Monthly Archives: September 2014

a theory about thoughts and feelings

Body 4

contrary to what popular scientific, mainstream belief tells us — i am convinced that we think and feel with our entire body

thoughts and feelings are not simply
processed in our brains

to think that our brain acts like some strangely mechanistic one-hour photo development lab for the way we experience and relate to the world is extremely preposterous, but this is the only way we as human beings can understand it because we are incapable of thinking beyond our current, known toolset

its got to be far more complicated than that, dontchya think?

we hate to admit it, but we’re far less advanced in our understanding of ourselves, each other and the universe than we’d like to be

we tend to oversimplify everything

because we know how to design and build machines that supposedly think, we also believe we can figure out the mysteries of the mind and the way everything in the universe works, but why bother?

i mean, don’t get me wrong, its all super-interesting to learn about — or at least to theorize about and then test to see how close we can get to some level of commonly acceptable belief system around these rather intensely amazing phenomena in life

and we don’t like to admit, i guess,
when we don’t know or understand something

but let’s just be fucking honest, now, okay?

maybe if we just accept the knowns and the unknowns — and if we also fully accept and appreciate the existential sense of being human and experiencing the world within the given found systems we’ve inherited — we might be far better off

let’s stop trying to explain everything to its ultimate, inevitably science-bled death and just enjoy it all, let it all soak in, and then see how we can live in a more interdependent and inclusively healthy and happy way together as a living, breathing collective organism of humanity

we think with our entire bodies

we feel with our entire bodies

and we also collectively think and feel as little batches of social presence in different pockets of the world

 

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

i guess we could do both

we should do both — both investigate and examine the world and try to figure it out while also enjoying the experience of these sometimes ungraspable areas of natural phenomenology embedded within our human experience

as long as we remember to come back to this sense of enjoyment, too

i guess then we don’t necessarily need to club every little thing to death with the Big Data stick

after all, i don’t think its our job as human beings to necessarily be able to explain everything in the universe — that’s a rather big and impossible job, right? 

it is, however, our purpose to live and breathe and enjoy our existence, to live a little and enjoy each other, and to potentially leave a few stories behind for the alien race that will eventually come down to Mother Earth and inevitably take us all away beyond the sky

semenov-6

our data

maggots

our data lives like insects inside our machines

you can hear the little scratchy sounds of them skittering about inside when you’re looking for a file or for some new meaning

we collect them — we store them — we trust they’ll serve us in some way

but in the end its all simply meaningless, just an unfortunate silly game

 

why we laugh

laughing-kid

i’ve done a lot of research in the areas of ‘humor, laughter and the areas in-between’ as a means to understand what makes things funny or not, and its a fascinating topic with numerous theories for us to consider — the leading theories include: The Superiority Theory; The Incongruity and Incongruity-Resolution Theories; The Benign Violation Theory; The Mechanical Theory; and The Release Theory

all of these theories delve into the rather interesting and subtle dynamics around the conditions that produce laughter from human beings, but i’m not so sure they actually even begin to answer the question:

Why do we laugh?

i remember reading all about Peter McGrath’s Benign Violation Theory in The Boston Globe a while back — McGrath’s claims behind his theory almost promise a rather compact and cozy little concept around interpersonal dynamics that almost stand alone as the veritable Holy Grail behind Humor and Laughter Research — a sort of ‘one simple theory explains it all’ — but closer examination and consideration, especially when bringing up examples of humor that actually purposely do not intend to produce genuine, out loud human laughter, subtly shifts Benign Violation from a category of laugh theory into more of a comedy strategy

i’d like to suggest that many of these theories
completely miss the mark

these theories do not actually explain why human beings laugh but instead examine the contextual circumstances that almost mechanically provoke the human response of laughter in only certain situations — know what i mean? 

its taken me quite some time now to really look at this subject matter in the proper light and to interpret and really analyze all the theories and nuances of laughter, humor, comedy and funniness — and i feel its oversimplistic and almost unfair to think that only one theory does the trick here, because laughter is a very complicated human phenomena, almost as complicated an area of study as our belief systems and our cultures

but, as a means to completely contradict myself now, i feel that we can, in fact, explain the ‘Why?’ question — and embed all of these various theories around the circumstances surrounding laughter into the major reason we laugh — with a new theory of laughter evolution as i’m about to try and articulate …

toward a
New Theory of
Human Laughter Evolution

an initial theory to answer the question ‘why do human beings laugh?’

this is going to sound totally ridiculous, maybe even funny to you, but i believe we laugh as human beings because we have to

we simply need to laugh

as human beings, we all walk through the world as these living, breathing vessels for various psycho-dynamic energies

some of these energies can be positive and some of these energies can be negative

but the energies build up inside all of us as if we were containers made of flesh and blood and bones that simply hold these mysterious energies

bottle-humor

antiquated scientific theories actually suggested that liquids called humours literally coursed through our bodies — and that these liquid humours were what triggered joy and laughter in an almost endorphin-like fashion

but i believe that the energies we build up { not measured as liquid or solid or gas in form } need to be released — and one of the most positive ways we can release extreme build-ups of our internal energies is through laughter

one other consideration that might make this a wee bit more complex and realistic as a pseudo-scientific theory follows

we, as human beings, probably initially cultivated laughter as a release system in an iterative, evolutionary manner as our species needed to adapt to the tense circumstances of our world — this does not mean that i subscribe solely to Freud’s Release Theory, but our need to release unhealthy energy is the most likely original reason we began to laugh as a species — in early human pre-history we needed to ultimately release the harsh feelings and energies building up inside as we dealt with our environment and the ways of the world — and laughter is a rather transgressive human expression of these potentially negative energies that feel far too intense for the body and mind to handle in a healthy manner

so, we need to laugh to survive

laughter is an adaptive behavior we’ve developed over time as a means
to psychologically brave the challenging experiences we encounter in life

and now — depending upon our contextual circumstances in the moment — we’ve evolved a rather intriguing set of socio-dynamic systems around laughter { beyond our original adaptive ‘energy release’ needs } with a multitude of complex, situation-based rules to govern when, why and how we laugh, and whether or not a particular expression of laughter indicates certain levels of social acceptability and awareness

its all fascinating stuff, right?

i plan to post more here and elsewhere on the webz along the way as i conduct further research into laughter and humor through Laugh Institute with the final outcome being a new book project that i’m affectionately calling the laughterLife as inspired by the fourth stream of cyberSurreal subConsciousness from my graduate design thesis confounded: future fetish design performance for human advocacy

[: stay tuned :]

Want to participate in a Laugh Study?

 

 

stain of remembrace

saltRust

the stain of remembrance, 2013, salt, rust, photo imprint, pencil on paper, 26 x 40 inches

check out this amazing series of drawings by the fascinating interdisciplinary artist Sara Jimenez out on her Cargo portfolio site

she’s done a lot of amazing, inspiring work that i’m sure you’ll enjoy it

laugh research in progress

lead-m_1679122a

i am currently conducting more research into laughter and human awareness

the latest laugh study @ Laugh Institute

our current sessions at the Laugh Lab include both interview-based conversations to record the laughterLife personal laugh history of each participant as well as a video and audio capture of your laugh samples to augment our laugh databases

for those interested in participating, please email me at laugh@laughinstitute.org with the subject ‘Laugh Study’

although we are trying to arrange to meet in-person for those participants living and working in the Boston area, we are also open to conducting phone and virtual sessions as well

the entire interview and laugh capture process takes between an hour and an hour and a half

24161061-logo_laughInstitute

a note about Science

science

Science builds toward a knowledge-based belief system to understand the universe and our human experience through research, experimentation, observation, skepticism and constant challenge of the beliefs and understandings it builds.

Just to note: Science is not as mired in ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ as many believe it to be.

And I feel — through my own psuedo-scientific experimentation, observation and online conversations about the nature of science as a system and a methodology — that its closer affiliation to ‘belief’ ( as opposed to ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ ) is what sometimes heats up certain dialogs ( wink, wink ).

prince n’est plus mort

prince-u-know-whitecaps-mp3-main1

well — about 4 years after The Artist formerly know as Prince officially declared to the world:

The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why
I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else.

— Prince, 2010 in an interview with the Daily Mirror

it seems as if his Purple Badness went all twisty turvy in the entirely opposite direction

with his new resigned / reworked business relationship back with Warner Brothers Prince is slated to release 2 new albums on September 30th, 2014 — he’s releasing the long-awaited Plectrum Electrum under the project name 3rdEyeGirl, which is a far more gritty rawk outfit with a live an’ trippy sense of delivery and performance, as well as the old school all-Prince album Art Official Age done up in the every instrument done up by Prince studio-style that the master musician grew to fame

you can go pre-order both albums up on the 2 official websites as: CDs with MP3s; MP3s; or as WAVs from the site and you can also pre-order up via iTunes and Amazon as well — and, not to mention all the social mediatized hype His Royal Badness put up on the interwebz like some sort of messianic 5 foot 2 inch purple yoda Obama mad on the ultra-webbified campaign trail, live streaming concert footage with 3rdEyeGirl up on LiveStream { the account is now interestingly deleted, hmmmm }, single pre-release samples up on various sites via SoundCloud, live clips of 3rdEyeGirl via Dr. Funkenberry via SoundCloud sounding’ all stripped down ‘n funkyCool, there’s literally been a strange Prince Revolution brewin’ an’ in the works now for over a year that’s been building such fervor and excitement for the fan-base — its truly incredible

i’m obviously really lookin’ forward to the new tracks i got comin’ in the mail an’ via the webz ;]

‘sGonna be so, so good

prince-art-official-age-660x400