JOKESTER ASIMOV PDF

This is one of a series of stories by Asimov about Multivac. I walked in on him and he threw me out. He was savage. He's usually good-natured enough, and I consider it a bad sign that he was so upset at the intrusion. But the fact remains that he was telling a joke to Multivac, and I'm convinced it was one of a series. I think he's trying to build up a store of jokes in Multivac's memory banks in order to get back new variations.

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In the story, by trying to compute where jokes come from and why humans enjoy them, Meyerhof inadvertently ruins any and all sense of humor for the human race. Usually that kind of idea focuses on weapons or military industrial complexes; maybe an overreliance on computers or overambitions in the field of medicine. But when you think about it, the stakes are in some ways much higher here than in your standard sci-fi morality tale. Humanity losing its sense of humor forever?

That is an extreme end, and certainly one that is original and thought-provoking. Yet you laugh at that. If you were the husband, would you find it funny? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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Why do you laugh? Like this: Like Loading January 14, January 5, by bcw56 Categories: Short Story Magic Tricks Tags: s , American lit , American literature , analysis , criticism , fiction , Isaac Asimov , Jokester , science fiction , short stories Leave a comment. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Bookish Beck Read to live and live to read.

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‘Jokester’ by Isaac Asimov

It is one of a loosely connected series of stories concerning a fictional computer called Multivac. Noel Meyerhof is a "Grand Master", one of a small cadre of Earth's recognised geniuses, who has the insight to know what questions to ask Multivac. But a computer scientist is concerned that Meyerhof is acting erratically. As a known joke-teller, he has been discovered feeding jokes and riddles into Multivac. By computer analysis, the characters in the story investigate the origin of humour, particularly why there seems to be no such thing as an original joke, except for puns. Every normal joke is something that was originally heard from someone else. The computer eventually tells them that humour is actually a psychological study tool imposed from without by extraterrestrials studying mankind, similarly to how humans study mice.

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In the story, by trying to compute where jokes come from and why humans enjoy them, Meyerhof inadvertently ruins any and all sense of humor for the human race. Usually that kind of idea focuses on weapons or military industrial complexes; maybe an overreliance on computers or overambitions in the field of medicine. But when you think about it, the stakes are in some ways much higher here than in your standard sci-fi morality tale. Humanity losing its sense of humor forever? That is an extreme end, and certainly one that is original and thought-provoking.

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