•  176
    People have said for generations that money is based on "trust," or "shared fiction." But that doesn't explain why cultures all eventually come to value the same metals or items as money. Others have said that the value of money depends on the way it facilitates trade, but even that doesn't explain where the value emerges before people agree to use money to trade. In actuality, there's a real value to gold, silver, and other forms of money that makes them reliably gain worth to people, and will …Read more
  •  508
    Scientists have complained about the inconsistency and politics of academic publishing for hundreds of years. Among the explanations offered are that evaluators lack time and use shortcuts, that they lack the expertise to judge things properly, that they can't put aside personal biases and we must hide the names of authors, and that they are conscientious instead of creative and cannot judge new ideas. All of these are actually wrong. As a literary analyst, I spent the last ten years independent…Read more
  •  1787
    A short, clear and complete theory that explains the origins and properties of the human humor instinct, which has been the subject of incomplete research for thousands of years. The paper's theory uses evolutionary psychology and a basic informal equation, and unites the findings of the previous theories, including explaining the logical basis behind many types of humor as well as the common sayings associated with it.
  •  1081
    This paper introduces the "Status Loss Theory of Humor," as detailed in "How Humor Works" and "How Humor Works, Part II" , in a single page. This theory has the potential to fully, clearly, and naturally explain the human humor instinct, and has made predictions that are being confirmed by other studies.
  •  892
    This paper takes the Status Loss Theory (introduced and explained in the first "How Humor Works" paper), and applies it to 40 real-world examples, including memes, radio and TV shows, movie and comic book tropes, song parodies, humor sayings, stand-up comedy cliches, known psychological quirks of humor, and more, to demonstrate the theory's potential to function as the first clear, complete, logical, and simple basis for defining, studying, and understanding humor in all of its forms.
  •  1294
    Aristotle's Poetics has been the basis for theories of entertainment for over 2,000 years. But the general approach it uses has led to a number of gaps, contradictions, and difficulties in predicting the success of books, plays, movies, and entertainment as a whole, so much so that sayings like "there are no rules, but you break them at your peril," and "in Hollywood, nobody knows anything" have become widespread and accepted. However, it turns out that a model of entertainment that defines lite…Read more