Many people think that the main purpose of any joke is to make the audience laugh. But this is an amateurish approach. Professionals perceive humor in a different way – for them it is a tool for conveying meanings, views and concepts to listeners. It’s not just a tool, but one of the most effective in terms of impact – it is used in politics, marketing, and propaganda. Why this is so – learn in details in this article.
The structure of the psyche
Let’s start with a theory that describes how the human psyche works. This knowledge is necessary not only to understand the topic of humor, but in general it is vital. Unfortunately, it is still not taught at schools, and as a result, people often don’t understand how they think and what goes on in their heads. Let’s fix this situation.
The human psyche consists of two interconnected systems to process and analyze information – consciousness and subconsciousness. As well as the knowledge base which the consciousness and subconsciousness is guided by in their work – it is called “worldview”. In order to quickly understand the essence of each concept, we will consider the process of interaction of the psyche components, by drawing an analogy with the computer familiar to all of us.
The work of consciousness can be likened to how an operating system (for example, Windows) functions in a computer. You have your own personal “desktop”, which contains the icons you are currently interested in – what you often think about, remember, reason about and evaluate. Through your attention, you, like a computer mouse, decide what to take interest in and when, which images to bring to recollection through launching their mental broadcast, and what to send “to the trash folder”, through letting it out of your sight for a long time.
At the same time, while clicking on the next downloaded video file (recollecting certain events), you don’t really think about what is happening “inside of the system” at that moment. For you, this is just a video, the broadcast of which you can speed up, slow it down, or even start it frame by frame if you wish, but for your computer processor, this means tens of thousands of pixels that are displayed on the monitor every second and millions of operations that provide this process. So we’ve got to the conception of what the subconsciousness is – it is a very powerful data processing system (analogous to a processor and a graphics card put together), that works automatically and provides your consciousness – your “operating system” – with the necessary data.
But can a computer work without RAM or a hard drive where all the data is stored? Of course not, because all the programs are installed there and the system must constantly access this database during its work. This repository is an analogue of the human worldview. Everything that you have ever learned, heard, seen or realized on your own is stored on your “hard disk”, is marked with various markers and serves as the basis for the further functioning of your psyche.
Who installs programs on your psyche?
If you have been using a computer for a long time, then you probably understand how important it is what programs are installed on it and how well they work. For example, a slow browser that barely opens pages on the Internet can disrupt a working webcast or just make you angry. Therefore, experienced PC users always monitor what is installed and who installs on their system, and don’t allow any garbage to collect there.
In the case of the human psyche, the situation is similar. Various “programs” work in it too, many of them you’ve installed on your own – for example, you’ve learned to drive a car or speak a foreign language. Pay attention to how the “loading” process of new skills and abilities into your head ran.
First you’ve studied the theory for a long time (for example, you crammed traffic signs), then you applied new knowledge practically (you drove car with an instructor), and only after a month of independent driving the skill was so well mastered that it became automatic. Now you can drive a car while listening to music or communicating with a passenger, and the car is driven automatically on the subconscious level.
Notice that driving is a rather complicated process: you need to control the situation on the road, the condition of the car, evaluate the speed of approaching objects, and much more. But now all this is easy for you, because the “program is installed” in your psyche and your subconsciousness is occupied with its implementation, the resources of which are powerful enough to cope with this task easily. Thank it for this, it is your faithful assistant in life. And after the words of gratitude, ask yourself the question – do you install all the programs in your head yourself? Or can someone else do it?
Don’t rush to answer, remember your childhood. Once upon a time, your parents repeatedly showed and explained to you that you should eat with a spoon, but not with your hands. At some point, after a few dozen overturned plates, you suddenly learned to eat like a human being. And obviously you don’t think today about how to hold cutlery properly, and send food right into your mouth – this process occurs automatically. You were also taught how to use the potty, how to cross the road correctly and you were helped by learning many other useful skills.
You have to admit that at that moment you were clearly still too young to call these programs the result of your “conscious choice”. Therefore, first thank your parents – they also did a lot so that you live, learn, rejoice, and just read this text now (after all, they were likely to teach you to read), and then accept the simple fact: throughout your life your subconsciousness has been programmed not only by you.
Humor as a programming tool
If you understand how mind programming works, then you can understand the role that humor can play in this process.
When we considered examples of driving or learning to eat with a spoon, the programmer (the one who determined the content of the installed programs) was either you yourself or the one who a priori wished you well – your parents, and besides them there were also sports coaches, school teachers, and many others who built your personality and shared valuable knowledge. All these subjects can be conventionally called “good programmers”.
But there may be “evil programmers” who see you only as potential customers and want to persuade you to buy their product by any means. Or they consider you and thousands of other people to be just biomass, from which the Earth must be cleared, for example, in order to protect the environment. You have probably heard that “the earth is overpopulated and there are not enough resources for everyone”, which means that people are no longer needed. Often this is exactly what “evil programmers” think, of course, they plan to reduce you, but not themselves.
In order to realize their plans and goals, they need to program you, by making you, for example, a “brand fan”, a “chain smoker” or a “high-quality beer connoisseur”. Or maybe they want you to become tolerant and start protecting the rights of minorities, by joining the ranks of feminists, childfree or LGBT people? Believe me, the evil “programmers” have big plans for you, they are very interested in you. And they have only one problem – how to program you?
After all, you are unlikely to be delighted with clothes reeked of tobacco smoke, and the sight of drunks on the street doesn’t serve as a good advertisement for “high-quality booze.” Therefore, they need to deceive you somehow – to offer you an attractive program, but that is infected with the mental viruses they need. They must gain access to your attention, lull vigilance and program your subconsciousness.
Fortunately for “evil programmers” and, unfortunately for you, humor comes to the rescue. Well, why do you think there are so many comedy shows, communities, groups in all social networks and on television? Because humor is the perfect cover for any informational poison.
Do you remember the elegant smile of Ivan Urgant? And what about the jokes of the Comedy Club or the series Interns? Or maybe you haven’t passed by the most popular communities Lepra and MDK on VKontakte? By the way, the name MDK stands for “asshole” – this is how the admins of this public page call their 11 million subscribers. Well, lepra is leprosy, which is also called “slow death.”
The bosses of comedy TV-shows and similar communities sincerely welcome your attention, because thanks to it they will install the necessary programs and behavioral patterns in your heads. Watch, for example, this video – and answer the question – what concepts does the author convey under the guise of humor to his audience?
Management through Humor
The procedure of influence through humor is quite simple, at least for those who understand the structure of the human psyche and are able to abstract their mind from their positive emotions.
People enjoy laughing and having fun. Comedy shows give them what they want – laughter and entertainment, and in exchange they put their programs into people’s heads. By the way, here is the answer to why shooting of one episode of a comedy series costs around 100 thousand dollars, and the audience gets all this “goodness” absolutely free – about the same way as cheese is given to mice, by pinning it on a mousetrap hook.
While people’s attention is drawn by jokes and they’re overwhelmed with positive emotions, at this very moment – that, what the customer needs, is recorded there, on the subcortex, into the worldview and subconsciousness. In most cases this Trojan horse comes through without any hindrance. For example, watch, how this is done by an example of alcohol use, every second public page of VKontakte is filled with such humor:
And if someone reveals the manipulation, then you can always say that this person simply doesn’t have any sense of humor, and the authors didn’t mean anything by that, they just joke – after all, the jokes are really funny. It’s a perfect cover for injecting info-viruses into your subconsciousness, isn’t it?
However, don’t lose your courage! The situation is difficult, but this is okay – danger encourages strong people and helps to brace themselves. Gone are the days when the power of humor was mainly in the hands of those who used it obviously not for a good cause – now the “sword of knowledge” becomes available to almost everyone who is ready to master it, and this changes everything.
Firstly, you personally have gained protection now, and it will be much more difficult to program you through humor with bypassing the consciousness. When you hear another joke, just ask yourself questions – what meanings does the author convey to me under the cover of laughter? Are these useful or harmful meanings? How should I feel about this kind of humor? By answering them, you can easily recognize how the creators of the next joke want to influence you. Make it habitual for yourself (install another one useful “program” in your subconsciousness), and you will get a reliable bulletproof vest that protects against bullets of deadly and harmful jokes.
And secondly, humor is just a tool, and by means of it you can similarly promote constructive meanings, concepts, views, behavioral patterns. You can become a kind “programmer” by wrapping in a wrapper of humor those things, which you consider useful to society and people – and helping others to become better in intellectual and moral aspects.
In the VKontakte-group “Useful Humor” we try to follow this path. For example, we don’t want our society to be overwhelmed with all this tolerant filth with the legalization of same-sex marriages, implanting of LGBT-values, feminism and other things – therefore, through jokes that are published in the group, we try to show all the stupidity, harmfulness and absurdity of these foreign newfangled trends. We help our subscribers to realize what is the norm and what is a deviation, to make a choice in favor of the norm.
We also like to publish educational humor, humor about fashion, Hollywood and much more. If you find this activity useful, you can participate in the life of the project: comment, share your favorite jokes or send your ideas for publication in the suggested news. For your environment, which will laugh at the useful jokes you spread, you will become the same kind “programmer”.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the issue of Humor influence, we recommend you to study the continuation of this educational course, which consists of three lectures. You are already familiar with the first one.
- In the second lecture, the topic of Emotions, their role in the human psyche is elaborated. In addition, we will offer you a specific algorithm of actions that is convenient to use when assessing the usefulness or harmfulness of jokes.
- The third lecture tells about how to work on your worldview, identify and correct mistakes. And a mechanism is suggested for creating and promoting your own humorous community with useful humor in social networks.
To continue the study you need to send the phrase “Lecture 2″ to the chat of the group: https://vk.com/im?sel=-206735159
It’s reasonable to invest time in your self-education!
Source: VK-group “Useful Humor”
Translated by Alexandra Rogalyova