Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 13:54:06 +0100 (MET)

On Wed, 22 Jan 1997 wrote:

> I'm curious about the role that humor plays in memetic propagation. I've
> suggested that a joke innoculates us from infection by the meme that it
> targets. As confirmation, I note that libertarian humorists P.J. O'Rourke
> and Dave Berry have taught millions to laugh at statism.
> But can humor also, like art generally, *encourage* the propagation of memes?
> Or does it only create meme antibodies?

Humor (ideally) creates positive feelings in both the listener and the
joker (who becomes the center of positive attention). This gives humorous
memes an excellent bait and hook: you remember them because they caused
you to laugh, and you will tell them if you think the audience will laugh.

A humorous meme doesn't have to be a contra-meme, many jokes are positive
to the target.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y