Humour & Neural Networks

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Sun Nov 12 15:25:12 EST 1995

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>Subject: Humour & Neural Networks
>Hello again, friend netters!
>               Philip Dorrell (p at
>comments on my former posting:
>> Lack of empathy seems to me to be distinct to lack of
>>sense of humour. Maybe with sufficient damage both could
>>be obliterated, but that would only confuse the issue.
>>Just because someone doesn't get a joke I don't see why
>>they shouldn't exhibit concern about people. What I would
>>expect is that people that lacked empathy wouldn't laugh
>>at jokes involving anti-empathy, i.e. where something um-
>>pleasant happens to someone.
>                Philip's answer go deep! ("cala en honduras",
>I would say in Spanish). If laugh is to be depicted by neural
>networking, it ought to be like an Aplysia's beautifully coordi-
>nated reflex. We even do not still know if birdsong is, or if
>it is not, accompanied by empathy.  But laughing (except when
>sardonic :-)!) is humourous -or, it humours a joke- only if em-
>pathizing with the situation understood as jocular. We here in
>our Lab follow the analysis of Prof. Marcos Victoria ("La Risa")
>and of Dr. Jose Ingenieros; but abroad you can find similar appre-
>ciations in the line of thought of Dilthey's distinction between
>explanation and understanding and, on the other hand, Bergson's
>theses on "Le rire". Agreed: empathy and sense of humour are
>pretty different, but you cannot have sense of humour if you lack
>the sense of understanding the situations affecting your neighbours,
>or "understanding" in the Diltheyan-Jasperian acception. And this
>requires hylozoism.
>            	What is at the stake is the possibility for neural
>networks, or in general for any kinetized, exogenist physics, to
>depict laughing. 
>		Any non-hylozoist neuroscience framed in such a
>physics can solely depict laughing by previous reducing it into a
>reflex lacking empathy, i.e. an effect of parahippocampal electro-
>stimulation.  But if your electrostimulated subject tells you that
>she feels merryment, then you ought to relinquish said reduction
>and recognize hylozoistically that reflexes put in action other
>processes differentially producing one-witness physical realities. 
>		If you preposit a dualism, of course you can insert
>a hormic agency navigating accross the bushes of the neuroanatomical 
>structures, but only while resigning any physical research.
>                Fortunately the cult bussiness now can thrive without
>such hormic additions, so I hope in the next decades both physics
>and the neurosciences based in it shall accompany the hylozoist stan-
>ce of our remote and (until recently) confined tradition.
>                Cyberkissing everybody!
>				 Mariela

       Prof. Mariela Szirko,
       <postmaster at> 
       Centro de Investig. Neurobiologicas, Ministry
       of Health & Welfare, Argentine Republic; and Lab. of
       Electroneurobiological Res., Hospital "Dr. Jose Tiburcio Borda", 
       Municipality of Buenos Aires,
       Office:  Phone/Fax (54 1) 306 -7314
                e-mail <postmaster at>
       Standard disclaimer: Las opiniones de este mensaje son personales 
      y no comprometen las dependencias a cargo de la firmante.
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