Ingredients for Humor

I feel rather disappointed in my blogging. The blog is fine – it’s serving a purpose, and lots of people have found it useful – over 60,000 according to the stats (mostly on a handful of pages, though, lol) (now that I’ve said it, I can make fun of that stat in the future). However, after looking at older posts, I realized my sense of humor has vanished a bit. I liked cracking jokes, and much of my humor is context-based. Sometimes funny things come to mind when you’re writing, but if you’re only in a serious mood or trying to be quick about writing (which, admittedly, I’ve been quite busy), you don’t get to muse as much and humorous ideas don’t readily come to mind as often. Looking back, though, I think it has made this blog slightly on the more boring end to read, at least from my perspective.

How do I fix this? I could automate my humor by spending even more time to create a generator that randomly selects a type of joke to tell and gives some keywords. And then when the project is a miserable failure for lack of creativity, I could joke about it thereafter on my blog. 😄

I could also do a word-of-the-day from another language and try to guess what it means, but that takes too much time out of my week and I have no interest in boring people with such trifles like I just did with this sentence.

A few posts ago, I created some snippets for programming humor, but whenever I try other kinds of software-related humor, the result is like an overly complicated database search query for a simple result like “Column 1 = Laugh” that they don’t sound good even to me!

… Or I could just be forcing it, which doesn’t work for anyone except Bob Hope.

I suppose society in general has a hard time finding stuff to laugh about. Much of the humor I encounter is derogatory, selfish, sexual, or debasing someone, as if finding something to laugh about meant you had to be radical and take advantage of (what was some time ago) social taboos. (Not to say I’m not guilty of bending the rules.) That stuff doesn’t have wide appeal, approval, or understanding. Yes, we all have different senses of humor, and I know some people would laugh at dogs puking on birthday cakes and some people have had too rough of a life to find much funny anymore, sadly. Also, there’s the factor of being in a family/club/work place/different country and having experiences we can relate to (ok, so that’s more than one). Having something to relate to is how humor works in the first place, obviously, which is probably why self-deprecating humor is the easiest – we all know about being human and being prideful. Bob Hope could be self-deprecating, and I do it too (especially here on this blog).

I read a quote the other day by Peter Kreeft, saying “Don’t be more serious than God. God invented dog farts.” The quote itself certainly makes some people laugh, though being philosophical, it makes me wonder what God intended for us to laugh at. Laughing is a complex mechanism, and one of those that fools master where scientists struggle to understand. Rationale seems to be on the losing end here.

If you want to write a story, screenplay, plot, and it needs to be humorous, I empathize you… Sucker! 😄 <- Stop! How many of you laughed at that line? Would an angel laugh? Probably not. (I could ask my angel about it, but he might laugh at the idea.) Humor comes from imperfect knowledge and then stumbling on an idea so totally related but off topic, it strikes you in a magical way that lights up your face.

The third ingredient – in addition to having things in common and imperfect knowledge – would be lightheartedness. As Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Of course, Lincoln probably didn’t say that first, but he got away with it for being a historic figure, but no one cares but the poor Joe lost to history who coined the phrase first. Ah, poor Joe, or was it John Smith? Sorry Joe, er, John.

So now we have three ingredients for humor:

  • Having something in common
  • Imperfect knowledge
  • Lighthearted attitude

Now we just need the correct phrasing to connect two related ideas and good timing and we’ll be all set! Ready for the best joke you’ve ever heard?!

Too bad. Come back next week and maybe I’ll try to relate pork, Pluto, and the autobahn, or not. Ok, ok, I’ll try harder. But I’ll have you know, I prefer bars that are like my humor – cold and dry. /*badum PA!* (Audience boos.) Ok, I’ll get off the soap box now. Have a good night everyone, and try to find something to laugh about tonight. 🙂

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How I Can Steal Your Pics – a.k.a. Some hacking for the non-tech-savvy

A friend of mine shared images with me some time ago from one of their trips. They trusted me enough to share images but not enough to show me a picture of themselves. However, they made a layman’s mistake when it came to sharing, and it becomes part of that long list of reasons why even non-programmers these days should learn a bit about what programming can do and how that seemingly safe site that they regularly visit could readily turn into a booby trap through no fault of their own. Let’s begin: Some hacking for the non-tech savvy.

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Wild Wild Web – Berners-Lee and Poli-Ad Regulation

It’s interesting how opinions can be shaped from a simple title and a seemingly well-meaning article. The Guardian ran a headline yesterday saying Tim Berners-Lee calls for tighter regulation of online political advertising. The article was carefully framed so as to pointedly remark on Trump’s victory via the influence of “fake news”. They kindly included the link to the article, hoping you, the dope, wouldn’t bother reading it. Of course, if you actually clicked on the link to the article, you’d find the “regulation” call was a possibly-but-not-really implied suggestion buried under the heading Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding. And there was no mention of political elections. None. Big difference. No misquotes, just misrepresentation. But on that topic…

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Programming meme homework

Fun homework from codeinfig. There’s more…

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According to the Label…

rant…

I don’t know about you, but when I sign up for a mailing list or some subscription, paying for it or not, I expect that they will send me content as they labeled it. I don’t expect to see news about dog shows in mailing list about electronics. I don’t expect to see endorsements for drugs in a magazine about what’s happening in the field of aviation. (And of course, when you read this blog, you can expect anything, because it’s freestyle.) I understand ads are necessary to support magazines and website hosting, but it seems when it comes to politics, people take exception. Not only that, they may employ the most round-about ways of tying it in to the labeled subject matter. Believe me, I can relate the price of tea in China to anything, but we need to draw the line somewhere. I guess people like Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NanoWrimo thinks he can stretch it.

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Homemade Cellphone Satellites

cellphone satellite rocket

If you look up “cell phone satellite”, what you get is a telecommunications satellite or comparisons between cell phones and satellite phones. This blog post is about neither. Instead, I’m musing on the concept of building satellites.

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Shimeji and Your Friendly Desktop Characters

desktop-chibi

It probably doesn’t cross people’s minds to have some strange character sitting (or even moving) on their computer desktop. You don’t need it. It’s purely for entertainment. If you ever want it though, it’s hard to find.

The idea of desktop characters is a cute one. Naturally, then the Japanese must have this. They call them “shimeji” (though if you try to look up that word, you will find it refers to mushrooms).

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Installing Gitless from source code

Git receives a lot of flack for having a poorly created UI on top of a technological monster. Underneath the hood, it may be a best of an engine, but the user gets to use a 5-in-1 for its keys. Gitless is a convenient hood, but there’s only one catch: all the binaries you can download are 64-bit which means… compiling from source for those of us running 32-bit Linux operating systems.

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Circus of Ethics – Concerning Animal Treatment

This topic deserves a far longer and more thorough post than what I’m going to make today, but in this case, I’d like to comment more on the supporting perspective of ethical animal treatment – especially in the future – than rehash the news. This will be a long post.

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Japanese Vertical Text … in Libre Office

While I don’t particularly have a preference for how words are written, I thought it would be nice to write Japanese vertically, for the sake of feeling authentic if nothing else. The real trick is actually finding an editor that supports vertical text, but it turns out LibreOffice allows it.

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