As of writing, a Kickstarter campaign for "just making potato salad" has raised $37,115. Every few seconds that number climbs higher, and each uptick is greeted with cheers. It's a self-perpetuating humor machine, and it is horribly efficient. There is no joke, at least not anymore; whatever joke there was has become an adaptive, joke-like arrangement of circumstances. It is a perfect device, compatible with all known theories of humor and therefore with none of them.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is returning the $75,000 speaker's fee he accidentally (!!??) accepted from a governmental agency. Also interesting: the agency, whose purpose is to promote clean air in the Bay Area, had Thomas Friedman fly coast to coast to deliver the speech.