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]
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]
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?
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]
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?
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.
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]
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]
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]
but how does it work in theory? [more inside]
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?
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!
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).
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]
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]
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]
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]
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)
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]
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]
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]
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".
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]
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]
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]
I am looking for an introductory text (preferably available online) that will outline these concepts for me. Thanks.
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]
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]
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]
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!)
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]
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]
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!
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]
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?
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]
Help me figure out who wrote this LGTBQ theory? [more inside]
What makes you gravitate toward time management and city simulation games? Looking for anecdata and citable studies. [more inside]
Speculative Realism: What are the key texts I need to read. [more inside]
What is the relationship between the ritual and the algorithm? Are all rituals algorithmic? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of and quotes about cowards and wretches in film, literature, philosophy, and painting. [more inside]
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]
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]
I am trying to find a kitchen island/table similar to the ones pictured here and here. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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?