I’ve been casually going through the answers to this question for the past hour. I came across a lot of hilarious ones and an almost equal number of those that are probably hilarious to those that get them. Yes, that does imply that there are quite a lot of them that I don’t get. There used to be more, but I figured them out, all thanks to the internet.
It’s amazing how educational this shit can be. Consider the following scenario:
Joe is a Physics student. Joe loves Physics. Joe wants to be a Physicist. Joe idolizes Hawking, and shares – on his social media – jokes about Schrodinger’s cat. Joe is browsing Quora and he comes across this question. Among the answers, he reads this: Erwin Schrodinger and Werner Heisenberg are driving down the road with the top down, having the time of their lives. They blow past a hidden state patrol officer who jumps in his car and pulls them over a few miles down the road. The officer gets out of his car, hitches up his britches, and saunters up to Heisenberg who is driving.
He motions to roll the window down and Werner complies, then the officer asks: “Sir, do you have any idea how fast you were going?” To which Heisenberg replies: “No Sir. But I know exactly where I am.”
Joe doesn’t get it. He opens Google in a new tab and types “Heisenberg’s.” Googles suggest’s his uncertainty principle and the slightest bit of reading gets Joe smiling. Now he reads through the rest of the joke, which he gets, and reposts it.
Why does Joe behave this way, and how is this shit educational?
It’s understandable for people to not get jokes, and even more understandable for people to not get Physics related jokes. But is it acceptable for a Physics geek to not get a particular joke? Of course it is. Joe, however, was afraid that if people found out that he didn’t know Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle they’ll never respect his intelligence again. He is particularly afraid of his fellow “physicists” finding out. Joe felt ashamed of himself. He couldn’t stand how he’d failed to get a popular Physics joke – one that starred Hawking. He felt compelled to figure that joke out and chose to research and expand his knowledge enough to, if not more, get that joke. When he was done, there was one less Physics joke that he didn’t get, and one more principle that he knew.
It seems that Joe’s preferred road to being a Physicist involves reducing the number of Physics jokes that he doesn’t get to a minimum. It sounds funny, and stupid, but it’s smart, and it works. Let’s do a little math, shall we? There are 100+ answers on that Question. Most of the ones I came across had at least two jokes. It’s unlikely for two successive jokes in an answer to be about the same principle, so that means that there are at least 200 jokes below that answer. Obviously, there would be repetition, so let’s just go noob and halve the number. Now we got 100 unique jokes. If Joe reads them all fails to get half of them, he will research and read up on at least 50 different principles/theories.
Jokes motivate Joe to study. But what if Joe actually spent all that time, which he spends reading jokes, studying? That way he could still learn 50(or more) different principles/theories in the same time as he could before and he could do more.
Conclusion: Joe is lazy, not stupid.