The Universal Explainer

by Jay Scott and Elliott Moreton.

You can now explain anything to anyone.

* reasons that something is the case
o It’s a trivial corollary of Tychonoff’s Theorem.
o It’s one of those non-hierarchical dynamic facilitation effects.
o It fits the theory better.
o Sister Mary Ignatius said so.
o That’s the natural order of things.
o By assumption.
o By definition.
o By induction.
o It’s epistemologically prior.
o Quantum effects.
* reasons that something seems to be the case, but isn’t
o It’s just a social construct.
o It’s all in the mind.
o Of course, that’s only if you believe in the axiom of choice.
o It’s just a trick of perspective.
* reasons that something was done
o It’s an election year.
o It’s in the contract.
o The court ordered it.
o For economies of scale.
o It’s good PR.
o Precedent.
o Popular sentiment.
o To maintain the dominance of the patriarchy.
o Their parents made them do it.
o It’s a stylistic convention.
o They’re only following orders.
o They did it for Jodie Foster.
* reasons something should be done
o The Russians are doing it, so we’d better do it too.
o The Russians are doing it, so we’d better not do it.
o It’ll look good on TV (or, on your resume).
* reasons that something is not so good
o They ran out of money halfway through.
o I guess they must just notta been thinkin’.
o The workers were alienated and marginalized.
o The alumni made them do it.
o EPA regulations.
o It’s a union work rule.
o It’s cultural inertia.
o Internal friction.
o Well, they’re still on the Julian calendar.
* reasons for the existence of something
o That’s just for the tourists (or, voters).
o It’s an IBM compatibility feature.
o It was tax deductible.
o That’s an artifact of the process.
o Interest rates were lower back then.
o Must be some religion.
* reasons to believe somebody
o Trust me, I’m a native speaker.
o Trust me, I majored in that.
o It’s my professional judgment.
* reasons why you can’t explain
o It would make sense if you understood Hegel.
o We’ll cover that in 402.
o I’d have to see the source code to answer that.
o It’s beyond the scope of this paper.
* other reasons
o Yeah, but that’s different!
o They were fleeing religious persecution.
o Just look at the unit circle.
o Well, they’re isomorphic.
o The speed of light is finite.

You can find lots of explanations for the same thing! Cross categories creatively!

* Why is the sky blue?
o It’s an IBM compatibility feature.
* Why don’t my friends write back to me?
o They ran out of money halfway through.
o To maintain the dominance of the patriarchy.
* Why are computer chips so cheap?
o Well, they’re isomorphic.
o It would make sense if you understood Hegel.