Around the campfire - circa 100,000 B.C.

 
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unsmoked
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15 September 2018 20:17
 

Would you agree that this could have happened around a campfire 100,000 years ago? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM45JMTpkBU

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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16 September 2018 11:16
 

Yes.

And it was probably the first person to slip on a banana peel who started it.

 
 
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16 September 2018 11:42
 
Cheshire Cat - 16 September 2018 11:16 AM

Yes.

And it was probably the first person to slip on a banana peel who started it.

Notice that no one around Laugher #1 knows what she is laughing at except that it is something she sees on her phone.  It’s not like she has hiccups, or fell into someone’s lap when the train lurched.  They’re laughing because she’s laughing.  A few are annoyed at the hilarity and move away.  A genetic trait?  (susceptibility to contagious laughter)

 
 
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16 September 2018 11:50
 
unsmoked - 15 September 2018 08:17 PM

Would you agree that this could have happened around a campfire 100,000 years ago? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM45JMTpkBU

Yes, I’d agree.

 

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17 September 2018 11:48
 
Jan_CAN - 16 September 2018 11:50 AM
unsmoked - 15 September 2018 08:17 PM

Would you agree that this could have happened around a campfire 100,000 years ago? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM45JMTpkBU

Yes, I’d agree.

In the video, notice that only one person knows what the joke is.  The others are all laughing because she’s laughing - or laughing at each other laughing.

Since laughing is good for us, has evolution been working on a genetic modification that increases our chances to experience this tonic?  That is, we don’t have to wait for something comical to appear on our own cell phone.  We don’t have to know the joke, or see the funny event before joining in the hilarity.

If this is a genetic trait, notice in the video that some don’t have it - (the annoyed man who walks away . . . or, is he just having a bad day?)

I wonder if Jane Goodall ever witnessed a group of chimpanzees caught up in contagious hilarity when only one of them witnessed the pratfall that triggered it?

 
 
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17 September 2018 14:51
 
unsmoked - 17 September 2018 11:48 AM

In the video, notice that only one person knows what the joke is.  The others are all laughing because she’s laughing - or laughing at each other laughing.

Since laughing is good for us, has evolution been working on a genetic modification that increases our chances to experience this tonic?  That is, we don’t have to wait for something comical to appear on our own cell phone.  We don’t have to know the joke, or see the funny event before joining in the hilarity.

If this is a genetic trait, notice in the video that some don’t have it - (the annoyed man who walks away . . . or, is he just having a bad day?)

I wonder if Jane Goodall ever witnessed a group of chimpanzees caught up in contagious hilarity when only one of them witnessed the pratfall that triggered it?

There is something contagious about another’s laughter – a shared experience we humans (and other primates) can enjoy.  The reason for laugh-tracks on comedy shows.  The reason we are more likely to laugh out loud when we’re with a group of people than when alone.

But of course, we humans vary in our reactions, with some people quicker to laugh than others.  Genetics vs. environment?  (The man you mentioned may have an under-developed sense of humour, was sad for some reason, or perhaps was a bit self-conscious about not understanding what was going on.)

I think laughter/humour is a natural human characteristic that benefits when nurtured early, but could become subdued if one were raised in an inhibited atmosphere.  I was lucky to be raised in a family where laughter was common.  We can’t even be trusted to behave at funerals – there was the elderly neighbour’s funeral where giggles had to be restrained when it was noticed that my mother was wearing the same dress as the deceased; we found this hysterically funny.

To kinda borrow from LadyJane’s ‘style’, I think laughter is the best thing in the history of everything.

 

 
 
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18 September 2018 05:06
 

There is so much more to this than communal laughter.  Rather it’s the underlying consumatory expectation that is the fabric of our sociality.  Frustration of this basic recognition, I think, drives most—if not all—of the acrimony here.

 
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18 September 2018 14:18
 

The topic of this thread reminded me of a wonderful scene in that old Humphrey Bogart movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I’ve place a link to the scene below.

If you’ve never seen this movie, this is what the scene is about: After months of hardship, danger and the homicidal psychotic breakdown of one of their fellow miners, (Bogart), the two remaining miners find the empty bags which had previously held their fortune in gold. The gold dust which they worked so hard to obtain, has totally disappeared, lost forever to the desert wind.

The older miner, Howard, realizes what has happened and begins to laugh.

His laughter is so contagious, that everyone around him laughs too, even though they don’t know the reason why. And of course, Howard’s laughter can be seen in the context of this film, as the symbolic laughter of humankind when facing the cruelty of fate. This gallows humor, this ability to laugh in the face of despair, is one of our best qualities as a species, in my opinion. 

I dare you to watch the scene and not to laugh too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAapNGRfaBI

As an aside, Howard was played by Walter Houston, a great actor and the father of director and actor John Houston. Houston is so good in this role that you assume that Walter Houston was a short man; in actuality, he stood six feet tall. He consciously tricked the camera and the viewer into believing that the character he was playing was a short man. He won the Academy Award for this role.