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I-Laugh -  Your   'Working'  Humor Discussion  List
Moderated by   :   Eva Rosenberg  mailto:laugh@taxmama.com

Assisted   By  :   Gunjan Saraf   mailto:laugh@taxmama.com

 06  June  2001    #     010
Heller's observation  :
I love work. I can sit and watch it done for hours.


Moderator  Comment
We are glowing!

Another Goof Up
            ~ Gunjan

Humor in Training (Whistling Speeds)
           ~ Dr  Santosh
           ~ Moderator's Comment

Humor in Training (The importance of examples)
           ~  Gunjan
  Useful  Humor  Tips

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Moderator's Message

Dear LaughMates,

We are positively glowing this week {the Japs would
mistake that to mean we are getting bigger, (flied lice
anyone) which we are, but my stress is on radiance.}
The reason for the glow is some of the high testimonials
we have received.

First a personal one. A good friend of mine Dr Shridhar
Kamath has just been accepted at Cambridge for a three
year rotation in the Department of Psychiatry. He said
the interview was really tough and the professors really
tried to get him off balance. It was the long humorous
chats and discussions on humor we used to have that
helped him keep his cool and go through the interview
well. (Of course he uses many more 'medical terms' which
unfortunately (pardon the pun) can't be 'reproduced' here.)
But that is high praise indeed.

Thanks Doc. Don't forget to prescribe I-Laugh to all
those who need it :-)

Next, one of our respected members, Mr. Ian Purdie,
who is well known in the field of technology, found
our chicken and egg story worthy of reproduction in
his newsletter. (If you'd like to check it out, it should
probably be archived at his site. Is it Ian?)

Now isn't that moving? (In every sense of the word)

Best Wishes,
Your Grinning Moderator

P.S. Please, do feel free to share your stories
and issues with us. We'll help you focus on how
to address them with diplomacy.

=====  Calls for Help =====

====> Another Goof Up

Hi Friends,

I made such a silly error in my other
newsletter Jest for Pun. I recommend
a particular newsletter and provided
an affiliate link to it. When I checked
in CJ a couple of days later there was
a good response from one link. Without
even checking I assumed it must be from
my newsletter recommendation.

So I put in a glowing thank you note, in the
next issue (last Saturday) and provided the
link again. To which I got a single mail
telling me the link wasn't working in both
issues. Double checking I find he is
absolutely right and the activity at CJ
was actually another link from my web page.

I feel so stupid, having said - "Oh what
tremendous response.... blah, blah"
Every one who clicked on that link
and saw it doesn't work must think
I'm the biggest liar (Well, maybe not
the biggest. I have some fantastic
competitors :-) but you get the gist.

Now I'd like suggestions on what to say
about the whole situation.

[Please note although I-Laugh goes out every
Wednesday, Jest for Pun goes out every
Saturday night, so if your post is to be really useful
to me and not just a post it must reach me by
Friday night.]

Thanking all of you in anticipation,

Love Pun-gent humor ? -> http://on.to/puns
Not a site seer ? -> pun-subscribe@topica.com
                               Weakly trash in your mail

=====  Replies =====

====>  Whistling  Speeds

>From Dr Santosh <santosh99@netscape.net>

Hi  buddy,

About the question of how hard should a member of
a team work:

If you ask me, I think the answer to the question
of the speed of the bullock-cart would be zero.

It seems to me from the little physics  that I know,
that  if one wheel (in a two-wheeled cart) goes faster
than the other, the cart would travel in a circle! If
speed is the rate of change of position, and if you
were to measure distance traveled from the center of
the circle, the average distance moved would be zero
(the largest distance traveled from the center would
be the length of the radius, say +r;  and at the
other extreme you would have -r).

Of-course I agree about the whistling at work!

I also urge you to discover the principles of basic
game theory which argues that the (benefits from the)
role one plays depends on what others are doing.

In conclusion, if  you were to put in 100% and other
members  put in only, say 10%, would you really KEEP
whistling? Maybe you would. But for how long? A
whole day? A week? A year? A lifetime? If you
assume the benefits of teamwork is shared by its
members, the whistling will not (cannot, according
to game theory) work. This is because the "strategy"
of whistling is open to exploitation.

The system is open to evolutionary invasion. People
who put in less and gain more per unit of investment
(relative to the whistler) will stand to gain more
than the whistler. The whistler is an evolutionary
loser. if you gain relatively less per unit of investment,
you cannot be a winner. But you can be a Saint!
 Now I'm getting into Richard Dawkin's
"The Extended Phenotype" so I better quit.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Moderator's comment - Thanks for the insight on
speed  of the cart. Hadn't thought of that.

However as far as the whistler being a loser part
is concerned ... the whole idea of the whistler
whistling in that example was that he doesn't put
in more than his share and is therefore not exploited.
Of course, the side effect of this working at just
10% or 30% of your capability to avoid being
exploited will also sooner or later make you stop
whistling as you point out.

So I'd suggest that the young bull in the example
shouldn't work with old bull indefinitely. But
while he's working out strategies on whether he
should change carts, or wring the old bulls neck,
he would survive even better, if he could  whistle
and not let stress kill him. Right? Am I getting
into  Richard Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" territory? :-)
~ Gunjan

Your Humor Guide's comment: And speaking of all this
Contributing according to your ability and
receiving according to your need (Nietzsche), Ayn
Rand wrote a brilliant (and REALLY long) book that
took this to extremes, Atlas Shrugged.
Although I've read it at least three or five times,
I will admit that I've never been able to read all
of John Galt's long and boring speech.
- Eva

 ===> The Importance of Examples

Hi there,  This is with reference to the bullock cart
story in last weeks I-Laugh and  the way it helped
drive home a  point  which would otherwise have been
difficult to get across.  Reminds me of two incidents.

The first ... Years back when I was just out of college,
I'd gone with Sam, a good friend, for a  drink. We
bumped into this huge six foot six chap, a black belt
in Karate,and a diehard believer of Zen & meditation.
Sam at that time was a confirmed atheist.  Now these
guys got into an  argument about God at around 9  PM
with the monster talking about  God does this, does
that, He's  so great etc. By 1 AM (about 3 bottles of
whiskey later or was it 5) the chappie had been
reduced to  mumbling, "but do you at least  believe
in the possibility that  God exists." Sam was not in
the frame of mind to grant him even that.

I  remember finding it extremely  amusing since I
find it crazy being  able to deny anything beyond
our perception. Whether to believe in it or not is
different but we can't deny its  possibility.

I remembered this ancient incident because of the
second occurrence  last week. I was having a drink
with Dr Santosh (amazing how so  many eye opening
conversations are over drinks :-) about how many
things were still beyond human perception.  A
friend piped in and felt we were  wasting our time
talking a load of rubbish. He felt that things
within our perception were real, whereas things
beyond our  perceptions were just fantasy.

I started trying to explain about things which
were beyond our perception but the skeptical
friend,  was looking at me as if I'd escaped from
an asylum. That's when Dr Santosh took over.

He first gave him the example of how  colors
depended on the viewers  perception and how
birds perceived colors very differently from
humans. So a red rose needn't be red and certainly
wasn't to most birds. However he didn't get
through with this example so he switched tracks.

He spoke about how light bends when it passes from
one medium to another and that is why stars  were
not in the positions in which we saw (perceived)
them. He added that if our friend was to reach
out for a star the way reached out for his glass
he would be amazed  that it wasn't there, where
he thought he was seeing it.

Still the skeptic wasn't totally convinced so the
good Doc switched tracks again. He asked the
skeptic if he knew that there was music all
around him. Could he hear it? The guy burst out
laughing - "Music! in this place, you  must be
kidding, there's nothing here but the sound of
hundreds of drinkers talking."
(in voices a shade too loud - ed)

Dr Santosh was quick to clarify the point.
"Exactly" he said, "you feel there is no music
around you cause you can't perceive  it. Yet I
can prove there's music all around you now. All
you need is a simple perception enhancement
device called a transistor radio and you'll be
able to hear all the music that's around  you."

Now wouldn't that big fellow (of the earlier
incident) have found life easier, and gotten to
sleep much earlier if he had Dr Santosh (or a
copy of I-Laugh Issue #10) on his side.

All he would have had to do was give the above
example, and add with a smile that God was  all
around us, but he wasn't willing to lend Sam his
'transistor'. Sam would have to discover his own. :-)

{Incidentally, Sam has found his own 'transistor'.
I saw him going to church a couple of months back.:-)}

With Best Wishes,
Yours Exemplarily,
WZ-ard of Adobe Photoshop

===========  Helpful Humor Tips    ==========

Humor can help you get over your  inhibitions.
I was supposed to collect this 'online'  friend from
the airport this morning. I insisted she send me a
photograph as I find the idea of standing at the
airport with a nameboard extremely  silly.

In her last mail before coming over, instead of
sending a photograph, she jokingly stated be there
with a flower between your teeth so I can recognize
you, leaving me in a  quandary.  But then doing a bit
of thinking and  borrowing a leaf out of Catch 22.
(I love that line  :-) I made a message which read -

I have a book, not a flower
and it's in my hand, not between my teeth.

The chap (me) who was embarrassed to hold up
name board at the airport had no problem holding
up this totally nutty sign to the amusement of
hundreds of people. :-)

Murphy's Law of  Motivation : Nothing motivates a man
more than seeing his boss putting in a hard days  work.

I-Laugh is edited by:
Eva Rosenberg mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

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