With a little experiment
detailed below, I can show you, without
place to doubt
that categorically, some people can not understand
Get a bunch of people, tell them that this is the most important
social experiment ever conducted, assure them that they won't get
hurt (usually). Get as many different
backgrounds as you can.
Ask them to read the complete site for the experiment, (take for
starts http://www.bonsaikitten.com/, but there are a lot of other
alike sites available out there).
Then note their reactions which typically will be some of this
- The activist kind of people which can't understand sarcasm
They rage!, get up immediately from the desk, and run to the
nearest animal rights protection group.
- The lesser activist kind
They start collecting firms in a petition to shutdown the
site. (which, by the way, it's a wonderful way to annoy your
nemesis. Just tell the subject that your nemesis is collecting the
list of firms, and that she should send every firm she can to your
nemesis' email. Or better yet, tell the subject that in fact, is your
nemesis the one behind the site).
- The breakable heart kind
They start rocking the chair and crying in front of the
monitor. (Don't you feel like a bastard?, You should have told her
that this site is only a joke from the beginning!. But that would
have put a bias in our survey, so just pass her a tissue, and tell her
- The lesser breakable heart kind
They just say in a very soft and tender voice; "poor kittens".
- The I don't get a clue kind
They don't show any emotion, nor do they tell you of any impression
about the site. They may turn to stare at you asking; "Don't you have
better sites to view?".
Is important to note, that they don't show *any* emotions, not
even a little smile, which would mark them as _the kind of people
who do understand sarcasm a little_ or as _the sicko kind_ (see
below.) If they show some amusement, notwithstanding how little is
it, you should do further testing on this subject to know if she/he
really understands sarcasm (I'm pretty sure that they'll turn out to
be the sicko kind.)
- The sicko kind
They say; "Cool man!, I want to make my ex-girlfriend's cat into a
rectilinear kitten!. Were do I get the glue and the muscle
relaxant?". Furthermore, they seem very disappointed when you tell
them that it's only a joke, and that they can't really do this to
Beware: It's advised that you do not take
friends as subjects to the experiment.
Below are my own results for this experiment, don't read them if
you are thinking on conducting one yourself, or your results will be
biased and worthless;
- People smart enough, like real hackers, does always understand
- People not smart enough to understand sarcasm, but smart enough
to understand the site's topic will gravitate to one of the edges of
the previous list (They get very mad at the site, or they get very
excited about modifying their pets).
- Girls have the tendency to get to the upper side of the
list. (I'm not trying to be sexist, these are real scientific results
from a smallish but representative sample of mexican population).
- Boys have the tendency to get to the bottom of the list.
Please, /msg me any worthy additions to the list, I'm
getting a little brain dry...