about how they're made. Things like instrumental contribution, song structure, different beats, along with examples of how they sound. [more inside]
posted by jefftang on Apr 5, 2012 - 8 answers

"30 minutes away..."

Are there any mapping applications that display all regions within a fixed distance from an input point? For example: from a given address in NYC, what are all the places I can get to in 30 minutes, via any combation of walking + public transit? [more inside]
posted by molybdenum on Mar 27, 2012 - 4 answers

WackySpeculativeTheoryFilter: When I'm wearing my glasses, my thinking becomes more rigid, systematic and well, nerdy. Or am I just crazy?

WackySpeculativeTheoryFilter: When I'm wearing my glasses, my thinking becomes more rigid, systematic and well, nerdy. Or am I just crazy? [more inside]
posted by Feel the beat of the rhythm of the night on Mar 13, 2012 - 19 answers

The music theory of ragtime -- intermediate lesson

Please tell me something more about the music theory underlying ragtime than III-VI-II-V-I, duple meter, and syncopation. Assume that you have just described blue notes. Recommendations for books that you have personally read/studied are also welcome.
posted by Ardiril on Feb 2, 2012 - 6 answers

Design Patterns / Jazz Standards

Hello MeFi. I'm curious as to the correlation between software development Design Patterns for and Jazz Standards. Usual loot from Google: Some dude who thought of it first (and used it as a nice allegoric explanation in Programmers Stackexchange and a somewhat geeky ironic coding-related mention ("Jazz supports interaction through event listeners"). These are all nice examples of the basic similarity between the two, I'm looking for more, though. Are you aware of any materials that somehow approach this idea?
posted by lipsum on Jan 25, 2012 - 2 answers

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