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Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind (MIT Press)

By Matthew M. Hurley & Reginald B. Adams Jr.

Brand: The MIT Press
Paperback (376 pages)

Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind (MIT Press)
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An evolutionary and cognitive account of the addictive mind candy that is humor.

Some things are funny -- jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed -- but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective. Humor, they propose, evolved out of a computational problem that arose when our long-ago ancestors were furnished with open-ended thinking. Mother Nature -- aka natural selection -- cannot just order the brain to find and fix all our time-pressured misleaps and near-misses. She has to bribe the brain with pleasure. So we find them funny. This wired-in source of pleasure has been tickled relentlessly by humorists over the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that is humor.

Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes

By Anne Elizabeth Moore

Curbside Splendor Publishing
Paperback (300 pages)

Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes
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"Books We're Excited About in 2017" (Chicago Tribune)
"Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2017" (Chicago Reader)

Every day, heinous acts are perpetrated on women's bodies in this political economy—whether for entertainment, in the guise of medicine, or due to the conditions of labor that propel consumerism. In Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, award-winning journalist and Fulbright scholar Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the global toll of capitalism on women with thorough research and surprising humor. The essays range from probing journalistic investigations, such as Moore’s reporting on the labor conditions of the Cambodian garment industry, to the uncomfortably personal, as when Moore, who suffers from several autoimmune disorders, examines her experiences seeking care and community in the increasingly complicated (and problematic) American healthcare system. Featuring illustrations by Xander Marro, Body Horror is a fascinating and revealing portrait of the gore of contemporary American culture and politics.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is the author of Unmarketable and Cambodian Grrrl, co-editor and publisher of the now-defunct Punk Planet, a founding editor of Best American Comics, a Fulbright scholar, former UN Press Fellow, and USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow.




 
 
 
 

 
 
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