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Humor

FREEDO
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2/1/2011 12:00:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
A broad question that is certainly interesting: What is the science of humor? Why do we generally find certain things humorous? What is the evolutionary purpose? Why are certain things found funny by some but not by others? What role does humor play in society? I have this hunch that it's a lot more important than we think. Offer any articles or studies who think are superb on explaining any of these questions and discuss.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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2/1/2011 12:52:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The human brain is a natural pattern finding machine.. It is said that when the brain recognizes an unexpected pattern, it is found to be funny.

I don't there is an evolutionary purpose to this, as there really isn't an evolutionary purpose to anything, but it is certainly a by product of human intelligence.

Why do some people find one thing funny, while others find that same thing to be unfunny? People might not recognize the same patterns.. A lot of it I think has to do with a closed mind.. The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open.

For example, I find the album "Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart to be pants shittingly hilarious, while someone else might listen to it, and dismiss it as a bunch of noise and crap. If that same person opened their mind, and listened to it as if it wasn't a bunch of wanking dissonance, they might see the humor in it.

If you have a truly open mind, and see everything as art, you tend to have a good sense of humor. You really start to see your place in the grand scheme of things. Everything is absurd, you are more aware of what is going on around you, and as a result perceive more patterns... Especially unexpected ones. Thus, you tend to laugh more, and you have a better sense of humor. It becomes hard to take anything that seriously.

That variable unaccounted for ends up being your best friend, a way of life even. A great source of amusement... A teacher even. Some people think it is random.. Some people think it is god.. Really, it is just the limits of our own perception smacking us in the face. There is something intrinsically funny about it.
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tvellalott
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2/1/2011 1:48:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
An interesting question FREEDO, to be sure.
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Cliff.Stamp
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2/2/2011 12:11:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Consider early man and the extremely harsh environment, now further consider the point at which they started being self-reflective and asking the big questions :

... why are we here, what is the purpose of existence, why did this happen to me, or even what did he mean by that?

Now at this point consider an individual who has no sense of humor vs one who does.

The same benefits of having a sense of humor now would also be of use then, even maybe more so because of the greater suffering.
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/2/2011 12:38:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Without humor, life would not be worth living.

You pretty much need to lie to yourself and create religions in order to give your life meaning.

Life without humor is so bleak.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/2/2011 2:27:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
When I think of humor research, I think of a bunch of guys in white lab coats burning banana cream pies on Bunsen burners and looking at clown shoes under a microscope.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/2/2011 2:42:34 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
vardas0antras
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2/5/2011 2:01:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/2/2011 2:42:34 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:


I LOVE these videos !!!!!
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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2/7/2011 8:20:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/1/2011 12:52:03 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
I don't there is an evolutionary purpose to this, as there really isn't an evolutionary purpose to anything...

Isn't the evolutionary purpose supposed to be survival? I'm sure humor is helpful to human psychology in some way. In fact I took a class with a psych professor who is studying humor and asking some of the same questions Freedo is: why do we find things funny, how is it useful, etc.

Why do some people find one thing funny, while others find that same thing to be unfunny? People might not recognize the same patterns.. A lot of it I think has to do with a closed mind.. The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open...

If you have a truly open mind, and see everything as art, you tend to have a good sense of humor. You really start to see your place in the grand scheme of things.

Eh, c'est possible. One phenomenon I find interesting is how traumatic events are later funny (sometimes). An example of something one might find hilarious while one doesn't is seeing someone get injured. Does the person who expresses concern instead of amusement at seeing someone fall not have an open mind? That sounds like a naive and overly simplistic explanation of differing taste. I mean I see WHY some could see it as funny, but I don't think one who sees the humor in everything is somehow more enlightened. They just have a different perspective.
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Ragnar_Rahl
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2/7/2011 8:32:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Isn't the evolutionary purpose supposed to be survival?
No. First, there is no purpose to evolution. It's by definition an accident.

Second, evolution promotes reproduction, not longevity.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/7/2011 9:23:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/7/2011 8:20:01 PM, theLwerd wrote:
Isn't the evolutionary purpose supposed to be survival? I'm sure humor is helpful to human psychology in some way. In fact I took a class with a psych professor who is studying humor and asking some of the same questions Freedo is: why do we find things funny, how is it useful, etc.

It is helpful. Because of our higher cognitive ability, we are prone to get really serious about things. I would say that most crippling mental illnesses are due to being overly serious. Everything is fine, but if you are too serious, you often times fail to realize this. Humor naturally develops as you learn to stop taking things so seriously. A well developed and true sense of humor is a sign of strong mental health. Of course, to someone who is overly serious, it looks like it is insanity... Of course, us crazy folk know better. ;p

However, Like Ragnar said, evolution does not have a purpose. If a mutation takes place, and it just so happens that it gets passed on to offspring and carries on.. Well, then there you go. Maladaptive mutations tend to make survival harder, so they are less likely to be carried on.

Humor also is a great driving force in creativity if you ask me.

Does the person who expresses concern instead of amusement at seeing someone fall not have an open mind? That sounds like a naive and overly simplistic explanation of differing taste. I mean I see WHY some could see it as funny, but I don't think one who sees the humor in everything is somehow more enlightened. They just have a different perspective.

I realized this when making the video, so I changed the wording to "In many cases".
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
mistavega
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2/10/2011 5:30:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/2/2011 2:42:34 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:


Why did you post that? I think what stood out the most was the exorbitant size of your gargantuan forehead. I thought it was a basketball court from far away.
badger
Posts: 11,793
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2/10/2011 5:46:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/7/2011 8:20:01 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 2/1/2011 12:52:03 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
I don't there is an evolutionary purpose to this, as there really isn't an evolutionary purpose to anything...

Isn't the evolutionary purpose supposed to be survival? I'm sure humor is helpful to human psychology in some way. In fact I took a class with a psych professor who is studying humor and asking some of the same questions Freedo is: why do we find things funny, how is it useful, etc.

laughter makes things comfortable. that'd be beneficial for social animals, wouldn't it? a way to ease possibly dangerous tension?

Why do some people find one thing funny, while others find that same thing to be unfunny? People might not recognize the same patterns.. A lot of it I think has to do with a closed mind.. The mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work unless it is open...

If you have a truly open mind, and see everything as art, you tend to have a good sense of humor. You really start to see your place in the grand scheme of things.

Eh, c'est possible. One phenomenon I find interesting is how traumatic events are later funny (sometimes). An example of something one might find hilarious while one doesn't is seeing someone get injured. Does the person who expresses concern instead of amusement at seeing someone fall not have an open mind? That sounds like a naive and overly simplistic explanation of differing taste. I mean I see WHY some could see it as funny, but I don't think one who sees the humor in everything is somehow more enlightened. They just have a different perspective.
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MisterTTG
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3/21/2011 1:29:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Calvin: When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny.
Don't you think it's odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?

Hobbes: I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.

Calvin: . . . .

Calvin: I can't tell if that's funny or really scary.
FREEDO
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3/21/2011 4:10:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/21/2011 1:29:58 AM, MisterTTG wrote:
Calvin: When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny.
Don't you think it's odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?

Hobbes: I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.

Calvin: . . . .


Calvin: I can't tell if that's funny or really scary.

Thank you. This deserved a bump.
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darkkermit
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3/21/2011 2:03:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Since there's no evolutionary benefit, my best guess is that humor has something to do with signaling. What it signals, I'm not entirely sure. But, it is very important in social relationships.

It's just amazing how important it is. It's so important to mental health and one of the main things a female looks for in a male is a good sense of humor.
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darkkermit
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3/21/2011 2:05:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Apparently the signal is intelligence. Wasn't 100% sure. I wonder if there have been studies linking intelligence with humor:

In The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller argues rather persuasively that humor is an honest signal of 'mate-quality'. Through a synthesis of Darwinian 'sexual selection' and Zahavi's 'signal selection' he asserts that humor demonstrates the evolutionarily advantageous quality of intelligence. The engagement in humor by a man is an honest signal to women that he's of superior intellectual capacity
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CosmicAlfonzo
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3/23/2011 12:10:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just because something doesn't have an evolutionary purpose doesn't mean that it doesn't have an evolutionary benefit.

Life would be awfully miserable without humor. If anything, humor is a healthy way to cope with out own mental illness. It is a healthy way to cope with how utterly fvcked the outside world and humanity is. The people who take these things too seriously are not only mentally ill, but they are stupid for thinking they can do anything at all to change what is happening. Trying to save the world is an exercise in futility, so learn to laugh at it.

In the impossible event that everyone starts laughing with you, you've unwittingly changed the world.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ore_Ele
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3/23/2011 12:20:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:10:42 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Just because something doesn't have an evolutionary purpose doesn't mean that it doesn't have an evolutionary benefit.

Life would be awfully miserable without humor. If anything, humor is a healthy way to cope with out own mental illness. It is a healthy way to cope with how utterly fvcked the outside world and humanity is. The people who take these things too seriously are not only mentally ill, but they are stupid for thinking they can do anything at all to change what is happening. Trying to save the world is an exercise in futility, so learn to laugh at it.

In the impossible event that everyone starts laughing with you, you've unwittingly changed the world.

Not to mention the physical effects that stress has on the body (and laughter fights stress).
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darkkermit
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3/23/2011 12:55:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:10:42 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Just because something doesn't have an evolutionary purpose doesn't mean that it doesn't have an evolutionary benefit.

No, the two are one in the same.

Life would be awfully miserable without humor.

Of course. But, why would there

If anything, humor is a healthy way to cope with out own mental illness. It is a healthy way to cope with how utterly fvcked the outside world and humanity is.

It's not a satisfactory explanation? It doesn't solve the problem at hand at all.

The people who take these things too seriously are not only mentally ill, but they are stupid for thinking they can do anything at all to change what is happening. Trying to save the world is an exercise in futility, so learn to laugh at it.

I do not deny that lack of laughter causes mentally illness. There's just has to be an evolutionary explanation for it. Of course, trying to "save" the world, whatever that means, is a difficult task which would likely lead to some form of depression, due to its likely failure.

In the impossible event that everyone starts laughing with you, you've unwittingly changed the world.

Again, not an explanation. Just a description.
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Ore_Ele
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3/23/2011 1:02:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 12:55:58 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 3/23/2011 12:10:42 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Just because something doesn't have an evolutionary purpose doesn't mean that it doesn't have an evolutionary benefit.

No, the two are one in the same.


Life would be awfully miserable without humor.

Of course. But, why would there

If anything, humor is a healthy way to cope with out own mental illness. It is a healthy way to cope with how utterly fvcked the outside world and humanity is.

It's not a satisfactory explanation? It doesn't solve the problem at hand at all.

The people who take these things too seriously are not only mentally ill, but they are stupid for thinking they can do anything at all to change what is happening. Trying to save the world is an exercise in futility, so learn to laugh at it.

I do not deny that lack of laughter causes mentally illness. There's just has to be an evolutionary explanation for it. Of course, trying to "save" the world, whatever that means, is a difficult task which would likely lead to some form of depression, due to its likely failure.

In the impossible event that everyone starts laughing with you, you've unwittingly changed the world.

Again, not an explanation. Just a description.

Laughter fights stress (which has negative health effects).

Assuming humor started as a random mutation (as it is believed that all did), humor would act as a de-stresser for the first animals that obtained it, thus giving them a benefit, making it evolutionarily plausible.

However there could be other theories as well, that it is merely a side effect of our brains' abilities to recognize patterns, like a defect that wasn't bad enough for evolution to weed out.
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darkkermit
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3/23/2011 1:08:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/23/2011 1:02:37 PM, OreEle wrote:

Assuming humor started as a random mutation (as it is believed that all did), humor would act as a de-stresser for the first animals that obtained it, thus giving them a benefit, making it evolutionarily plausible.

However there could be other theories as well, that it is merely a side effect of our brains' abilities to recognize patterns, like a defect that wasn't bad enough for evolution to weed out.

Yet stress also has evolutionary benefits. You can't say that one mutation existed to fight another mutation, if that has a significant important. Otherwise, why obtain the stress response in the first place?

It's like saying an evolutionary trait that stops physical pain is good. However, the pain exists for good reasons.
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