July 17, 2017 5:57 AM   Subscribe

Sketchplanations is a Tumblr/mailing list wherein Jono Hey draws a quick explanation of a thing each week or so, ranging from the browse line ("A distinctive line below which you don’t tend to see leaves or branches in places with animals that like eating leaves or branches.") to the beard cycle, an example of negative frequency-dependent selection.
posted by Etrigan (9 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Of note: features the common whelk.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:43 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

The peak-end rule really explains a lot about how I feel about my time in the Navy. It was generally pretty horrible and stressful, but it had high peaks and a not so terrible end, so now I look fondly back on it. I imagine lots of other veterans would agree.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

*wastes morning watching architect writing videos*
posted by thelonius at 7:23 AM on July 17, 2017

OMG don't you hate it when artists sketchsplain everything to you? Like you're out doing poetry and then some artist walks up to you and starts sketchsplaining the very shit you were just poeticizing about, right in the middle of your sonnet. I'm like, "hey artface, why don't you go sketchspain my foot kicking your ass???"

AND THEN some goddamn danceplaner waltzes by and starts doing some jazz ballet about your architecture!

Uh ... OK, now that I've written that all out, could someone do me a solid and draw a picture of a dog turd yelling at a dog's ass? Maybe with an arrow pointing toward the turd, and the word "QUIDNUNC" written there? Like, it means, "quidnunc is a stupid piece of dog shit". No but tell me if you need a wordsplanation of that. Or ... "turdsplanation", I guess.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:40 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Nanukthedog : common whelk vs the whelk ?
posted by k5.user at 7:55 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Quite nice! Mixture of things I should have known, great new ideas and common sense encapsulated in a really efficient way.
posted by TreeRooster at 9:04 AM on July 17, 2017

oooh, this is nice
posted by rebent at 1:08 PM on July 17, 2017

I was expecting the beard cycle to be more like:
clean shaven > scratchy > itchy > beard > annoyingly long beard, requires actual maintenance > silly mustache > clean shaven.

But apparently that's just me.
posted by rockindata at 2:14 PM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't think that the study linked to support the beard cycle theory actually does (although its authors talk that idea up). The "population" being referred to is a population of photographic images of faces, being viewed during a short session. While the data is supportive of the existence of negative frequency-dependent selection in human assessments of attractiveness, the behaviour demonstrated is purely synchronic in nature. The claim about the beard cycle is that there is a diachronic process whereby negative frequency-dependent selection shapes changing tastes and fashions at a historical level. That's not implausible, but it's an extrapolation that would need to be supported by evidence, particularly given the apparently very unpredictable nature of changing tastes as observed in the world.
posted by howfar at 3:46 PM on July 17, 2017

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