Re: Minsky on jokes

Omega (
Fri, 31 Jan 1997 12:40:36 -0800


Liked your post about Minsky and humor.

> Okay! Freud noticed jokes often have to do with taboos. So he said
> that humor seems to have to do with censors (his hypothesized thingies
> that stop you from thinking in certain directions).

I think this might be a fruitful idea to explore. Like someone said
the other day, authoritarian cults seem to despise humor. I don't
know if this is actually true or not, but if true, it might be some-
thing that could lead us to a deeper understanding in this area.

> But Minsky's idea of laughter as a sudden drastic intervention is
> strikingly plausible and doesn't have a counterpart (that I can see--
> I haven't read Tom's paper) in the immunity metaphor. It points out
> that thoughts are fast, singular events taking place over a whole brain
> at once, instead of slow-moving, gradual-working *little* particles
> coming in hoards of duplicates like germs or genes or antibodies.

This is also an excellent point. When we start to look at thoughts
(and memes as well) objects we need to keep in mind the limits of our

In the Ecstatic Service of Life -- Omega