Monday, July 27, 2015

The Occluded Signal

You either think of dating as game theory or you don't (and are wrong). But coming at it sideways, one of the basic tenets of the pick up artist world is "You do not choose who you are attracted to". I.E. The pick up artist techniques work even if you know they are being used on you! 

But it gets worse, in that you ALSO don't consciously choose what techniques you use to find a mate! It's like if you ask a 40 year old guy why he suddenly wants to buy a motorcycle and a sports car, and he's like "Yah, life is short, ya know?"

Why Do You Love Me?

But it is more than that and with big data you can find completely weird dating strategies that people will use without realizing they use them. Ok, I will admit, in armchair relationship science you can substitute "Big Data" for "Five minutes screenshotting Tinder Profiles to Prove a Point." 

Let's start by pointing out a basic feature of the theory that says "When you don't have the best signal in the world, obscure your signal and hope for the fucking best". This is one of those dating strategies that is almost singular to Tinder, as OKCupid, Match, and Instagram are in their own ways, a completely different game by offering a LOT more information on potential mates.

For example, the following picture demonstrates something girls do a LOT on Tinder: make a stupid face so you can't tell if they are hot or not. This "I'm sticking my tongue out at you" is surprisingly common because people think it says "Whimsical and fun!" which it very much does not. The signal they are obscuring is the most basic one of facial symmetry. 

"Look! My tongue is not forked!"

Here is another, even clearer example of an attempt at that game plan, with a woman who is "Enjoying Life" (aka, drinking the pain away):

"Maybe I have eyes, maybe I DON'T have eyes. Ask me on a date to find out!"

"You know it's a classy joint when they have those big red plastic cups, right?"

Guys do this too (often with just very fuzzy pictures), and you'll very rarely see someone MIX their strategies. There's no point in having a bunch of funny faces, and then one clear headshot. It's all or nothing. And yet, none of the people who apply the occluded signal strategy are going to realize that's what they're doing. For example, look at the symmetry hiding in all of the below pictures from "Carole", which included the required "funny tongue" shot, then two "giant sunglasses shots".

Sometimes this strategy's goal is to say "I'm at the top of the dating pool looking down and I don't even NEED to show my facial symmetry to get dates" (my roommate B does it all the time and it works great for her as a message of "exclusivity") but when the deck is stacked against you, it ends up saying the exact opposite.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

"The Conversation"

Okay, so I think at some point someone should hire a skywriter to point out to both men and women that if you have not had The Conversation where you both explicitly decide that you are exclusive, then you are not exclusive.

I made this helpful Venn Diagram for the many confused people out there.
I mention this partially because every guy on Earth seems to think my friend B is exclusive with them, which is amusing to me, but annoying to her, and also because I was at a party recently and a female friend is going on and on about a lot of things, one of which is this guy she is in love with.

We'll call him "Randal" and he's been chasing her for about 11 years - she's the one who got away! We all have one. It's like the Dawson's Creek phenomenon or something.

Let's not fool ourselves, in real life Joey ends up with an investment banker who is secretly gay, not her high school friend.

So they've been texting and secretly being emotional as all hell for years, except our friend finally got divorced and he finally broke up with his girlfriend and now he's dating and not "closing the deal" and having kids with her like he said he wanted to for the last decade.

And so last week on the way home from a date of her own with a guy she hated because he did nothing but complain about Miami the whole time, she pulled up in her car next to him and a woman. He called her two minutes later to say it was just a friend, but she doesn't believe him.

So Charlie and I were both like "WHO CARES". He's either allowed to date or he's not. And if you're on a date, odds are he's allowed to date too. Charlie's perspective: "What you're really mad about is that you had a shitty date, not that he was on a date. You were three shots and two jokes away from having sex on your date, and you didn't and that's not Randal's fault."

While we're on the subject, let me point out that this hilarious article is hilarious:

I would say you should read that article, and then read this Tumblr blog from the very beginning to see what reality is like. Also because it's some of the best writing on the Internet. A touching Dostoevsky-esque wandering through dominance, submission, infidelity and heroin. She's a real person, and it's all real.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bumble Opener of the Day

Open up your Bumbler app, and then match with any random guy. Say: "What's your opinion on Al Quada?" then, no matter what he says "Phew, that's a relief."

Let us know how it works out for you! :)

And of course you should read this, since she knows how to use rhetorical device when talking about fucking.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Things nobody does and things everyone does

"Basically Allison is a tramp."
I'm going to put this out there: NOBODY USES CONDOMS. Ask your friends who actually get laid when they last did, and you can watch them squirm. When I was beta testing this blogpost a female friend of mine said "actually, I like condoms, because they make it so much cleaner for me, like the next day I'm not always wondering if I peed my pants." She is the massive exception though.

Everyone BUYS condoms. Condoms are a cool product. They come in lots of colors, flavors, and sizes, and in neat foil packaging. Even the boxes are cool. But nobody really USES condoms. The actual thing inside a condom wrapper could be a tiny sleeping centipede as far as most people are concerned, but they'll never know cause they'll never open any of them.

Just like in computer security, the future is not better prevention, but just better monitoring. When you go for the free test down the road at the gay clothing store, you get automatically signed up to a weird social network online, which will allow you to present your test status to people also on that network. Maybe Tinder should hook up with them and offer it as part of your profile? Since we, as a species, are not going to use condoms, we might as well solve the problem some other way... I mean, technically I solve this problem by being a geeky computer scientist, which is the only 100% STD preventative humans have invented, but I think we can do better overall. Or at least Allison can.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Opener Magic

This. This is how it's done.

Happy 4th of July to this blog's 5 readers!