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Author Topic: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB  (Read 11713 times)

margee

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I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« on: July 26, 2006, 03:35:37 PM »
Ok, I swear this isn't ragging on anyone in particular.  I was just thinking about it since everything got all academic all of a sudden.

Nixlimited

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 04:00:21 PM »
I would say intelligence is not a requisite for being humorous, but I tend to find that very funny people are very intelligent. Take Jon Stewart for example - clearly a genius both comedically and otherwise. He went on that show Crossfire and shut the two hosts down so badly that the show got pulled off the air the next week. Why? Because they expected someone funny, not smart - hard lesson learned.

Now, lots of people derive their humor as a response to tough situations in their lives. If you watch a lot of stand-up you will notice that a lot of the comedy is about bad things that have happened to them. I don't necessarily think these people are smart in a "conventional" sense (i.e. they don't have lots of degrees and they didn't score in the 95th percentile on their LSAT, etc), but they do deliver a story in such a way that bad becomes good (read: funny). That is a serious talent in and of itself.

There is also a very clear gender bias with humor. I know I will get flak for it, but I have absolutely never seen a woman stand-up that I thought was funny. I don't know why, but when a guy talks about pooping I cry laughing, but if a woman talks about it, I feel, nauseated  ;) Had to plug the other thread. On sitcoms you rarely find that the female leads are the funny ones, beyond slapstick humor, or being funny at their own expense. Maybe it's just that society expects we men to be the funny ones ... afterall, I think about every girl in the world will list "good sense of humor" as one of their top 3 qualities for someone they want to be with, but the same is not true for men. It is clearly: face, boobs, butt  :D Just kidding.
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pocho

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 04:25:49 PM »
The real question here is how do you judge sombody's sense of humor?  I think the question isn't whether or not someone has a sense of humor, but what type of sense of humor.  I tend to judge people with dry, subtle senses of humor as being more intelligent than others.  It's probably because I think few people would actually catch the humor they are conveying.

I think people judge maturity based on someone's sense of humor, more than their intelligence.  Take Nix for example, very sophmoric, but he also claims to be very intelligent :D 

LitDoc

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 04:34:39 PM »
Ellen Degeneres, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, Sarah Silverman -- just a few female comedians who are drop-dead funny, in my opinion. And there are many more, if we turn to writers and not stage comedians. (Dorothy Parker leaps to mind immediately. And Nora Ephron. And Allegra Goodman. And...)

I would argue that, contrary to popular conceptions, humor is much less about emotion and almost entirely involved with intelligence. You have to "get" something -- there has to be some kind of understanding or comprehension, some kind of mental connection that is made -- in order to find something funny. Even slapstick, where a guy slips on a banana peel, requires a level of intellectual process (a recognition that this isn't normal) and intellectual distancing (a recognition that this isn't threatening) that is different from emotional response.

Personally, I think one's sense of humor -- and yes, I agree that this is more about what one finds funny than about whether or not one is found funny by others (as the latter can be the result of others laughing AT you rather than with you, and thus the product of pure stupidity) -- is far more indicative of intelligence than many other measures. But it's not a single-spectrum sort of thing (i.e., a scale of less-intelligent to more-intelligent, correlating to finds-fewer-things-funny and finds-more-things-funny); rather, I think the kinds of things that a person finds funny are indicative of the kinds of intelligences (or understandings) that that person possesses. The wider ranging the sense of humor (from banana peels to math jokes, etc.), the wider ranging the intelligence, and so forth.
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Nixlimited

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2006, 04:39:18 PM »
I think people judge maturity based on someone's sense of humor, more than their intelligence.  Take Nix for example, very sophmoric, but he also claims to be very intelligent :D 

Have I made that claim? d**mn... All of this potty-mouthed humor is now just a failed ruse.

rather, I think the kinds of things that a person finds funny are indicative of the kinds of intelligences (or understandings) that that person possesses. The wider ranging the sense of humor (from banana peels to math jokes, etc.), the wider ranging the intelligence, and so forth.

Since I consider farting equally as funny as "The Office," I would say I have an impressive range of humor sense.
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LitDoc

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 04:43:02 PM »
I suspect everyone going to UT is pretty intelligent.  Otherwise they wouldn't be going to UT.

Incidentally, did you know that one only needs a 162 on the LSAT to qualify for MENSA?

I would only modify to say that I suspect everyone going to UT possesses certain kinds of intelligence, or they wouldn't be going to UT. But as we've already witnessed, there are those among us who do not possess the kind of intelligence that enables them to find humor coming from female comedians.  ;)

I really think we've oversimplified the concept of intelligence, to think of it in strict "more or less" terms. We have to consider its myriad varieties.
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Nixlimited

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 04:50:27 PM »
But as we've already witnessed, there are those among us who do not possess the kind of intelligence that enables them to find humor coming from female comedians.  ;)

Another aspect of intelligence is understanding subtleties (particularly useful in law) ... I said I never have, not I never could.
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Jumboshrimps

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006, 04:52:31 PM »
There is no relationship between what is funny and what is smart, and I can prove it...

A guy is reading a newspaper while on the moving walkway at the airport. The walkway ends but he doesn't see it coming, and the guy goes airborn as his shoes hit the stationary floor. ...laughed so hard I almost missed my plane.

And how do you explain the Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplain, or Adam Sandler? One way is to say that they are all really smart. Another way is to say that they are comic geniuses. But, we should never confuse genius with intelligence. I wouldn't trust the three stooges to run a government or Adam Sandler to take care of my portfolio.

If people who laugh a lot are smart, it's because they know the importance of laughter, not because they're so d**mn smart that they "get" really complicated jokes. So, I guess in a way it is pretty smart to have a sense of humor. But not every laughing a**hole is bright.


LitDoc

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2006, 05:07:12 PM »
But as we've already witnessed, there are those among us who do not possess the kind of intelligence that enables them to find humor coming from female comedians.  ;)

Another aspect of intelligence is understanding subtleties (particularly useful in law) ... I said I never have, not I never could.

An important distinction, to be sure, but really only superficially useful in your defense. It's better to be capable of finding humor from females than not, of course. And "never have" is not the same as "never could." But the fact that you never have (if this is indeed a "fact") does not bode well for the possibility that you could.

Putting that aside, though, I made no mention of your possible future capabilities. If you have never found humor from female comedians, as you have stated, then your present condition is as one who (presently) finds no humor from female comedians. (The verb form "has never found" or "has not found" indicates a past that runs up to and includes the present.) If you did presently find humor from female comedians, then you could not say that you have never done so.

If my assertion of the connection between humor and intelligence is correct, then we can conclude that you presently do not have the intelligence necessary to find humor from female comedians. Whether or not you will acquire that intelligence in the future (near or distant) is not at issue, so your distinction between "never have" and "never could" is essentially irrelevant.

Edited to add: Did I pick up on enough subtleties for you?  ;)

(Incidentally, I don't really mean any of this in any serious way -- I'm just playing along.)
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LitDoc

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Re: I swear I'm not going to turn this into the OTB
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2006, 05:40:58 PM »
Ahhh, but your LSAT prep has failed you. 

Perhaps he has just not encountered female comedians who are funny.  In which case it is possible that he does have the capability and possibly always had the capability of finding females funny.




just teasing you b/c I'm bored.

This doesn't work because we're talking about a person's ability to find something humorous, which entails the notion that the humor is in the beholder, not the beheld. You can't say he hasn't encountered a female who is funny, because by doing so you imply that the female could be funny regardless of his ability to find her so -- which would sidestep the entire debate. Calling them "female comedians" suggests that they were at least trying to be funny -- and, at least within the context of this discussion, the in-/ability to find them funny cannot be separated from whether or not they are funny, because whether or not they are funny is a matter of whether or not one finds them funny.
"There is no was." -- William Faulkner

University of Texas, Class of '09