Thursday, October 06, 2005

Inside Jokes

I'm really a fan of inside jokes. I started to wonder why this is - some desire to feel separate and 133t? Maybe I'm just shielding myself from an ugly truth, but I don't think that's it - I think there's a deeper, more honest explanation: it's another form of puzzle-solving. Like math problems or coding or many other activities techies are drawn to, making inside jokes has that critical element of pulling together diverse pieces of information and following several steps of connections from clues that are just barely enough to make the next jump. It's a matter of liking it as an intellectual exercise, of enjoying the thought process that falls out of it. And I think this really is the reason, since I'd rather only make jokes that everyone around will get, and feel bad if anybody's left out... so it's really not a desire for separation or exclusion; rather, it's a form of inclusion and bonding.

For note, when I say "inside jokes", I mean anything that fits that above description - movie/show quotes, references to lesser known scientific anecdotes, past experiences of the people around... anything that's not immediately obvious and requires following some specific chain of non-general references. Spiders without legs not being able to hear, for example.

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