What are your thoughts on what a sense of humor is and where it comes from? Are humans the only beings that find things funny? Is it all only related to our intellect? When did humans first begin to laugh?
And I don't mean the audible sound of a laugh that conveys a jovial mood in a social setting, but more the uncontrollable laughter that can overtake you when no one else is in the room because something you saw or read or thought just cracked you up.
What is the origin of humor or a 'sense of humor'?
One of the highlights of my day, in terms of funny, is your screen name. Based on that, I think you're smart balanced with a sense of humor and although possibly brilliant, don't take yourself seriously, don't raise yourself or knowledge above humor.
I would say male but the age is hard to figure. I'm guessing either below 30 or over 60ish? Likes to read in whatever format, tolerates children because of what they have to offer but really doesn't like them underfoot, non-smoker, possibly a Capricorn, between 5"8" and 5"10" tall with a solid frame regardless of the weight, lives alone, drives a vehicle in the gray or blue color family, has at least one older sibling and likes to wear button down shirts and/or tees.
I'm glad you enjoy the name. You are right about one thing, I do like to read. But my age actually falls right in the gap you left (I'm 37), I do like children but have none of my own, I smoke, I'm an Aquarius, I'm 6'2", I have lived with one kickass wife that still puts up with me after a decade, I drive a red car though the color was not my choice and I probably would have gone for something more muted, I am the oldest of two boys, and I wear t-shirts unless I absolutely have to go with something else.
Your first assessment is exactly right. I can't and won't take myself seriously and I consider comedy to be a form of art and a fascinating aspect of being human.
Well of course for some... the origin of 'humor' was clearly their butt! Hence the old expression 'butt of the joke!'
And... I guess, depending on one's persuasion at the time, the expression 'tongue in cheek' may well have meant more than a reference to the 'facial' response or method of delivery, when faced with the butt of the joke!
Good point. That does certainly appear to be the case. Babies also laugh and smile when they find something funny, even when they haven't quite made the associations with the outside world to truly understand what's funny about it.
What I'd like to arrive at is various opinions on what an actual 'sense of humor' is. There is definitely a socially evolved piece to humor. The ability to set a mood in a room of strangers with a joke. The ability to convey a light mood with a recognizable sound.
But I feel there's a distinction between that type of humor and what our intellect finds 'funny'. The absurdities of life that make us laugh. Those things that comedians make a living off of pointing out. If that makes sense.
Dolphins also are capable of humor. Chimps and dolphins are self aware.
That's something I'd definitely be interested in learning more about. Understanding something as intangible as humor or anything related to consciousness in humans is difficult enough, determining whether or not behavior associated with humor is conceived logically or instinctively in animals seems that much more of a challenge. That's something I'll have to look into. Anything that can help define that line between human consciousness and everything else.
I do know one thing. Laughter is contagious. Come to think of it, so is sadness. Strong emotion can permeate a group which shows that our instinct is not completely off due to sensory overload. The same way our dogs can sense our extreme moods or emotions, we can feel them in others.
We talk about vibes a lot in my family. I can enter a room where people are sitting, and at times, you can cut the tension with a knife. It's the same with the planet. Not sure if we unlearned this full ability, or if it is something new. I somehow doubt that it's new. Nothing is.
I do think emotional responses, especially the base emotions witnessed throughout the animal kingdom, evolved very early on. There are chemical reactions within the body that happen during moments of extreme emotion. Happiness, sadness, anger, passion. Shots of adrenaline or changes in hormones.
And it does seem contagious. Sensing that vibe in a room change, that feels external. It doesn't feel like the chemical changes associated with self-emotion. If it were something as simple as the body reacting instinctively to the mind's assessment of the faces and eyes and postures of others in the room, that would feel like emotion. But that heaviness in the air doesn't feel it's coming from within. And it seems to happen well before body language queues are even assessed. Like the chemical changes came before the emotion that triggers them.
That's where things like humor seem most relevant to me. Logical humor. A series of thoughts that lead to a kind of oddity that we for some reason find funny. Like the difference between a slap-stick comedy versus something that's more of a 'thinker'. Is that something unique only to humans? Is that something that helps define what exactly human consciousness is?
Music is another. Animals react to music. There are many that swear plants react to music. Music can have an emotional impact on us. But then there again is that same line. That line between the purely emotional music and the more intellectual kind that inspires, and that make you appreciate the complexity and ingenuity. Do animals ever feel inspired by music?
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