The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'okcupid'
More on WikiLeaks editor/international supervillain/New World Order martyr Julian Assange: What looks like Assange's OKCupid profile, last updated in 2007. His screen name was "HarryHarrison", after a scifi author best known for his Stainless Steel Rat stories, about an anarchist antihero:
Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy.
I like women from countries that have sustained political turmoil. Western culture seems to forge women that are valueless and inane. OK. Not only women!
I am DANGER, ACHTUNG, and ??????????????!Meanwhile, an Internet Archive mirror of Assange's blog/website/.profile page is here. It's a good admixture of the hyper-lucid, the paranoid and the somewhat creepy. (If Assange does get a rape trial with a jury, some of the opinions he expressed about women could swing it to a conviction.)
Mathematics is a systemization of communicable human thought created by brain architectures that have male-type spacial abilities and extremised by the extremes within that group. Extreme female brain architectures would create a different sort of mathematics. It won't be created by the females currently in mathematics because they need a male type brain to thrive in the existing mathematical world. Perhaps a good cognitive neuroscientist will do it for them.
One of the devout was the lovely daughter of a New Castle minister. At some point in my unintended wooing of her, she looked up, fluttered her eyelids and said 'Oh, you know so much! I hardly know anything!'. 'That is why you believe in God," I explained. This conversational brutality took her breath away and she swooned. I was exactly what she secretly longed for; a man willing to openly disagree with her father. All along she had needed a man to devote herself to. All along she had failed to find a man worthy of being called a man, failed to find a man who would not bow to gods, so she had chosen a god unworthy of being called a god, but who would not bow to a man.
And here is Dogs In Space director Richard Lowenstein's account of his online discussions with Assange in 1994, about a possible film based on the Melbourne hacker underground.
The latest instalment of OKCupid's data-mining blog looks at the thorny question of race again; this time, analysing the text of users' profiles, correlated by self-identified racial group.
One part of the article mines keywords unique to racial groups from profiles and presents them as tag clouds, resulting in unsubtle stereotypes. It appears that white people here are not White People; white males are straight-up bros/bogans, into Tom Clancy, sweaty guitar rock, and petrol consumption as recreation, and the females are into spectator sports and a mess of wild-nature clichés, such as thunderstorms, horses and bonfires. (An Irish-American cast looms over both genders, with "Ireland" and plastic-Paddy brocore band Dropkick Murphys rating a mention.) Meanwhile, black people are religiously demonstrative (they're more than twice as likely to mention religion as white or Asian profiles), and Asian and Indian users mention interests in hard-headed professions such as mathematics, engineering and computers, and literature such as Freakonomics, Malcolm Gladwell and Calvin & Hobbes. That and the usual stereotypes.
Among the take-aways from this post: if you want to know if white dudes will like something, put "fucking" in the middle and see if it sounds badass. Hence "Van fucking Halen" and "The Big fucking Lebowski", but not "Alicia fucking Keys". (Of course, it breaks down if irony comes into it; if you're dealing not with bros but with hipsters mining the battlefront of the pop-cultural goldmine, they can get away with a lot of stuff. Take, for example, Fleetwood fucking Mac, or Hall and fucking Oates. This does has its limits, though; chances are, there isn't a hipster with big enough post-ironic cojones to make "Celine fucking Dion" sound right.)
Further down, OKCupid also ran a reading-level analysis algorithm over users' profiles, and correlated it with race and religion. The results were fairly close, though self-identified Indians and Asians had the best-written profiles, with "Latino", "black" and "white" profiles being in the bottom half. More interestingly, the analysis by religion shows a distinct inverse correlation between religiosity and writing level.
Note that for each of the faith-based belief systems I've listed, the people who are the least serious about them write at the highest level. On the other hand, the people who are most serious about not having faith (i.e. the "very serious" agnostics and atheists) score higher than any religious groups.
The latest instalment of the OKCupid team's data-mining project looks at the correlations between the attractiveness of profile pictures attractiveness and the EXIF metadata contained in them. Among other things, it has found that:
- While a better camera may not make you a better photographer, it will make you look sexier (assuming you're being photographed with it, that is). Photos taken with Micro Four-Thirds cameras looked the best, followed by those taken with DSLRs, then compacts and finally camera phones, with Windows and Motorola phones taking the most minging profile pictures.
- Apple products do get you laid. or at least iPhone users have richer love lives than users of other smartphones.
- If you wish to take a flattering photo, open the aperture, getting a nice short depth of field (having a good camera, or at least not a cameraphone, helps here) and, for God's sake, don't use flash. (Unless perhaps you're going for that abject hipster porn aesthetic you see in American Apparel ads and Terry Richardson features in Vice.)
- The golden hour is not a myth; attractiveness of photos does spike immediately after sunrise and before sunset.
The boffins at OKCupid have posted another statistical tour of the mysteries of human sexual attraction, this time looking at profile pictures, and what makes them work (or fail). Some of the findings: the "MySpace shot", cheesy as it may sound, does work for women (though only if they're looking for something other than interesting conversation), and if you're male, you're advised to get your shirt off:
The OKCupid people have been running a free online dating service, backed by psychological matching algorithms driven by user-written tests, for many years, and have build up a huge corpus of data about how people interact. Now they have started a blog, where they discuss the statistical findings that may be gathered from comparing people's profiles and message counts.
One blog posts looks at how well different profile attributes predict whether two people will match. Not surprisingly, the zodiac signs of any two people have no effect on their actual personalities, and thus on how well they would get along:
Race has a slightly greater influence (of a few percentage points either way), presumably because of uneven distribution of cultural backgrounds, but it is still fairly small. (Keep in mind that the match scores are computed from how users answer others' questions, and not from explicitly asking questions like "would you date a Virgo/Polynesian/Buddhist".) Religion, however, turns out to be a lot more telling:
According to this, atheists, agnostics, Jews and Buddhists seem to get along just swell (in fact, Buddhists appear to be slightly more compatible with the nonbelievers than with other Buddhists), whereas the Christians, Hindus and Muslims tend to be somewhat more contentious, not only not getting along with other religions as well but also with each other. Additionally, the more seriously one takes religion, it seems, the less likely one is to get along with others.
Looking again at the issue of race, while race doesn't seem to affect actual compatibility scores, it does affect how likely people are to get responses:
Love may be blind, but it also seems that it, or at least attraction, is deeply racist.
On a lighter note, OKCupid have crunched the word frequencies of successful and unsuccessful opening messages and discovered what to write if you want a reply. Netspeak and "hip" misspellings ('u', 'luv', 'wat') and physical compliments are out, whereas mentions of specific interests are helpful. Unsurprisingly, mentioning religion is generally a bad idea as well.
OKCupid is another on-line matchmaking site/web-toy for people who enjoy filling in surveys. As the theory goes, you fill in a survey, get a personality type (one of those four-element ones, like the Myers-Briggs or the Spark personality test, only more bootywhang-oriented). Then, to build up your profile by answering random questions from a database; the more you have, in theory, the more "accurate" your matches with strangers online will be.
The questions were mostly submitted by users, so about half of them are poorly-designed to the point of uselessness; many of them one could answer either way depending on context, or consist of inadequate choices ("a) techno; b) trance; c) house; d) I don't like electronic music"), or are US-centric ("Do you have an ambition to visit all 50 states before you die?", "Should the death penalty be abolished?"). Then there are the questions, like "do you think extraterrestrials are watching us?", for which any answer other than skipping it asserts much the same thing (i.e., in this case, a certainty of belief about the unknowable). More interesting are the ones which betray their authors' assumptions: false dichotomies ("Is human life more important than the environment?", which suggests the naïve technocratic worldview of someone raised in a veal pen on a diet of corporate television), straw-men ("Are all human actions fundamentally controlled by a biological desire to survive and reproduce?"; a caricature of evolutionary psychology as seen by someone vehemently opposed to it on ideological grounds), and leading questions ("Do animals have souls like humans do?"). A number of them seem to come from a curious world where modern science is considered with suspicion ("Do you believe in dinosaurs?", "Should creationism and evolution be taught alonside each other?")