Memories……

1 04 2013

Memory is a funny thing. What one person remembers can be quite different from another person. Some of it is perspective, some of it might be personal views on the important aspects of an event. Apparently what language you speak and hence what words you have at your disposal also affects what you understand and remember about events. Presumably NLP works differently in different languages.

Most people seem to have their first memories around 4 or 5, although if you try to remember your earliest memory it is difficult to separate what you remember from what you have been told and photographs you have seen. My mother in particular seems to have taken advantage of this and denies events that I specifically remember in an attempt I allege is a rewriting of history. Her brother, meanwhile, used to allege that he could remember being born. Clearly we are a family for whom the truth has been a malleable concept.

But while our memories are already somewhat fallible tools, imagine if, like Star Trek, you had a holo-deck, and could create completely fictional events. You could people your events with real colleagues, friends and acquaintances. And while to you, they would seem to be real experiential memories, the other people would have absolutely no knowledge of the events you created.

PS Stumbleupon just showed me a Wikipedia page on parataxic distortion which expands on this concept.





Funny knock knock jokes – yes, there is such a thing!

22 09 2012

picture licensed under creative commons from fiorinolatino

Children have an instinct for humour. Even small babies laugh at something unexpected, however their organised and word-based humour takes a little while to kick in. But they’re keen. Most children rapidly learn the power that being able to make someone laugh conveys. The ability to inspire humour and a positive mood in another being is a powerful thing.

Part of the process of understanding humour and then being able to replicate it yourself, is the types of humour learned from one’s peers at school. As well as the inevitable and apparently hilarious toilet humour (what do you call hundreds and thousands? Smartie-poos. Hilarious! You said “poo”! And while if you have explain a joke it is no longer funny, for the sake of American readers, translate hundreds and thousands to multi-coloured cake sprinkles, and Smarties to M&Ms.), the somewhat existential chicken-crossing-road jokes, and the pun (what did the chicken say when its mother laid an orange? Look at the orange-mama-laid!), there is the knock-knock joke.

As anyone who has been subjected to endless knock-knock jokes by a small child or three knows, knock-knock jokes are not funny. They usually turn around some sort of pun and while I love puns, knock-knock jokes seem to have managed to harness every non-funny pun in the universe with which to torment me. And it would seem impossible to say just one knock-knock joke. They seem to come in packs of between twenty and a hundred. I suspect knock-knock jokes are behind many a minor car accident as a parent has been driven to distraction.

However, I have come across two funny knock knock jokes, and in the interest of balance and making things right in the universe, pun-wise, I present them here for your entertainment and delectation…..

1. A basic understanding of trekkie-dom is required for this one.: Vulcans doing knock Knock jokes.

“Knock knock.”

“I do not understand.”

“Just say ‘who’s there.'”

“But I already know your identity.”

“Yes, but it’s for the joke.”

“This is a joke?”

“You better believe it, brother.”

***

“Knock knock.”

“This is illogical.”

“Knock knock.”

” … ”

“Knock knock.”

“Very well. Who is there?”

“Orange.”

“The Terran fruit or the pigment?”

“It doesn’t matter. Either one.”

“Then I choose Earth’s pithy citrus.”

“…You know what? NEVER MIND.”

…..

“I do not ‘get it.'”

2. I admit this one is probably funny if you are a bit of a grammar-nazi.

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

To

To who?

To whom.