Saturday, June 29, 2013

intellectual jokes

Here's a good thread that was sent me from Reddit: What's the most intellectual joke you know?

I haven't read all of these, not by a long shot, because the thread is a very long shot indeed, but my favorite of the ones I read was:
Two women walk into a bar, and talk about the Bechdel test.
Delving into my own meager mental file of jokes (I like jokes, but I can rarely remember them) produces two that I heard at SF conventions in the early 1980s that stuck with me. If they're on the Reddit thread, they're way down there somewhere. One is merely a portrait, a sad tale:
The computer programmer was found dead in the shower, in his hand an empty bottle of shampoo. The label read: "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."
The other is a simple riddle.
Q. Why did Douglas R. Hofstadter cross the road?
A. To make this joke possible.
There's also my small and select collection of Polish jokes that aren't insulting to the intelligence of Poles, but I'll leave those for now.

My question for you now about the above 30-year-old jokes, especially if you're no more than a decade or so older than the jokes are, is: are they obsolete? Do endless loops still exist in computer programming language, and, if so, do today's programmers know about them? And does anybody still remember Douglas R. Hofstadter? Once upon a time, his name and work came up constantly in conversations around me, but now he's almost as vanished from the common discourse I hear as is the then equally ubiquitous Julian Jaynes.

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