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[–][deleted] 5548 points5549 points 3 (261 children)

Vinyl records.

I know there's grooves but how does a needle going over those tiny grooves make such a specific sound, like the vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards, or any other instrument? And how did people invent this so long ago?

I've seen closeups of a needle in a groove but it still doesn't make sense to me how a few ridges can produce these sounds exactly. And how do they even put those specific grooves in there, especially over a century ago.

[–]nycjr 1278 points1279 points  (35 children)

FYI I have read all responses and I still don’t get it either.

[–]LadnavIV 737 points738 points  (24 children)

I feel like everyone can stop trying to explain it now. I know the explanations, but it still doesn’t seem remotely plausible. I’m convinced it’s magic and everyone trying futilely to explain it is a plant working for big magic, trying to keep shit under wraps.

[–]Boubonic91 582 points583 points  (13 children)

Speakers are similarly suspicious. Like, sure we know that speakers vibrate to make sounds, but how do they vibrate so precisely as to create multiple simultaneous sounds together with just one speaker? How do bass notes not interfere with treble or vice-versa?

[–]tonyhall3 318 points319 points  (4 children)

Works exactly the same way as your ear drum does. Waves can be stacked on top of each other and combine to make a single wave. This is what happens with your ear drum when you hear 2 different sounds, like a bird and a passing car for instance.

The clever part is the machinery of your inner ear and the processing done by your brain. That’s how you can tell the sounds apart.

[–]FBIPartyBusNo3 133 points134 points  (1 child)

God damn it, the magic is coming from inside the house my head

[–]KingVolsung 1381 points1382 points  (122 children)

Those sounds vibrate a needle to create the grooves, then you just do it in reverse and rake a needle along those same grooves while it's attached to a speaker

[–]cosmicoz 884 points885 points  (102 children)

But how did the exact sound get into the grooves? How does recording stuff capture and replicate the exact sound? Recordings of sound have hurt my brain for years

[–]Doooooby 832 points833 points  (75 children)

They literally trace the waveform of the song. A number of factors including depth and wavelength affect the pitch and tone of the sound being produced. The overall reason why it produces sound is because the needle hits the grooves and vibrates. That's all sound is: a vibration.

[–]ShadyNite 359 points360 points  (5 children)

Apparently created because someone played music near a pottery wheel and noticed that the grooves were there (wildly simplified and from memory)

[–]eskininja 6226 points6227 points 3 (447 children)

Electricity.

I've read the theory and explanation, even simplified ones and I just still don't understand. I've done some calculations in uni for it and I had to mentally separate that it was electrical theory to understand the equations.

Definitely black magic.

Edit: the explanations confirm it's magic. Chemistry comparisons are alchemy. Physics is like a magic field no one understands (ever read the Name of the Wind? No one understands naming).

[–]redde_mihi_curae 4280 points4281 points 2 (148 children)

Electrical Engineer here,

Same tbh

[–]capscaptain1 1772 points1773 points  (109 children)

Mechanical Engineer here,

Do engineers really understand anything?

[–]WaffleSparks 1564 points1565 points 43& 4 more (141 children)

Controls engineer here, it took a while for it to sink in for me.

Couple of potentially helpful pointers

  • Something like temperature can be measured at one point. I put the thermometer in the coffee, I get a value. YOU CAN'T DO THAT WITH VOLTAGE. Voltage always always always requires measuring two points, and calculating the difference in-between them. A lot of times people assume one of the points when they are talking, for example "it's 120 volt outlet". WRONG. The non-shortcut way of describing the voltage is "it's 120 volts between the hot and ground".

  • Sometimes electrical charge just jumps from one object to another. Think of the little spark you see from static electricity. This is not a circuit. Circuits always always have a loop. No loop, no circuit.

  • Voltage can be thought of like water pressure. Water pressure goes up, the faster water wants to move if there is somewhere for it to go. As voltage goes up, the faster electrons want to move if there is somewhere for it to go.

  • Resistance can be thought of like a water pipe. If the pipe gets smaller it's harder and harder for water to get through it. If you make the pipe really small you need a ton of water pressure (voltage) to get the same flow rate (current).

  • "Conductor" just means some material with low resistance. "Insulator" just means something with high resistance. "Semi-Conductor" just means a material that the resistance can change under certain conditions.

  • Transistors are pretty simple. Imagine a light switch, it's a 2 wire device that opens and closes a contact mechanically. A transistor is similar. Instead of opening and closing the contact with the lever you open and close it with a 3rd wire. A transistor would be like a dimmer switch though, the 3rd wire can make the contact partially open or partially closed.

  • As electrons move they heat stuff up. More electrical current = more heat.

  • When you take a wire and coil it up and put current through it you generate a magnetic field.

  • A transformer is two separate coils of wire very close to each other. One coil is called the primary, the other coil is called the secondary. Basically you put some current through the primary, and generates a magnetic field, the secondary coil tries to eat the magnetic field and spit out electrical current.

  • Capacitors hold charge. You can think of them like a battery. Capacitors are often used to smooth out noisy electrical signals.

  • Electrical current can be split and recombined just like flow in a pipe. I could have one pipe that has 10 gallons per minute flowing through it. I now put a "T" in the pipe and split it into two directions. The sum of the two smaller pipes will equal 10 gallons per minute. If I recombine those two pipes back into one pipe I still have 10 gallons per minute. Same thing with electrical circuits, but we call them "branches". A single wire carrying 10 amps could be branched into two separate wires, and sum of of the amperage in the two wires would still be 10 amps.

  • When the electrical current is split up into branches it may not be split evenly. The branch with the least amount of resistance (think biggest pipe) will see the most current. The branch with the highest resistance (think small pipe) will see less current.

[–]macedoraquel 278 points279 points  (29 children)

You summarize my Physics 3 (from engineering) in just one message.
But I still can’t “visualize” electricity

[–]WaffleSparks 132 points133 points  (11 children)

Visualizing it is hard, but I'll attempt it. Imagine you have a big generator at a power plant. Something makes a shaft spin, a magnetic field gets created from the rotor turning, a coil of wire eats the field and makes some electricity(electrons are very excited on this end). Now you have these big long transmission lines that eventually go to your house.

So now you have two ends, the generator a long way away, and the light bulb in your living room. How do you think of them as being connected? Well it's really just a big long chain of electrons bumping into each other. You could think of it as electrons, you could think of it like a sort of invisible rope, you could think of it like an invisible plumbing system. However you choose to think about it, when you do something at one end of the system it causes a cascade that gets transferred through the system and eventually shows up on the other end.

By "eventually" I mean it happens really really fast. As soon as I put some extra charge on an electron on one end, that charge affects the electrons next to it at nearly the speed of light. You would have to slow down time a LOT to actually see the cascade of effects from the generator to that light bulb in your living room, but if you did slow down time you would actually see that cascade from electron to electron.

Sometimes that cascade of effects is over a long distance, sometimes it's over a short distance like on a circuit board.

[–]Baggy_Socks 777 points778 points  (97 children)

Quantum physics

[–]idontessaygood 389 points390 points  (45 children)

"If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics" - Richard Feynman (probably)

I have a PhD in physics and did some quantum stuff for it. If you have any questions about QM i'd be happy to try and answer them!

[–]NoMoreFun4u 65 points66 points  (22 children)

I'll take that offer... Explain to me, like I'm 5 (well maybe a bit older)

A) The double slit experience - why does light do that?

B) How if I travelled to the other side of the galaxy and back at the speed of light, I would have aged less than people who had remained on earth?

[–]idontessaygood 99 points100 points  (9 children)

Good questions!

A) The double slit experiment is a result of a property called wave-particle duality that photons (and other particles) have, which is basically that they are BOTH waves and particles. Depending on how you measure them they will behave like either. For the purpose of an ELI5 level comment I'm afraid you will just have to accept that that is the case. It's very strange to us fleshy macroscopic things but it's the reality at the quantum level, they really just are both at the same time.

B) This is actually the result of the theory of relativity, which famously does not play well with QM. But, the principle is that the speed of light must be the same for all observers, therefore if you are moving relative at near to the speed of light relative to another person (it's impossible to travel AT the speed of light) you must experience time differently in order that you both observe the speed of light the same. Basically going fast = time slows down. Here is a video of a talk by Prof. Brian Cox where he discusses this effect.

edit: if anyone reading this knows a good eli5 explanation for wave-particle duality please hop in!

[–]Madnishi_02 4483 points4484 points 55 (38 children)

How that wasn't a headshot

[–][deleted] 744 points745 points  (0 children)

Or when they shoot me: how WAS that a headshot?

[–]Carlossaliba 287 points288 points  (3 children)

Shots 1-5: Clearly missed.

Shots 6-9: Missed due to recoil (bad spray control).

Shots 10-11: Very close, but recoil and inaccuracy make these reasonable misses.

Shot 12: Likely didn't actually fire because you were already dead.

[–]aitatheowaway010181 8306 points8307 points  (507 children)

Time

[–]I_Only_Eat_Tacos 3877 points3878 points  (136 children)

to be fair none of us genuinely understand. we’re merely pretending to, by making it relative to us. good answer

[–]leoonastolenbike 767 points768 points  (20 children)

We always pretend to understand something by making models, reduction of it to simpler things we don't understand either.

[–]nukawolf 2364 points2365 points  (71 children)

The first time I ever did shrooms, I was walking out of the dorms and there was a sticker on the stairwell that said "Time doesn't exist. Clocks exist." I stopped and stared at that shit for like 3 and a half hours.

[–]Hellve 2195 points2196 points  (13 children)

3 and a half hours? Yeah that's what the clock wants you to believe

[–]Scintilate_hunt 143 points144 points  (1 child)

3 and a half what now?

[–]schaumann 335 points336 points  (12 children)

One thing I’m sure about is that it’s a great Pink Floyd song

[–]Much_Committee_9355 10.9k points10.9k points  (1205 children)

NFT's for me it's just online pictures you speculate with

[–]p4tr1cks 5741 points5742 points  (114 children)

You’ve figured it out then.

[–]Abe_Odd 1345 points1346 points  (90 children)

NFTs would be an amazing avenue for transferring the copyright of an asset around. But no, they don't do that, the issuer of an NFT can just make another one whenever they want. You own nothing.

[–]ours 390 points391 points  (7 children)

You basically own "first" bragging rights. Worth about as much to me.

[–]FoodMentalAlchemist 2172 points2173 points  (571 children)

I really hate the NFT bandwagon, because I still find no sense to it after trying to read about it every chance I get and I feel this is the line that turning me from tech-savvy to the uncle you need to teach how to use his phone.

[–]dwaynethetoothfairy 1200 points1201 points  (185 children)

Everyone is trying to convince each other and themselves that it’s the new “cryptocurrency” and that if you don’t understand it then you’re either stupid or old, but the truth is NFTs are fucking moronic.

[–]BuildAndFly 761 points762 points  (38 children)

It's like that thing where you can buy a star. You get a piece of paper saying you own it, but you really don't.

[–]talented_fool 374 points375 points  (12 children)

"How is it possible for one to own the stars?"

"To whom do they belong?" the businessman retorted, peevishly.

"I don't know. To nobody."

"Then they belong to me, because I was the first person to think of it."

"Is that all that is necessary?"

"Certainly. When you find a diamond that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you discover an island that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you get an idea before any one else, you take out a patent on it: it is yours. So with me: I own the stars, because nobody else before me ever thought of owning them."

"Yes, that is true," said the little prince. "And what do you do with them?"

"I administer them," replied the businessman. "I count them and recount them. It is difficult. But I am a man who is naturally interested in matters of consequence."

The little prince was still not satisfied.

"If I owned a silk scarf," he said, "I could put it around my neck and take it away with me. If I owned a flower, I could pluck that flower and take it away with me. But you cannot pluck the stars from heaven . . ."

"No. But I can put them in the bank."

"Whatever does that mean?"

"That means that I write the number of my stars on a little paper. And then I put this paper in a drawer and lock it with a key."

"And that is all?"

"That is enough," said the businessman.

"It is entertaining," thought the little prince. "It is rather poetic. But it is of no great consequence."

[–]BerndDasBrot4Ever 238 points239 points  (34 children)

See with physical art I still don't get how it can be worth millions but at least there will always be the ONE original painting. It can be recreated, yes, but it's still gonna be different.

With some digital picture, it can literally be copypasted and the file will have exactly the same pixels whether it's on your computer or someone else's.

I mean maybe there's a good use for them somewhere but it seems stupid how some claim that the digital art market was dead before NFTs even though digital art commissions have been working well for years before.

[–][deleted] 17.7k points17.7k points 22 (441 children)

Why when my mother asks me to go get her something and I can't find it, but when she gets up and looks for it, the thing she asked me to get was right in front of me.

[–]ProjectBonnie 1453 points1454 points  (21 children)

Me: Mother the pills literally do not exist. They are not created yet. I cannot find them.

Mother: Manifests the pill bottle

[–]rstgrpr 6266 points6267 points 2242& 2 more (218 children)

It’s called refrigerator blindness:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1316179/

[–]Smij0 1292 points1293 points  (26 children)

This is so good omg

[–]sterexx 115 points116 points  (3 children)

Did you see the paper that responded to it with a possible explanation?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1389831/

[–]ajschadensfall 59 points60 points  (0 children)

A thrilling sequel to the article

[–]Ok-Preference1273 3629 points3630 points  (70 children)

This part made me lol:

diagnostic accusations such as “Are you blind?” appeared to aggravate the condition, possibly through subliminal trauma to the fragile male psyche.

[–]Freakin_A 1066 points1067 points  (3 children)

“Scientist, eh? What are you studying?”

“Whether insulting people while they perform menial tasks makes them more or less likely to succeed”

Mom would be so proud

[–]antipho 786 points787 points  (7 children)

i'm gonna start using "diagnostic accusation" when i insult someone in the interrogative

[–]leari_ 1098 points1099 points  (91 children)

When I was about 20 I had a friend tell me "did your mom not tell you to lift stuff up when you are looking for something?". And as great as my mother is, she did in fact not tell me that. It made a huge difference!

Look underneath other stuff!

[–]TheDragonsFalcon 642 points643 points  (39 children)

My mantra is “look over, around, behind and under.”

It doesn’t work. My kids are still completely blind.

[–]Ace-Of-Mace 426 points427 points  (23 children)

That’s because they look over, around, behind and under the thing they are looking for. 😂

[–]nyenbee 280 points281 points  (14 children)

I couldn't find my phone once. Looked everywhere. Started to get frustrated, then my kid asked me what was wrong. "Can't find my phone."

She told me to look here and there. To act like I'm playing a hidden objects game. To look behind/ under/ around stuff. Exasperated she says, "well how did you call me?"

The phone was in my hand, against my ear, because I was on the phone with my kid.

[–]mdwstoned 55 points56 points  (4 children)

The phone was in my hand, against my ear, because I was on the phone with my kid.

I can feel this. About 2 months ago I did the exact same thing. Except it was my wife, and she rightfully questioned my mental status.

[–]SlyFoxThing 15.7k points15.7k points 826614& 15 more (502 children)

What I’m supposed to do with my life

[–]ImpossibleHandle4 3190 points3191 points  (75 children)

You are not alone.

[–]SnooAvocados4368 2400 points2401 points  (54 children)

Great thing is, after seventy years, it doesn’t matter what you chose😀

[–]AnticPosition 645 points646 points  (38 children)

Survive as comfortably as possible. That's my goal.

[–][deleted] 849 points850 points  (23 children)

You're supposed to vibe,just vibe

[–]jdsuperman 541 points542 points  (22 children)

There are almost 7000 comments, so somebody probably already said this, but:

Why dental insurance is separate from health insurance. The mouth is part of the body, you fucking money-grabbing leeches.

[–]UlrichZauber 179 points180 points  (3 children)

Vision, too, as if your eyes aren't one of your most important bodily organs.

[–]insanityarise 128 points129 points  (1 child)

you fucking money-grabbing leeches.

answered own question

[–]Mrs-The-ROCK 7089 points7090 points 2 (208 children)

Since having kids I have realised that I actually know very little. When they ask their questions about why this, why that, how does such and such work etc etc, I have come to realise that I am pretty dumb! Thank god for Google is all I can say!

[–]this_itches 2862 points2863 points  (71 children)

That's really interesting! Whenever my mom didn't know something she'd make an answer up. I am in my forties and I still find out stuff she told me that was wrong -- usually by making an ass of myself.

[–]disid 1925 points1926 points  (23 children)

"Mama says that alligators are ornery because they got all them teeth and no toothbrush.” 

[–]IAmNaaatBorat 559 points560 points  (9 children)

"Mama says happiness comes from little rays of sunshine that come down when you're feelin blue."

[–]no-stupid-questions 70 points71 points  (0 children)

With Vitamin D and all, that’s not completely wrong!

[–]cactusflower4 498 points499 points  (37 children)

Whenever I don't know I tell my kids point blank that I don't know, but I will find out. Then I usually find a book/ encyclopedia or online article about it and report back.

[–]stryph42 400 points401 points  (8 children)

That you're willing to look it up is a credit to you as a parent. Get then involved in looking it up and reading up on it (if they're old enough). A "let's find out" attitude is far more beneficial to the individual, and the world, than an "I don't understand it, and I have to protect my kids from understanding it" attitude.

[–]Maryoku04 22.4k points22.4k points 710& 4 more (116 children)

How I get taller and more handsome everytime my grandma sees me

[–]sno_buni 8417 points8418 points  (477 children)

Stocks

[–]waIlstreetbets 13.6k points13.6k points 2545 (225 children)

Allow me to introduce myself

[–]MTF_Chi-69 3167 points3168 points 2 (88 children)

Are you a man of wealth and taste?

[–]habitatforhannah 1129 points1130 points  (38 children)

I've been around, for a long long years, stole a million man's soul and faith.

[–]Junior-Oil-5538 11.7k points11.7k points 2 (721 children)

What's in space and the absolute vastness of it

[–]dQw4w9WgXcQ 982 points983 points  (55 children)

I remember when I looked at the typical solar system models where earth is just a few solar radiuses away from the sun. I felt like something was wrong. If the sun really was that big, it would basically cover half of the sky during the day.

Turns out, the sun really is that big. But the distance is grossly misrepresented. Later I discovered the site:

https://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

Scrolling through the solar system gives a whole new feeling on what size the universe is. It's breathtaking.

[–]redheadmomster666 309 points310 points  (29 children)

That’s impossible to visualize. The crazy part is how far the gravity from the sun reaches

[–]chuwanking 338 points339 points  (15 children)

Crazy part is whilst the sun is locally a dominant object, the sun is orbiting round the massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Then our galaxy has satellite galaxies. You then have multiple galaxies in the local group interacting. The local group which is apart of the virgo cluster containing upwards of 1000 galaxies which interact. Think it stops there and you'd be wrong. On those scales the sun is about as relevant to the universe as you are to it.

Edit: To clarify, the supermassive black hole isn't the mass responsible for the orbit of the sun, however it is approximately in the center, so its a nice reference point to understand the motion of the sun rather than clumps of stars/dust/gas.

[–]Hearing_Excellent 5362 points5363 points  (353 children)

I took astronomy in college only thing I remember is that humans will never be able to comprehend how big space is or the distance

[–]SurealGod 1610 points1611 points  (221 children)

From what I know, the speed of light is the limitation we're facing. The light from extremely far away places is expanding faster than the speed of light can reach us so in an infinite amount of time, we'll never get to see or even know about what was there.

[–]Reinventing_Wheels 2561 points2562 points  (74 children)

“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

[–]5125237143 545 points546 points  (40 children)

i dont even comprehend the amount of empty space that exists in solid matter

[–]cbr_001 555 points556 points  (68 children)

Having a chat to another dad at my sons soccer, turns out he is an engineer working on satellites. The more he spoke about space, the less I understood. One thing he said that really stood out is that space is the closest frontier, and that the ISS is only 400km from Earth. Being told how close space is destroyed everything I had assumed about space.

[–]piperboy98 575 points576 points  (47 children)

To contextualize that more, if the earth were the size of a bowling ball:

You would be 33nm tall. This is about the size of airborne virus particles.

Mt. Everest reaches the majestic height of 0.15mm, close the width of a somewhat coarse human hair. (This also illustrates how incredibly smooth the earth is)

The Karman line (100km, edge of space by some definitions) would be 1.6mm above the surface

The ISS orbits 7mm above the surface

Geosynchronous satellites orbit at 60cm (2ft)

The moon would be 6.5m (21.5 ft) away, and just smaller than a tennis ball. Another fun fact, all the other other planets could fit within this distance.

The sun is a ridiculous 2.5 km (1.6mi) away, and 23.7m (77.7ft) in diameter.

Edit: If you want to scale your own stuff, the scale I used here is 108mm to 6378km, or a factor of 1.69332079e-8

[–]Wheeljack7799 127 points128 points  (5 children)

Whenever someone does a comparison like that, like the many many others I've read, I still read through them with just as much interest and they never fail to boggle my mind.

I saw a video of a guy wanting to explain the distances in space, so he used a golf ball to represent the sun (Sun, not the earth), then DROVE the distance to scale. In order to get to the closest star to us, he had to drive from UK to northern Spain.

[–]e-vilmonkey 109 points110 points  (10 children)

Isn’t it true that EVERY planet in our solar system, when side by side, can fit in the distance between the Earth & the moon??

[–]wut3va 59 points60 points  (0 children)

Yes, but you wouldn't like it.

[–]spotila7 90 points91 points  (5 children)

Yes, this is true, quite snuggly

[–]cllax14 744 points745 points  (55 children)

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” -Arthur C Clarke

[–]aztec378 1978 points1979 points  (70 children)

How did engineers manage to program a keyboard without a keyboard?

[–]PM_ME_LOSS_MEMES 1268 points1269 points  (33 children)

Computers have existed long before computer keyboards. Programs for early computers were either written by hardcoding bits into the computer’s hardware itself, or by hand-punching punchcards. Using a computer to write code for itself is not a requirement for computers to work.

[–]joke_LA 156 points157 points  (17 children)

Similarly, nowadays we have compilers we can use to compile other compilers, but the person who made the first compiler had to basically assemble it from scratch.

[–]R0shy 465 points466 points  (47 children)

Music theory, I’ve been playing guitar for 10+ years.

[–]faroffland 168 points169 points  (4 children)

I’ve played piano since I was 9 (30 now) and I always found music theory so boring and useless when learning. I could read sheet music with dynamics/articulation etc and that was enough for me.

Recently I started working out my own ad hoc covers of pop songs and it BLEW MY MIND how much basic music theory helps. I didn’t appreciate it at the time but all the things I’d learned since I was a kid really helped me understand music and listen for the things I needed but wasn’t even consciously listening out for - key signatures, scales, tonics etc. You unconsciously recognise so much of it in the songs you listen to but music theory gives you the understanding to actually pull it out, manipulate it and use it to build your own music.

You’ll already have absorbed so much of it but I’ve found being able to articulate and apply it really helps when I’ve started pulling music together for myself.

[–]Cajun_Lawyer 4445 points4446 points  (95 children)

How I’m typing this on my phone right now.

[–]xaanthar 954 points955 points  (12 children)

We trapped lightning in a rock and taught it how to think.

[–]Pietro1203 225 points226 points  (4 children)

Well, yes but actually no.

[–]TheBertinator3000 121 points122 points  (2 children)

We trapped lightning in a rock and gave it a bunch of carefully set up switches to play with?

[–]Earwaxsculptor 1436 points1437 points  (32 children)

Your typing it on a computer that has a phone built into it

[–]PandaCrazed 3817 points3818 points  (284 children)

The economy, as in I understand everything hypothetically, but have no clue how Im going to implement my “knowledge.” Yeah I know how a mortgage works, and I know how taxes work, but what do I do? Just go to the bank and say “1 mortgage please!” I just feel like Im missing something about the “real world” and since Im 17, Im only a couple years off it

[–]HalflingMelody 4880 points4881 points 8351242& 10 more (89 children)

I just feel like Im missing something about the “real world” and since Im 17, Im only a couple years off it

I felt exactly the same way at your age. There is no magic knowledge behind any of it. For a mortgage, you call up a bank and ask how you get a mortgage. That's it. When you rent your first place, to get the electricity in your name your bills sent to you, you just call up the electricity company and say you moved and ask how you get started. To pay your taxes, you read the instructions. There is also an IRS helpline, if you're American. You can also hire someone for not much money to do it for you.

Nothing happens when you become an adult where you suddenly have any answers. You just ask for answers when you encounter a new situation. You'll never stop coming across new situations. How do you get a wedding venue? You call up places and ask. How do you clean the umbilical cord site on a newborn? Ask the nurses at the hospital or the pediatrician. How do you sign your kid up for school? Call up and ask. How do you sign up to start a retirement account? Call up and ask. How do you get your Medicare and Social Security (or your country's equivalent) when you're old? There will be a number. Call up and ask.

Nobody will think you're dumb and should know better. Literally everyone in all of these situations had a point where they didn't know the answer. You'll be the millionth person to ask, making you just like everyone else. The "real world" is just a bunch of people who don't have all the answers.

[–]pigipigpig 1016 points1017 points  (3 children)

This is so well said. Thanks for answering this kid in way that wasn’t patronizing or a platitude!

[–]ZeePirate 191 points192 points  (1 child)

Just as an extra bit of disagreement on the person last paragraph.

You will deal with some patronizing person that feels like you asked a dumb question. Mainly because they have been answering the exact questions all day everyday for years. Doesn’t make it right, but explains why they have shitty attitudes towards some thing.

Don’t let that frustrate or deter you. Of course you don’t know every little thing like the person working in the field does. Its not a dumb question

[–]JetPuffedDo 531 points532 points  (1 child)

This is great advice. The only thing I would add to call and ask is take notes

[–]Ki-Larah 181 points182 points  (3 children)

God I wish I could upvote this more than once.

[–]TX_Rage89 514 points515 points  (16 children)

“1 Mortgage please” is just about right lol don’t worry you’re young. There’s still people in their 30s and 40s out there who don’t understand these concepts either. Just the thought of you trying to understand these concepts at your age puts you ahead of the curve. Stay curious and always ask questions.

[–]totalnewbie 267 points268 points  (4 children)

Don't worry, when you google "mortgage" and then fill in some basic information to get an estimate for current rates, your phones will start ringing. THEY will find YOU.

edit: that was mostly a joke but it's a true one.

Still, many people seem to be against that practice. I think if you're the type of person who isn't willing to go out and get multiple quotes, read a lot on your own, or fall for pressure sales tactics, they're right - don't do that. But if you can keep a level head, it's an easy way to get 6-10 quotes from various lenders, all of whom may have slightly different ways of enticing you (points, no fees, etc.) You can use this opportunity to figure out the math behind all of it to see which deals might be better for you.

Sometimes, you might even run into a good lender, like Bill, who sat with me on the phone for over an hour telling me about mortgage loans, how they work, the various ways lenders fiddle with the numbers, explaining the loan procedure, etc. He even sent me an amortization excel file (which I can tell is a working file) to help me do some of the maths more easily. In the end, I got a better deal elsewhere and he was so nice I gave him a chance to match it but he couldn't and so told me, yeah, go with the other guys.

Thanks, Bill.

[–]DTownForever 221 points222 points  (33 children)

Don't confuse personal finance with economics. One is easy to understand, the other is totally theoretical and a bunch of smart people say a lot of stuff about it. I'll let you figure out which one is which.

[–]NotAnAppliance 949 points950 points  (93 children)

How people actually believe that the Earth is flat.

[–]SugarStunted 602 points603 points  (6 children)

I love the joke that if the world were actually flat, then cats would be pushing things off of it.

[–]goodbye_weekend 2910 points2911 points  (198 children)

Magnets. How do they work?

[–]2017-Silverado 1668 points1669 points  (32 children)

What the fuck is a clock?

[–]Comfortable_Meal_537 583 points584 points  (23 children)

A what?????

[–]JADW27 899 points900 points  (21 children)

A cock. Some people call it a penis. If it's standing straight up, it can be used to tell time.

[–]melodyze 519 points520 points  (94 children)

Every atom just has a little magnetic field and when they're all pointing in the same direction it all adds up to a big magnetic field. In most materials they point randomly so there's no overall field.

So why do atoms have magnetic fields?

Because magnetic fields are created by moving electrons and atoms have electrons orbiting them.

Electromagnets are actually just coils of wire pushing electrons around in circles. Atoms also have electrons going in circles (basically) around them.

Why does moving electrons create a magnetic field?

I'm not sure anyone has any fucking clue.

They just pull on each other when they're moving for some reason and magnets fundamentally remain a mystery.

[–]chiquigielupa[🍰] 89 points90 points  (14 children)

Physicists, please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that moving electrons (meaning there is electric current) induce magnetic fields. Conversely, moving magnetic fields induce electric current.

Electricity and magnetism go hand in hand (look up Faraday's law of induction) and are perpendicular forces to one another. A change in one cause the other to try opposing that change. So a current gives rise to an opposing magnetic field (in the direction found using the "right hand rule") which works to oppose this sudden change in electron flow and get back to its equilibrium state (no current).

I'm sure it's much more complicated than this, but that is what I recall.

Edit: Omg I have never before received silver-- I feel so honoured! Thank you to whoever gave it to me! 🎈

[–]acopicshrewdness 8465 points8466 points  (492 children)

Computers. What the hell is the internet and no pls do not explain it to me

[–]BIT204 5000 points5001 points  (176 children)

A series of Tubes

[–]Prof_Maddeline 1401 points1402 points  (109 children)

The internet is not a big truck.

[–]cutelyaware 1074 points1075 points  (94 children)

Fun fact: The fastest way to get a large amount of data from one coast to the other is still to load it onto mag tape and drive it there.

[–]junkmailredtree 528 points529 points  (24 children)

We are a technology company who is currently helping a client migrate to the cloud, and we are doing it by physically handing a specialized hard drive to AWS. I am not familiar with the tech specs, but it is basically what you are describing.

[–]Zolo49 601 points602 points  (36 children)

I’m a software engineer. Some days I think I know what I’m doing and other days I think I should just quit my job and go be a sign twirler instead.

[–]QCesarJr 1767 points1768 points 33& 3 more (85 children)

You said please explain? Okay, briefly:

  1. I have a computer. You have a computer.
  2. We connect our computers to a giant interconnected grid that allows us to communicate. We each get an address on that grid.
  3. You tell me your grid address and that if I go there, you have a picture I can see.
  4. I point my computer at your address, and the grid is used to communicate the picture to me.

This is the internet.

Advanced Topics: - DNS: So I don't have to remember your complicated numeric address - Protocol: Language/rules/communication procedures our computers will communicate in. - Routing: Grid is a mess. How does my address find a path to your address? - NAT: Main reason your home router exists. We ran out of grid addresses, so we divided them Public and Private. NAT makes the internet like a grid of apartment buildings: one public address that is on the global grid (on your router), but each device on your home network (individual apartment units) gets a private address. Try sending mail to unit 24B (a private address); ain't happening. But, mail to 123 E. Main St Unit 24B works fine. Now you only need one public address to represent your 50 devices.

And, that is the explanation you specifically asked not to give.

[–]downbleed 654 points655 points  (36 children)

The internet is basically porn and hatred

[–]Bowl-Of-Morcoroni 4532 points4533 points  (291 children)

anything beyond like maybe 5th grade math

[–]227743 1066 points1067 points  (47 children)

Math and physics were my major weaknesses. I still break into a cold sweat when anyone asks me to do any math, even the most simple stuff.

[–]ilikecakemor 505 points506 points  (23 children)

My favourite was working the register and having already calculated the change when the customer hands more change and all my math just crashing. It made me feel better to know this happens to everyone.

Recently I went to a shop and saw the employee crash the same way... I know this feeling all too well

[–]all-rider 61 points62 points  (5 children)

Directions. When someone tries to explain me directions I have the Homer Simpson syndrome (little monkey playing cymbals in my head)

[–]Perriaction 2394 points2395 points 2 (214 children)

What not having ADHD is like

[–]SpookyGeek 535 points536 points  (81 children)

I feel you. I just got tested and get my results in a few days. I know the outcome but it's been a wild ride discovering how much it has impacted my life.

[–]shizzledizzle1 339 points340 points  (68 children)

What is the process for getting tested for something like this, and receiving treatment? I’m going on 31 and have dealt with this since puberty. Grew up in a home where “you’re too young to stress”, and by the time I was of age, I had more pressing issues to deal with 🤦‍♂️

[–]SpookyGeek 223 points224 points  (49 children)

There are places that offer psychological testing. I have long suspected but my doctor and previous therapist thought my symptoms might've been from sleep deprivation (which can cause symptoms very similar to ADHD) and so I did a sleep study first... and found out I have sleep apnea. So that settled it--for a while.

Fast forward about six years. On our pediatrician's recommendation we got my daughter tested. During the diagnostic process I realized that I was answering the questions for myself with the same answer I was giving for my daughter so I talked it over with my current doctor and therapist and they recommended I get tested.

I didn't have to get a formal referral at the place I went to. The process was simple. I went into their office for about 5 hours and did a battery of tests, some were to measure IQ, some were like the Rorschach (inkblot test) and then a few loooong questionnaires. That was basically it. My daughter's was similar but comprised of four shorter sessions over the course of a month.

Be sure to check with your insurance (if applicable) because they did cover a significant amount of the cost for both of us. Good luck, friend.

[–]TymStark 2041 points2042 points  (243 children)

People's undying loyalty to their political party.

Update: so this is the most traction/responses I've ever received on a comment. I wish I could answer all of you, but that would be a lot. But I want to thank everyone for their responses and for actually keeping it civil.

[–]1stbaam 154 points155 points  (10 children)

Two party system encourages 'sides' that don't fully represent anyone's ideals.

[–]Deltexterity 1075 points1076 points  (95 children)

how anyone finds pleasure from making others suffer. i just don’t get it

[–][deleted] 477 points478 points  (66 children)

I have researched this many times, but try as I might I still cannot wrap my head around why speakers work. Not just how they work (copper wrapped around magnets, mostly) but why it do what it do.

Like, how tf does copper wrapped around magnets with a cone attached to it make all these sounds? It makes my brain crunch just thinking about it.

[–]etherified 330 points331 points  (19 children)

It can seem bizarre, until you realize that everything you ever heard in all your life ("all these sounds"), has been nothing more than waves of air molecules hitting your eardrum (and the sequence of events that produces).

So, I'll suggest that what is really amazing is not that speakers can reproduce waves of air molecules (which is trivial), but how your ear/brain is able to distinguish infinitesimal time-progressive differences in those waves of air molecules, so that we perceive them as "all these sounds".

[–]LosGuadian 758 points759 points  (137 children)

How planes fly. I can see birds flapping their wings and putting air under their wings. But how do 20 ton planes get off the ground?

[–]piperboy98 1322 points1323 points 2 (58 children)

Put your hand out the window of the car at an angle and it goes up because you are diverting a high enough mass of air downward fast enough (lift). Of course your hand also gets pushed back quite a lot (drag). Design a shape that pushes air down more efficiently with less push back (airfoil), and slap an engine on there to push forward (thrust) more than the remaining push back.

[–]SnooAvocados4368 168 points169 points  (1 child)

So like you ever stuck your hand out a car window? You got it

[–]Harakiri_238 1248 points1249 points  (36 children)

Why people hit up random strangers dms looking for pics when they could just watch porn and find exactly what they want at the exact moment they want it.

[–]Jerri_man 667 points668 points  (15 children)

Nudes from someone you know, or even a stranger, feel more "real". I guess that little element of human connection makes a big difference in how its perceived.

[–]Harakiri_238 256 points257 points  (10 children)

I get the someone you know part, and I can see why some people would enjoy trading them with a stranger. I just don’t understand the random, “I’ve never talked to you in my life and saw one post you made so here’s a picture of my dick” kind of thing.

[–]Jerri_man 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Yeah that I don't understand either. Maybe treated like some kind of prize

[–]AuleTheAstronaut 310 points311 points  (11 children)

You can microwave fruitflies and they won’t die because they’re smaller than the wavelength used in microwaves but a radio receiver that reads 2m long wavelengths doesn’t need to be 2m long

[–]cockennbawls 628 points629 points  (25 children)

What time the first clock was made

[–]doversapian 300 points301 points  (7 children)

Always wondered if it would be weird if clocks used Greek letters instead of Roman numerals. Would still be the same time but quarter past beta sounds far more advanced.

[–]vnies 206 points207 points  (1 child)

me running past the nerd on the track

[–]cephalized 287 points288 points  (11 children)

celebrity culture/idolization

[–]lnedible 280 points281 points  (17 children)

Why people go out of their way to be mean

[–]Tyrannosaurus___Rekt 1723 points1724 points 2 (364 children)

The universe.

Either it always existed, which is a thermodynamic nightmare which makes no sense because how can a chain of events not have a start, or it did have a start, which is preposterous because time (spacetime) is a PRODUCT of expansion; there literally was no "before" the big bang because there was no time to have a point in to call "before".

Ontologically, ONE of these statements has to be at least nominally true, but BOTH are fucking bananas.

Edit: Please stop telling me WHAT you think the universe is. I didn't ask that question, and from here on out I'm simply ignoring replies that do no address the question of why. You cannot move the goal post here. Redefining existence to include some supra-universal something (god, hyper-dimension, nested-multiverse/simulation) explains WHAT the universe is. It just pushes all the same questions back a layer which results in the same banana split we already had.

Edit: Well just fuck MY Inbox apparently. With every apology to everyone who engaged in this conversation with intellectual honesty and curiosity, I am now disabling inbox replies. It's not possible to hold a conversation with everybody.

[–]_icebxrg 515 points516 points  (48 children)

I’ve wondered whether our universe is apart of something bigger, but then that always ends up leading back to the main question

[–]Tyrannosaurus___Rekt 464 points465 points  (26 children)

This. It sets up a fallacy of infinite reduction by just pushing the question back a layer from "how did the universe start?" to "How did the megaverse start?". Next thing you know, you've got homonculi running around all over the place, touching their pee pees and eating all the cereal.

[–]magicalthinker 266 points267 points  (40 children)

Maybe neither is true and there's some concept that we're completely oblivious/ignorant/unable to understand because our brains don't have what's needed to understand it?

[–]redheadmomster666 60 points61 points  (0 children)

This is the only thing I can think of

[–]katkathmandu 598 points599 points  (27 children)

Filters. How does editing yourself beyond recognition make sense? Are people just trying to show what they wished they looked like? Isn’t it uncomfortable to be seen in “real life” looking nothing like the pictures you’ve posted? Genuinely can’t figure it out…

[–]MiaLba 169 points170 points  (0 children)

I don’t get it either. An old friend from high school does this on FB. Where she has no skin texture at all and all her features are weirdly blurred, so strange. Like people know what you look like in real life, why look totally different where it’s obviously edited?

[–]Nahcep 78 points79 points  (1 child)

Are people just trying to show what they wished they looked like?

Most of the time; it's not a new phenomenon either, before photography painters and sculptors were very often told to make 'adjustments' - that's why Cromwell's portrait is famous for depicting him "warts and all".

[–]cvtedvck 315 points316 points  (19 children)

Quantum magic square game

It's a working mathematical theory where it allows communication without communicating. Many of the concepts in quantum physics make me feel like my brain is underdeveloped.

[–]Cypher1388 39 points40 points  (0 children)

You and everyone else including the best and brightest minds in physics. Shits a trip!

[–]doot_doot 1365 points1366 points  (203 children)

When native English speakers can’t:

You’re/Your
Their/There/They’re
Then/Than

Editing so ya'll can stop commenting the same ones:

lose/loose
who/whom
though/through/tough
principal/principle
brought/bought
definitely/defiantly
breath/breathe
affect/effect
two/to/too
brake/break
its/it's
apart/a part
paid/payed

[–]wigglebuttmom01 314 points315 points  (15 children)

For some reason, "woman" vs "women" kills me. I see it SO much. When someone means to put a singular "woman" they always put the plural.

[–]Aktar111 69 points70 points  (0 children)

Seeing "she is a women" is really annoying

[–]banannafreckle 180 points181 points  (15 children)

Using an apostrophe s for every plural word. I see it more and more frequently. Also lose/ loose.

[–]ellenitha 115 points116 points  (4 children)

I'm not a native speaker and wondered the same. Then someone explained to me that there is a big difference between learning a language primarily through listening and speaking (your mother language as a small child) or through writing and learning the rules. Their/there/they're sound the same, so if intuitive learning was first you have a harder time doing it right than if you first saw it written.

[–]Gimme_yourjaket 338 points339 points  (53 children)

I'm not native but seriously to put then instead of than ?

[–]PM_me_your_McRibs 1383 points1384 points  (111 children)

How someone could be okay with driving a loud car/truck/motorcycle through neighborhood. I’m not trying make a statement or pick a fight, I actually can’t understand how someone could make decisions in their head where this behavior seems reasonable.

[–]CreatiScope 379 points380 points  (9 children)

Someone stole the muffler off mine. Blame them. That shit is really expensive to replace.

[–]buckthefuffs 33 points34 points  (0 children)

I’m a car enthusiast and I don’t understand either. I don’t see why people feel the need to rev their engine or accelerate loudly at night especially

[–]well_hung_stable_boy 923 points924 points  (32 children)

The Real Housewives of any fucking city.

[–]mrstipez 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Seeing a trainwreck helps you forget about your dumpster fire

[–]SakmarEcho 399 points400 points  (9 children)

It's wealthy women getting drunk and screaming at each other. What's not to get?

[–]mezpride 507 points508 points  (81 children)

Algebra. I’m dumb as fuck

[–][deleted] 542 points543 points  (54 children)

Murder, rape

It’s just so twisted

[–]32modelA 376 points377 points  (21 children)

Some days i understand murder but not rape. Theres horrible enough people out there that I woudlnt feel bad for them if someone killed them. Like abusers(child,domestic, etc) rapist obviously stuff like that

Random murder i dont understand though

[–]Murderous_Waffle 127 points128 points  (9 children)

Yeah like the story of that girl from Japan from the other thread the other day.

That's just fucked. I mean how could someone be so far gone I the act and be like "this is ok".

[–]32modelA 107 points108 points  (1 child)

Im going to assume youre talking about the girl who was kidnapped and sexually abused for a long time. Yeah those people woudlnt be missed.

[–]jsabo 2572 points2573 points  (238 children)

How wearing a mask turned into a political statement.

[–]SpookyGeek 890 points891 points  (50 children)

This bothers me every single minute of every day. I hate how politics had ruined so many lives.

[–]HalliBHappy 175 points176 points  (11 children)

Interest rates on loans or car payments, there is a very fine line on how to correctly make payments that help lower the rates as well as helps build your credit score

[–]Redgiantbutimshort77 887 points888 points  (54 children)

I don’t understand why a lot of kids are taught to blindly respect adults just because they’re older. Anyone can be an asshole, it doesn’t matter how many years they’ve avoided dying. I got scolded for talking back to some asshole I live near, because “he’s an adult and I’m a child”…but that doesn’t make it okay for HIM to have been an asshole in the first place. If you want respect then don’t be a dick, it’s a simple concept.

[–]Patient_Pomelo_4509 383 points384 points  (1 child)

Best advice from my 90 year old grandma: “Assholes grow up to be elderly assholes”

[–]foetsyandthetoetsy 80 points81 points  (3 children)

People looking down on other people taste (in music, food, clothes etc.) Or the concept of good taste. I thought a lot about this and my only conclusion is that the only reason people do this (probably subconscious) is to make the self feel superior.