Humans have a ton of instincts. Things that compel us to behaviors, sometimes against our will.
Most of us are familiar with social instincts, and food instincts and sex instincts. But there is also a humor instinct.
It makes sense from a physiological-immune system kind of way. Whenever we laugh, aside from the funny feeling in our brain, it’s kind of a tension and release effect.
When we tighten up our diaphragm and many of our muscles. Then we release and relax our muscles and take a few breaths of fresh air.
It serves as kind of a relief valve for tension. The more tension we feel, the more likely we’ll laugh at silly things that we wouldn’t otherwise laugh at.
From an evolutionary perspective it make sense. Those with the humor instinct would have a kind of safety valve to bleed of excess stress.
Doctor and researchers have known for years that stress is a silent killer. It’s responsible for most illnesses and wreaks havoc on our immune system.
Noam Chomsky came up with the idea that we have a language instinct. That we have some kind of grammar organ in our brain.
Inner and Outer Brains
One of the ways he expressed this was through the idea of transformational grammar.
This addresses the idea of our spoken language is kind of a surface structure representation of our deeper thoughts.
That our deep thoughts have the same basic structure as our expressed language.
But when we take our thoughts and express them as words, they have to go through a kind of transformation.
Chomsky expressed this in great detail, showing the specific structure of our thoughts, which he called deep structure to the specific structure of our spoken language, which he called surface structure.
One idea that is common among historians is that our ancient instincts worked perfectly for hunters and gatherers, but they don’t work nearly as well in modern societies.
One example of this is that ancient tribal societies were pretty small. Only a couple hundred people.
Once they got too big, they kind of split in half and went their separate ways.
This makes sense, as other animals that are highly social, like bees and ants, tend to do the same thing.
When they get too big, they split into two daughter colonies.
But in modern times, the same instincts that helped ancient humans survive sometimes have the opposite effect.
They say there are two kinds of instincts. The kinds of instincts we are programmed with, and the kinds of instincts we can learn.
New Skill Generator
Anything that you can practice to the point of unconscious competence can be considered a learned instinct. A new instinct.
Like practicing the piano, for example, until you know a song by heart.
When you are in the practicing stage, you need most of your conscious mind.
To watch carefully where you put your fingers and to listen carefully to the sounds they make.
If you practice long enough, you can turn your conscious mind off and think about something else while you’re unconscious can make beautiful music.
This means anything you practice enough, can be turned into a new instinct.
You can create a new instinct to make lots of money.
You can create a new instinct to have lots of sex with sexy people.
You can create a new instinct to express yourself creatively and assertively.
You can create a new instinct to invent lifesaving technology.
Become A Hero
You can create a new instinct that will make you do great things so you can enjoy great rewards.
When large societies start, it’s common to follow the leader of any large society just like we did in ancient hunter gatherer societies.
We even expect modern leaders to distribute wealth like ancient tribal leaders did.
But the difference is that ancient tribal leaders actually led us to get wealth. To go out and kill some big animal.
Kill and Distribute Wealth
Then when we all came back home, the leader would direct who got what pieces from that externally acquired wealth.
But all modern leaders take wealth from within the society and re-distribute it.
This continues until no more wealth remains, and the society collapses.
This is precisely why every modern society has as long term survival rate of exactly zero.
Once Noam Chomsky published his theory on Transformational Grammar, especially the parts about surface structure and deep structure, it was misinterpreted.
Deep Structure of Art
People started seeing deep structure and surface structure in ways Chomsky didn’t intend.
So if you go look up Transformational Grammar on wikipedia, you’ll find it’s been changed to d-structure and s-structure.
Chomsky meant this as a purely specific label for linguistic structures and nothing more.
Perhaps we have an instinct to read between the lines so you can find hidden meanings.
Elephants Wearing Pajamas
Most humor is based on ambiguity.
For example, if you can create a short sentence, or a question and answer where one word means two different things within that short phrase, it triggers the humor response.
Why is six afraid of seven? Seven ate nine.
What did the beach say when the tide came in? Long time no sea.
Why did the student study on an airplane? He was in high school.
What building has the most stories? The library.
Large Humor Becomes Confusing
But when you take the ambiguity and stretch it out longer than our brain space, it stops being funny and it starts to get confusing.
The most famous ambiguous sentence is time flies like an arrow.
Time Flies Like An Arrow – One
Time flies like an arrow.
Time flows fast like an arrow flows fast.
Time Flies Like An Arrow – Two
Time flies like an arrow.
There are fruit flies, house flies, horse flies and time flies. Those time flies like an arrow.
Time Flies Like An Arrow – Three
Time flies like an arrow.
If you got a job in a lab measuring the speed of flies, you’d ask your boss how to do that.
He’d look at your resume and see you used to have a job measuring the speed of an arrow.
So he would tell you to measure the speed of flies like you’d measure the speed of an arrow, or to time flies like an arrow.
Time Flies Like An Arrow – Four
Similarly, if you had the same job but no speed measuring experience, he might send you to see your coworker, who happened to BE an arrow.
Then he’d tell you to measure the speed of flies like that arrow over there was measuring the speed of flies.
Or to time flies like an arrow.
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.