You think that drawing is gross? It could have been so much worse. The Abject, Literary Studies: Well, this one is notoriously difficult to explain, because Kristeva is a notoriously challenging writer. I would argue that she’s a tremendously good one though. When I am beset by abjection, the twisted braid of affects and […]
The Scarcity Principle, Social Psychology: “Scarcity, in the area of social psychology, works much like scarcity in the area of economics. Simply put, humans place a higher value on an object that is scarce, and a lower value on those that are in abundance.” (Wikipedia) A special holiday theory, just in time for Christmas. For more on […]
The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, Psychology: “This phenomenon occurs when the thing you’ve just noticed, experienced or been told about suddenly crops up constantly. It gives you the feeling that out of nowhere, pretty much everyone and their cousin are talking about the subject — or that it is swiftly surrounding you. And you’re not crazy; […]
I felt like drawing ants today, because I woke up to some unnerving ant trails in my kitchen. This reminded me that Emergence is a super good book.
The Iceberg Theory, Literary Studies:
“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”
— Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
The Holographic Principle AKA Holographic Universe Theory, Astrophysics: A holographic universe, an idea first suggested in the 1990s, is one where all the information, which makes up our 3D ‘reality’ (plus time) is contained in a 2D surface on its boundaries. (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2017/01/holographic-universe.page) I don’t think I understand this one very well at all, and […]
The Parallel Universe Theory (AKA the Many Worlds Theory/the Multiverse), Quantum Mechanics: Wow, there is so much fun and difficult stuff to read on this one, sadly I did not have time to read much of it this week. I will return to this post and spruce it up at some point. But here is […]
The Specious Present: Psychology/Neuroscience, specifically time perception.
You could file this one under philosophy too, but I mean everything is philosophy, really.
The term “specious time” originated with E. Robert Kelley (aka E. R. Clay) …
The Entscheidungsproblem, Computer Science: This one was a doozy. But the main reason I started this website was to champion intelligence in a fun way, in the angry face of the stupidity that seems to be swallowing America. Well, trying to understand the Entscheidungsproblem sure as heck was fun. I emerged a little smarter even if […]
Performativity (specifically Judith Butler’s iteration), Gender Studies: Philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler offered a new, more Continental (specifically, Foucauldian) reading of the notion of performativity, which has its roots in linguistics and philosophy of language. She describes performativity as “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains.” She […]
Language Acquisition Device (LAD), Linguistics: First proposed by Noam Chomsky in the 1960s, the LAD concept is an instinctive mental capacity which enables an infant to acquire and produce language. It is a component of the nativist theory of language. This theory asserts that humans are born with the instinct or “innate facility” for acquiring […]
Well, that was an easy one.
The Boltzmann brain paradox, physics: A Boltzmann brain is a hypothesized self-aware entity that arises due to random fluctuations out of a state of chaos. The idea is named for the physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906), who advanced an idea that the Universe is observed to be in a highly improbable non-equilibrium state because only when […]
Representation, Cognitive Science: (Also referred to as mental representation or cognitive representation.) A representation is a formal system for making explicit certain entities or types of information, together with a specification of how the system does this. And I shall call the result of using a representation to describe a given entity […]
Deconstruction, literary studies: Deconstruction is a method of literary analysis with roots in the work of philosopher Jacques Derrida. According to Wikipedia, “This article has multiple issues.” Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. – J. Hillis Miller, “Stevens’ Rock […]
Log-space transducer, computer science: “A log-space transducer is a type of Turing machine used for log-space reductions.” (Wikipedia)
Differentiation, education studies: “Differentiated instruction and assessment (also known as differentiated learning or, in education, simply, differentiation) is a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing different students with different avenues to learning (often in the same classroom) in terms of: acquiring content; processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and developing teaching […]
Are you currently or have you ever pursued an advanced degree in any field? Please send me theoretical terms from your field so that I can draw pictures of them. I will post the pictures here for you to see.