“Windows and alcohol”

Venkatesh Rao on the relationship between Silicon Valley and laughter:

Yes, and someone will come up with an app that measures body state to detect the optimal relaxation trough at which to present an incongruity input and then post the resulting jokes on a social site. There, ratings and rankings and machine learning will provide feedback as well as result in a constantly improving repository of jokes that is provably superior to traditional old-economy humor that still runs on Windows and alcohol. Metrics will be constructed based on measured laughter and information theoretic measures of surprisal between setup and punch line. Gamified learning models will be created to teach anyone to achieve higher L-rank than Lewis Black in just three weeks of 4-hour laugh hacking. Eventually there will be meetups, a humor-hacking movement, a Paul Graham essay soliciting humor-based UXes in product design, software that automatically suggests toppers, and VCs looking to invest only in growth stage humor genres that have provable laughter traction.


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