Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, takes humor seriously. In his pursuit of getting published in the magazine he submitted over 2,000 cartoons, and since he landed in the hallowed weekly’s pages, Mankoff has continued to hone his expertise on every dimension of humor. Big Think talked to the cartoonist about his career—from his childhood clowning to his current position as a cartoonist who edits cartoons each week—and more about the science and the sociology of humor.
Mankoff isn’t only a specialist in making people laugh, but he is an expert on the science of humor. He told us the evolutionary importance of laughter—and not just in terms of human beings. We also learned the differences between men’s and women’s humor, between liberal and conservative humor, and between modern and ancient humor.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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