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Robots Read News about Mexican Tunnels - Scott Adams' Blog

Robots Read News about Mexican Tunnels

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This comic is an example of what I call an “engineered solution” joke. You construct this type of joke by combining two unrelated things (El Chapo and commuter train service) and then show how one “solves” for the other.

The thing that makes this joke work is the timing lag. When you read the last panel, your brain has to quickly form some images and piece together the logic for why you only need to wait for a tunnel to appear. When it all comes together in your mind, it triggers a laugh reflex as you realize the idea has an absurd logic to it. 

Absurd logic always triggers a laugh. For example, yesterday I tweeted “If you are making love to a dophin, and it says, “Stop screwing with my head,” you are holding it upside down.”

Notice how the absurd logic of the upside-down dolphin creates its own timing delay as you figure out what I meant. You have to create a visual image in your mind to solve for the double meaning. And as soon as you mind thinks “blow hole,” you probably laughed. 

It also helps that a dolphin doesn’t look that different upside-down.

Back to today…

Today’s Robot joke also takes advantage of the “insider” effect. People who get the joke will be well-aware that 80% of the public are not following the news and would not understand it. This gives readers an instant “insider” feeling plus a feeling of knowledge superiority, and that can turbo-charge humor and generate more sharing.

This joke also takes advantage of the natural set-up. As soon as you tell me a drug lord escaped via tunnel… on a motorcycle… I know I have something I can work with. And when he has a cute nickname, such as El Chapo, half the work has been done for me.

And if you know about San Francisco, Alcatraz is a fun reference. That will make the joke more fun for the locals and anyone who ever visited.

In Top Tech News:

I keep telling you that healthcare costs are going to start dropping sharply because of technological advances, especially in lab testing. Here’s a good example of what is coming.

Scott

This gentleman has excellent taste in books