Saturday, December 29, 2012

Humor Analysis Update

Skimming through the list of Published Articles in HUMOR, 1988-2010...

I noted that my approach to writing about humor differs slightly: 

At this point in my exploration of humor, I am a growing nonexistent presence in the academia of humor studies. 

On Facebook I have 4,025 friends and 2,192 subscribers to my posts. My posts are not always funny ha-ha - sometimes they're funny-interesting, or funny-peculiar, or funny-check this out, or funny-that's just life. But thanks to four or five fans and my mom, I've got an idea (as well as stats) about what some people consider funny in Facetopia. 

On Twitter I have 99 followers. Like Sheldon Cooper, I'm eagerly awaiting my 100th follower! 

My blog posts on funny concepts or concepts that others have joked about or considered funny, presented in a wide range of literary styles, have received over 1/2 million pageviews. This number nearly matches the total number of individuals - in the history of humanity - who have purposely read a scholarly publication on the subject of humor. 

(In my mind) In Raphael's The School of Athens (1509-1511), Plato points to academia's humor theories, to show the source of humor. Aristotle points downward to earth because his observations, like mine, are based in reality.

The world that makes up Sophy Laughing might not yet look like much to a traditional humor researcher, but courtesy of Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, YouTube, and a few other social media outlet sources, I have a virtual humor laboratory that provides me with instantaneous data feeds on what people are clicking on - with respect to humor. 

This morning's Tweets

This April will mark the 2nd anniversary of my exploration into humor as well as the publication of a summary of my findings of what thousands of people consider funny. 

From "likes" to "retweets" to pageviews and comments, this data is of potential value to entertainers in the field of humor as well as humor researchers. 

The topics are varied (and non-sucky) enough that some PhD student out there, grappling for a topic for his or her thesis, might even consider including this data in support of another referenced, random hypothesis. 

After all, didn't someone once report that theses receive greater interest (as well as acclaim, notoriety, and instant fame) when professors consider them entertaining to read??? 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Written Sculpture

My two greatest passions in life are books and art:

As an art enthusiast, I am delighted by the possibility inherent in the material that comprises a bound and fastened book. 

As a book lover, my heart skips a beat at the violent desecration of archives that represent the culmination of great knowledge and learning, the history of human thought. 

The imaginative prognosticator in me imagines that books will soon be downloaded into our biological brains by means of nanosensors or book transistors. 

Once we can download books into our biological brains, what will we do with the surplus of archives we have around the world? 

While the worlds surplus books could certainly serve utilitarian purposes, those of us book lovers with an artistic bent might consider written sculpture.  

For anyone who received a Nook or some other electronic reader for Christmas who is considering tossing out their old books, I thought this book art might inspire you to see a new future for this highly pliable material. 

That Time Again

It's that time of year again when most of us are thinking about building time machines. As the new year approaches, we focus day and night on the paradoxes in classical mechanics and the possibilities in quantum physics.

But this year's a little different, you see, this year we're thinking about time traveling from a whole new vantage point - from within our cognitive landscape. That's right, this year we're traveling through our mind's eye back to a time when we were younger, giving ourselves expert advice as well as a bouquet of quality skin care products. 

Then, a twist. We convince ourselves that never did more than a day pass when we didn't employ our skincare regime, never did more than a day pass when we didn't exercise, never did more than a day pass when we didn't edify ourselves with culture and classical learning. 

Instantly, we feel a tingle of vibrating particles emerge from within us, overtaking our senses, gripping our very essence. We stumble to the mirror and look upon ourselves - transformed. Not externally, mind you, but internally. We notice that the machette lines on our forehead have softened, the valleys lining our cheeks have filled in, and the sparkle by which we know ourselves is back. 

We have thought ourselves into a healthier state. We have traveled within the confines of our mind, reaching deep into our cells and rejuvenating them. Time travel isn't about our grandfather. Time travel is about us, about reconstituting ourselves into the best version of ourselves. 

Emerging from this thought experiment we realize that we can meticulously copy enhanced reproductions of ourselves upon ourselves by merely conceiving it so. The improved reproductions exist because they are copied from our thoughts, and the thoughts exist because they are copied from the reproductions in our minds. 

Unlike classical mechanics, which is filled with contradictions, there is something very freeing with quantum-like thinking. It purports to give us the reproductions of ourselves without anyone else having to expend thought in creating them - a kind of philosopher's "free lunch." 

Persuaded by possibility, we think ourselves back to the future again, this time with sufficient acceleration to violate only the limitations of our thinking, to distinguish between fact and fiction, and to raise such thoughts such as those contained herein. 

Like I say, it's that time again... when we're all thinking about building a time machine. If you lack the resources (quantum computer, nanoproduction facility, ingenuity, advanced working knowledge of mechanics and physics) to build your own time machine, you can always hop on your bicycle and ride down memory lane crafting more positive outcomes to past events, and then thinking about all the things you're going to put on your New Year's Resolution list this year that you will actually achieve, and then bask a moment or two in that future. 

We travel through time in our minds nearly every moment of the day. Why we don't travel back in our own minds and heal the ills, I do not know. Why we don't travel ahead to the pleasant outcome of today's labors, escapes me, too. 

It is for this reason that I wrote this silly, nonsensical post. To distort space-time connections within our minds back to the realm of our minds where we actually have complete control over the internal material resources with which we're naturally endowed. 

Bon Voyage! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After Christmas


An imaginary dreamworld of feeling that finds expression in the landscape of the aftermath that was Christmas Day. 

A vagueness associated with what we're "supposed to be doing today", the incompleteness of gestures (hangovers, too), the gently swaying attitudes of "let's chuck this stuff (on our To-Do List) and relax and watch a movie." 

The figures from the imaginary ballet of celebration and festivities have chosen this Day After Christmas to cease moving and thinking to just be quiet for awhile until everything aligns itself again after the New Year. 

With fleeting attention and the evocation of left-overs in the frig, who could resist a day spent in mindless television viewing, novel reading, drawing, painting, sculpting, and writing? 

Not me, that's who. 

With a massive TO-DO LIST beckoning my attention on the horizon, I choose to goof-off, even though the fêtes galantes are over.

Humor Theory

Excuse me, but can you spare a moment? I’m taking a survey here and I’d like to ask you a question. It’ll only take a minute and I won’t even ask you to fill out the comment box below this post.

What is humor?

Simple question - right?

Here's some Typical Answers from 4000 of My Closest Friends on Facebook:

"Humor is those cute little laughing babies on YouTube" and...

..."those adorable Cats who cnt spl." 

"It’s jokes and stuff that makes people laugh." 

"It’s funny text messages and auto-correct." 

"It’s a cup of coffee spilling down someone’s pants, and the hysterical laughter that follows!" 

It’s also... "when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke."

A separate but related problem is how do you know if something is funny? To answer this question, you need a theory of humor. A theory that explains both how you recognize humor, and what makes something funny – or not.

If you were to channel Oscar Wilde he’d probably say something like “No great comedian ever sees things as they really are. If he did, no one would laugh.”

The hidden implication here is that comedians have a superior sense of humor. No, really, they do. Comedians re-represent reality. They package it up differently and serve it with a side of Funny Fries.

Naturally, humor is subjective. So, what might be funny for me might not be funny for you, and visa versa. Everybody in this sense has a theory of humor, though they might not realize it.

For me, humor has become an irreplaceable theater whereby I can act out my daydreams and offer them – thanks to Blogger – for the delight of others. My blog is an easily accessible world where humor abolishes the harsh paraphernalia of words and explanations, of confrontations and arguments – even the well-meaning ones.

My little corner of the Internet has no present and no departures. The posts themselves remain permanently visible (even if you have to click on the Blog Archive on the right-hand side of this post) to access them (hint, hint!).

Relaxed, attentive, curiosity reins here. But there is also nostalgia: 1980s Ditto and Etch A Sketch Art.

Perhaps someday I will depart from sharing these humorous, fanciful whims of thought and sentiment. Even so, as long as this link remains valid, and as long as people continue to search for the videos, photos, or concepts contained herein, this blog will leisurely continue on - inviting new reflection upon a simple collection of intellectual wanderings where silence is only broken by the sound of laughter or a sudden giggle over something that resonates.

If humor resonates with you – if this blog resonates with you - I would imagine you’re the kind of person who can find humor any and everywhere you look.

I believe this to be true because in my theory of humor, we are all laughing in the same language - over the mere fact that we exist – that for me, is funny (funny, ha-ha AND funny, peculiar). 

(of the flying pizza not the post): 

If the pizza looks like it's falling downward, 
your mind is more technically inclined. 

If the pizza is folding upward,
your mind is more artistically inclined. 

Thank you for playing.


Christmas Surprise

Oh My Stars! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Formula for Simplifying Negativity Into Positivity

The general formula for simplifying negative energie is shown in the above image

When you have a positive outlook on life =  
If you encounter a negative moment = 

You can (consciously choose) to convert  

By focusing on a positive thought 

whatever that thought may be

Both positive and negative energetic expressions exist in the world. What an individual experiences is directly related to how that individual internally processes energie.

Dividing negative or positive energie along its line of demarcation naturally neutralizes it. Neutral energie can be converted into either positive and negative energetic expressions depending on the dividing thought (be that positive or negative).

The formula for converting negative energie into positive energie can be expressed utilizing an infinite number of exponents or icons:

Mastery over converting negative expressions into positive ones involves:
  1. A continuous desire to live in a positive state.
  2. The natural ability to recognize negative energie.
  3. An evolved faculty to internally neutralize negativity back into positivity.