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Kjetil

April Fools' Day - an irrational day?

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Humor isn't irrational. It's doing or saying things that, in usual contexts, are irrational, to ridicule said irrationality.

A prank is not exactly that, but a mock version of that: it deceives the target (it induces irrationality), to then joke about it. It's still not irrational, as long as it is play acting (pretending the irrationality is real, through temporary suspension of disbelief), not maliciousness. If it is malicious, then it is irrational, because the fact that the supposed irrationality was not the victim's fault is being completely ignored (as opposed to being ignored just for the purposes of the exercise = suspension of disbelief).

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Depends how you do that. It's nothing wrong to have fun if you know that a person you surprise would like it. But not everybody does.

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Fooling people is good for the rational skills, the fooler must have an understanding of how the mind can be tricked into believing something that is not true, and the foolee finds himself defending against the naivete that allowed him to be fooled.

People who get mad at April fools jokes are usually the least rational, and least able to play the game.

All around a good win-win, and a celebration of reason!

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Fooling people is good for the rational skills, the fooler must have an understanding of how the mind can be tricked into believing something that is not true, and the foolee finds himself defending against the naivete that allowed him to be fooled.

People who get mad at April fools jokes are usually the least rational, and least able to play the game.

All around a good win-win, and a celebration of reason!

I like this interpretation a lot.

I've been giving this thread's question some thought since I first read it, and I've gone over my personal experiences with April Fools, both good and bad. Here's what I've come up with:

I like those April Fools Day jokes that are outlandish. The ones where, when you recognize that a joke has been played, your reaction is, "Oh! Of course! Don't I feel foolish for believing it in the first place!"

As opposed to this are those jokes that are eminently believable, according to the normal (and reasonable) trust between intelligent people.

In the first category might be something like a Martian invasion (though a better joke would be... better). In the latter would be news of a relative passing away. Not only is this second apt to cause intense heartache for the duration of the prank, which is best avoided in this context anyways, but when someone reports to you that someone you know has died... is there any good reason to doubt their word?

My initial introduction to April Fools -- and still the pranks I remember most fondly -- was when my grandparents would tell me that there was candy "underneath the telephone." They got me until I was too old to be gotten with that one, always in good humor (and always with candy elsewhere prepared), and it's in that spirit that I hope to carry on the tradition.

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When I was kid, I got the following prank from a magazine:

Wrap a rubber band around your place's kitchen sink spray nozzle such that it is turned on, and the first person to turn on the water will get a healthy dose of aqua to the body. Obviously this only works if it's a separate spray nozzle and not a switchable faucet.

It worked pretty hilariously for me.

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