Cognitive and emotional demands of black humour processing: the role of intelligence, aggressiveness and mood

This in Cognitive Processing.

A total of 156 adults rated black humour cartoons and conducted measurements of verbal and nonverbal intelligence, mood disturbance and aggressiveness. Cluster analysis yields three groups comprising following properties: (1) moderate black humour preference and moderate comprehension; average nonverbal and verbal intelligence; low mood disturbance and moderate aggressiveness; (2) low black humour preference and moderate comprehension; average nonverbal and verbal intelligence, high mood disturbance and high aggressiveness; and (3) high black humour preference and high comprehension; high nonverbal and verbal intelligence; no mood disturbance and low aggressiveness. Age and gender do not differ significantly, differences in education level can be found. Black humour preference and comprehension are positively associated with higher verbal and nonverbal intelligence as well as higher levels of education. Emotional instability and higher aggressiveness apparently lead to decreased levels of pleasure when dealing with black humour. These results support the hypothesis that humour processing involves cognitive as well as affective components and suggest that these variables influence the execution of frame-shifting and conceptual blending in the course of humour processing.

Pete And Dud

The Opium of the Intellectuals

What with the “communisants” (the priesthood and their bureaucratic Stasi-like enforcers) in charge of the academy, Raymond Aron’s classic The Opium of the Intellectuals (the original English translation freely available here), still has resonance. (Want to know more about Aron? — a good place to start is here and here and I’d highly recommend Aron’s wonderfully lucid two-volume Main Currents of Sociological Thought). Anyway, in the article Whatever happened to the public intellectual? John Gray might well be right that because of their marginalization (and manifest frustration, resentment, snobbery, and entitlement) arising from not being exposed to the pressing issues of the day (they are self-deluded about Islam), they come over as trivial whinny wets subjecting each other to purity tests of their “theological” commitment. Through their self-defeating and shallow social ontology and its ridiculous number of permutations (an ontological slum), they have “lost a sense of reality”:

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Smoke & Mirrors

If you like Islay single malts and/or smokey dark chocolate, you might like this brew, not to be confused with- but certainly a good accompaniment to- reading the very excellent Smoke and Mirrors by James Robert Brown, one of the earliest and one of the most smarting bitch-slaps to the social constructivist tripe (typically associated with gender studies, intersectionality and other pseudo-enterprises) and surprisingly available for free here.  Speaking of great Canucks, another great take-no-prisoners book from around the same time is André Kukla’s Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science. Three great Canuck products.


Based Mom & Screwtape: Free speech, philosophy, and art

Roger is looking the sharpest I’ve seen him in years but he still retains the Just William hair.

The Strange Death of Europe

The eminently sensible, sane, humane, informed, analytical, eloquent, cultured, honest and ballsy Douglas Murray has a very timely and important book about to hit the shelves. The mass self-delusion of the regressive left and their feckless fellow-travelers (you know, the Sarsourian-type zombies from middle-class families) is the most astonishing and perverse of herd instincts. While they (and their intersectional pseudo-theorists) fetishize “Nazi fascism” (and via “concept creep”, have emptied the term of any meaning), their suicidal astigmatism to the far more pressing paradigm of Islamofascism, is most evident and has been so for quite a while. To my dear Canadian chums who understand the postulates of liberality and the civil condition — M-103 is without doubt the thin, but razor sharp, end of the wedge that will mutilate Canada. On a related note, it’s high time western democracies stop ingratiating themselves with Saudi Barbaria given that their major and most destructive export is actually Wahhabism.


Walker Percy Wednesday 128


A RECENT POLL ASKED people what they feared most. A majority of respondents agreed in ranking one fear above all others, above fear of sickness, accidents, crime, war, even death. It is the fear of speaking before a group, stage fright.

Yet in the conventional objective scientific view, man is an organism among other organisms and a man should therefore not be terrified to be surrounded by his own kind, other like organisms who are not merely not hostile but by the very nature of the occasion well disposed, and to open his mouth and speak in a language he has learned from his fellowmen. A wolf howling alone in a wolfpack doesn’t get stage fright.


(e) Is it because you know that what you present to the world is a persona, a mask, that it is a very fragile disguise, that God alone knows what is underneath since you clearly do not, perhaps nothing less than the self itself, and that if the persona fails, what is revealed is unspeakable (literally, because you can’t speak it),


(h) It is better to seek help from a psychotherapist if the psychotherapist knows what not many psychotherapists know, namely, that the shy person may know something the non-shy person does not know, that your self is indeed unformulable to yourself, that you are entitled to your shyness, that, indeed, varying degrees of idiocy are required not to be shy, that the very unformulability of your self is the only clue you have to the uniqueness of yourself, that otherwise one will become yet another Ralph among a thousand Ralphs, or worse still, become an imitation of the psychotherapist.


The actors also enjoyed their stay in the town and the attention they were getting. Even though they, the actors, were not held in the highest regard by the filmmakers—producers, directors, cinematographers, etc.—were in fact often referred to by the latter as “pieces of meat,” “talking faces,” “hollow heads” among other uncomplimentary expressions—they, the actors, found themselves playing enjoyable roles in the town. What roles? They were playing the roles of the superb human beings the town folk believed them to be. Everyone in town remarked what nice people they were. So they became nice. They became nicer than saints. One famous actress in particular, noted for her childish and difficult ways, became a very model of friendliness and graciousness, astounding even the film crew and the town folk by her small acts of kindness, such as inquiring after the health of a stagehand’s sick child, remembering the name of the A & P checkout lady.