People Admit, “I Can’t Understand This No Matter How Many Times It’s Explained”

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You must have searched for “explain concept X to me like I am 5”. While you will often find simplified versions of complex concepts, there has to be that one thing you cannot seem to understand, no matter how simply it is explained to you. What is this concept for you? 

A reader on a popular online forum asked, “What concept do you not understand no matter how many times it’s explained?” Here are some of the top responses others shared. 

1. Why Can’t I Whistle With My Fingers?

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Whistling may look like fun and a simple thing to do, but many people cannot pull it off, no matter how hard they try. 

The comment with the most upvotes on the thread said, “How to whistle with your fingers in your mouth. I can whistle breathing in, out, and with my mouth fully open, but I get nothing but spit when I try with my fingers in my mouth.” 

2. Sewing Machines: It’s Not Just About the Bobbin!

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While learning how to operate the sewing machine and sew in itself is not a problem, the concept of how it works is rocket science to many people, as revealed in the comment section. 

One of the comments said, “How a sewing machine works. Yes, I know, “there’s a bobbin.” BUT HOW DOES THE THREAD GET BACK THROUGH THE OTHER SIDE?? I’ve sewn my whole life. I’ve seen little diagrams and videos of how the bobbin loops the thread around the needle. I still don’t get it.” 

Interestingly, this is also a problem for people who have been working with sewing machines for a long time. 

Even video illustrations do not explain the concept well enough to some people: “Ok, I just watched a video of how a sewing machine works, and it hurts my brain. Let’s just say it’s magic.”

3. Computers: How Do They Even Work?

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While we all know how to operate our computers, the real complicated issue comes when you try to understand how they work. How do they take in the information we feed and display the needed feedback? How does information processing work? 

One commenter said, “My problem is how computers work and play complicated games.”

Another responder, obviously more knowledgeable in the field, said, “I’m a software developer, and people often ask me if I can explain how computers work. I usually say, “Yes, but it will take 10 to 15 hours a week for 3 or 4 months.” The problem is ‘How do computers work?’ is composed of many questions rolled into one. All you have to do is understand binary arithmetic, boolean logic, logic gates, and flip-flops. Then, that will give you the background you need to understand instruction pipelines. It’s pretty easy, but VERY time-consuming.” 

While he gave people hope that it is an understandable concept, he let them know that it is not something you understand in a day. 

4. Crypto: How Did They Turn Digital Coins Into Real Cash?

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Crypto millionaires always try to explain how the entire thing made them rich. While the information is all over, many people cannot process Bitcoin transactions and how they translate into money. 

One commenter who has made peace that they would never understand this said, “Cryptocurrency. And before anyone starts, please do not try to explain it to me. I’m over trying to make sense of it.”

5. NFTs: It’s Just a Picture, Right?

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Not long ago, the internet was full of people trying to convince others to acquire images that were supposedly making people filthy rich. 

While a lot of people joined the bandwagon, there was still a group that could not understand the whole NFT thing. How is the value placed on the images? Who decides what value they have? And who determines their value appreciation and depreciation? 

One commenter said, “Also NFTs. It’s a picture… how do you get the value of it?”

Trying to shed some light, one user responded by saying, “Actually NFT’s aren’t even pictures in most cases; they are just links to pictures; the value comes from everyone agreeing that you own the link to the artwork since it says so on the blockchain (which can be manipulated and is therefore trusted).”

6. The Complicated Home Buying Process

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Buying a house is one of the most significant commitments people ever make. However, the process is typically cumbersome and time-consuming. If you have the cash or financing options, you should be able to spot a house, inspect it, and close on it. But this is never the case.

The real process often comes as a shock to many first-time buyers as the actual steps involved are never talked about enough.

One user said, “The home buying process. Why is it so complicated? Why can’t I be like, “Here is the money … give me the house. I understand how to take out a loan and the concept of paying back the loan, but suddenly add a house, and it is “Well, do you have an ABCD and an EFG? Oh, you don’t? Well, you’ll need to see if you qualify for an LMNOP. But even if you have your loan and an ABCD, the seller may want an HIJK, and the house will need to XY & Z. OH! But to make the process a little easier to understand, you can take a QRSTUV course!”

7. Taxes: Why Do Numbers Suddenly Get So Confusing?

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While governments and different finance organizations typically offer detailed tax information, many people cannot wrap their minds around tax filing. 

People who understand it admit that it is so easy, and nobody should pay anyone to do their taxes, but this seems to be the only way out for people who don’t understand it. 

One commenter said, “Taxes. The minute my brain hears numbers in quick succession, it self-destructs.”

You would think that mathematicians should have no problems with finance, taxes and such, but it is not always the case: “I am a Mathematician. I have a degree. But as soon as my beloved numbers turn from a concept into currency, I’m out. The monkey plays cymbals in my head. The worst thing is, as soon as people realize I have a degree in Math, they tend to ask me that stuff. And yet, explaining the stock market to me like I’m five still wouldn’t be dumbing it down enough.

8. Health Insurance: Even Medical Workers Are Puzzled!

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Many assume medical workers would understand how health insurance and plans work, but one of them revealed that they, too, are in the dark. 

They revealed, “Insurance – I understand interpreting and choosing insurance plans, but I work in pharmacy, and running someone’s insurance to approve their RX’s is a confusing nightmare. Every pharmacy employee I’ve worked with has told me, “None of us understand how it works. We learn what override codes to input to make it go through. You’d be surprised how much of it is trial and error of just typing into the computer and hitting enter to see if it’ll work.”

9. Why Add Letters to Numbers to Do Math?

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While some commenters specified difficulty in math concepts such as geometry, calculus, or algebra, some dismissed the entire thing. 

One who had a problem said, “Math above the basics. Once you add the alphabet, fractions, and Greek letters, it’s become Chinese to me. The difference between Chinese and math is that I could understand Chinese if it was taught to me.”

10. Tell Me Again Which Way Is East?

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When Google Maps instructs to turn left or right, everybody understands what to do. Besides, we all know where north, east, south, and west are on a compass direction drawn on paper. 

The issue comes in when we have to apply this knowledge in real life. What turn do you take when Google Maps tells you to head East? 

One commenter who has been trying hard to figure this out said, “Which way is East, North, South and West? My husband used to try and teach me by turning my body and asking what direction is this. I was like, how do I know??? So, I’ve always relied on “OK, is that a left or a right-hand turn?” 

Others agreed that adding a built-in compass in the dashboard of most newer cars has been one of the best inventions since the wheel.

9 Signs You’re Smarter Than Average and Three Signs You’re Not

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Do you think you’re smarter than most of the population? Check out these signs to see if you make the cut or if you should go back to school. 

9 Signs You’re Smarter Than Average and Three Signs You’re Not

9 Unexpected Habits of Geniuses (And 1 That’s Definitely Not)

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Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

A genius doesn’t always look like you think they’re going to look. You may not find them buried in a book or lecturing in front of a class. While it is possible to find geniuses in the library or lecture hall, it is also possible to find them on the couch or up late at night.

While there has been debate about how accurate current intelligence tests are in measuring how smart people are, scientists have found that geniuses do share many of the same habits. In fact, you may be surprised by some of these habits that geniuses share. From daydreaming to cold showers, here are the habits you may not expect from today’s geniuses.

9 Unexpected Habits of Geniuses (And 1 That’s Definitely Not)

9 Signs You’re Good With Money (And 3 Signs You’ll Go Broke)

woman with money in red shirt - MassonShutterstock
Image Credit: Masson/Shutterstock

If you’re handling your finances well, there will be signs. Likewise, if you’re hemorrhaging money, there will be red flags – maybe more glaring in retrospect. Check out this slideshow for signs you’re on the right financial track (and three signs you need to correct course right away).

9 Signs You’re Good With Money (And 3 Signs You’ll Go Broke)

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I am deeply passionate about making money online, saving money, investing correctly, traveling affordably and living frugally.