Nice. Luckily, we have not been distracted by trying to list the
hundreds of things that can "start" humor, although some authors in
the past may have done so. We have been seeking the key components of
If I remember correctly, the key components of fire are oxygen, heat
and fuel. In order to put out a fire, one must simply remove ANY ONE
Those are not the things that can start a fire (like sparks or
lightning, for example), but rather are the essential elements WITHOUT
WHICH THERE IS NO FIRE.
Similarly, we seek the essential elements (and no reasonable person
thinks that there is only one), WITHOUT WHICH THERE IS NO HUMOR.
Given a few decades, and lots of such conversations with earnest seekers ...
Quoting [log in to unmask]:
> As someone who is working to understand and model the dynamics
> of humor, I appreciate that the matter is complex in one sense,
> but simple in another. How many things can start a fire and
> yet fire, itself, is one thing? How many shades of fire are
> there and yet fire has one essence?
> Obviously, a simple firing pattern in the brain is not humor,
> but it can tell us a lot about humor. Obviously a single joke
> is not humor, but it can tell us a lot about humor.
> Humor does involve balance on a number of levels,
> physiologically, emotionally, logically, etc. Humor may be a
> synergistic process that involves a lot of different responses,
> simultaneously. So far, we have found entrances to the various
> levels, but we haven't gotten to the main shaft.
> This message was sent using MidOhio.Net MailMan.
JIM LYTTLE, Ph.D.
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