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Inside jokes : using humor to reverse-engineer the mind (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Matthew M. Hurley, Daniel Clement Dennett, Reginald B. Adams

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581204,058 (3.7)3
Member:StefanConradsson
Title:Inside jokes : using humor to reverse-engineer the mind
Authors:Matthew M. Hurley
Other authors:Daniel Clement Dennett, Reginald B. Adams
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Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind by Matthew M. Hurley (2011)

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An interesting look at the brain through the lens of humour. Takes an evolution-based look at the development of mirth as a mechanism for rewarding us for finding errors in our assumptions. This response has been co-opted and expanded on, for social reasons, and has now become the super-normal stimulus that most of us are happily addicted to.
3.5 stars oc, as it reads a lot like an adapted dissertation (which it is). ( )
  starcat | Aug 11, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matthew M. Hurleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, Reginald B., JrAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dennett, Daniel C.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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We trade, sell, and buy artefacts such as jokes, cartoons, and movies, which capitalise on the fact that we get joy from debugging. We than can use them to create bugs in our mental  spaces, which we can then enjoy debugging in a sort of mental masturbation, rewarded not with orgasm but with mirth.

If ever we set out to produce a robot that has epistemic capacities strong enough to perform the kind of reasoning we do, we must endow it with something like humour and the other epistemic emotions.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 026201582X, Hardcover)

Some things are funny -- jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed -- but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective. Humor, they propose, evolved out of a computational problem that arose when our long-ago ancestors were furnished with open-ended thinking. Mother Nature -- aka natural selection -- cannot just order the brain to find and fix all our time-pressured misleaps and near-misses. She has to bribe the brain with pleasure. So we find them funny. This wired-in source of pleasure has been tickled relentlessly by humorists over the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that is humor.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:42 -0400)

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