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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


September 15th, 2018


There is an interesting connection between these two meme groups. 


They both titillate the brain.  And they do this quickly.



The components of each are always already in the brain.  I.E. we know the language and all the words required to understand the joke or quote.



What the joke or quote does is draw a connection between parts of the brain in a specific pattern that the brain has never used before.  Otherwise, we’d have thought of the joke or quote first.  


Perhaps enough of us have had the exceedingly rare experience of thinking of something clever first and then hearing it used by someone with an actual audience who then gets the laugh or the applause for the quote.  In these circumstances the brain is not titillated.  No humor or delight is present.  A vague sense of being robbed appears and the desire to tell those near that you thought of it long ago, as if to discredit it’s validity somehow, or scrape together whatever pride might be squeezed from any admiration of those willing to listen. 


Both quotes and jokes are ‘collected’ in similar ways.  Those who feel the need to make people laugh pay extra attention to jokes and remember them for later use.  Those who collect quotes may do so for different reasons, but the urge to collect is the same.


Both quotes and jokes are like emotional enzymes.  They are ways to quickly evoke some kind of emotion in another person. 


At least with quotes, we imagine their use extends beyond this quick and ephemeral emotional lightening.


But like a forgotten good idea we know we had the other day that cannot for the life of us be recalled. . .


Quotes are of little use unless we have repetitive exposure and seek to change behavior based on the wisdom of the quote.  This requires some work.  Figuring out what the behavioral ramifications of a good quote might be. Sussing out the potentially complicated methods and processes required for making those behavioral changes, and much more.  Far more work than the dopaminergic surge that comes for free with a smile and laugh from a joke.


Given the work,


Quotes can be far more useful than jokes.

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Podcast Ep. 153: Quotes like Jokes

Tinkered Thinking

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