The Horizon episode: How to find love online just aired and here’s a blog I wrote straight after filming for the show. I have no idea what just happened or if I’ll even be involved, but judging by whats been seen so far, it looks like I might be. I trust BBC Horizon have done everybody proud but he’s my view on what happened that afternoon in central London.
We were asked and signed a contract saying we wouldn’t talk about the programme till the TX (TV transmission date). However the programme should have gone out by now.
It was an interesting time and the experiments were quite good too. From what I gather on the day, Hannah Fry wrote an algorithm to match people and Xander? I heard Xander is going on 3 dates today (day after the experiment). With the algorithm, she (Hannah) needed a large pool of people to match him with but also she wanted to see if it worked for other people. Hence the afternoon-evening of Horizon dating (I’m sure this will change).
Ok being brief (very hard for me). We were divided into 4 groups using colour wrist bands, then did some rough speed dating (I say rough because it there was no real flow, no direction and we were kind of left to get on with it, with the occasional call to change).
The four groups were…
Told everybody in the group was matched and we actually were (this was my group – Yellow)
Told everybody in the group was matched but that was actually was a lie
Told no body in the group was matched but actually everybody was
Told no body was matched and no body actually was (control group?)
You can see how this all works right?
The results were actually quite good and seemed to go with the algorithm and the priming of what were somewhat told. Hannah seemed confident it might actually work beyond this stage.
There was another test but to be honest, I got pulled away to do some stuff in a back room to the waiting camera about online dating. So much I wanted to say, but was told to keep it brief and look directly down the lens of the camera (hate that). Anyway I briefly touched on things related to my experiences and observations, should be interesting enough.
After some finger food and lots of chatting with various people, the results were announced to the room. They were cavatted with the notion, it was getting most matches in the room rather than most ideal matches.
Regardless, our usernames were read out and we stuck our hands up to show pairings.
My match was a woman who I had speed dated earlier but thought we didn’t really get on because of my lack of knowledge about the smiths. Can I remember her username? Nope, but we did take a couple selfie on both our phones.
After the matching, were had the opportunity to spend time together just chatting away and some quick interviews from Zander and Hannah.
Weirdly enough, my match lived in Bristol, had lived less than a mile away about the same time I lived in Croydon, London and shared similar views on certain things. Of course the location stuff is a coincidence, as there was nothing in the questionnaire about previous locations, etc. But interesting one regardless.
We chatted away then we talked about circumstances currently. I wrongly guessed her age and it turned out we were quite distant on age and places in our lives. She had 3 kids, while I’m obviously child-free. It was clear the algorithm did work but only on the matching part, but did not factor in all the other things like looks, circumstance, desires, etc. The stuff which is unquantifiable?
End of the night, she left and we said goodbye while a bunch of us went to the Yorkshire Grey pub (George would be so proud) to discuss and carry on into the night. It was a warm night, so we sat outside on the benches, telling dating stories to each other. It was an nice end to the evening.
Everybody I spoke to had a good time they also had some good and bad stories about dating in recent times. The matches were somewhat hit and miss. Some numbers were exchanged but to be honest I think there will be maybe one or two who actually carry it further than a date or two (which still means Hannah’s algorithm would beat the year of making love!) . My match I’m unlikely to meet again, we didn’t swap anything and the pleasantries at the end of the night said it all. The initial excitement just seemed to break down once we discovered the difference in lifestyle, age and place in life.
Over drinks much later, a couple of us stayed out till about 1am. mr30notsoflirty, asked me if there were others I was interested in. I said yes and funny enough she was in my speed dating round, which meant she was likely matched quite highly with myself (remember I was in the one which was matched and were told so). I got a hint there might be some actually similarity in outlook earlier on but then got pulled away to do the pieces to the camera. There was another lady who stayed out later but had to get a train back to Kent, who was quite intriguing asking lots of questions about the scientific nature of everything, especially when I mentioned my geekness for dating. At the market place bar, we talked briefly and she said the comment of the night.
“You smell really good…!”
“well thank you” I said in return with a puzzled look on my face
Over all, it was intriguing and I’m happy to say Horizon did me and the BBC proud. It was pretty fluid, they seemed to get lots of footage (which I wish they would talk to BBC R&D about, as each couple have a interesting tale or two I’m sure). Met some lovelypeople and my fears of the Year of making love were ironed out with the small contained venue, good people and a professional but friendly crew.
Just hope this is reflected in the show when it went live…
On watching the programme, I was surprised how much of the vox pops from me made it into the programme. The show was mainly about Xander and the challenge of getting him a decent match. But it was clearly me on screen…
Xander and Hannah! Yeah they were very comfortable with each other, a few of us kept saying surely the two should get a room? But we all knew Hannah was happily married, but was so strange that Xander finally met a woman who from the back looked like a shorter version of Hannah. I actually thought it was her at first glance. Then I remember talking to some of the guys on the day, saying how she was very attractive.
During the show there was some comments about the lack of sexual diversity, and I wanted to say, yes most were straight but there were a few gay couples too. The cameras missed a lot on that day but thats TV for you. There was also a diverse age range from quite young right up to much older than myself. Culturally it was quite diverse also, the BBC certainly did a good job and its important to once again say what you saw on screen wasn’t just it.
As a whole it was good and enjoyable, BBC Horizon did a good job touching on aspects of online dating problems and joys. Even down to Xander’s text exchange at the end of the programme. The whole worrying about what to say how long it takes for someone to come back to you is a real drama in modern dating. Although I do feel for the woman who went on the date with Xander because shes going to get a lot of angry women looking for her now…
…these studies found that when men imagined a hypothetical woman who was smarter than them, or only knew of the woman in an abstract sense, they were interested in meeting or possibly dating her. Apparently, a smart woman is great in theory but not in practice.
…the men who were partnered with a woman who scored higher on the intelligence test felt the need to physically distance themselves from her when moving their chairs. They also tended to rate the woman as less attractive and datable than the men who interacted with a woman and scored worse than they did.
I like to hope there are even more smart women for us enlighten men but I know it’s never that simple.
In another post which I was reading about the redpill and manosphere, its easy to think every man wants to be the alpha.
Socially dominant. Somebody who displays high value, or traits that are sexually attractive to women.
Most of the postings refer to being the alpha not the beta. For example from the same post.
AF/BB – Alpha Fucks/Beta Bucks. AF/BB, as an idea, is closely related to AWALT (“All Women Are Like That”). All women, in this argument, divide men into two types: alpha males they want to fuck, and beta males they use for financial and emotional support in exchange for sex.
It’s this nonsense which bugs the hell out of me on many different levels. All women want alphas, the betas are suckers and you need to be alphas to stand a chance. Do me a flipping favor, what a load of mashed up crap. Now I could argue on ideological and humanity grounds but I’ve tried that and failed to convince my intrenched male pals. So I’m going to try the diversity of thought option.
The biggest problem with all this is (AWALT) all women are like this and (AMALT) all men are like this. Is that there not, yes there might be a large population which are like this but I bet you those stereotypes are dying out quicker than you think. People are finding themselves and are less bound by the norms defined by the previous generation/society.
For example, gay, lesbian and bi people can be much more open than previously (don’t get me wrong, it’s a long way from the idealistic utopian dream in some parts of this country, let alone other parts of the world). But there is no longer a need to hide in the wardrobe/shadows. People are expressing a different more realistic/enlighten view on the world around them and ultimately that is changing things quicker than previously. Also worth saying non-monogamous relationshipsseem to have increased (or at least become more public). Like wise there’s less hiding in the shadows.
When I attended the event in Manchester with Rosie Wilby, I was actually slightly worried about talking about openly afterwards because it may crush certain friends world view. I could imagine myself talking about the event in detail and upsetting someone in the process.
Going all the way back to the top of the blog, what if smarter women actually preferred less smart men? What would people make of that scenario? It quite a different take eh?
Ultimately attitudes are changing and becoming more diverse, this is a good thing! It’s not good enough to jump to lazy stereotypes. Yes I understand this messes with your view on the world and makes binary answers a thing of a bygone era – Its time to get use to it! People are messy and the world is messy. No matter what Zuckerberg thinks or imposes (yes that is the right word) on a large number of internet users.
I am personally trying to use gender neutral pronouns. So less saying guys and more people. It’s a tiny thing but it all adds up and ultimately may have a positive effect of making others reconsider their own language.
Recently I was asked about my deal breakers, and I said one was old fashioned thinking. It seems harmless at first but I honestly think its holding back real progress and it needs to die/end. I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn from the past but trying to hold on to the past, has conquences like the results we see in the test.
Prince repelled and fascinated me because he represented every side of all the contradictions I felt. I felt nervous even looking at him, and yet I couldn’t look away. What would it mean if I opened myself up to the letting go of all those rules he seemed to have dispensed with? That purple clothing, those high heels and ruffled shirts: was he proudly feminine, or so secure in his masculinity he didn’t mind others questioning it? That small frame and that tight, small butt that seemed to leave him “shaking that ass, shaking that ass” for men and women alike?
I remember when I was young having a discussions about sexuality through the paradox known as Prince. Never a dull moment and I even had the joy of visiting Minneapolis and going to First Avenue, prince’s club in purple rain.
Wow and what a club!
Prince was so ahead of me in my own understanding of what it means to be black in this country, to have a sexuality and gender expression at odds with the white men who try to tell everyone else how to behave – and to embrace what is amorphous, not easily categorized, beautiful, and yet unknown.
We have no speakers, no keynotes, no panels. All sessions are breakouts, and the topics are chosen and led by participants… identity is just a starting point. Many other topics come up and move forward as well. In the last few IIWs, hot topics have included personal clouds, privacy, data liberation, transparency, VRM, the Indie Web, the Internet of Things, the Semantic Web, trust frameworks, free and open devices and much more
I had a lot of time for Tony and he was one of the people who attracted me to the BBC. I had no idea he had only joined 2 years before myself. But he was incredible and pulled no punches in what he felt was right. A lot like Tom Loosemore and others, he was public service to the bone. Something which I personally think it critical as more and more of our public services are being suffocated to death… slowly…
Frankly the BBC needs more people like Tony and he will be sadly lost. I found this part really interesting…
I would never have left the BBC but the opportunity is greater than I could have imagined,” he said. “I was good for the BBC because I was so unlike them, and didn’t want to be like them. But I told them that they have to shape this challenge, the internet, before it shapes you.
I feel the same, if I was to leave it would have to be such a great opportunity. in another public service focused company. I also feel like I’m right for the BBC because I don’t fit the BBC mould. I would go as far as to say he has Humility, Craft and Hustle.
I’m sure I wrote or have said somewhere how I was not a fan the BBC, mainly for its lack of diversity in programmes, especially around underground music (hey I was young and a raver). It just didn’t reflect anything which spoke to me sadly. I didn’t even engage with the other (arguably much more important) aspects of diversity but it most likely played their part in forming my opinion.
The BBC is changing, not quite fast enough for me but the people make the difference. Like a recent q&a with a high-ranking person, where someone asked about more women in engineering. I was thinking in my head this is important of course but it’s about diversity not just gender. The answer, had me clapping my hand in my head. Its about diversity of people, thought and approaches. Perfect, I had to write a email afterwards thanking that person.
People like Tony and others are rare because the system filters them out. I’m sure I wouldn’t have got into r&d if it was to apply, and even now in my 12th year (yeah beleive it or not! It just happened around my birthday) I’m still not looking to fit in. Its not in my nature as a outlier… But likewise theres no hiding from the daily challenges and politics. As Tony said…
It works just as Ikea hackers and AV forums suggested and after another trip to IKEA, they finally had a extendable rod (they never had one previously) to pull the whole thing down. Unfortunally due to the change in living room layout, I can’t really have the projector on the bottom of the coffee table anymore (there is only so far keystone will go). But once positioned on top of the table and after dropping the resolution down to XGA instead of 1080p (the projector doesn’t really support anything over 1024×768 and tends to cut off the rest, but at least my Kodi machine outputs the same image to both outputs, meaning I don’t need to unplug or blank one screen each time)
They were nice enough to tell us this afternoon via email, but I wasn’t sure I could blog it (nothing on their programme page or facebook page either) till I found it in the Radiotimes.
The internet has transformed every part of our lives and is now changing arguably the most important – our love lives. Internet dating is a cultural phenomenon and is now the second most common way that couples meet. But what is the best way to make the online search for love successful? What are the ‘matchmaking’ algorithms that the big companies use? Do they really deliver the goods, is it really clever marketing and actually a giant con – is there really any science?
Funny enough Mr30notsoflirty and Maren I met through the show filming (as you will find out soon, in a post I wrote straight after the filming). We were talking about the trailer on twitter, and Mr30 said he spotted, Mr30 and some other people. I watched a couple times and spotted myself! Scary stuff!
I love what Alexandra does, super talented, creative and resourceful. But unfortunately I’m not able to be involved in the goodhome project at this stage. Shes collaborating with other smart people to show a vision of the home in the future which doesn’t scream nonsense wrapped in toilet tissue, like this recent video.
If you happen to be in Milan or going to the Milan furniture fair, make sure you stop by Fuori Salone and visit the Good Home. Wednesday 13th – Saturday 16th April.
Visit our second Good Home during Fuori Salone, the city-wide festival of design that accompanies the Milan Furniture Fair. We will be exhibiting product ideas around the future of the home.
Hope to make up for this in the near future at Mozfest 2016 and maybe London Design Festival 2016.
Hastings: The BBC has been a pioneer. They have been the first to invest in technology like the iPlayer, which has done a great job. … [In the future] they’ll have to get rid of the iPlayer branding. It should just be the BBC.
Its great but its interesting looking at the data my friends are generating through their use of my sever. But it’s not all super smooth, mainly due to my poor single core AMD Sempron 2800 processor doing transcoding on the fly. The biggest problem is the Xbox Plex client, which we discovered doesn’t support x.264 at all, meaning transcoding the whole thing is the only way to view anything. My poor CPU maxes out at 100% during the whole thing. This seems to be a massive bug bear for many people out there… I dread to think what happens with H.265 encoded media.
I installed PlexPy a while ago and decided it was time to have a look.
The Chromecast isn’t anywhere as bad but still triggers transcoding, but to be fair I’ve not really played with the settings but I think theres a way to force the chromecast to play directly (Directstream). Some Smart TVs seem quite happy to take the direct stream putting absolutely no strain on my CPU.
Because of the strain on my CPU, I’m considering changing my CPU to something better. I mean even a quad core or six core processor would be ideal.
I mean its not like its heavily used anyway. Sure my one friend will like that (smile). The Chromecast is far and away the biggest client and we tried the Xbox 360 once just to see if it was any better (which it wasn’t)
The other stats generated are quite interesting to look at…
For example when most of my friends watch my media by hour of the day and which day.
Theres much more interesting stats but of course privacy of my friends is the up most importance. Maybe I should craft a EULA (End User Licence Agreement)?
apply. When what exceptions are possible, is still unclear.
Some friends on Facebook (my fb is public, so its readable/findable) added some comments to my kind of retweet from talking with Oliver.
Jennifer wrote: There are so few affordable flats available for people who actually live here. The Airbnb market has affected the available rentals so much here that it’s driven prices up, and it’s a nightmare.
Helen wrote: There are similar restrictions in Barcelona. You need a licence to rent rooms or apartments but the local government is not issuing new licences. Same rationale…lack of affordable housing, makes for unpleasant living when your neighbouring apartments are all on short lets, changing the culture of neighbourhoods. That said, there’s no shortage of rentals in Barcelona on AirBnB and elsewhere. Fines are being issued but not widespread yet.
As someone who does Airbnb at my own flat, I think there should be a difference between a spare room and a whole place. I do have everything legally needed including smoke alarms, exit signs and fire extinguisher but it feels like there should be slight difference. I understand the concerns and the damage of short term lets on a community. Some apartment blocks have banned Airbnb in Manchester for example. But if you are there too, its no real different than having a short term lodger? I guess there is an argument about how you prove you are there, but thats a different arguement.
Its a shame its come to this but alas thats what happens when you let market forces run out of control?
Little chance of a cheap Airbnb for Berlin now, I thought but theres still quite a lot on Airbnb still… We shall see what happens in May.
The Listening Project Fi Glover introduces a conversation between friends whose different outlooks on life don’t affect the strength of their relationship at all. Another in the series that proves it’s surprising what you hear when you listen.
Don’t worry its not the first time something has been put down in front of me and had it pulled out right in front me for allergy reasons. To be fair its better than the result of being very ill or worst but its hard watching others enjoy what you could have had.
LJ Rich contacted me asking if I was up for an experiment. Of course I said yes, and without really knowing a few weeks later I was roped into taking part in BBC News #24Livestream on Facebook. It was a bit of surprise but an enjoyable one, shame about the technical difficults at the start.
We’re back!#24Live NOW: We’re taking an interactive look inside BBC Research and Development. Ever wanted to know what…
Flickr was famously developed as a side feature for the MMO Game Neverendingthat Butterfield was developing with his then-wife Caterina Fake and the rest of their company, Ludicorp. The team realized that the photo-sharing aspect of the game could be spun off into its own service.