“Everyone believes they are classless, but they never fool anyone else” 
[Peter Gammond, Bluff your way in class. 1986, p.18]

The M/Sad Sociologist Society: Jokes


  • Two penguins and one sociologist
    A sociologist is driving in his car with two penguins on the backseat. When he stops at a gas station the service attendant cannot believe his own eyes: “Look sir, I don’t want to mix in your private matters, but do you know you’ve got some funny animals there on your backseat? What are you going to do with them?” 

    The sociologist looks at his backseat and and says: “Oh yes I almost forgot, but I’m not sure what I should do with them”. “Well sir”, said the attendent, “if I were you I would go to the zoo with these penguins”. “That’s not a bad idea”, said the sociologist, “I’ll do that right away’.

    A week later the sociologist comes to the gas station again, with the same penguins on the backseat. Now the penguins wear sunglasses and carry a towel over their shoulders. “Hey sir”, said the service attendant, “I see you still have those funny penguins. So you didn’t bring them to the zoo after all?” “Oh yes I certainly did”, the sociologist said, “and they liked it very much. I thank you for your good advice. But today they want to go to the beach to get a nice tan ...”.

  • Laughing about nothing?

    “Laughter is an affectation which is the result of an overstrained expectation that suddenly dissolves into nothing” [Kant 1790].Wrong connection
    “The essence of the ridiculous is the absurdity, the disconnection of the relation between one idea and the other, or the confrontation of one feeling with another” [Hazlitt 1819].College is a place for dummies
    “College is a place where a professor's lecture notes go straight to the students' lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either“ [Mark Twain].No Fun in Heaven
    The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven [Mark Twain]+ and + can never be -
    A very famous philosopher (we won’t reveal his name here) gave a lecture about a linguistic subject and had just said that the double negative construction in some languages has a positive meaning and in other languages a (very) negative one. He concluded with the statement that there’s no language in which a double positive construction ever has a negative meaning. Another famous philosopher (we won’t reveal his name either) who sat in the back of the auditorium reacted on a sneering tone: “Oh yes, yes.”There is no such thing as a free lunch ...
    Around the turn of the century Vilfredo Pareto, a vigorous advocate of analytical economics, met Gustav von Schmoller, the leader of the socially oriented Historical School of Economics. Pareto was well aware that Schmoller was critical of his idea that one could establish physics-like laws in economics, and once when Pareto was lecturing in Geneva Schmoller noisily interrupted him by shouting, “There are no laws in economics!”

    Pareto got annoyed and decided to teach Schmoller a lesson. He got his chance the next day when he saw Schmoller in the streets of Geneva. Pareto approached Schmoller and hid his face, pretending to be a beggar (which was not too difficult since Pareto was a shabby dresser). “Please, Sir,” Pareto said, “Can you tell me where I can find a restaurant where you can eat for nothing?” Schmoller replied, “My dear man, there are no such restaurants, but there is a place around the corner where you can have a good meal very cheaply.” “Ah,” said Pareto triumphantly, “so there are laws in economics!” [Vilfredo Pareto, The Mind and Society, New York: Dover Publications, 1935:xviii]

  • Behaviorists

    Two behaviorists meet in the morning and one says to the other, “You’re fine. How am I?“
  • Sociology of Love
    How do sociologists introduce their husband/wife/partner?
    “I’d like you to meet my statistically significant other.”

Sorry, no Sex Allowed


On love and rape
"Brutalizing a man could be a great sin, because a man who has become a brute can never love. And sins against love are the greatest sins, and deserve the greatest punishments. Theft is a crime, often a sin; but it only operates against money or goods. Murder is a crime, often a sin; but the degree of the sin depends upon the value of the life, which might not be worth living, or which might have brought pain and misery to others. But love is always good. And sins against love are always the worst, because love is the only ... the only especially human thing we have. So, rape is the greatest sin, greater than murder, because it is a sin against love. And I don't only mean violent rape. In fact, violent rape is perhaps the least sinful kind of rape because the perpretrator is not always responsible for his acts. But the subtler kinds of rape are great sins. The businessman who makes getting a job dependent on having sex with him, he is a rapist. The man who takes a plain girl out for dinner and an expensive evening because he knows she will feel obliged to make love with him, he is a rapist. The young man who finds a girl starving for affection and who talks of love in order to get sex, he is a rapist. All these crimes against love. And without love ... my God, without love ...!"
[Trevanian (1977) The Main. New York: Jove. p.42]

Don't say it…
There are many things that you can or may be even should say during sex. But there seem to be at least 101 things not to say during sex.

Sorry, no Ads Allowed


“Worst of all are the slimeballs who send you their electronic advertising via email, thus introducing the spectucularly offensive prospect of forcing you to pay to read their ads. The arrogance of these morons is astounding, and your proper response is to give'em what for, with both barrels.
This isn’t a widespread problem ... yet. But it is true that in every group of a hundred people enjoying a spectacular view of the Grand Canyon, two or three individuals are busy calculating exactly how much dough they could make by erecting a billboard in the dead center of the view. I say, let's push'em over the railings! Sic semper tyrannis!”
[Andy Ihnatko, Complete Guide to Online Etiquette]


Sorry, no Morals Allowed


On the World Wide Web you can find a wealth of information on social, cultural and political issues. For social scientist the internet is a unique resource of information, and most of us know how to find the relevant stuff. Almost all the information on the internet has been written by people with a positive, moral attitude.

When you get tired of all these good intentions and political correct thinking, you might want to visit the Cruel Site of the Day as an antidote to all of this unhealthy positive energy. Cruel Site of the Day presents a daily link to the world of the perturbed, peeved, pensive and postal. It's updated by Rogers Cadenhead, a web developer who began examining the issue of self-love in his early teens (in 2007 he announced his retirement from the dark humor and wacky internet link business). If this isn't enough, you can try Something Awful

Strange Lines 


  • “Work is the curse of the drinking classes” [Oscar Wilde].
  • “If work really would be so wonderful, then the rich would have claimed it for themselves” [Mark Twain].
  • “Love may be the answer, but what’s the question?” [Albert Benschop]
  • “I’m trying to think, but nothing happens.” (But how does that look?)
  • “Wherever I am, there”s always Pooh,
    There’s always Pooh and Me” [A. A. Milne]
  • “We can predict how some one will vote or want to be kissed after only the briefest discussion concerning dentistry or the location of the bus stop” [Alain de Botton, Kiss & Tell. London: Macmillan 1995, p. 33]

Student Stuff


“I are a good student” [Garfield]

In for more Education Humor? Alan Meiss has collected 50 Fun Things to Do on the First Day of Class. Although they are not really funny, they give some indication on the pubertal level of the sense of humor. Most professors won't be amused by this kind of fun. 
    There is also a collection of 50 fun things for professors to do on the first day of class, harvested by Alan Meiss. For professors this could be a good inspiration not to be funny on the first day of class. This kind of fun would chase every intelligent student out of the class room.

Academicus Stupidos

My lecture was a complete success, but the audience was a failure.

Human nature as we know it?
Oliver Williamson’s theory of transaction costs is build upon the behavioral assumption of opportunism. ‘Self-interest seeking with guile’ (lying, stealing, cheating, and more subtle forms of deceit) are an essential part of “human nature as we knowit”. He doesn’t assume that most people are opportunistic most of the time, but “that some people are opportunistic some of the time and that it is very difficult to sort those who are opportunistic from those who are not”. He believes that introspection supports his view, and that all of Skakespeare’s tragedies and comedies support it. And this is the proof: “The alternative to opportunism is saintliness, and since we are notprepared to embrace that, then opportunism is something we have to come to terms with” [Oliver E. Williamson, Interview in Swedberg's Economics and Sociology. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press 1999, p.126].

It’s not too far away from the logic of the scholastic priests in the Middle Ages: “the alternative for our religious believe is godlessness, and since we are notprepared to embrace that, then religion is something we have to accept as an essential part of human nature as we know it.” Amen!

Junk Science
It's not true that all history is bunk, and we can be pretty sure that not all social science is junk. But there is a ‘science without a sense’, a junk science. Steve Milloy created a the Junk Science Home Page: “All the junk that's fit to debunk”. A page that focuses on junk science issues with special emphasis on developments in the public health research arena. The Junkman concentrates on serious issues - in a light, humorous manner. In the junkyard you’ll find the ‘Junk Science Hall of Shame’, you can look at the ‘Junk Science Pennant Race’, study a ‘Roster of Junk Scientists’, and more. Editor: Steven J. Milloy (Cato Institute, SUES).

They say...


What happens when a sociologist dies?
The American economist Paul Krugman quoted an Indian-born collegue who had a very special vision on reincarnation. When an economist dies, he said, two things can happen. When you've been a good, virtuous economist you will be rewarded for this in the next live: you are allowed to return as an physicist. When you've been an evil, wicked economist, you are reborn as a sociologist. This might be true — although we can never falsify such a statement. Krugman commented that it is just a question of 'difficulty of the subject': "Economics is 'harder than physics, luckily it is not quite as hard as sociology" [Krugman, Pedding Prosperity 1994:xi]. This also might be true, and also hard to prove.

But what happens when a sociologists dies? If you've been a good, creative sociologist you will certainly be permitted to return as a sociologist next time. And what if you've been a bad, unproductive sociologist? You will burn in hell forever, surrounded by all evil economists. But the hardest thing to do -- even for the most brilliant sociologist -- is to prove these kind of hereafter statements. They are junk statements, and that's why we may leave them in abeyance in the category of funny science.

What happens if an economist applies? 
If it moves, it’s biology
If it stinks, it's chemistry
If it doesn’t work, it’s physics
If it doesn’t apply, it’s economics
[Found somewhere on the net by Stefan Svallfors]

Economist don’t have a sense of humor
Some people think that economists don’t have a sense of humor. Check out if they are right, and visit Jokes about economists and economics (compiled by Pasi Kuoppamäki, Finland & reedited by Dennis Alexis Valin Dittrich, Germany). Here you can read something like this: 

That’s too sad for a happy ending. So let’s try this one as a final:

More fun?

  • An economist is someone who doesn't know what he's talking about - and make you feel it's your fault.
  • I asked an economist for her phone number .... and she gave me an estimate.
  • An economist was asked about the meaning of life. He replied: It depends on the parameter values.
  • Economic man never gets a hang-over, if he doesn’t have a sense of humort decide that the advantages of acquiring it exceed the draw-backs.
  • A physist, a chemist and an economist are stranded on an island, with nothing to eat. A can of soup washes ashore. The physist says, “Lets smash the can open with a rock.” The chemist says, “Lets build a fire and heat the can first.” The economist says, “Lets assume that we have a can-opener” 
    [Paul Samuelson].
  • Economists don’t answer to questions others make because they know what the answer is. They answer because they are asked.
  • For three years, the young assistant professor took his vacations at a country inn. He had an affair with the innkeeper’s daughter. Looking forward to an exciting few days, he dragged his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, then stopped short. There sat his lover with an infant on her lap! “Why didn't you write when you learned you were pregnant?” he cried. “I would have rushed up here, we could have gotten married, and the child would have my name!” “Well,” she said, “when my folks found out about my condition, we sat up all night talkin’ and talkin’ and we finally decided it would be better to have a bastard in the family than an economist.”
  • If you are in for some more laughs, here are some sites which may serve you.
  • Sociology Humor Room
    In this digital room you will find some humor which illustraties sociological observation, insights and concepts. You might have a good laugh, and maybe even learn something in the process.
  • Alternative ways to understand sociological ideas
    The great ideas of sociological thinkers are summarized in a one-liner. Marx’s ideas are condenced to: “Life’s not fair, let's all share!” And Clifford Geertz contributions are summarized in: “Ooh, look, a cock fight! How Shakespearean !” The site was created by Mike Goodman, with some input from Tom Conroy and Andrew Miller.
  • comedy.com
    Get your daily dose concoction of jokes, comics and comedians, and the joke that should kep you smiling all day.
  • Fade to Black Comedy Magazin
    An online comedy magazine. Includes a scientific study to determine which teen bane lowers our standard the most, a game with the doomsday prophets, the entire Charlie Chaplin FBI file, the first, and second, God searching simulation on the internet: Seek, and ye shall find [Matthew 7:7].
  • The Funny Pages
    A collection of email, news postings and other random text that people e-mail to Paco Hope, a computer systems engineer in the Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia, USA. Here you can learn what you might say to be offensive at a wedding or a funneral, what professors really mean when they review your work, and much more. Some stuff is or claims to be factual (factual humor), some has no basis in reality at all (fictional humor), or is about computers (computer jokes),
  • Murphy's Laws 
    In summary: “If anything can go wrong it will.”
  • Musician/Instrument Jokes or Instrument Jokes
    Have some fun with a violin, an accordian or a trombone.
  • Directory of sites with humor, jokes and fun: Dmoz
  • By the way, in the Netherlands there are many people who understand that the of the Royal Family is a political anachronism in any democratic state. As democrats they despise the monarchy. This is a popular or vulgar way to express an anti-monarchistic opinion.



Moisturizing the Dutch Kingdom

  • “Humor is a quintessentially social phenomenon. Jokes and other humorousutterances are a form of communication that is usually shared in social interaction. These humorous utterances are socially and culturally shaped, and often quite particular to a specific time and place. And the topics and themespeople joke about are generally central to the social, cultural and moral orderof a society or a social group.” This is a quote from The Sociology of Humor from the Dutch sociologue Giselinde Kuipers. In this chapter she gives an overview of sociological thoughts and theories about humor.



“I’m suspicious of great minds who don’t like little details — they’re pedants” 
[Ximenis Doudan, 1843].

“We are prone to locating the essence of a person in what we publicly dismiss as trivial, yet privately hold as vitalב
[Alain de Botton, Kiss & Tell. London: Macmillan 1995, p. 78].

“Rational choice sociology can be seen as a move from metaphors to formalism” 
[Daniel Bell, Interview in Swedberg's Economics and Sociology. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press 1999, p. 225].

“Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet” 
[Mark Twain].

Peter’s Principle: In every organization, each person tends to rise to the level of his incompetence.

Wisdom can only be produced by great minds. If you really want to accumulate new wisdom, you try to retain these actual quotations of Great Thinkers of Our Time.

Jeopardy - Legend has it that studying social sciences is boring. In this stopping place studying just become a lot more fun.

Quote Pages - A collection of links that will bring you more quote pages.

That wasn’t enough, give me more  Words to Remember.