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Headscratchers: General Real Life
  • How, in all honesty, does human civilization keep going? We're talking about a gigantic, insanely complex, seriously inefficient system spanning a whole planet which literally needs hundreds of millions of people and machines to work non-stop to prevent total collapse. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it does work, but when I see news articles or old photos of warzones where government/economy/normal life has utterly imploded, it freaks me out how easily this huge fragile thing could just crash, and take us with it.
    • Because humans are predisposed to like stability and form groups. It also helps that society is big enough that a collapse in one area won't bring everything down.
  • Why do many popular and/or talented children in school have to be a arrogant prick deep down? Can't we enjoy being with someone special that we know would be good for anyone?

  • So that whole thing about how certain insects (cockroaches are the most commonly mentioned, but I know there's another one) can survive a nuclear attack because they're not affected by radiation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you'd first have to worry about surviving the enormous explosion preceding the fallout. Now I've burnt cockroaches with homemade flamethrowers, and I know that once those bastards are utterly charred there's no magical resurrection for the pile of ash left. I can buy that if the entire human race died in a nuclear war, the cockroaches will survive in the radioactive wasteland left, but the statement "Roaches (and some other bugs) can survive nukes because radiation is nothing to them" is wrong, isn't it?
    • I may be interpreting it as something else, because the way I see it, they weren't saying that roaches can literally survive a nuclear missile explosion if they happen to be anywhere near it. They were just saying that after the big explosion and heat wave, the roaches that survived will come out with nary a scratch.
      • The humans (all zero of them) that survived the blast will be fine too.
      • The point is that some cockroaches, and some humans, will be outside the lethal radius of the blast. Many of those of humans, however, will still be killed by radiation. The cockroaches, being highly resistant to radiation, will not.
    • Cockroaches (and most every insect) are indeed much more resistant to radiation than humans. It is all about cell division - human cells are dividing all the time, while insects usually only undergo cell division when they molt. So while bugs are at a state of heightened vulnerability once a week or so, humans are that vulnerable all the time.
      • The real cockroach apocalypse would come only after the bombs had stopped dropping-in the form of humanity's nice, warm, foodful homes suddenly becoming dark and empty. Pest cockroaches are tropical species and only survive outside the tropics by keeping close to artificial sources of heat. If humanity bumped itself off, those heat sources would disappear and most cockroaches would soon follow.
      • Am I the only one a little concerned by the fact that you've actually burned cockroaches with flamethrowers? O.O Homicidal, much?
      • Actually, I hear that Real Life gives you bonus points for doing things like that. But killing other players when you aren't in a PvP zone has MAJOR consequences unless you buy some great DLC by the name of Laywer.
      • Insecticidal, you mean?
    • People have a tendency to overexaggerate cockroach survivability just by hearing and spreading a few half truths.
  • How come formal clothes are always stiff, constricting, uncomfortable, and just generally encumbering?
    • People don't wear them daily anymore, so they don't bother investing money in their quality. Cheap formal clothes are made of shoddy materials such as polyester or rayon and aren't custom made for your body. Custom tailored suits, tuxedos and tailcoats are actually very comfortable and can be worn daily without any discomfort.
    • Because otherwise people would wear them all the time, and they wouldn't be formal anymore.
    • And because people seldom wear them long enough to break 'em in, or to get used to wearing them.
    • For some time, formal clothes followed the 19th century fashion, which required very stiff silhouette from those wearing them (generally the upper classes) to appear unflinching in the eyes of the public. The fact that quality in the fabrics of the time was not top-notch only helped
    • The other issue is that people who only wear formal clothes to formal occasions are already wired from the event itself. If you wear a three piece suit or a tux for something other than a major life event, its not as bad IME.
    • Who in the world invented the tie? It is exceedingly ugly, looks uncomfortable and a pain in the neck to put on? If the idea is to look handsome, old style naval uniforms with epaulettes were far cooler. If the idea is to be convenient, it is hard to think of any practical use for a tie other then to hang the guy who thought up the idea.
      • The tie derived from the scarves worn by dashing Croatian soldiers ("cravat" = Croat) in the 17c.
      • More to the point, the King of France saw these scarves and thought that they looked positively divine! The rest of the aristocracy, sycophantic as they were to their monarch, took it as a fashion statement and started wearing them as well. High heals had a similar origin, where the King needed a convenient way to show off his stunning legs.
      • The ancestors of the tie (the cravat, ascot, etc.) had a functional purpose as well as a fashionable one. By the time it was reduced to the flimsy, unflattering tie it lost both of these qualities. Its more a case of Costume Inertia than anything.
  • How high up does any given country's air space extend? To the end of the atmosphere?
    • There is no set definition, but the FAI has established 100 kilometers as a benchmark, US law states that only 80 kilometers marks the limit of its air space. There is gap between 19 miles and 99 miles where planes can not get higher and orbits and not get lower, once you pass this gap the vast majority of states agree that you are in space and not earth.
      • There is no lower limit to an orbit given sufficient speed.
      • If you are going 7 miles per second at an altitude of 7 miles you will burn to an ash in a few seconds!

  • I have asked this question to others but they don't know either, so I ask you this- why was the Apollo Project called the "Apollo" project. Ifً you're as versed in Greek/Roman mythology as I am, you know that Apollo was the SUN god. It just makes no sense! So please tell me why?!
    • Guess it just sounded all nice and space-y.
    • Does it also concern you that the Mercury Project wasn't about actually heading to Mercury?
    • Luna would be the logical name, after the moon goddess. Unfortunately for NASA, it had already been baggsied by the Russians.

  • So how come whenever I look for TV series on DVD, the discs contain like three episodes? Do they really buy such cheap DVDs that they can only fit maybe three on and then decide to sell the entire seires like this to increase profit margins? I figure maybe the stuff produced in the early 00s had those as the cheapest they had (since it was a new format anyways - There were still VHS tapes being made in like 2002)
    • People would not buy them as often if everything fit onto one disc. People are essentially aesthetically greedy; therefore, they would take issue with there being so little product for so much money. For the same reason there are inserts and overly complicated box design rather than just a paper bag with a slap on sticker.
    • In addition to the above, depending on the series some DVD boxsets also have to squeeze on a fair bit of extra information — menus, piracy and copyright warnings, audio, commentary and subtitle tracks, special features, etc — on top of just the episodes. It might not seem like much, but it adds up to space used. Plus, depending on how long the episodes are — 45minutes to an hour especially — how high the quality of the transfer is, and whether the DVD has a 'play-all' function or not (which in several cases means putting on the same episodes twice so that you have one set of tracks that follows each other and another set of separate tracks), even on a high-quality disc a fair bit of space can still be used up quite quickly.
    • Like VHS tapes, DVDs do have varying quality levels that also determine how much content you can fit on it. Publications usually opt for the highest quality format that only allows 2 hours of content. Sure they could use the 8-hour low quality format and you might not care, but boy howdy, other's will.
  • I have no idea where else to put this, so here it goes: Why spoiler tag things in the Headscratchers pages? I can understand why this would be done to TV shows, since there might be information that will still be relevant later on and stuff like that, but if someone intends to discuss noted plot holes and the like in, say, Batman Begins, the assumption would be that he has already seen the film and thus needs no spoiler warnings.
    • Depends on the medium, I guess; if it's a TV show or one Headscratchers page devoted to an entire series of something (like a comic book or a film series or something), then there's a chance that not everyone's seen every episode or installment, so it's just being considerate to people who might not have seen it all. Then it just becomes a force of habit on pages where these tags might not necessarily be needed.
  • Why do so many of the good-tasting things in the world have to be unhealthy? Shouldn't we have evolved to enjoy the taste of things that help us survive longer more?
    • Fat and sugar tastes good because it's only recently that people even had access to enough of it to be bad for you. For early humans, getting as many calories as possible is what kept you alive.
      • Early humans didn't spend hours staring at a glowing screen, not moving.
    • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You.

  • Why do TV history documentaries so often first say that "skirmishing", "raiding" or "patroling" is "guerrilla warfare" and then imply that it is some kind of revolutionary tactic? Every culture skirmishes and raids when they make war, from the smallest tribe to the greatest empire. If anything, it is "conventional" war that is rare; not only does it require special training but resources which not every one has and even empires often prefer not to engage in "conventional" war. As a corollary, there is no such thing as "guerrilla tactics"; every war has skirmishing in between large battles. If the word "guerrilla" means anything it must be a strategy, not a tactic; basing your whole plan of campaign on a series of raids, rather then simply going raiding. Because otherwise it would almost just mean "war".
    • Most people think that wars are glorious campaigns with regular battles that take place for the glory of whatever. And both governments and media are fine with keeping those people in the dark. Thus, "guerrilla warfare" (which I prefer to call "hit and run combat") is something that appears to be rare, especially since the side that has to resort to these tactics doesn't have the time to bother themselves with how it is called, and the side that is a target of such attacks isn't keen to admit that they took place because it's bad for their public rating to announce that their opponents were able to strike them from their backs.
    • That and to get their audience all excited about it; a way to make the battle very dramatic and awesome. C'mon, which is better: "Julius Caesar's tactics were revolutionary for his time", or "Julius Caesar's tactics were just like the tactics of any other general in his time, and before his time. Hell, even Themistocles did something like that once..."

  • So here's something that always boggled me, a few instances too, here are some examples. So we'll look at EA using DRM and then forcing origin as a form of DRM. So people respond to this by pirating the game anyways and encouraging others to do the same. So lemme get this straight - in protest of EA using DRM and Origin, you're going to boycott it by pirating it, thus further "justifying" DRM and forced Origin? Am I the only one who thinks this is just really counter-intuitive? Also similarly, Arizona has a bill that would criminalize internet trolling - and there have been calls to, guess what, send goatse and tubgirl to the legislators. Am I the only one who thinks that's just plain dumb? Essentially all you're doing is giving them proof that they're right.
    • It could be explained as Fight Fire With Fire. In the former scenario, pirating the game and encouraging pirating shows that the DRM is not only ineffective, but counterproductive. The latter scenario is less defensible, though.
      • Except that it doesn't seem to be working - as they instead decide "we need to get stronger DRM" or "We need more copy protection". I have a better idea: It's called "Boycotting". You do not buy the product with DRM. You do not pirate it, either. You simply go without it. As a luxury good, you can live without music, video games, or movies. Don't give them a reason to support DRM. And likewise, DRM-free stuff should not report ridiculously high piracy rates. Remember that we live in a capitalistic society - they respond to where the money is, and you would think people would respond when a DRM'd product makes no money and the piracy rate's low enough they can't argue piracy is causing it...and likewise, DRM-free products should NOT be widely pirated. What happens when companies see 4.5 million pirated copies of The Witcher 2, or an incredibly pro-consumer product like World of Goo has a 90% piracy rate? They get the message that gamers are entitled babies and shouldn't be trusted. The whole "Fight fire with fire" was basically "They're treating us like babies! So let's cry and scream to get our way!"
    • The answer is fairly simple - there are DRMs that just do their job, and there are DRMs that make the game nigh-unplayable for some people. I once bought a game with such a DRM, and even though I had a legally acquired copy, I had to download a cracked version because the DRM made it impossible for me to use it. And with that, people pirate it not to show them "oh, screw you, we can get past your DRM so you need a stronger one because har har, we pirates", but to say "you know what, your DRM is making it impossible to play, so tone it down or we won't buy games from you". Try contacting any of the large game-making companies and asking for anything DRM-related - they'll simply ignore you, even if you are right. Piracy will always be there, and it's neither something good nor the ultimate evil game companies proclaim it to be. But it's still better than the DRMs because DRMs are a nuisance mostly to people who paid for the game. So, when someone has a choice between buying a worse version of the game, or getting a better version for free, only those who want to support the creator for some reason or don't want to risk. And then again, there are also people who pirate everything, just for the sake of pirating it, and those guys definitely aren't good either.
    • In addition to the above another reason simply is that, to be entirely frank, some people are just spoiled, entitled idiots. They resent the implementation of such things like DRM, but don't want to commit to the sacrifice that a true boycott would entail, so framing it as a 'boycott' enables them to present what they're doing as an act of defiance rather than them simply trying to have their cake and eat it as well.
    • Put simply, they aren't thinking it through all that much.
    • Personally I think people know damn well that it doesn't work... and that stuff like "Always online DRM" is a Xanatos Gambit. Low piracy rate, but high sales? They win because they got a profit. High piracy rate? They now have evidence to give to countries' leaders to pass acts like CISPA and ACTA that benefit them but not the consumer. They want you to decide "Let's pirate it out of spite!" just so they can go prove to the lawmakers that yes, Digital Piracy Is Evil and that this generation is full of entitled bastards who believe all entertainment and software should be free. Don't want that to happen? Then you just go without it. You don't buy it. You don't pirate it. You don't even talk about it to generate publicity. Actions speak louder than words.

  • Why is there a fascination for steam/"choo choo" trains not present for the faster-smoother-sleeker looking-less difficult to get going (and thus faster running at amusement parks) diesel trains?
    • Thomas the Tank Engine I assume was a Gateway Series.
    • You can't really enjoy the scenery. Think about it.
    • Because the "Choo choo" trains look cute and adorable as well, and they remind kids of Thomas the Tank Engine, just without the big face. The sleeker engines we have now? Not a whole lot of view. Plus, no one rides steam trains much anymore. Gives you a break from the mundane everyday trains.
    • Nostalgia. Plus, the faster, smoother, sleeker trains tend to come off as a bit more impersonal and functional to some people — they're really just about getting you from point A to point B quickly and efficiently without really giving you a chance to enjoy the journey. With a steam train, you can sit and watch the world go by outside the window while with an electric train it's mainly just a quick blur.

And do not forget the Hogwarts Express. That should add to the attraction, as well as the legendary Oriental Express. They are simply connected to nice things.

  • I don't know about versions in other countries, but why is it that most (if not all) fiction novels published in the U.S. have 'a novel' written on their front covers? Do we really need to be told it's a novel?
    • I have that same issue. In mystery/suspense series, they'd have the title and in subtitles below: "A [insert name of Hero] mystery/suspense". I mean, I'm reading the damned thing, so why do you feel the need to tell me who the MC is?
      • In this case it's because they want fans of the character to buy the book, which they may not do based on just the title.
    • I've never experienced this problem, so I would assume it's just another one of our more pointless laws.
    • My guess it's for the same reason why most items come with a warning not to do something or to be careful. It keeps people from being stupid. I mean, Animal Planet did this special a while back where they showed what mermaids would be like if they were real and they tied it together with a smartly planned plot with the US Navy hiding their existence because sonar was messing around with the mermaids echolocation (much like whales in real life). But then, if comments on YouTube are to be believed, people thought this was a REAL CONSPIRACY. Only reason I didn't literally banged my head on the wall is because I didn't want to be as dumb as them. And it's not limited to fools, either. People thought the Hitler Dairies were real. We think of knights are brave fighters, but that's just Victorian writers for you. As I recall, REAL knights slaughtered innocent people in the Crusades, cheated (well, some of them) at jousting and three even beat a BISHOP to death because they thought the king wanted them to (he didn't, it was a misunderstanding). They did some good things, yes, but not as great as people think. So, I guess it's there in cause someone thinks that this really happened. That, or maybe to show it's real and not some counterfeit.
    • It's mainly just a lingering remnant of the early days of the novel and of mass-publishing. When the novel first emerged as a literary entity, publishing 'pure' fiction in the style that we now identify as the novel was actually quite rare (a lot of what was primarily published were histories, poetry, political pamphlets, religious tracts, etc). Furthermore, for obvious reasons due to the limitations of contemporary publishing tools the front covers of most novels tended to be a lot of text, so this was used to identify precisely what the work was. At the same time, it was common to assign a work a descriptive subtitle as well as the main title so that people knew what to expect, so the term 'novel' came to represent a type of work which was 'fictional', of a certain length, written in a distinctive prose format, printed and bound on paper, and so forth, so if the work had Something: A Novel on the front, the reader would know to expect a particular type of fiction instead of say, a 'romance' (which was at the time something related but distinct), a work of epic poetry, a history, and so forth. Over time, of course, the novel became a central part of publishing, and the concept of what a novel is became a bit broader, but the habit just lingered. Plus, since in my experience most of the works that have 'A Novel' on the front tend to be literary in nature, it's just something that's used to add a bit of literary credibility to the work and make it look a bit more important; it's not just a story, it's 'A Novel'.

  • What is it with people and swear words?! It's immature and shows a lack of creativity for a better way to express your feelings. It just bugs me.
    • On the flip side, why do people make such a ruckus about so-called "swearwords"?
      • I'll tell you why. Because when used without purpose, they stick out like a sore thumb. They become cringe-worthy when used in ordinary conversation. They were invented to be used when angry, hurt or afraid, or when someone wants to express a negative statement, or if a person is doing a filthy stand-up routine that makes the swears fitting to the atmosphere.
      • Then why did people bother to give them normal-word meanings?
    • Fallout: Equestria is quite creative with them. Several of the swears don't even use swear words, and yet they're still more obscene than anything I've seen elsewhere. Also, after reading that, now all lesser swearing seems silly in comparison.
    • I prefer to only swear when it's funny. For example: "What is a Sonic!?" Becomes the much funnier, "What the FUCK is a Sonic?!"
      • Excuse me, but how exactly is that funny? I don't see how adding the F word improves that sentence.
      • It creates a humorous effect through serving as an extremely potent demonstration of the feeling of the person saying it- "fuck" serves as an intensifier in this context and increases the impression of confusion and a lack of knowledge, which combined with the fact that the subject matter is relatively innocuous and unimportant makes the statement funnier by virtue of its absurdity,being a massive overreaction (for comedic effect, obviously).
    • When I express my feelings, I really do not give a fuck whether or not I'm being "creative" with it or bullshit like that. I just want to get people to understand what I'm feeling. Swear words accomplish that easily. Hell, it's more immature to treat fucking, Hell, and shit (which are the three topics that swear words invariably refer to) as though they're some kind of secret that should never be mentioned than it is to just use goddamned swear words.
      • Again, only when necessary. They make people sound obnoxious when thrown in for no reason, for example "I just ate a f**king ice cream! F**k yeah!". On the other hand, if a person is for example, afraid, they'd have every reason to swear, due to an increased heart rate that triggers panicking and thus, swearing.

  • Why can't we all just get along?
    • Get bent!
    • Prisoner's dilemma.
    • For a more serious answer, because people have different values and different interests, meaning that some people have mutually exclusive definitions of the good, and, even two or more people who share the same definition of the good may, and do, disagree strongly on how to achieve that good.

  • Why is it that you always see nurses standing across the street from the hospital, smoking? Shouldn't they of all people know better?
    • Because they can't smoke inside the hospital.
    • In all seriousness, nurses have a high pressure job. The irony is that many of them are ill-positioned to quit smoking even though they know better than most about its health risks.

  • I have a textbook that says "This page intentionally left blank" in the front. If it has text on it, that means it isn't blank. So what's the point of having the text there if it contradicts itself?
    • I always thought it meant "intentionally left blank so that you can jot your own thoughts into it." But yeah, you'd think they'd just give you blank pages without putting in the contradicting title.
    • They do that on standardized tests too. The reason is that they might want to leave a page blank for various reasons. People would panic when getting the test, thinking that they got a defective copy, and are missing questions or instructions. Putting that on there shows that it was intentional, and that nothing is missing.
    • They meant to leave it blank, but they printed that on accident. The fact that it's true is a coincidence.
    • It has to do with the way books are printed from much larger sheets of paper folded into folios; the ultimate number of pages must be evenly divisible by a number determined by the number of times the original sheet was folded. If you've ever torn a book apart by its spine you may notice the book is not a collection of pages, but series of pamphlets, all with the same number of leaves. Editors and publishers work together to space the material properly to reduce the number of blank pages, but sometimes we just slap a lampshade on it and push it out the door. The Other Wiki has more information here.
  • Why does bacon get so much hype? Its not that good; I first tried it a couple years ago and can't stand the stuff (heck, I don't even like the smell). Why does the internet treat me like this somehow makes me not human?
    • Maybe you haven't tried the good stuff. The cheap discount bacon you get at a supermarket is not comparable to a wood-smoked, salt-cured, dry-aged slab of pork belly.
    • I have reason to believe that bacon has trace amounts of nicotene in it.
    • Fatty stuff is addictive. Just ask McDonald's.
    • Because it tastes so good to lots of other people.
    • Is it because 9Gag? While bacon is not bad that site hypes it a little bit too much (as well as Nutella). The OP is probably sick of it treated like the food of foods or something.
  • How come every time an author tries to create Surreal Horror, Weird fiction, or psychological horror, people start assuming that they're a fan of Warhammer or that they're doing a shout-out to it in some way? Might it be possible these guys never even heard of Warhammer 40k?
  • Why is the younger of the two American political parties known as the "Grand Old Party"?
    • I have no idea, and I'm American.
    • Because you have to be old to have any chance of being elected by the GOP?
    • According to The Other Wiki it stems from a newspaper article in 1875 that, in context of discussing the Civil War, described the Republican Party as the 'Gallant Old Party' that kept the country together, and another source used the term 'Grand Old Party' instead. It's not actually referring to the age of the party, but was originally used simply as a term of endearment, similarly as to how you might fondly describe a friend of yours as 'good old Bob!' or 'good old Sue!" if they come through for you regardless of how old they actually are. The name just stuck.
    • While the Democratic party is technically older, both parties have gone through a number of flip-flops in their day. Back when the Republican party was founded, the Democrats were the party of the South and were fierce advocates for slavery and states' rights. Even in the 20th century, much of the opposition to Civil Rights legislation came from Southern Democrats. The Republicans, when they first started out, were advocates of business reform and monopoly legislation.
  • Why do companies take Youtube videos off? I understand that you have to fight to keep the copyright and such, but it get's silly sometimes. I mean, they will take it even if the uploader states "This is not mine." They will take if off even if it's a show they aren't making money off anymore (I mean, if you don't want people to see it for free, why don't you, I don't know, MAKE A DVD FOR IT). They will take it off even if it's a Youtube Poop that you can't even get any idea of the true plot and dialogue. Hell, they will even threaten to bring down the INTERNET and likely a number of countries along with it (SOPA anyone?) just so they can say "hey, you know that show we cancelled and don't even try do profit from anymore? Yeah, IT'S OURS BITCH!" Could someone please, in the words of the Nostalgia Critic, EXPLAIN!
    • As I understand it, most of the time it's not the people who actually hold the copyright that take down these videos. Rather, Youtube has automated programs (bots) that go through the website and take the videos down. Since the programs can't actually think for themselves, they can't make value judgments about it. There is, also as I understand it, a means in place for the person who uploaded the video to dispute its removal and have the matter referred to a human being. This is the reason LittleKuriboh has been banned and restored so many times.
    • In the US at least, copyright law requires copyright holders to defend their copyright, or else they lose the copyright. Doesn't matter if there's a disclaimer, if it's part of a Youtube Poop, or whatever. Also, they might make a DVD in the future (to use your example), which means they could still make money off of it, so there is an incentive to keep their copyright.
      SOPA was targeted at sites which were sharing movies that were still being sold. Nobody cared that it would also take down Keep Circulating the Tapes-type material.
      • Well, actually, people can be lax with copyright all they want (except in Germany)- it's TRADEMARKS that have the "defend it or lose it" clause.
    • Think of it this way: Is it okay for a comedian to use another comedian's jokes without permission, even if he says he got the joke from someone else? Of course not.
  • How come the only decent Linux tech support I had was from Red Hat? Everyone else has had some variant of Read the Docs or tell me to use some other kind of complicated Linux, which is not helping at all.
    • Because practically every Linux distribution outside of Red Hat is made by a comparatively small (or informal) group of developers who are often volunteering their time to create the OS. They have little time to do anything related to it beyond program and try to pre-emptively troubleshoot possible problems. Red Hat is pretty much the only Linux distribution that is released by a stable company able to devote resources to things like tech support. It's kind of like asking why the hot dog vendor on the corner can't provide you with precise nutrition information for his everything-on-it specialty even though the bistro down the street can for every item on their menu.
      • Why are the only civil Linux users Red Hat?
  • The Laws of Thermodynamics. Not really by Themselves, but when you consider that no system is 100% efficient, the total usable energy in the universe will eventually reach 0, resulting in the "Heat Death" of the universe. This leads to the true question: where did the energy first come from, and when did it happen?
    • As for when, it was about 13.77 billion years ago. As for where it came from, nobody's sure. I like the hypothesis that Big Bangs are the energy from two universes bumping into one another in another spatial dimension.
    • Because you'll totally find the answer to the origin of the known universe in TV Tropes. Because the Internet knows everything.
    • The energy is still there, it's just not usable any more. But that's entropy, which is basically applied statistics. Low enough entropy to start a universe is really rare, but if you've got all eternity to wait, what's another 10^(10^(10...[5000 times] )) years?
  • Who invented the concepts of 'swear words' in the first place? One day, someone decided that certain words should be considered 'swear words' and that those words shouldn't be used in a polite conversation. And why are there synonyms in which one word is considered a swear word and the other one isn't? (w.g. dick is a swear word, penis isn't)
    • Because no natural language started off with taboo words. In every language, swearwords are always words that refer to sex, sex organs, defecation, urination, and religion. Those are words that you generally don't want to use either in polite company, or outside of a proper context (like "hell" or "damn" for the religious swears, or "bitch," a gendered insult that in 'proper' context refers to a female dog). So over time, the mention of all of those became taboo, and then influence from other languages led to new, 'classier' words for the same things (at least, for English, I can't speak for other languages). The 'proper' English words for genitals and bodily functions derive from other languages; over time the English words that had been used before were considered offensive and vulgar, and things only the common people would still say. There's also the influence of slang in any language. TL;DR it's not about the words themselves becoming vulgar, it's about the concepts behind them already being taboo, and more educated, higher-class people looking to replace existing words with foreign words referring to the same things, and declaring the original words offensive.
    • Because religion.
    • It's purely a cultural thing and how people react to it. Some cultures think it's taboo to talk about sex. Other thinks it taboo to talk about violence, or whatever. For instance, Japanese children anime will occasionally have what Americans would think are strong explicatives, such as "kuso" (shit) and "shimata" (usually "damn"). To the Japanese, it's just an explicative, but American English thinks of this as "strong" and "adult". In fact, there's only a handful of words I'm aware of that are bleeped out in Japanese in any media, and they're all genital related (yes, this means they're bleeped out in eroge, funnily enough).
  • Why do so many houses have their fuse boxes or circuit breakers located in basements, back hallways, or other places which are guaranteed to go dark if there's an actual blown fuse/tripped breaker? Wouldn't it be sensible to always put them in a location that's near a big window? Also, why do so many people store the spare fuses in dark basements or closets where they'll be hard to find if you need them?
    • Ever heard of the phrase "Keep out of reach of children"? If they put those things close to a window children (and to an extent, pets) could reach them and electrocute themselves. Those things are dangerous. That's why they say never to stick your finger on so much as a wall outlet. Hope that answers your question.
    • Also, most of the time (atleast here in the UK, and most of Europe), the main electrical distribution box (i.e. the main breakers/fuse box) is defined as the point at which the cabling is no longer the property (hence responsibility) of the power company, therefore it gets placed as early as feasible after it comes onto the property and since most mains voltage lines are run underground, the main distro tends to wind up getting placed in basements or on the ground floor on an exterior wall of some variety. As to the fuses issue, people who pay attention to such things replaced them with RCDs a few decades ago, and the rest just keep technical things that they rarely need out of sight and out of mind.

  • Why is it that every time you give people a free exchange of ideas with no rules, it's covered in garbage posts? Meanwhile the only places to find civil discussion are run like a freaking dictatorship?
    • Because you can't have a civil discussion without getting rid of trolls, and it's difficult to do that democratically.
    • And a lot of people are, simply, idiots. Everyone's entitled to an opinion about something and to voice their thoughts, but not all opinions are equal and not all thoughts deserve to be expressed or considered. Essentially, you can either let everyone speak as they wish and deal with the consequences, or you can impose restrictions and set a standard of discourse you find tolerable at the expense of silencing some people.

  • What are panties for? I understand why men wear boxers or briefs, and why women wear bras (for much the same reason), but what are panties for? What function do they serve?
    • If she's wearing a skirt, it's so she's not completely embarrassed if a stiff breeze forces her to do a Marilyn Maneuver. If she's wearing pants, it's to keep the crotch from riding up and scratching "the little man in the boat".
    • If she's wearing pants, there are also hygienic reasons.
    • As mentioned, hygeine issues. Also, I'm guessing a guy posted this question? Because if a girl did she'd know that females have discharge regularly and panties prevent it from become a sticky mess on her legs... sorry to get graphic but it's true. Not to mention the disaster of an unexpected period minus underwear - which brings us to DURING a period you need panties if you're wearing a pad.
    • In essence, they serve the same or similar function as boxers or briefs do for men (comfort, hygiene, protecting your genitals and preventing them from being exposed, etc, while also taking into account things that women might need them for on top of that.

  • Why is it that a man who prefers or seems to prefer the company of women to that of other men, or who takes or seems to take an interest in subjects typically seen as being of greater interest to women than to men, is more likely than others to develop a reputation as possibly being gay? This question occurred to me, although hardly for the first time, when I was recently watching the film Tea And Sympathy, about just such a young man, who is mocked and bullied in just such a way by fellow male students, and faculty. To give a more personal example, I once mentioned to a few friends liking the show Gilmore Girls, and one of them—in a good-natured way, mind you—teased me about that. I responded then that I didn't understand how liking a show that starred two attractive women might lead him to suspect that I might be gay, but never got a really good response, and still periodically wonder.
    • Because people just have a narrow view of the world - it's the same reason almost every single gay person you see on TV is either a Camp Gay or a butch lesbian... whereas there are plenty of other versions of gay people. Or why any girl who hangs out with her best friend is perceived as gay. (Same happens for guys.) Every time I see people say that Peppermint Patty and Marcie or Daria and Jane are gay, I just roll my eyes and wonder why it is girls have to be constantly thinking of men or else they're gay - same with guys. (Apparently because I don't care about romance at all I'm gay... Uh... it's called Asexuality.)
      • But that doesn't really answer the question, does it? Saying that people have a narrow view of the world doesn't explain why people have a narrow view of the world, or why they have a particular view of the world, narrow or otherwise. It would be just as narrow a view of the world, for example, to assume that men who prefer to socialize with other men than with women are more likely to be gay, and would be at least as defensible a view, logically speaking. So why does one narrow view prevail over the other?
      • Because that narrow view is reinforced by people around them. People tend to adapt to their surroundings.
      • But you are still begging the question. If those views are being reinforced by the people around them, why do the people around them have those views?
      • Because the people around them have such narrow views, who pass it onto their children. It may have started when a group of similar people got together and decided to form a culture, or maybe it just started when some people brought new ideas to the culture that were adapted. It's generations of this.
      • Why do people around them have such narrow views? It's part of their culture - it's why the GOP and most conservative people simply ignore every single counter-argument: They were conditioned to have that narrow mindset and that kind of behaviour. You already answered your own question - why do people have such narrow views? Because of their culture. Take someone from Japan and put them in America, and they'll wonder why Americans aren't killing themselves over tests, why they act like it's so bad when a fifteen year old has sex with another fifteen year old, and why everyone gets angry and shouts over everything. Meanwhile, put a fundamentalist Saudi Arabian Muslim woman in Europe and they'll wonder why the women walk around dressed like that, while the Europeans are wondering why wearing a veil is supposed to denote "Freedom" when they are forced to wear it, or why wearing the veil keeps you from being judged by your looks when instead everyone fantasizes about taking that veil off and seeing a stinking hot bod underneath.
      • OP here. Speaking as a conservative Republican, I'm rather amazed that you seem to think that ignoring counter-arguments is a conservative trait as opposed to a liberal or leftist one. In my experience, people on the left are far more prone to ignoring counter-arguments or evidence that doesn't fit their worldview. After all, conservatives can't ignore left-wing arguments: academia, entertainment, and the news media are so dominated by liberals that conservatives couldn't ignore liberal views even if we wanted to. A liberal university student would have to deliberately go looking for conservatives to find out what conservatives think; a conservative student does not have to go looking for liberals. And if you disagree, ask yourself this: can you honestly say that you weren't surprised to learn my political views? To get back onto the topic at hand, you still haven't really answered my question. All you've said is that, well, people behave that way because it's their culture to behave that way. That's still just begging the question. How do you know that it's their culture to behave that way? Because they behave that way! And why? Because it's their culture! And it doesn't do any good to say that it's because people around them have those views, who have them because they got them from their parents, who inherited them from their ancestors going back to the beginning of time; cultures change a lot over time. Plenty of people end up having very different beliefs and attitudes from their parents (I should know; my parents were both liberal Democrats). Why did any given culture develop that way? What need, social, psychological, or otherwise, is being met by this behavior or attitude?
      • Because people have a need to fit in.
      • Different person here - but they have answered you: It's their culture. Why do they have it? People with similar ideas came together and posted it. Why do they think this way, yet you think something different? Cultures change - it's not instantly everybody assumes something in the Overton Window is now more acceptable than it was. People didn't wake up one day and suddenly realize "you know, maybe it's a bad idea to take the sabbath off given that I am a doctor and people get sick even now." It gradually happened over the course of years. People won't suddenly wake up and realize "Hey, you know maybe that guy who hangs out with others isn't gay." It doesn't shift at once - it shifts over time. In terms of how they came to be? Again - their parents had views. Others were reinforced with those views. They were not exposed to differing views growing up. That's why they still have those. Also, liberal university students? What Liberal university students? I live in the south!
      • What psychological need is being fulfilled? A need to have answers - you answer your own question by trying to figure something out. A need to fit in with others - someone you respect thinks this? Then you think it too. Why do people deviate from their parents? A need to rebel, a need to feel individual, a need to express your opinion. That would be my guess.

  • Am I the only one who thinks those "Durability tests" are kind of pushing it? Sure they do some plausible things that you might actually experience (Such as dropping a phone on the ground or putting it in your pocket and accidentally sitting on it.) I look on YouTube and see people making fun of Apple or Nokia for their phones being flimsy... when the video in question is showing the phone getting smashed with a sledgehamer. I guess without that video, I never would have thought that taking a sledgehammer to my phone was a bad idea.
    • Because for some people that scale of abuse is likely to occur. Probably not in that same form, but force is force. The bigger and bulkier the item, the more likely it is to fall where you don't want it to. What sort of people need a phone or case that can take a few hits with a sledgehammer? Movers. Mechanics. Builders. Do they need that durability every day? No. But better to have and not need than need and not have.
      • Outside of a freak accident, how is a phone going to get in a sledgehammer's direction anyways? If it's inside the person's pocket, then I wouldn't worry about the phone - I'd worry about the person who got hit with a sledgehammer!
      • If I get hit with a sledgehammer, I'll probably limp for a few days. If my phone gets hit with a sledgehammer, with the same amount of force, I'll need to get a $1-400 replacement.
      • Speaking as a former mover here: If you're hit with a sledgehammer in the thigh (where most people keep their phones, unless they want to put it in their back pocket which is an incredibly stupid thing to do anyways) then chances are, it wasn't an accident unless that person was just being reckless and swinging it around like some dude wielding a Warhammer. If say, the hammer goes flying, then trust me - you are NOT going to walk away with just a limp unless you're Made of Iron or incredibly lucky. (And chances are, that $1-400 phone that got broken saved you several thousands more in medical bills as it absorbed the force.) Statistically Speaking, the most common accidents with sledgehammers involve the hand or the foot, and usually results in broken bones (Which, by the way, will cost way more than $1-400, since workers comp laws in the U.S. are a joke and your employer will most likely say it was your fault, meaning you have to pay for the medical treatments and reconstructive surgery yourself.). Granted, the thigh is way more durable than your hand or your foot bones, but it's very unlikely to be hit there if the person using the sledgehammer isn't a complete idiot. Now, something that's a bit more likely to occur is say, you're moving furniture down a slope such as a staircase, and the person(s) at the top lose their grip, or if you fall down on something. But even then, like the guy above you, I'd worry a little more about the person who got pinned with machinery or fell down. Trust me - in these lines of work, you quickly learn that sometimes it's worth it to just insure your phone or keep a small piece of shit dumb phone with you when you're in hard-hat areas.

  • What's with the bad rap against introverts? Seriously, there's, like, a lot of movies about the plucky extroverts 'saving' the introvert, or the news channel describing some serial nutcase as being a 'loner who was quiet all the time'. Just...why? Why is the trope Loners Are Freaks so popular? Is wanting to be alone a little longer than most people a bad thing? We don't force extroverts to be alone for long periods of time.
    • Because a lot of people think "My way or the highway" for everything. Someone who doesn't have much of an interest in socializing? Loners Are Freaks. Someone is by themselves? They're either plotting destruction of everyone... or there's a secret outgoing extrovert just waiting to get their confidence.
    • Because humans are primarily social species, a certain range extroversion is considered normal. When people see someone who deviates from the norm in any way, even if it's perfectly innocuous, they tend to assume that they deviate in other ways too. Add a little imagination, and the guy who doesn't talk at parties becomes the guy who has a collection of flayed cats.

  • Am I the only one who finds it amusing that people love to go "It's the Same, so It Sucks" to video games... yet turn on a sports game, which has essentially used the same ruleset (with minor loophole closures and rule patches) for 50+ years? How come video games have to constantly reinvent the wheel, yet nobody's called for Sports to do something different like three-team football or triples Tennis? People certainly love to trash Sports games for "not changing" but can you honestly blame them?
    • Because developing a game and training for/playing a sport are entirely different things. In one, the goal is to make a worthwhile product (and if it's the same as something they already have, why should they bother getting it?). For the other, it's a performance of skill. A more accurate comparison would be competitive gaming, where (like sports) it's about the players.
      • Which is dull as a plastic knife - pretty much every tournament game is just the exact same things done covered with tons of UI, dull commentators who throw loads of jargon around, and low quality streams that force you to watch one particular area. Coupled with the realization that these guys get paid way more money than the people who spent hours developing the game... better headscratcher below.

  • Why do humans have large concentrations of hair where we do? I know why we lost most of the hair our ape relatives retain (it makes sweating easier, improving thermoregulation in hot, dry environments) but why have we kept it on the head, groin, and armpits?
    • We have hair on top of out heads to protect it from sunburn (as, being bipedal, it's the part of our bodies that gets the most sun exposure). The other patches of hair are probably there to trap body odor (from back when that was appealing to the opposite sex).
    • Does facial hair work the same way? Trap body heat and look sexy to those attracted to facial hair? It just seems weird, even for a guy like me, that we men have hair on our faces.
    • Not everything on the human body has a clear-cut "purpose".
      • Purpose, no, explanation, usually.

  • So backstory, someone accused another person of rape via a social media website. Because I asked for proof beyond "he said she said", I was told that I essentially was siding with the rapist because clearly, if someone says so-and-so raped them, they most likely did. Why? I am aware some rape victims don't talk to the police... but why is it "siding with the rapist" to want some proof to support your claims? Especially since I saw my aunt an two of her friends conspire against their boss and drag his name through the ground with false claims of rape, and it actually worked simply because nobody looked for proof. (They admitted it to me. That's how I know he didn't do it)
    • Do you have any proof that your aunt and two of her friends conspired against their boss to tarnish his reputation with false rape allegations?
      • She confessed to being manipulated into it, and when she tried to make amends for it, received death threats.
    • One of the things that makes rape so disturbing a crime is that it often has no more evidence than "he said, she said" — or put differently, testimony. That's what makes it so difficult to prosecute. Once the act has happened, how does one go about proving that it wasn't consensual sex? I take it you're not the police or a judge or juror, so I feel compelled to ask: what kind of "proof" are you looking for? A medical report from a hospital? A videotape of it happening? What kind of evidence would convince you, either way? It's better not to wade into these waters at all.
      • The problem is that false positives and false negatives are so harmful.

  • How're College sports programs funded? The university I attend (Colorado State) is somehow able to pay its coaches millions of dollars and build a new stadium, yet can't seem to afford to pay the heating bill for the library, can't update their crappy math software, slashed an estimated 45% of its financial aid program budget (and 70% of the work study jobs with it), and has cut the salary of their tenured professors to the point where grad students are paid better than they are. How on earth does the sports program get all this money?

  • Since we don't have a school Headscratchers anymore ("Learn to box", "You get expelled for that."), why on earth is it that when say, a kid is being bullied, they simply tell the kid to "stop painting a target on their back". Why not simply punish the bullies, have them learn (since this is a school after all) that their behaviour is simply not okay? If this kind of stuff happened to adults, there would be restraining orders filed, Harassment lawsuits filed, fines paid, and more... if it's not okay to simply tell people being harassed to "Just ignore it and walk away" or brush off criminal harassment as "Boys will be boys", why do we treat our kids like that?!?
    • Double standards also run rampant. A kid can get choked for talking back to a bully and both of them will get the same punishment - the bully for the attempted murder of another student and said student for provoking another student. The justification? "You are held to a higher standard." No, I am not speaking from experience, what are you talking about?
    • I wonder that too as a survivor of teasing. It is just plain stupidity and laziness on the teacher´s side and the principal is responsible too. Sometimes i Think schools are only concerned with Money and reputation, i felt like that in school.
      • Speaking as someone who was picked on in school and as a former school teacher, I wish I had a better answer for you. When I was a child and complained to teachers that other students were picking on me, they told me that the bullies just wanted to "get a rise out of [me]" and that if I just ignored them, they would stop. I tried that more than once, and, unsurprisingly, the bullies would just escalate their behavior, up to and including hitting me, until I had to respond. They would often do this in full view of the teachers. Unsurprisingly, I came to resent my teachers almost as much as I did the bullies. Later, when I became a teacher myself, I had students come to me with complaints about bullying. Unfortunately, the school I worked for refused to give any real power to discipline misbehaving students to the teachers. The only thing I was allowed to do was send a misbehaving student to the principal, who would do nothing. He would just sweetly ask the student to behave and then send him back to class after a few minutes; the students considered being sent to the principal's office a joke. So as much as I hated it, I found myself telling bullied students to just ignore it because there was nothing else the school allowed me to do. I think the problems are these. I think the problem is just a cultural one. We live in an age that does not believe in disciplining children, so we let them torment each other. I hate it, and that's one of the reasons I quit teaching.

  • Why's it considered more socially acceptable to watch daytime TV than it is staying inside playing video games?
    • New Media Are Evil. Same reason Rock and Roll is more socially acceptable than whatever satanic garbage kids are listening to these days.
      • Does anyone seriously say "Satanic garbage" when referring to dubstep or rap, or is that what the people who grew up on Rock and Roll are saying?
      • I'm pretty sure nobody says it, actually, it just sounds funnier than merely calling modern music 'bad'.

  • Why is it considered unacceptable for teachers at schools to use physical punishments on pupils? A bully would sure think twice if a teacher, having witnessed them bullying another pupil, berated them and then proceeded to publicly spank them with a belt for a good minute right on the spot.
    • Because it's inhumane, and it generally doesn't work. Kids who are punished using violence become more likely to use violence themselves, and become extremely resentful of authority. It turns the punished kids into worse people.
    • Also because they'd show preferences - the Catholic School principal used to smack kids with the bible, and he'd go way easier on kids whose parents he was closer to.
      • Of course it works. And it's hardly the case that other forms of punishment are not given in a biased manner. The real reasons are these: first, we live in a very litigious age, and one exposes oneself to liability much more readily when one hits someone than with other means of discipline, not because hitting is worse, but because the harm is easier to prove objectively in court. Second, we live in a society with a much lower fertility rate, meaning most people have fewer children, meaning people are much more likely to dote on and spoil their children; couples with five, six, or seven children have to be efficient about discipline, but couples with one or two children can afford to be more patient. Schoolteachers, of course, have to deal with dozens of children at a time. Third, we live in an age where "judgmental" is used an insult or criticism. Real discipline is seen as bad for children.

  • So, am I just odd? I saw a controversial "Cheerios" commercial and didn't even notice the guy was black until people pointed it out. (it was controversial because the couple was interracial.) When I found out Samus was a Girl, I thought "...Okay" and wondered why boys couldn't find her a role model. I didn't even notice that there was a gay couple in a recent Honey Maid commercial. My parents went to a parent teacher conference and were surprised I never told them that one of my teachers was in a wheelchair. So am I just odd that I don't notice these things, or think they're important?
    • No, you're normal. Its the rest of us who are odd.
    • No, you're probably just a better person than most people depending on your personality.

  • Am I the only person who finds it odd whenever I see someone complaining about the NSA spying on them, when they willfully ignore that Google's been doing that for years, and they willfully tweet selfies, announce their location via foursquare, and inform their facebook followers that they're taking a dump?
    • No, it is somewhat odd that people worry more about the government and 1984-style government-controlled dystopia than they do the corporations and Cyberpunk-style megacorporation-controlled dystopia, particularly given the memetic incompetence of the government and the relatively competent image of the private sector. Probably psychological; we're supposed to have a stake in our leaders and choose them, so when they do something we don't like, it feels more personal than when somebody who never even pretended to have our interests in mind does.
    • Also, while Google harvesting your information isn't exactly good, the CEO of Google don't as yet have the authority to send someone around your house to arrest you and throw you into Guantanamo Bay if you use social media to tweet something he or she doesn't like the look of, whereas the director of the NSA does.

  • If a modern word is added to a dead language (eg. Latin), can it still be considered that language?
    • Can it? Sure. Plenty of people will consider it that way, so obviously it can be done. Should it? Why not? There are no laws on this subject (well, maybe in France). And who said it was dead? If people are adding words to it, then maybe it's not so dead. Languages that people thought were dead have been known to come back. Hebrew was considered a dead language for centuries, but it came back. If people are bothering to add words to a language, then it probably means they feel a need for that word, so they must be using that language in some capacity.

  • Why is it that whenever somebody Hates Being Touched, everyone is suddenly all over them and all they want to do is get into their personal space? Why is this so hard for people to understand that if someone Hates Being Touched, then keep your hands to yourself?
    • Other people will assume that because you claim you don't like being touched, you actually really do. Similarly, if you have a physical condition (SPD), and they have never herd of said condition, they will assume it doesn't exist.

  • Whenever a company has to make cuts, why is it that the senior managers and the executives' jobs and salaries are never on the chopping block? Similarly - why don't the guys over in Finance and accounting get a tongue lashing for how little they're doing their job?
    • Because those are the guys making the decisions on what to cut.
      • Didn't any of these guys even look at the financial statements, though? It's kind of humorous how companies will have enough money to give eight-digit salaries to the people on top, but somehow can't afford to raise wages of the people at the bottom by a mere $0.05. This isn't just American greed - Canadian companies are just as greedy.
      • I'm sure they're aware they could give raises to those people if they wanted to - They just don't want to.
    • Simple economic logic: people who make lower wages are, by definition, less in demand. They can be replaced more easily and are less important to the operations of the business. Also, bear in mind that when you hear about the CEO and other high-ranking officers of a troubled company making high salaries, that's often the premium you need to pay someone to take over a sinking ship. I recall that when Hostess went bankrupt, Jon Stewart "joked" at how outrageous the CEO's salary was. What that ignores is that that CEO had not been in the job very long and had been brought in to either save the company, or more likely, unwind its operations and get it out of business as efficiently as possible. So how much would you want to be paid to take charge of a dying business, knowing that, no matter what you do, the business will almost certainly fail and people will blame you? Bear in mind that if you're the sort of person who gets offered the job of CEO, you are probably also the sort of person who could find other work and does not have to take this job. So, how much would you want?

  • Why is there not any mental disorder Encyclopedia? If you actually search for information on mental disorders you can have a better Life, especially if your kid is being bullied harshly because he is different. Undiagnosed mental disorders have caused much more damage than known ones.
    • Psychology and psychiatry are still relatively new fields. To a lot of people who grew up without being referred to a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist and realizing how much they could help people who aren't absolutely insane, it's still seen as a bunch of Snake Oil. Naturally, these people make up the bulk of the generation that's actually in charge of decision making - so they mostly see this kind of stuff as worthless voodoo. Not only that, but mental disorders are highly different than physical disorders. With a physical disorder, you may often be able to find a sign that there is something causing it (Signs are way more important than symptoms in Pathology - it's why so many tests are performed when they try and diagnose a disease because of how many symptoms overlap.) Mental disorders are much more difficult because you can't find some kind of "Sign" that may be causing it. Sure, you may be able to find that there is a hormonal imbalance causing something that can be controlled with medication, but this isn't going to be present in all people who are displaying symptoms of mental disorders. Not only that, but symptoms aren't always consistent even with as much as we know about the mind - for example, most people assume Tourettes Syndrome is randomly shouting swear words at the top of your lungs. If you met people with actual tourette's syndrome, you'd be surprised at how little swear words you hear them shout - some instead may just jerk around (and look more like they got a shiver) while others may instead gasp or make some other noise. Epilepsy as well. Most people assume that if they have seizures, they jerk around violently, but I've met people with epilepsy who actually only rarely do that and more commonly, have blank periods of time where they don't remember anything (usually a few minutes, sometimes an hour) and instead are just staring. Even then, some mental disorders are disputed as to whether or not they actually exist. When you see mental disorders presented in fiction, it's always going to be simplified as "Oh, They were beaten up by their dad, uncle, and elder brothers as a kid which is why they distrust men so much as an adult", but it's a lot more complicated than that.

  • Why does school exists if the only thing we hear about them is horror? Children with mental disorders, Children with physical disorders, blind kids, deaf kids, scizophrenic kids... Nobody can go to school because they will go through hell. Why don´t we just erase them and pursue home-schooling?
    • One reason is the trope Accentuate the Negative - admit it, it's Truth in Television. You may hear people who talk about how much fun they had in school, but you're never going to go around talking about how much fun someone had frisbee golfing or how much fun they had with someone else... because people are so fascinated by horror, you're going to go around talk about how some kid you knew was tortured, and you're going to remember those moreso than the positive stories about school where you had a supportive teacher. We're just born to be negative. Now, as a second response to this, "Why don't we just erase them and pursue home-schooling"... Dude, Home-Schooling is very time-consuming. It's not practical for everyone - because you essentially have to have a single income. With Cost of Living going as out of control as it is with wages not catching up to it or inflation (But Executive Pay somehow rises every year...), it's simply just not practical. To homeschool a kid, you will have to be there with them either all day or most of the day. This means that unless you work odd hours, you'll be down to just a single income. In the new tens? The days of a single income being able to feed a family are long over, unless that single income is coming from an executive with a six-digit salary (which is never EVER on the chopping block.) And if you're a single parent, you have to work a full time job so you can afford to eat on top of taking care of and educating your kids - and bonus points if they happen to be disabled, and you also have to pay for treatments. It's simply not practical for most of the population. Sure, you could theoretically leave your kid home alone and school themselves, but when your kids are very young, you simply can not leave them home alone. Every kid is different, and a good number will probably take advantage of your absence to go screw around, slob around the house, or watch TV or play video games all day. And if they are frustrated on a problem, then they won't be able to finish the assignment you gave them until you got home. And if you got a disabled kid, then they might need supervision. simply put, Homeschooling is just not an option for the majority of the population.
    • School is absolutely necessary for educating people. We don't want a society of people who only know what their parents told them.

  • But why is it that disabled people ( i mean all types) are going to the same school as the normal kids? Why aren´t the school for disabled far away or at least cut off from the general school? That would reduce the bullying a bit.
    • Because they'll always be living in a world of people not like them. They can't spend their entire lives in isolation, and it's better to acclimate them when they're younger and can learn more quickly.
    • While there are private schools for disabled people out there (There is a school for deaf people in my state) but what you're suggesting will just create more problems - it's teaching kids from a young age that because they're disabled, they're to be segregated and kept away from everybody else. That's a great lesson to be instilling them into adulthood, right? Because you're "Different", you must be kept away from all the "normal" people and should be kept in isolation from everyone else, kept in a ghetto. Golly, it's not like we haven't seen that before have we?

  • Why is it that drugs are never properly discussed? I mean illegal drugs. I had to look it up on internet for a story I did.
    • The writers probably don't know about them either. That and there's a stigma about illegal drugs.

  • Why is it that everytime someone with some form of physical disfiguration (and i do mean grave ones) or with mental disorders are Always played for laughs?

  • Why is the truth about the World never shown in fiction? Injuries, crimes, Death... These harder topics never come up as serious or sad, just hilarious, which means more bullying.
    • Fiction is actually how we cope with those kinds of things. If we wanted to read about injuries, chrimes, or death, then we'd just turn on the news. Why bother spending $10 for a book when you can just turn on the free news or pick up a cheaper newspaper and find the exact same things? We're reading fiction to have a temporary reprise from that kind of stuff. Maybe we want to be motivated by seeing the plight of fictional characters, or maybe we just need a laugh at somebody's Hilariously Abusive Childhood. Contrary to popular belief, people actually can tell something is fake, which may exactly be why it's so god-damned hilarious or entertaining. If most Hilariously Abusive Childhood examples were real, then people would NOT be laughing - not even for Black Comedy.
    • Plus, who's truth are we talking about, here? Truth is a very subjective and slippery thing, and not everyone lives a life of abject misery and despair.

  • Why is bullying seen as a right of passage? In short why are schools awful?
    • One of the most important lessons in school is learning to put up with people who you normally NEVER would actually seek out intentionally. You don't get to pick your family, and you rarely get to pick your coworkers. Even the best of friends will have some skirmishes along the way. To most people, bullying is seen as a rite of passage because you're learning how to deal with people who you simply put do not like. However, most adults don't realize that
      a) in the "Real world", if someone is harassing you, then there is actually a lot you can do about it, like file a restraining order or sue for harassment. Not only that, but if someone attacks you and there is proof of it, then they won't just earn a detention for the afternoon, they'll be put in jail for assault, since the logic of the legal system is that if you're an adult (or old enough to be tried as one) then you should know the risks and know that what you did will carry consequences. In school, you can't do this - you are required legally by law to be nearby these people. You can't file a restraining order against someone who keeps bullying you, you cannot sue for harassment, and they will not be put in jail unless it's obvious that they clearly did something very very wrong. (Kids are still developing, you know.)
      b) They don't always know the context. You could bust some people for rough-housing in the halls thinking that they're just trying to beat each other up, yet realize that they were just playing. You could send someone to the office for calling someone else a name that sounds rude, yet not realize that they are actually not trying to offend at all and are merely just playing. Very often, you hear kids who call others names literally not know that they are annoying them. They don't know everything about you.
      c) Everyone's going to get put with people they don't like and are forced to work with them, or at least share the same room with them. But there's always someone who's getting it worse than others, and adults don't always realize what's happening, sometimes until it's too late.

  • Yeah but why do people tease each other in the first Place? That is the real question.

  • In those house-flipping shows, HOW do they get the labourers to show up there so fast? We've been waiting over a month for these labourers to fix our roof (They never call to say when they'll do it, never answer their phone, and when they do, they say "We'll be there on this date" then never actually do. We're contacting these people through agencies, does their agency schedule them for a dozen jobs a day or something?
    • Typically they do come when they say they will, that's just bad service. Usually people give worse service the bigger the company. Anything involving TV is on a tight schedule in the first place, and things on TV are always major projects worth a lot of money being spent. I assume producers would get quotes from different companies and call another if someone is giving bad service.
  1. What are tours for the less fortunate? Corina Bucksworth mentions them in Tokyo Mew Mew.

  2. What is the difference between being rich and being wealthy?
  • They're synonyms mostly. It's the same difference between big and large or little and small. English has many sets of synonyms due to being a patchwork language, comprising many French and Germanic words.
  • The previous answer is correct, but it is also worth noting that some development economists would draw a distinction: a country is rich if it has attained prosperity without producing it. Saudi Arabia has riches because it is sitting on top of a lot of oil, but without that, it would be a poverty-stricken backwater. Japan is wealthy because its people, despite having no natural resources to speak of, has produced wealth. It's the difference between building a business and winning the lottery. Again though, this is a fine distinction that only applies in specialized contexts, not in common parlance.

  • What is the difference between a servant and a valet?
    • A valet is a type of servant. All valets are servants but not all servants are valets. A valet is a 'gentleman's gentleman' and is in charge of many roles for their master including finance, admin, maintenance, organisation etc.. For comparison, a housemaid, a different type of servant, is generally only in charge of cleaning and maintenance.

  • Why people prefer "el natural" colors over more colorful ones when dyeing their hair? I know many girls and guys that dye their hair, however, I've seen only two-three persons with colorful hair in my life.
    • Because when your average person sees dyed hair, they tend to think either "What a weirdo" or "What an attention whore".
    • As the person mentioned, dying your hair an unusual colour usually gets people thinking you're some kind of deviant or are trying to call attention into themselves. Even on casual friday, you'll be lucky if you're not told to dye your hair back if you come into the office with platinum hair.

  • Why can you die if you cut a vein in your wrist but you don't die if your hand suffers amputation?
    • You can die and not die from both. It's just that "amputation" implies it was done by a doctor, which means they know what they're doing.
    • If you're amputated, then you get a tourniquet put on.

  • So, what's the point behind those cans and bottles that are oddly shaped and don't fit in cupholders (Fiji, for one) or are really thin? (Red Bull). Is this some kind of a trick to make you think you're getting more?
    • Brands want even more signature containers to represent them than before so they make them as unique as possible, and something that fits in a cupholder has become too ordinary for them.

  • Why is it that when I get a bag of chips, it's about 40-55 plus percent air? I think Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar is the worst about this - every time I buy a bag, it's not even half full, and it feels like I'm getting way less. Is this something to do with potato chips? I don't notice Tortilla chips having the same problem of being mostly air and whenever I buy a bag of pretzels, it's mostly pretzels and not air.
    • The air's purpose is to protect chips from breaking, chips travel lots of kilometers to get to stores so they are pretty exposed to be broken on the road, so the air turns the bag into an air cushion to keep the chips as entire as possible.
      • So are some chips just more fragile than others? Like again, Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream - I got a bag with only ten chips.

  • Do sea tortoises sleep?

  • Who decided that things happened million or billions of years ago? How do you claim that things happened so long ago without any proof?
    • It wasn't "decided", but determined based on evidence. We can look at stuff like the rate of decay and extrapolate these things backwards.
    • What's this notion that these things are determined without proof? We didn't just think up history out of nowhere. By "millions and billions of years ago", I'm assuming you're talking about stuff like dinosaurs, ice ages, the Big Bang and evolution. We have lots and LOTS of proof of all these things happening. Things like fossils, carbon dating, geology, space exploration, biochemistry, genetics, human geography and cosmology all thoroughly prove those four aspects of ancient history as having definitively happened. Sure, these ideas are often referred to as theories (Big Bang Theory, Theory of Evolution etc) but they're not really theories in the traditional sense - it's just an acknowledgement that there's a tiny, miniscule chance we may have misunderstood seeing as we don't see things like the Big Bang and evolution with our own eyes. But this does not under any circumstances mean that history is decided without proof. You never hear any information about ancient history until it has been thoroughly examined by the scientific, anthropological and historic communities and supported by them. So in short... no one decided these things without proof. They were decided with proof by people who know what they're talking about.

  • Does anyone else see the inherent hypocrisy of people who want to be seen as equals, yet they keep demanding special treatment because of their ethnicity/gender/disability/class/sexuality/identity? And for that matter, if they want to be seen as equals, why do they keep calling to attention what makes them different and demanding that you notice it?
    • You mean like how feminists constantly flip-flop between “We are just as strong as men!” and “It’s wrong for men to hit us because we are weaker!”, depending on what is more convenient to claim at the time?
      • Men should hit women because hitting anyone for any other reason than self-defense is sick and wrong. (And yes, I do mean that if a woman is attacking a man, he is well within his rights to hit her.)
      • Speaking as a disabled person, I don't go around asking people to pay attention to what makes me different from them; I ask only for them to treat me as they'd treat anyone else. I assume this is also true for those of different ethnicity/gender/class/sexuality/identity/religion/race. Of course, there will always be people who will demand special treatment, but mind that not everyone from that group are like-minded.
    • As a gay man, this is why I don't like gay pride parades. The apparent point of them is to stop gay people being treated differently, and this is demonstrated by making a noisy, colourful, theatrical spectacle. I personally think pride parades do more harm than good and actually enforce a lot of stereotypes. Wanting equality and also wanting to celebrate apparently looking, sounding and acting different to straight people, even just for a day, is completely contradictory as far as I can tell. I have no problem with those who enjoy them and they certainly provide a confidence boost for LGBT people, but I think they send out a strange message that I don't identify with as a not-especially-camp gay person.
      • I wonder if you went to the same gay pride parade that I did - I actually cringed when I saw people holding up signs saying "We are not sick perverts", and yet several people holding those signs were walking around wearing ball gags, bondage gear, harnesses, with a leash held by somebody else, and one person was wearing nothing but a speedo. The cognitive dissonance made me cringe.

  • So, why is it that when people talk about "privilege" they include "You see people like you represented in the media". Are people really unable to relate to others who don't share multiple traits with them, or am I just weird because I see "A character with wants and needs like myself" rather than "A gay male cisgender straight POC"? Is Empathy really that uncommon?
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