0794: "Inside Joke"

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Frankie
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Frankie » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:05 am UTC

tenseiga wrote:oh k. Can someone explain this one to me? I dont understand the 9 silvers or the monk ladder reference.

That's what she said!

Where's the beef?

Silly rabbit, in-jokes are for kids!

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Karilyn
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Karilyn » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:15 am UTC

No soup for you.

Rosebud was his sled.

4 8 15 16 23 42

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Karilyn doesn't want to be fed. Karilyn wants to hunt.

Flying Spaghetti Monster.

A winner is you.

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.

I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave.

Feed me, Seymore!

People die if they are killed...
Last edited by Karilyn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby chrth » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:22 am UTC

felix wrote:The cool thing to remember is that when you think of people in "history", think "kids". Consider the median age way back in the olden days. We're talking numbers like 17 rather than the late twenties or early thirties of today's 1st Worldia.

Put another way, they were all a bunch of teenagers. So the teen-joke factor would have been real high. Or bleary, 'cause they were also a bunch of lushes.


That's not actually true. The reason the median age was so low (relatively) prior to the 20th century is due to high incidences of death at childbirth and from early childhood diseases. If you could make it to 20 and survive a bout of smallpox, you had a fairly decent chance of making it to 70.

Also, the plays of Aristophanes are rife with inside jokes.

Hazman
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Hazman » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:42 am UTC

Wow, a lot of you guys are having a lot of trouble discriminating between cultural references and inside jokes. Protip: If you post it on here and expect anyone to find it funny, it's a cultural reference and not an inside joke. Unless it's an inside joke to this forum.

Cal Engime
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Cal Engime » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:50 am UTC

They're inside jokes to very large groups of people.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:00 pm UTC

tenseiga wrote:oh k. Can someone explain this one to me? I dont understand the 9 silvers or the monk ladder reference.

There's.. nothing to get. It's possible those are valid references to something, and in about five minutes someone's going to disprove me of this, but...

it's just crap Randall made up in order to make the joke work - namely, in order to understand what they're talking about, you'd have to live in whatever time period that is and be immersed in the culture.

Hazman wrote:Wow, a lot of you guys are having a lot of trouble discriminating between cultural references and inside jokes. Protip: If you post it on here and expect anyone to find it funny, it's a cultural reference and not an inside joke. Unless it's an inside joke to this forum.

"This shark week, the cheese burns you." - Saladin's Mom.
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby radtea » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:03 pm UTC

Let me wade in pedantically ('cause I'm good at it) before putting in a shameless plug for my own poetry.

The difference between "old" popular culture and "new" popular culture is timescale: up until about a century ago you could fill your work with references to works created any time in the past twenty-five hundred years and expect your audience to get them, because everyone literate had been subject to a similar education, and the whole body of work was relatively small.

Today you can't reference anything older than 1970 and expect anyone to get it. Dr Strangelove maybe violates that rule, but the curve drops off pretty steeply, partly because we've changed so much in the past century (from outdoor plumbing to nuclear power) and partly because the sheer amount of cultural work has increased and diversified so rapidly.

Not only has modern popular culture forgotten a great deal, it has also fragmented, so you're allowed to reference the sciences, say, in some genres, but have to pretend that they don't exist in others. Very little writing exists for people who are both scientifically and culturally literate.

Except mine: http://www.cindylooyou.com

I told you there'd be a shameless plug! This project is an experiment in a poetic web-comic created by myself and the artist Hilary Farmer (http://greenteadoodles.wordpress.com) inspired by some improbable combination of Dr Seuss and Dr Who. Hilary's images are gorgeous and my poetry (more here: http://www.tjradcliffe.com references everything from optical spectroscopy to Aristophanes, all in bouncy and surreal anapestic tetrameter.
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DennyMo
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby DennyMo » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:48 pm UTC

Great one. Like panning for gold, when I realized in high school just how naughty all this "proper literature" was, it dramatically increased my interest level. I'm reminded of my favorite ST:TNG episode, "Darmok". Picard and company are trying to figure out how to communicate with a race that only speaks in metaphor, and it was fascinatingly difficult because they had no common cultural reference points. Modern kids trying to read Shakespeare or "Paradise Lost" are faced with a similar challenge.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby The1exile » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:48 pm UTC

Gamer_2k4 wrote:You're a horrible excuse for a "cartoonist."

You're a horrible excuse for a troll.
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby googlyeyesultra » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:14 pm UTC

When I started reading this, I thought the monk out back with a ladder was going to break it into two ten foot poles, sell them, buy another ladder, etc. to get the ham-buyer the extra cash he needs.
Oh DnD.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby diotimajsh » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 pm UTC

chrth wrote:That's not actually true. The reason the median age was so low (relatively) prior to the 20th century is due to high incidences of death at childbirth and from early childhood diseases. If you could make it to 20 and survive a bout of smallpox, you had a fairly decent chance of making it to 70.
Yes. And we might also keep in mind that many peasants could die at young ages while aristocrats and royalty might have had better odds of surviving, skewing the statistics. Many of the people producing culture and influencing politics probably lived longer than the median, thanks to a better quality of living.

If we take a look at the U.S. Constitution (1787), for example, the minimum age to serve as a president was (and still is) 35 years. That couldn't have been a very useful figure if you expected most of your politicians to be dead before they reach that age, or to die soon after reaching it. Even farther back, we can find similar or even higher age requirements for political offices--in Ancient Rome, the cursus honorum dictated minimum ages of 30, 36, and 40 for various positions. (I seem to remember some Greek office that even started at the age of 50, but I could be imagining that.)
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:00 pm UTC

Cal Engime wrote:"My Old Ways" by Dr. Dog - Like Steely Dan, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Abe Vigoda, not one person.
"Snookered" by Dan Deacon
"Also Frightened" by Animal Collective - Yes, that album cover is a still image.
"Just Got to Be" by the Black Keys
"In the Sun" by She & Him
"Wake Up" by (the) Arcade Fire - I'm not really sure whether you use a definite article with this band's name or not.
"Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton
"Cannibal Resource" by the Dirty Projectors
"Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens - From his album about Illinois, part of a project to make an album about each state.


Of those, I would only say "Wake Up," "Chicago," and "Skullcrusher Mountain" are at all likely. Something the people touting obscure "real music" as future classics need to remember is that Van Gogh and Leonardo were the exceptions, not the rule; most of what's endured was at least moderately popular in its own time, and more than you'd think was considered vernacular trash by educated critics.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby clanders » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:43 pm UTC

Whether this comic is true or not... it is not at all funny.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby quintopia » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

Thank heavens you folks see the sheer idiocy of this comic too. You have restored my faith in humanity.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Moose Hole » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

Just the other day, I was feeding ham to a monkey on a silver ladder. Get out of my head, Randal.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Karilyn » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:03 pm UTC

Hazman wrote:Wow, a lot of you guys are having a lot of trouble discriminating between cultural references and inside jokes. Protip: If you post it on here and expect anyone to find it funny, it's a cultural reference and not an inside joke. Unless it's an inside joke to this forum.

If I post "the cake is a lie" fully expecting it to be anything but funny because the joke has been beaten into the ground like ten million dead horses... Then what is it?
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby ggerrietts » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Something the people touting obscure "real music" as future classics need to remember is that Van Gogh and Leonardo were the exceptions, not the rule; most of what's endured was at least moderately popular in its own time, and more than you'd think was considered vernacular trash by educated critics.


I don't think "obscure music" gets held up as a future classic because it's obscure. Its relative absence from mainstream media is a corollary effect. Much of the music that is offered up as candidate for enduring appreciation, is identified as such because of its musicality and contribution to the evolution of music as an art form.

Some "popular music" may also satisfy these criteria, but it is neither required nor even especially helpful for pop music to be innovative, sophisticated, or challenging to our ideas of "good music." Much of popular music is a three-chord progression and some insipid lyrics slopped on top of a carnally-inspired rhythm and fronted by a sexually appealing vocalist. Its success is more indicative of the marketing and media manipulation the record label delivers than any songwriting skill.

By contrast, when music is not flush with promotional funding, it must stand on other merits, instead. Consequently, a larger proportion of the music that is appreciated by counterculture populations, ends up having significant artistic merit. This leads to the underground subcultures (I think now represented by the "indie rockers" among others) having a disproportionate influence on how we describe and conceive of musical history.

As a tangential side note, I find it a little amusing that whenever something requires a subtle sense of humor to appreciate, people come complain about how Randall's not funny. I suspect it's the same crew that can't see why Wes Anderson films are considered funny.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby chrth » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:
Hazman wrote:Wow, a lot of you guys are having a lot of trouble discriminating between cultural references and inside jokes. Protip: If you post it on here and expect anyone to find it funny, it's a cultural reference and not an inside joke. Unless it's an inside joke to this forum.

If I post "the cake is a lie" fully expecting it to be anything but funny because the joke has been beaten into the ground like ten million dead horses... Then what is it?


an opportunity to post another XKCD cartoon, of course!

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Karilyn » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

chrth wrote:
Karilyn wrote:
Hazman wrote:Wow, a lot of you guys are having a lot of trouble discriminating between cultural references and inside jokes. Protip: If you post it on here and expect anyone to find it funny, it's a cultural reference and not an inside joke. Unless it's an inside joke to this forum.

If I post "the cake is a lie" fully expecting it to be anything but funny because the joke has been beaten into the ground like ten million dead horses... Then what is it?


an opportunity to post another XKCD cartoon, of course!

[img]http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cutting_edge.png[img]

Congratulations. You win!
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby chrth » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:28 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Congratulations. You win!


Woot!
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:00 pm UTC

Argos wrote:I think we found a new way why this comic is "unsuitable for liberal-arts majors".


You mean as in "Wasn't funny at all", "didn't have anything interesting or amusing to say" AND "was done in about one minute and a half"?

Yeah, very unsuitable to about any kind of major, and probably only suitable for people who never heard actual humour outside of 4chan.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby arbivark » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

After Malcolm Forbes included Socrates'
words in a Forbes magazine editorial entitled 'Youth,' his research
staff went crazy trying to prove their authenticity. They contacted a
wide range of librarians, classicists, and other experts on Socrates.
None knew of any source for the passage. The researchers finally
called Amsterdam's mayor, Gijsbert van Hall. Van Hall said he'd seen
the lines by Socrates in a Dutch book whose title he could not recall.
There the search ended. 'We suspect,' Forbes's [sic] researchers
concluded, '. . . that Socrates never did make those cracks about
Athenian youth.
'

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:it's just crap Randall made up in order to make the joke work - namely, in order to understand what they're talking about, you'd have to live in whatever time period that is and be immersed in the culture.


Since when is that a "joke"?

I guess it only gets anywhere near a "joke" to people who always thought that liberal arts are, like, totally lame and totally uncool because they're not computers.

"Hai, did you know, back in Mozart's day, his music wasn't really all that special and was really quite commonplace? ISN'T THAT HILARIOUS???"
"Hm, actually, that's very common knowledge, I read about that ages ago."
"STFU you LIBERAL ARTS MAJOR!"

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby BioTube » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:33 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:it's just crap Randall made up in order to make the joke work - namely, in order to understand what they're talking about, you'd have to live in whatever time period that is and be immersed in the culture.


Since when is that a "joke"?

I guess it only gets anywhere near a "joke" to people who always thought that liberal arts are, like, totally lame and totally uncool because they're not computers.

"Hai, did you know, back in Mozart's day, his music wasn't really all that special and was really quite commonplace? ISN'T THAT HILARIOUS???"
"Hm, actually, that's very common knowledge, I read about that ages ago."
"STFU you LIBERAL ARTS MAJOR!"
You found the money! YOU WIN!
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby alahos » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

Bayeux tapestry, anyone?

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby StNowhere » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:it's just crap Randall made up in order to make the joke work - namely, in order to understand what they're talking about, you'd have to live in whatever time period that is and be immersed in the culture.


Since when is that a "joke"?

I guess it only gets anywhere near a "joke" to people who always thought that liberal arts are, like, totally lame and totally uncool because they're not computers.

"Hai, did you know, back in Mozart's day, his music wasn't really all that special and was really quite commonplace? ISN'T THAT HILARIOUS???"
"Hm, actually, that's very common knowledge, I read about that ages ago."
"STFU you LIBERAL ARTS MAJOR!"


Yeah, gonna have to agree with you here. Admittedly, I've thought some of the comics over the past 2-3 months weren't all that strong, but this one seems particularly disappointing.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby neoliminal » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:50 pm UTC

The ten commandments have a political joke hidden in them.

The revelation is left as an exercise for the reader.
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby samwyse » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:22 pm UTC

From The Two and a Half Men Pledge (http://www.chucklorre.com/index-2hm.php?p=109):
Pop culture reference jokes are cheap, easy and date the show. We will not do them.

SocialSceneRepairman
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

...instead, they just do predictable situational humor and slapstick. Not sure this is the best source.

And as I-can't-remember-who-but-I-remember-thinking-how-appropriate-it-was-to-his-career said, "it's not who does it first, it's who does it second."

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Egregius » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:45 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I was just talking about this the other day, after looking at old music videos on YouTube and the comments that "back then they made REAL music, not the Justin Bieber/Miley Cyrus crap they're churning out nowadays." I realized that most of the popular stuff from our era will fall through the cracks, just like the dregs of the "good old days," but I did find myself wondering what "REAL music" is being produced nowadays that will be regarded as classics, and why I clearly haven't heard any of it.

The ones that will be remembered as 'golden oldies' will be the likes of Robbie Williams, Jon Bon Jovi and Faithless. Maybe bands like Air. So it's not gonna be all bad, but it's mostly gonna be crap everyone likes anyway, with the more mediocre crap filtered out.

The reason most of us hate most of what's played on air, is besides it's insipidness the overplayedness of it all.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Egregius » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

arbivark wrote:
After Malcolm Forbes included Socrates'
words in a Forbes magazine editorial entitled 'Youth,' his research
staff went crazy trying to prove their authenticity. They contacted a
wide range of librarians, classicists, and other experts on Socrates.
None knew of any source for the passage. The researchers finally
called Amsterdam's mayor, Gijsbert van Hall. Van Hall said he'd seen
the lines by Socrates in a Dutch book whose title he could not recall.
There the search ended. 'We suspect,' Forbes's [sic] researchers
concluded, '. . . that Socrates never did make those cracks about
Athenian youth.
'


Interesting. In the interest of the original point, I would like to point out however that I read an article from a London newspaper circa 1870, claiming how society was going to hell, and it used to be possible to keep your doors unlocked (anyone else remember elders claiming the same?).

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby HonoreDB » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:08 pm UTC

I think we have to assume that the older a comedic play is, the more inside-jokey it would tend to be. Prior to the invention of writing, every play would have been that skit you do at the end of camp. Before the printing press and mass media, you're still writing for a very limited primary audience. I imagine the reason most of the ancient Athenian plays are lost is that they were too dated to be worth saving even two generations later. Aristophanes was making fun of prominent politicians so we still get a lot of the jokes, but there may well have been some much funnier plays about more obscure people.

Anyway, the first line was funny because of inflation, and because the number nine was locally considered sacred so using it in a skit had that faint tinge of blasphemy. The second line references a running gag about how holy men are stealing the goods of Heaven, which are much better than, in this case, regular pigs. (It wasn't true, of course. The only thing we ever managed to steal from Heaven was an elixir of immortality.)

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby wyckster » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

Cal Engime wrote:
tenseiga wrote:oh k. Can someone explain this one to me? I dont understand the 9 silvers or the monk ladder reference.
The point is that they're inside jokes, completely meaningless to anybody but the characters in the comic and their contemporaries.

A message to the people of the future: Ni! 42! Inconceivable!


I don't think they are as meaningless as you think. The spanish silver dollars were called "pieces of eight" - 8 silvers being equivalent to one royal coin. 9 silvers simply add up to more than the dollar. And the Ladder for monks refers to the The Ladder of Divine Ascent which describes a lifestyle of performing contemplative tasks through which they are elevated to heaven. To have a monk with a physical ladder is a bit absurd provided you are aware of what a monk's real ladder is.

What you are thinking of is Incongruity humour, derived from the juxtaposition of unrelated things. Whereas an inside joke simply requires a bit of missing context.

The missing contexts for the comic (and your tagline) are: Spanish Currency of the 1700's; Eastern Christianity circa 600 AD; "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and "The Princess Bride".

The culture of the 1700's or 600's is certainly out-of-context for most modern day readers.

"Knock Knock!" "Who's there?" "To get to the other side!" Is a great example of both incongruity and inside-joke humour used together.

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Cave Wizard » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

The1exile wrote:
Gamer_2k4 wrote:You're a horrible excuse for a "cartoonist."

You're a horrible excuse for a troll.


This is a horrible night to have a curse

Steve the Pocket wrote:I realized that most of the popular stuff from our era will fall through the cracks, just like the dregs of the "good old days," but I did find myself wondering what "REAL music" is being produced nowadays that will be regarded as classics, and why I clearly haven't heard any of it.


Forget what everyone else in this thread said, and know that there's only one group of musicians you need concern yourself with: The Wu-Tang Clan

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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby savanik » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

tenseiga wrote:oh k. Can someone explain this one to me? I dont understand the 9 silvers or the monk ladder reference.


The '9 silvers' comment isn't the in-joke, it's the monk and the ladder.

Back in the seventh century, St. John Cilmacus wrote a treatise titled, 'Ladder of Divine Ascent' about how a monk can raise the body and soul to god through aesthetic virtue, using Jacob's ladder as a metaphor. You can see evidence of the effect of this work in the literature all throughout the medieval period.

The in-joke, of course, is that monks were going around climbing literal ladders, trying to get to heaven.
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby tuseroni » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

SOKATH HIS EYES OPEN!
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

So how was your weekend?

(Best said on a Thursday.)
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Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby bmonk » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Half of Shakespeare was in-jokes, double entendres, plays within plays with plays on words, and/or self-references. Oh, and sex jokes. "That's a fair thought to lie between a maid's legs!" "Do you think I meant country matters?" Both from Hamlet.

I can just imagine all the complaints about the downfall of society that have been said in ages past. In "Wealth of Nations", people were complaining that education was declining rapidly due to poor standards. I'm sure many playwrights would complain about how the Theatre Industry was churning out mass-produced rubbish that existed only to inflate the egos of the stars involved, or people would complain that the Orchestra Industry had a lack of talent and that all modern songs sounded bland and identical.

Hell, even my Great-Grandfather claimed that Brown v Board of Education was going to be the downfall of American Education.


"Ri-i-ight: Merchants!" How about Chaucer? The images in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse of John? Or the names of various people in Genesis and throughout the Bible? (or in other ancient texts of other times and places). All with inside jokes, some of which we know, others not. I'm with the comic: it's embedded in human nature.
savanik wrote:
tenseiga wrote:oh k. Can someone explain this one to me? I dont understand the 9 silvers or the monk ladder reference.


The '9 silvers' comment isn't the in-joke, it's the monk and the ladder.

Back in the seventh century, St. John Cilmacus wrote a treatise titled, 'Ladder of Divine Ascent' about how a monk can raise the body and soul to god through aesthetic virtue, using Jacob's ladder as a metaphor. You can see evidence of the effect of this work in the literature all throughout the medieval period.

The in-joke, of course, is that monks were going around climbing literal ladders, trying to get to heaven.


Err, not too often. (I like Climacus, and other ladder images...) But I do remember a picture from the time of Copernicus (?) with a person looking through a hole in the heavenly sphere to see what was "outside" the universe.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

felix
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:19 am UTC

Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby felix » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:23 pm UTC

chrth wrote:
felix wrote:The cool thing to remember is that when you think of people in "history", think "kids". Consider the median age way back in the olden days. We're talking numbers like 17 rather than the late twenties or early thirties of today's 1st Worldia.


That's not actually true. The reason the median age was so low (relatively) prior to the 20th century is due to high incidences of death at childbirth and from early childhood diseases. If you could make it to 20 and survive a bout of smallpox, you had a fairly decent chance of making it to 70.


That seems inverted. I'd expect dying young and in childbirth to raise the median age. Ah. OK, it's quick-write program time:

Code: Select all

#!/usr/bin/python

# pop.py
#       September 17, 2010      bar
#
#
#       Simulate some population things.
#
#

import  random

def grow_a_year_older(ages) :
    return([ a + 1 for a in ages])

def die_this_year(ages, death_rates, poison_gas = 1.0) :
    for ai in xrange(len(ages) - 1, -1, -1) :
        a   = int(round(min(ages[ai], len(death_rates) - 1)))
        if  random.randint(0, 100) * poison_gas <= death_rates[a] :
            del(ages[ai])
        pass
    pass

def median_age(ages) :
    if  not len(ages) :
        return(0)
    ages.sort()
    return(ages[len(ages) / 2])

def make_babies(ages, birth_rates) :
    for a in ages :
        a   = int(round(min(a, len(birth_rates) - 1)))
        if  random.randint(0, 99) < birth_rates[a] :
            ages.append(0)
        pass
    pass


#   Percentage chance of giving birth by age in years (numbers pulled straight from rear end)
birth_rates = [
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   3,   5,   7,   9,
                     11,  13,  15,  17,  19,   21,  19,  17,  15,  13,
                     11,   9,   8,   7,   6,    5,   4,   3,   2,   1,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
                      0,   0,   0,   0,   0,    0,   0,   0,   0,   0,
              ]


#   Percentage chance of dying, by age in years (numbers pulled straight from rear end)
death_rates = [
                      3,   2,   1,   1,   1,    1,   1,   1,   1,   1,
                      1,   1,   1,   1,   1,    1,   1,   1,   1,   1,
                      1,   1,   1,   1,   1,    1,   1,   1,   1,   1,
                      1,   1,   1,   1,   1,    1,   1,   1,   1,   1,
                      2,   2,   2,   2,   2,    3,   3,   3,   3,   3,
                      3,   4,   4,   4,   4,    4,   5,   5,   6,   6,
                      7,   8,   8,  10,  12,   13,  15,  22,  30,  37,
                     44,  50,  54,  58,  62,   66,  68,  70,  72,  74,
                     76,  78,  80,  82,  84,   86,  86,  86,  86,  80,
                     80,  80,  80,  80,  80,   80,  80,  80,  80,  80,
              ]

die_young   = [
                     10,  10,   9,   9,   8,    7,   6,   5,   4,   4,
                      3,   3,   3,   2,   2,    2,   2,   2,   1,   1,
              ]
die_young   = [ ((ai < len(die_young)) and die_young[ai]) or death_rates[ai] for ai in xrange(len(death_rates)) ]


die_young_and_in_childbirth = [ (die_young[ai] * (100.0 - birth_rates[ai])) / 100.0 for ai in xrange(len(die_young)) ]


die_old     = list(death_rates)
die_old     = [ ((ai < 20) and death_rates[ai]) or death_rates[ai - 20] for ai in xrange(len(death_rates)) ]    # shift the death rate up 20 years




YEARS_TO_RUN    = 300
PEOPLE_TO_START = 1000

if  __name__ == '__main__' :
    import  sys

    ages    = [ random.random() * 100.0 for i in xrange(PEOPLE_TO_START) ]

    kill_em     = death_rates
    if  len(sys.argv) > 1 :
        if  sys.argv[1] in [ 'y', 'yd', 'dy', ] :
            kill_em = die_young
        elif sys.argv[1] in [ 'by', 'yb', 'dyb', 'dby', ] :
            kill_em = die_young_and_in_childbirth
        elif sys.argv[1] in [ 'o', 'do', 'od', ] :
            kill_em = die_old
        else        :
            print "y or dyb or o please!"
            sys.exit(101)
        pass

    gas     = 1.0
    pa      = -1
    for y in xrange(YEARS_TO_RUN) :
        if  not len(ages) :
            break
        a   = int(round(median_age(ages)))
        if  pa != a :
            pa  = a
            print y, "pop", len(ages), "median", pa, "oldest", int(round(ages[-1]))
        make_babies(ages, birth_rates)
        die_this_year(ages, kill_em, gas)
        ages    = grow_a_year_older(ages)

        if  len(ages) < PEOPLE_TO_START :
            gas = min(2.0, gas + .1)
        if  len(ages) > PEOPLE_TO_START :
            gas = max(.5, gas - .1)
        pass


    print y, "pop", len(ages), "median", int(round(median_age(ages))), "oldest", int(round(ages[-1]))
    random.shuffle(ages)
    print ages[-30:]


#
#
# eof


Yep:

Code: Select all

python pop.py
299 pop 1726 median 17 oldest 67

python pop.py dy (same, only with more people dying under 20)
299 pop 1024 median 23 oldest 74

python pop.py dyb (dying young, only with some people dying more in childbirth years)
299 pop 1004 median 25 oldest 75

python pop.py do (normal death rate but with adults dying older, like they are 20 years younger)
299 pop 1037 median 19 oldest 87


To keep the program from taking too long or other whacky things from happening, it raises the death rates when there are too many people and lowers it when not. It should really twerk the birth rate. Oh well. Even without the population adjustments, the numbers still come out with high-survival babies making the median age lower, not higher. Since we know that babies don't die in 1st Worldia, the "do" (die old) option hints why populations are older now. People die older.

Kalos
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Re: ''Inside Joke'' Discussion (#794)

Postby Kalos » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:39 pm UTC

Well, looks like Randall just took a Freshman literature class.


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