This paper introduces the "Status Loss Theory of Humor," as detailed in "How Humor Works" and "How Humor Works, Part II" , in a single page. This theory has the potential to fully, clearly, and naturally explain the human humor instinct, and has made predictions that are being confirmed by other studies.
A short, clear and complete theory that explains the origins and properties of the human humor instinct, which has been the subject of incomplete research for thousands of years. The paper's theory uses evolutionary psychology and a basic informal equation, and unites the findings of the previous theories, including explaining the logical basis behind many types of humor as well as the common sayings associated with it.
Aristotle's Poetics has been the basis for theories of entertainment for over 2,000 years. But the general approach it uses has led to a number of gaps, contradictions, and difficulties in predicting the success of books, plays, movies, and entertainment as a whole, so much so that sayings like "there are no rules, but you break them at your peril," and "in Hollywood, nobody knows anything" have become widespread and accepted. -/- However, it turns out that a model of entertainment (...) that defines literary conventions by the pleasurable feelings they release in the brain, and then equates them with outside experiences that people subconsciously attach to the literary work, in the same way that we can be conditioned to feel love when we view our wedding rings, can actually resolve almost every seeming contradiction in Aristotle's ideas and traditional theories of storytelling when compared to real-world results. -/- Furthermore, this approach can be extended to the other major forms of art, including painting, music and even video games, leading to a "Non-Aristotelian" theory that modifies the fundamental aspects of each of these fields, but in a natural and necessary way, which strengthens both our understanding and our ability to predict the success or failure of art in the future. -/- My work as a vlogger and writer, mostly done via my Youtube channel "StoryBrain," has been viewed over 6 million times, and written about in MovieMaker magazine, Creative Screenwriting magazine, on the front page of major sites like Reddit, Roger Ebert online, and in international newspapers like the Sydney Morning-Herald in Australia and Fotogramas in Spain. My work is also the subject of a chapter of the currently-in-release book "Neuro-Design," by Kogan Page publishing, called "The Neuro Movie Analyst." This paper is a detailed introduction to the theory of Emotional Indiscretion which I have talked about in my work. (shrink)
This paper takes the Status Loss Theory (introduced and explained in the first "How Humor Works" paper), and applies it to 40 real-world examples, including memes, radio and TV shows, movie and comic book tropes, song parodies, humor sayings, stand-up comedy cliches, known psychological quirks of humor, and more, to demonstrate the theory's potential to function as the first clear, complete, logical, and simple basis for defining, studying, and understanding humor in all of its forms.
Tarkovsky s’est opposé au montage et a considéré que la base de l’art cinématographique (l’art du film) est le rythme interne des images. Il a considèré le cinéma comme une représentation des courants distinctifs ou des ondes de temps, transmis dans le film par son rythme interne. Le rythme est au cœur du « film poétique ». Un rythme comme un mouvement dans le cadre (« la sculpture dans le temps »), pas comme une séquence d'images dans le temps. Le (...) temps passé dans le cadre exprime quelque chose de significatif et de vrai, qui dépasse les événements eux-mêmes et est reçu différemment par chaque spectateur. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30568.62727. (shrink)
Filmul Solaris (1972) al lui Andrei Tarkovski poate fi abordat prin prisma filosofiei minții, a întrebărilor esențiale în acest domeniu. Aceste întrebări se referă la personalitate și suferință, care acoperă cel puțin perioada de la Rene Descartes la filosofii moderni, precum Derek Parfit și Hilary Putnam. Solaris apare ca un vehicul adecvat pentru a explora provocările filosofice. De altfel, filmul Solaris al lui Tarkovsky permite multiple interpretări semantice. În același timp, Solaris prezintă un exemplu excelent despre modul în care spațiile (...) heterotopice pot exista în termeni cinematografici. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30893.23521. (shrink)
In Solaris, within the limits of heterotopic experience, several theoretical and ontological questions are examined through approaches on each character. Berton declares one of the main philosophical themes of the movie when he tells Kelvin: "You want to destroy that which we are presently incapable of understanding? Forgive me, but I am not an advocate of knowledge at any price. Knowledge is only valid when it's based on morality." The ocean does not mean anything as an object, it simply exists. (...) The ocean is not found in any of the human experimental approaches. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.15910.68169 . (shrink)
Does browsing the world through a screen change a person, especially in the context of COVID-19? Recent studies indicate that self-care, psychological well-being, and empathy may suffer. The “Californian ideology” privileges expression of the self even as digital technology tends to interrupt the modern trend towards elaborating distinct selves via texts that convey knowledge. Meanwhile, digital browsing may be fracturing attention and empathy. -/- As these changes proceed, legislators react to a medical and social crisis. Relaxation of business, community center, (...) and school closures prevailed, under pressure from advocates of liberty, jobs, and pro-market economics. A rival set of regulatory reforms would prioritize fighting the virus and providing more relief to its victims as being forms of care for others. In the international domain, nationalist ideology and economic warfare intensify disparities in access to medical care, imported goods, and livelihoods. At stake is how best to take beings into care. (shrink)
This essay is part of a doctoral dissertation presented to the Department of Philosophy, University of São Paulo, in 1993, named 'Genealogy of the Real' . Its core idea is a Nietzschean approach to a masterpiece among philosophical inspired movies, namely, Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, which surely touches deep groundings of the concept of truth and reality.
In this chapter, I argue that the films of Andrei Tarkovsky are particularly suitable for inducing feelings of the numinous. This suitability is a formal rather than semantic feature of his films, and is tied indelibly to what film scholars call ‘suture’. I with a summary of what film theorists mean by ‘suture’, before providing a principled defence of the Merleau-Pontian suture theory outlined by George Butte. Second, I will demonstrate that, in spite of the strength of Butte’s formulation, the (...) numinousness of Tarkovsky’s films pose an analytical challenge to his suture theory. Finally, I will then provide my own extension of Butte’s suture theory, arguing that, by virtue of the formal properties they possess, we encounter Tarkovsky’s films more like religious objects than ordinary films. The tenor of these encounters is why Tarkovsky’s films are appropriate loci for feelings of the numinous. (shrink)
This chapter explores how the non‐dualistic metaphysics endorsed by Star Wars and Spinoza provides an important lesson about what it means to have a true idea about something. According to the non‐dualistic metaphysics of the Jedi, power‐seeking ultimately isn't a matter of domination or destruction, but of “balance”. Living things are like all other things: they strive to maintain and increase their power. But they're unique because their manner of power‐ seeking demonstrates in an especially clear way how non‐dualistic metaphysics (...) is true: how independence and dependence, activity and passivity, aren't simply opposed but in fact interpenetrate and codetermine one another. The non‐dualistic interplay of activity and passivity, self‐assertion and receptivity, independence and dependence, is further demonstrated through the psychological lives of human beings. (shrink)
The TikTok experience refers to a user’s interaction with the platform while scrolling through various videos. The user can change what they are viewing instantly on one screen much like a TV viewer, the only difference being that whatever is being watched is in the form of short videos made specifically for the platform. These videos vary in style and form and are made to be viewed within the platform itself. All the content that a user watches within the mobile (...) application, in the end, forms a longer, theoretically never-ending, video that is sometimes completely unrelated but more often similar through shared jokes, memes, and visual filters. This way of producing and viewing short-form videos as a whole is reminiscent of the way Everything Everywhere All At Once feels to the audience which is no surprise as many other forms of media and artworks are inspired by internet short-form video platforms such as TikTok. (shrink)
Discussion of two documentaries by the Oaxacan filmmaker and anthropologist Sandra Luz López Barroso, Artemio (2017) and The One Amongst the Shadows (El compromiso de las sombras, 2021), both focused on the Costa Chica of Guerrero.
Spanish version of essay discussing two documentaries by the Oaxacan filmmaker and anthropologist Sandra Luz López Barroso, Artemio (2017) and The One Amongst the Shadows (El compromiso de las sombras, 2021), both focused on the Costa Chica of Guerrero.
This essay distinguishes some significant commonalities and differences between the film-philosophies of Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (especially in his book Poetics of Cinema) and U.S. philosopher Stanley Cavell. I argue that despite shared senses of the poetics of the film image and certain shared philosophical references, Ruiz and Cavell differed over their conceptions of the model spectator and their relations to autonomous films and worlds from which spectators are excluded (on Cavell's picture) versus fragments out of which the spectator might (...) create their own films and worlds in which a spectator might become included (on Ruiz's picture). I then argue that a striking reconciliation between these perspectives takes place via each's conception of television, since it was precisely the features of the medium and its heteronomous parts that Cavell found bemusing about from the perspective of his view of film (and its supposedly autonomous works) that allowed for Ruiz's natural career-long relationship with television and heteronomy, especially in Latin American telenovelas. I thus approach Ruiz's relation to telenovelas via Cavell's understanding of the possibilities of soap operas to explore arguments between different temporalities: "dialectical," narrative time and "undialectical" recurrences of needs and drives. I further explore this possibility with a reading of Ruiz's neglected, late-career Chilean TV series Litoral (2008), focused on the construction of stories by sailors aboard a ghost ship. I argue that the series' treatment of these different temporalities reaches its culmination in the poignant image of a sailor-storyteller stuck within a story of his own creation: a stark rendering of his taking a sideways-on view of the role of his own fantasies in its construction. (shrink)
Recent theorists of cultural studies have noticed the emergence of metamodernity as an ideal type, categorized by an oscillation between postmodern deconstructivism and modern idealism, into a form of transcendentalism. I argue in this chapter that this type of transcendentalism, informed by the historical American Transcendentalist Movement, is the emerging ideal called “Transhumanism.” I use a case study of five Japanese anime to demonstrate how transhumanist, metamodernist, and transcendental thinking often recur in key core plot points and narratives found within. (...) I further suggest that meditation on the major themes in these anime, especially those of metamodernity and transhumanism, is necessary if we are to understand our place in the world today and into the future. -/- The final version of this paper can be found in Anime, Philosophy, and Religion, Ed. Hayashi and Anderson, by Vernon Press. See "external links" for how to order the whole volume. -/- Winner of the Outstanding Doctoral Paper Award 2023, Southwestern Sociological Association. (shrink)
Among the many common criticisms of the Turing test, a valid criticism concerns its scope. Intelligence is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon that will require testing using as many different formats as possible. The Turing test continues to be valuable as a source of evidence to support the inductive inference that a machine possesses a certain kind of intelligence and when interpreted as providing a behavioural test for a certain kind of intelligence. This paper raises the novel criticism that the (...) Turing test represents an example of Goodhart’s Law operating in the field of artificial intelligence. As one measure towards the goal of creating genuinely intelligent machines, the Turing test must not be confused with the goal itself. Moreover, the Turing test ought to be augmented such that through its use additional evidence could be secured to support the strong inference that a machine, were it to pass the Turing Test, could think like a human. (shrink)
This article seeks to analyse the images that accompany the hybrid musical genre of the 1960s and 1970s called Anatolian Pop in Turkey. Anatolian pop music developed in a globalising-localising context, a ‘liminal’ place and space of both domestic and international cross-cultural communication. It is equally located at the intersection of rural and urban environments and thinking, a space the autors call 'rurban'. The rurban character of Anatolian Pop is for one part present within the music, but also in its (...) materiality, e.g., in the images produced alongside this music: for record covers, magazines and films that show musicians, fashion garments, accessories, and instruments. These images can be read as documents of particular social, temporal and/or spatial relationships, and can thus be analysed in the context of the sociology of knowledge. Mainly based on a sample of a 1970s Turkish weekly pop-culture magazine, the article examines how the interplay of rurban fashion and music works, and how these discourses were framed in the photographic images. The authors also investigate the visual and discursive links between Turkish "kostüme avantür" (costumed adventure) films of the period and Anatolian pop music. Thus, the objective of this analysis is to uncover the incorporated habitus of the period, i.e., the sometimes unconscious and unreflected patterns of behaviour and valuation in a society, of which 1960s/70s Turkey is a very telling example. (shrink)
Did you ever wonder why you are sometimes too tired to watch a film, and would rather watch some TV show? And then, you might end up watching five or six hours and binge watch an entire season, and yet feel too tired to commit yourself to a single 2-hour film piece. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, I will try to investigate whether there are any ontological differences in the form of a film or a television show. (...) Second, I will try to connect the newest neurological and psychological research regarding binging and attention span and see how seriality influences our brains. I will use the recent neurological findings to try to answer the question of why it seems easier to watch the same number of episodes rather than a single movie. Third, I will use David Lynch's and Mark Frost's third season of Twin Peaks as an example illustrating the blurry borders between a television show and a film, while contrasting it to the binge-watching phenomenon. (shrink)
A key philosophical feature of Peter Jackson’s film interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s _The Lord of the Rings_ is its use of fantasy to inspire a “recovery” of the actual or, in other words, a reawakening to the beauty of nature and the many possible ways of living in healthier ecological relation to the world. Though none of these ways is perfectly achieved, this pluralistic view is demonstrated in the various lifeways of Hobbits, Elves, Men, and Ents. All of the positive (...) relationships embodied in the films—to trees, mountains, horses, and vegetable gardens—involve loving care and attention, receiving nourishment and livelihood without instrumentalization, or reducing nature to mere resource. The films also vividly display a variety of ugly and destructive ways of using the land to accrue power and wealth. These noxious ways, specifically because they actively destroy the lands that they use, always need more. They will thus eventually annihilate the beautiful ways of being if they are not actively resisted. Some of those who would rather be tending their own trees, gardens, or horses or even wandering in the wild forests must therefore turn their attention to struggle and resistance instead. This is a struggle full of grief, and at times even verging on despair, but it is marked by the refusal to give up hope. Indeed, what Jackson and Tolkien have to say about hope is as important in responding to the ecological crisis as anything they have to say about nature, inasmuch as they help to remind us that even in our own times, “there is still hope.”. (shrink)
In the Dune universe, humans relied on computers for thousands of years. Their immense capacity for mathematical calculations made space travel possible, until the Butlerian Jihad ended that era. Humans found the means to cognitively and physically enhance themselves to replace and outmatch intelligent machines by using nootropic drugs, revolutionary training methods, artificial selection, and genetic engineering. There are also moral and social problems that come along with human enhancement technologies. In a society where enhancement is popular, the poor would (...) have fewer chances to succeed in social and economic competitions. Many moral philosophers argue that our freedoms and basic rights are guaranteed by a special moral status, personhood. Nicholas Agar has proposed that post‐personhood could be seen as the end of a continuum of intelligence and reasoning abilities. The Bene Gesserit education and selective breeding program claims to be all about producing human beings who maximize the well‐being of all humankind. (shrink)
This paper explores the events surrounding a string of robberies from the homes of young celebrities living in Los Angeles County by a group of teenagers referred to by the media as “The Bling Ring.” It argues that the group demonstrates the intersections of desire and materiality under the conditions of a culture driven by idolization of the celebrity, referring to the works of Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, and French collective Tiqqun. It further examines the events as a moment where (...) subjects were able to escape the life-narratives imposed upon them by the State. Rather than adhering to the norms of regular adolescent life, reproduced and enforced through what Michael Shapiro identifies as “national-time,” members of the Bling Ring endeavored to create their own lives according to what I refer to as “celebrity-time,” revealing processes of becoming in the work of Gilles Deleuze, and plasticity in that of Catherine Malabou. (shrink)
Juxtaposing Derek Jarman’s film Wittgenstein (1993) with the eponymous philosopher’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), this article shows how Jarman’s film warns its viewers against the conceptual and political problems created by treating queerness as a metaphysical abstraction. For Jarman’s version of Wittgenstein, the need to make queerness a metaphysical abstraction was the product of homophobic self-loathing, which in turn distorted the philosopher’s sense of what and who could be part of “the world.” I take Jarman’s film as an opportunity to bring (...) these issues to bear on recent theoretical accounts of queerness as being either difficult to define or somehow beyond representation. (shrink)
The issue of fake news and disinformation remains widespread in Bangladesh. The author produced a video documentary “Making OR Faking” that focuses on how this issue affects journalism practices in the mainstream media in Bangladesh. In this piece, the author reflects on how the making of the documentary shaped his understanding of the issue. Undertaking a qualitative approach, the author used semi-structured interviews to explore the insights and perspectives of key informants. Critical reflections on the methodological aspects of the filmmaking (...) process highlight the challenges in processing the construction of meaning through moving images. The analyses of the findings underscore the conceptual issues in understanding fake news and disinformation, the emergence of fake news in Bangladesh, and the impacts on the mainstream media. The article also explores potential ways to tackle this issue. (shrink)
This article investigates multi-species relations in a group of science fiction narratives featuring extraterrestrial beings, paying particular attention to the Alien movie series. The concept of “cosmopolitical ecology” is elaborated as a tool to map relations between the different kinds of beings that populate the modern imagination in SF, especially those between humans, machines, animals and alien entities. Two apparently opposing modes of relation are highlighted in the narratives: domestication and predation. But those modes, intrinsically connected to a broader colonial (...) imaginary, seem to be themselves entangled in complex ways. If modernity is marked by what Ghassan Hage calls “generalized domestication,” then what is the place of predation in modern metaphysics? An ambiguous position often attached to a dangerous other, the role of the predator also emerges as a feature of modern humans, a trace that they sometimes recognize in themselves when they look at an alien mirror. (shrink)
The following Introduction briefly traces, albeit in jarring cuts, the evolution of caste question and its relationship with Indian cinema. It also tries to point out some aspects of Indian film theory, its lacunae and hopes that some of the questions raised here may give rise to future works by other (better) theorists. Pre-Independence cinema in India rarely addressed caste question, and if it did, then it was through an abstract global humanist lens. This tendency to address caste through a (...) hollow and empty shell of a theoretical model unfortunately has stuck around even in these times, and only found newer ways to reinvent itself in Neoliberal times. To understand the reason of Indian cinema’s lack of addressing caste more directly and pointedly, it has to be seen as part of a historical process. Only then can we see the history of ideology that is “outside of itself”, that is, in the material conditions that made possible Indian caste-society as well as its cine-culture. It also tries to raise questions about the film form, and its many possibilities of experimentation with the caste question (i.e. both in ideological and experiential possibilities). Lastly, it introduces some of the key works in this issue. Of course, with the hope that the readers will forgive and give respite to the many lacuna of the issue, as well as the Editor himself. (shrink)
Social robots are marketed as human tools promising us a better life. This marketing strategy commodifies not only the labor of care but the caregiver as well, conjuring a fantasy of technoliberal futurism that echoes a colonial past. Against techno-utopian fantasies of a good life as one involving engineered domestic help, I draw here on the techno-dystopian television show Humans (stylized HUMⱯNS) to suggest that we should find our desires for such help unsettling. At the core of my argument is (...) a return of the “uncanny valley” problem, from its reformulation as an engineering/design problem to its origins as a psychosocial symptom of an unresolved, traumatic past. I conclude that our sense of the uncanny may be best understood as a moral capacity that should be honed rather than evaded. (shrink)
ISBN 978-1-4384-9027-4 Argues that Nietzsche’s idea of the Übermensch was a central concern of filmmakers in the 1920s and 1930s. -/- Nietzsche in Hollywood offers a compelling and startling history of Hollywood film in which the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his idea of the Übermensch looms large. Though Nietzsche’s philosophy was attacked as egoistic and a sociopathic version of Darwinism in films from the 1910s, it undergoes a series of cinematic and philosophical transformations in the 1920s and 1930s under (...) the eye and pen of some of the most significant names in early Hollywood, including Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg, Ben Hecht, Howard Hawks, and Ernst Lubitsch. In addition to establishing historical connections between Nietzsche’s philosophy and these filmmakers, the book provides philosophical readings of many Hollywood films through the lens of the Nietzschean ideas of “perspectivism” and the critique of morality. Offering a new history of classic Hollywood films as well as a new approach to film philosophy, Nietzsche in Hollywood reveals a reading of the philosopher in American culture that has largely been ignored. (shrink)
Films frequently employ nicknames not only for villains but also for non-criminal characters. In this paper, I present a classification of nicknames used in films, along with various examples, mostly from crime-related films. I argue that the use of nicknames in films is important not for the sake of reference, but for the sake of an additional narrative told by the nickname as a shorthand description of a character's background (cf. Tony “Two-Toes”, “Dirty” Harry, “Doc” Erwin or “Hatchet” Harry Lonsdale). (...) The first role of nicknames is their use as a case of Russell's definite descriptions, which require context to be meaningful, in this case, the film story itself. Such descriptions do not need their object to necessarily exist, but they are still meaningful. This role will be tied to the pragmatic context employed. The second role of film nicknames is to concisely present the audience with a background story, by enriching the identity of a character with additional background information, without unnecessary storytelling. Such a device is connected to the philosophical theory of narrativism, providing an additional layer of the character’s identity. (shrink)
In Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), we watch the film’s protagonist, Theodore, as he struggles with the end of his marriage and a growing attachment to his artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha. While the film remains unique in its ability to cinematically portray the Lacanian contention that “there is no sexual relationship,” this article explores how our digital non-relationships can be re-approached through the medium of comedy. Specifically, when looked at through a comic lens, notable scenes from Her are examined for (...) the potential they provide in affording a self-decentrement which allows us to traverse the fantasies that structure our non-relations. (shrink)