(2) Favorite Thing I Read Today—The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

First, they posited, at a point sometime between 2 and 4 million years ago came Duchenne laughter, the kind triggered by something funny. An outgrowth of the breathy panting emitted by primates during play fighting, it likely appeared before the emergence of language. This sort of laughter was a signal that things at the moment were okay, that danger was low and basic needs were met, and now was as good a time as any to explore, to play, to start laying the social groundwork that would lead to civilization….”What the humor is indexing and the laughter is signaling is, ‘this is an opportunity for learning.’ It signals this is a non-serious novelty, and recruits others to play with and explore cognitively, emotionally, and socially the implications of this novelty.

This, to me, makes perfect sense because we always learn better when there’s even the teensiest smidge of humor in the teaching. Think for a moment about your favorite teacher or class and see if you agree.

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