Bad jokes

Haven’t been reading much lately but bought Žižek’s book of jokes. It gets crude, interesting that he points out jokes are anonymous and will have some reasoning behind them say to let off steam in regard to issues with authorities etc. Why I thought I would have a look was that after reading a pretty difficult book by Žižek the one part I remembered was a joke and I really laughed out loud on the bus. There were a few moments like this with the current book but a lot of the jokes were archival say of Soviet era politics, religion and so forth. This is a joke that wasn’t particularly funny but I liked it, a man is crazy and thinks he is a kernel of grain. If he sees a chicken he becomes terrified as they love feasting on such morsels. The therapists try their best to convince the man that he is not a kernel of grain but a man and after a while succeed curing him of his delusion. One day though the man sees a chicken and becomes terrified, going into a panic. When the therapists arrive they point out that he is cured and is in fact a man. The man replies ‘I know I am a man……but does the chicken?’. So there you go, a bad joke but it has an interesting side to it and there a couple of variations in relation to commodity fetishism etc. The point that Žižek makes is that it is fine to make the patient aware of the unconscious in psychoanalysis but when does the unconscious become aware of itself? In regard to creating self aware systems which is at the vanguard of current technological pursuits, say for instance Google’s self driving cars. We have as well NASA testing drones for possible space missions which will be able to make decisions in regard to what they explore as the gap in real time human operation will be too great. It is interesting watching these ideas and technologies unfold but at the same time it is hard to completely trust technology especially when it becomes able to direct itself in difficult terrain such as deep space. What really worries me though is the malfunctioning driver less car but really what is the difference? Technology can become its own bad driver and we can throw in a loud speaker for some road rage.

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