April 18th, 2016

  • roybot

mild overanalysis of the chicken joke

i was walking my car down the road at about forty through a gentle industrial zone. connector road connects to technology drive, you drive, and then something something research boulevard. i was doing mad research (and also some science), when a turkey crossed the road. a single wild turkey; almost definitely the 151 variant. just one, though... don't turkeys usually travel in packs? ...flocks? ...swarms? ...gazzards? ...prayer circles? ...travel in circles? ...travel in circles? ok turkey you win, hard stop the sharkmobile. cross the road. just go, c'mon. the turkey clearly sensed my impatience, and hustled across as quickly as it could. i then resumed science with more than the usual haste, so the acura barreling down the road would not lodge itself in my anus.

that wild turkey had crossed the road exactly like a metaphorical chicken. but why? did it cross the road? it feels like there's something to this i'm missing, but perhaps that's the joke.

"perhaps," i thought, "the chicken crossed the road in order to define the neurological equivalent of a C++ class about the nature of reality." let's call it "joke". chicken is a member of class joke, and a virtual function at that. live/wild instances of joke in reality (the stack) may be any number of polymorphic classes inheriting from chicken. you carry this object code with you, always -- you will remember this drab, unfunny, almost meaningless joke until the day you die. it'd be plum irritating if it weren't so harmless and sad. like a 40yo with downs syndrome...

...but, it's all a deceptive facade. behind the scenes, class joke sneakily abstracts a well-defined subset of the set "things that could happen," and installs callback handlers all over your brain with a bit of viral wordery. this allows class joke to effectively take over how you react to a small part of reality, as birds really do cross roads, sometimes. i'm not sure precisely how often, but often enough. the bird crosses the road, triggering callback function chicken, which hands control flow over to class joke.
look, dude, the turkey did cross the road. no, not chicken, turkey. it's overriding the virtual chicken function. no -- wait -- shaddup! the joke is a meme that perpetuates itself via actually happening sometimes, generating a steady stream of ramsey retweets in your meatspace-layer social network until it becomes self-sustaining and ripples around forever like a tape delay with the feedback set to "yes."
my hunch is that class joke was was engineered by some generations-old neurohacker for shits and giggles. the design pattern is thus:

select an event that is rare, but not that rare. add in the promising scent of a zen metaphor that goes absolutely nowhere. it's enough of a tease to get people thinking about it, and thus, to remember it forever.

once you condition a person with class joke, the person begins to propagate class joke to their aunt and uncle nodes. the aunt and uncle nodes tell their neighbor nodes and their neighbor nodes tell the grandchild nodes... and, eventually, get bored of it -- cease propagation. clearly, like starting a siphon to empty your microtyke pool, you have to provide enough pull on the tube's reality to start a self-sustaining feedback loop. once it's going, it'll drain the whole pool like magic, but you need to suck on that siphon. to bootstrap.

it is analogous to a botnet r00ting a sufficient quantity of linkbro routers to survive the regular stream of people that notice things are hacked to shit and reset the router to factory defaults (wiping out your bot code). the router can be re-infected, obviously, by routers that remain infected. thus, as long as infection is equal to or greater than the rate of "honey, my shoe page is stuck, could you reboot the router?" it iterates forever, without any participation from who or whatever developed it. essentially, the chicken is a worm. the chicken worm is a ghost that exists in the space between a grip of unpatched routers, and it will come back. just like the cat worm.

the chicken crossed the road to puzzle and frustrate a potential host (you) with an unpatched curiosity vulnerability. class joke used this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code in the part of your brain responsible for reality, and it has used this opportunity to make really really sure of one thing: should a bird ever cross the road, you will fucking tell people about it. you'll post a photo of the bird on facebook. everyone else is all "oh yeah the chicken joke," and likes your photo because people like it when you reference things they know about. all the attention zaps the chicken worm neurons with a huge dose of juice, like the capacitive refresh cycle of DRAM, keeping it from fading off.

critical mass is achieved and gravitational lensing comes into play. the signal of chicken worm gradually crests above the noise in your wernicke lobby. the chicken worm is highly transmissible from parent to child. the chicken worm is a meta-virus generated by the chicken pox, and at some point, all children must get the chicken pox. all children must also learn the chicken joke. it is extremely rare for a child to come down with the pox and not know the joke, but it happens. in the event of this edge case, the pox uploads joke directly into the child's nervous system via mRNA. it is a singularity that explodes into the mind of the infected child like a legit edgar cayce vision. many children find it disturbing and tell their parents. parents universally insist that the child must have heard the joke somewhere else before, and simply forgotten about it. no parent has ever believed a child since the pox first came into context with unpatched meat routers. like terrence mckenna's mushrooms, the pox are a race of interstellar travelers. carry this disarming dad joke to star systems more distant than... well, this one.

"hey, why did the chicken cross the road?"

"i dunno, why?"

"to get to the other side."

"i don't get it. is there more to it?"

"no, that's the joke. there's no answer. it's, like, a metaphor."

"can you explain it?"

"explain? uhhh, jeez. that's hard. i can't, really. it's a zen thing. you gotta get it completely or you don't get it at all."

"that's not very helpful. i still don't get it."

"just think about it man, it'll come to you."

and it will. now, next week, five years later -- sometime, somewhere, a wild turkey worm will find you, and your reaction will be reflexive and immediate. at this point, you have lost the game. your context has been switched to worm propagation; you are a bird. your hair is a worm. your hair wants to go to the stars. do you have stars in your house?

Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker