By Trung Phan
Turkey dinners inspire some solid laughs.
Yo, Trung here. Thanks for subscribing to SatPost, a Saturday round-up of funny memes and tweets. I am very thankful that people enjoy this absurd content and hope everyone had QT with friends and fam.
Today, we’re talking Thanksgiving.
(PS. Yes, I am Canadian. But I do have American friends living in Canada and we def dusted some turkey. On a random note, Canada really likes to front-run holidays. Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October and Canada Day is on July 1st.)
The Turkey Problem
Before we get to the memes, allow me to regale you with a Thanksgiving-related philosophy lesson.
It’s from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the trader turned author and internet flamethrower.
In his widely-read book The Black Swan, Taleb tells the story about the life of a turkey.
“Consider a turkey that is fed every day [for 1000 straight days in the lead-up to Thanksgiving]. Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests’, as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.”
Here is a chart that is often paired with Taleb’s tale.
Taleb uses the turkey story to explain “The Problem of Induction”, a philosophical question that asks whether it is possible to generalize a principle (the rule of the turkey’s life is to be fed) from a series of observations (the turkey has been fed for 1000 straight days).
In the case of the turkey, the surprise on Thanksgiving (Day 1001) demonstrates that the generalization is false.
“Taleb’s Turkey” often comes up in finance when the price of an asset collapses after a strong run-up (AKA past performance is not indicative of future results).
As it turns out, “Taleb’s Turkey” is also applicable to one of my favorite Thanksgiving online pranks. Back in 2018, a bunch of people on the internet texted their moms this ridiculous question: “how long does it take to microwave a 25lb turkey?”
Of course, the question was bait.
…so so so good:
Imagine you are one of these parents.
Your kid finally moved out of the house and you generalized a principle (“wow, they are self-sufficient adults”) based on a series of observation (“my kids have lived by themselves for a while without bothering me”).
Then — SURPRISE!! — you get that text and lose all faith in your kid’s ability to function as a contributing member of society.
LESSON: The “Problem of Induction” is everywhere (and don’t respond to dumb text questions).
Anyways, enjoy these Thanksgiving memes and tweets.