Curving Normality Blog Carnival #2

With a new year, and a new month, it is time for the second edition of the Curving Normality Blog Carnival on quantitative social sciences. Just started a month ago, I look forward to continue this carnival into the next year and have some nice editions. This one, however, will be an odd one out, for it has just one single entry.

This has had all to do with personal circumstances. The tag-line of my blog states that the extra-ordinary lies within the curve of normality. While this is the case in general, this year both ends of this curve have been sincerely over-represented in my personal life. The negative part(s) took place in my personal life, whereas interesting new developments and opportunities emerged in my academic life. Regarding the latter (I don’t blog all too much about the former), I was approached to co-write a research proposal, which to my liking looks quite promising even after we submitted it. Let’s keep our worldwide fingers crossed :-)

But enough about my year and back to science!

Fëanor send in an excellent blog about a book on jokes during the repression of Romanian communism. Science of jokes? It reminded me of a story I heard, about a man in a concentration camp, who by walking one step out of phase during forced marches. Nobody would know, but it helped him to retain his identity and his sanity. Similarly, people perhaps make jokes about their situation, even if discussing that situation would not be allowed. A Romanian engineer Stefanescu made notes of all the jokes he heard between 1979 and 1989.

He could justify himself if they were to demand of him why he didn’t protest and take to the streets against the dictatorship. The book became his outcry.

Read the entry by Fëanor to see how this data has been analyzed, and perhaps even suggest a hypotheses or two how this quantitative data on jokes might relate to the conditions under which people live.

That was it. The next edition will be held the first of February. Hopefully, I will be up and running strong by then, so that I can advertise it to get some more entries again, like last month. Hope to see you all stop by again and send in your articles!

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