Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Cosmic Knock-Knock Joke Hypothesis

When I answer a knock-knock joke, how do I know it’s me answering the joke and not some preprogrammed response to an algorithm?  What if our autonomic or unconscious responses are nothing more than programs responding to stimuli previously designed and encoded to elicit certain behavior? What it a potent and curious being, who simply possesses advanced knowledge on how to create artificial intelligence from which sentience may arise, is responsible for our existence?  

When the possibility of the greatest cosmic joke is raised, a question immediately follows. How do I know that there isn’t some truth behind the joke? After all, jokes could be a cosmic programmer’s way of detracting origin hunters from delving any deeper into reported program glitches like déjà vu.

What if there were a way of knowing from the inside? What if there were a way to know for sure that we are the ones answering the knock-knock joke? What if we could follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole and glimpse what lies beyond? 

The Cosmic Knock-Knock Joke Hypothesis is one that inspires the Alice within us to question the simplest things in life, such as jokes and phenomenon like déjà vu. In a time when our advancing knowledge of technology will someday soon allow us to create artificial life from which sentience may arise, should we not simultaneously be questioning whether we ourselves evolved from a similar superintelligent computer simulation? 

Perhaps prior to our existence, our species appeared in marketing advertisements in cosmic magazines like NeoVogue under the heading: Create Your Own Human; followed by the highly sought after: Create Your Own World.

It's not out of the question that throughout the history of the universe has there ever existed technology advanced enough to create sentience out of computer programs whilst simultaneously creating cosmic computer simulations of entire worlds, it is out of that child-like curiosity that we turn and look to see if there's an escape to the illusion. 

"My brain is the key that sets me free."

Like in a magic trick, every great Knock-Knock joke consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Set-Up". The comedian presents an ordinary sounding joke: 


"Who's there?" 

"How do you know it's you asking who's there?" 


The Set-Up leaves you ill at ease. But you're okay, because you know that the second part of the joke, called "The Twist", is coming. Here, the comedian takes the disturbing Set-Up and adds something else to make it funny or to quickly diffuse the seriousness of the inquiry.

"Don't worry. I was just kidding. It's a joke. Get it?

But you don't get it... you can't answer the question because you don't know the answer to the greatest cosmic Knock-Knock joke ever told. You don't actually know who's knocking and you can't be 100% certain it's even you answering. Of course, you're not really looking for an answer. You don't really want to know. You don't want to dedicate your life to searching for the escape key. You just want to be entertained. Because negating existence isn't enough for a joke; you have to bring it back to make it funny. 

That's why every joke has a third part, the hardest part, the part we call "The Punchline". 

Who's there?
A-1, who?
A-1 to know to answer to the greatest cosmic knock-knock joke ever told. 

Who's there?
Abbot, who?
Abbot you don't know how this all works.


Who's there?


Alice, who?

Alice fair in science and joking.

(until it's not)

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