extropians: Re: Humor and Intelligence

Re: Humor and Intelligence

Carol Tilley (tilley@worldnet.att.net)
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 18:55:47 -0700

From: Sasha Chislenko
> I have a little piece on humor and intelligence at
> http://www.lucifer...
> It suggests that humor is a reaction to semantic exceptions.

"It is natural to expect that increasingly intelligent organisms would pay attention to increasingly complex surprises - including those that challenge their internal models of the world by suggesting unexpected connections between different ideas and interpretations." (SC)

And is the net not 'the most excellent' of boards upon which to play this latest version of the glass bead game?

"The first and most important common project of humans was joint construction of the mental models of the world. The cooperation went through the language, by sharing facts for building models, passing models that seemed right - AND sharing unexpected twists that either challenge the models, or help define limits of their applicability, or teach when [not] to use them, or just train your brain ..." (SC)

A bit like this list dontcha think?

And there is this to add to the chain:
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
"I'll give you a hint. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

And to lend some credibility to your freudian comments about the sublimation of sexual drive and to counterbalance the predominately male culture of this list, I submit this example of _female_ humor: Cameron Tuttle's The Bad Girl's Guide To The Open Road (BTW Cameron is a woman.)
"A car is a huge vibrator on wheels: All a girl really needs to get some satisfaction is a car, a tank of gas, a bumpy road, and a tight pair of jeans."
But then, perhaps, this is more Minsky-esque in attacking "the rules of common sense, in a safe and socially acceptable manner." And here _safe and socially acceptable_ are problematical. Disparate tolerances for group humor as opposed to individual humor or is it more disparate tolerances for the gender of origination?

Ahhh, but time to retire the dictionary and retreat to Egan's Teranesia...however hesitant I am upon reading the intro: "...(his) most ambitious and accessible novel yet." A contradiction in my eyes.

So, Natasha, is this what you meant by an etude?

C. Tilley ...passing the instrument to the person beside me in this great circle.