Jokes are funny late at night when you are tired and don’t plan on doing anything else. See Brad Wright’s post on causality.
I like watching late-night talk shows, and I find the monologues to be really funny. Recently, however, I’ve tried watching them during the day on the shows’ websites, and I didn’t enjoy them at all. The same joke, told late at night, will have me in stitches but in the middle of the day bores me. To really enjoy them I think that I have to be tired and not planning to do anything else. So, the effect of late-night jokes (A) on my laughing (B) varies by the time of day (C).
I wonder if we can extrapolate that to some more obvious forms of presentation:
- My wife and I are more likely to agree after we’ve eaten dinner than before [We actually have a rule: “no arguments allowed before dinner.”] I’m more likely to be persuasive if she’s gotten a break; I’ve taken care of the kids, dinner, dishes, etc.; and I’m in the middle of giving her a shoulder massage.
- People are more likely to listen to you if they have nothing else to do anyway. Maybe that is why road trips are so important to couples; they fill the time by talking about things they could have been talking about all the time, but never got around to – dreams, hopes, etc.. This may also explains why many business deals are sealed on the golf course.
- And why it is better to write research in the early morning than later in the day when you are tired.
. . . speaking of which.
Read Wright’s whole post on causality including how chocolate can help you lose weight, and how wealth – rather than poverty – can promote crime (causality without correlation).