Stop following stupid dating steps, get some advice

https://twitter.com/MancNewgirl/status/560711024543014913

Ah Valentines day, the day when us singletons are meant to feel crap about the fact we are alone and unloved? Bollox, I feel great and to be honest it feels like any other day, except I imagine most restaurants will be overpriced and booked up? Brunch in Pimlico, London wasn’t… (I even said to a female friend I would love to meet up for brunch while I was down in London, forgetting it was valentines day, thats how much I care about the moneymaking day)

And its the whole, how you should be living you’re life which slightly winds me up, just like the follow my steps and this will work for you.

Just like a while ago somebody (sure it was Mancnewgirl) sent me this from the New York times. How to fall in love with anyone.

More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four minutes.

I already had enough problems with most of the 36 questions and the setup…  For example.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

What? Seriously when would you bring that up? Why would you bring that up? What would you ultimately learn from it which isn’t a binary state?

Now I admit some of them are pretty good and I have been known to ask at speed dating, of my own mind (I knew nothing of the 36 questions)

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Which I ask as… Tell me the last time you cried?

The problem with most of these is the context and the answers will sometimes be almost useless. If it was more about picking and choosing from a few of these questions or a general guide it wouldn’t be so bad. Frankly besides the science (yeah I can’t believe I said that too, but bear with me) its not exactly much more than another buzzfeed list, which funny enough got the force of the community against it.

Just like the buzzfeedy list… there was always going to be trouble around the corner.

I had enough of this frankly bollox advice things… The problem seems to exist not because the science is wrong, although I could argue they are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. Nope its taking the science and then trying to boil it down to a easy to digest list for us common folk to follow. F-that! and F-them for doing the science a great injustice!

If you start the experiment with …

Let me acknowledge the ways our experiment already fails to line up with the study. First, we were in a bar, not a lab. Second, we weren’t strangers. Not only that, but I see now that one neither suggests nor agrees to try an experiment designed to create romantic love if one isn’t open to this happening.

Then whats the bloody point? You might as well just pick and choose the questions, modify some and do you’re own thing. Yes I understand it doesn’t sell adverts/papers but frankly I get sick of these pre-subscribed nonsense. Say this and you will get this, if this then that, because humans are well known for acting exactly the same to the same input.

Its worth saying I’m not against advice but there is a big difference between

4. Keep it fresh – Avoid the Yes/No game with light-hearted open questions. Chat matters know “who, what and how” yield greater results than “me, myself and I” But tread lightly, nobody wants a grilling.
– All bar one’s guide to flirting from Flirtology

and ask this question:

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Generic pointers are far more useful when dealing with the unquantifiable. Directed or rather specific advice will get you specific results and only work in specific conditions. Unless you can recreate the whole experiment then why even bring it up? Plus if you go back to the start, don’t tell me exactly what to do! That is no way to live life, feel the joy and energy of life in the opportunities which arise out of mistakes and being adventurous.

Your list and my list

I recently discovered Listgeeks via a friend who may want to stay anonymous. I have been looking for something which did what Top10 did. However the guys behind top10 made the decision that a generic top10 site was maybe not ideal for growing a business on. So instead they focused on hotels.

This left my idea of using top10’s for floating emerging tech and designs in the grass.

I found something fascinating happened when I printed out my top10 and stuck it on the wall near me. Conversations would start and develop around the list. After top10 moved towards hotels, I tried to recreate it with a spreadsheet. What a colleague added to her top10 was fascinating again. We spent about 20mins talking about the top10s and questioning what each item was.

This shared knowledge was great and my thoughts is if we can scale it up within a small group of smart people. It can be a great tool for surfacing new ideas and trends.

I do wish there was the ability to track historic changes, so you can see things rise and fall, imagine if you could see it over a few years. On top of that I don’t understand why no one has implemented either OPML or even XOXO? You could have a nice simple exporter and importer?

Wunderlist instead of Google Tasks?

Wunderlist

I recently got fed up of waiting for someone to create a Google tasks application for Ubuntu/Linux and so when I read Wunderlist was available for Linux, I decided to switch.

Wunderlist I had heard about before but this was the tipping point. It already runs on most other platforms including the web, Android, iOS, Mac, PC and now Linux.

Everything was fine up till the point I switched over to using Ubuntu 11.10. Now I got a problem, but it looks like it won’t be long till its sorted.

I hoped Tomboynotes which comes as standard on Ubuntu would be apt for this all but it never quite got the traction and the Android app doesn’t let you make changes or edits which is almost useless for general use, I’m sorry to say… The ability to share the tasks is also a big plus… The only real shame is the size of the Linux installer (85meg!) as something lighter would be great.

Its all about the Top10?



Been meaning to blog about Harry Jones’s next venture for a while…

I was shown a beta of it a while ago and I got to say upfront I’m a close friend of Harry’s and yes I did teach him in university (Ravensbourne college of design and communication). At the time he was doing lots of Flash stuff and singing from the Adobe/Macromedia song book but I slowly broke that down and I kind of remember one day he turned to me and said he gets it (referring to XHTML) not the actual technology (Harry was very smart and picked it up instantly) but the concept of the web being readable to not just humans but to machines and devices.

Anyway a while he launched Top10.co which is a place for all those crazy top 10’s. Top 10 makes it super easy to create your own list but the magic comes when you remix someone elses. What it does is create an instance of the top 10 someone else did and allows you complete control over the list. So in the video above you can see some artificial but funny disagreement over cheesy 80’s action film between Harry and the other co-founder (don’t give up your day jobs to be actors  guys….). But as its a instance, its still linked to the original, so you can see an aggregated view of everyones top10.

For example I setup a top 10 after my blog post about the films you should have seen in 2010.

Here’s the aggregated view (master list) of everyone who has contributed to the top films in 2010, and of course my top 10.

So interestingly they have catered for both the popular stuff in the actual list but also the long tail in the variety of weird and wonderful lists you can make.

Its all public, so thats great. However there are problems… The first one is the non-ability to embed the top 10 list. I know it supports Facebook and Twitter (in actual fact you sign up using one of them, wheres the openid guys?) but I just want to embed or even copy the information to somewhere which is mine. May seem slightly old fashioned (can’t believe I just said that) but its important. I’d also like to see better use of there blog… When I first saw it I first thought it could be like Okcupid’s OKtrends… You know, “we have 100000 users who picked films of 2010, and we aggregated all the lists together to show the top film choice across all lists is Inception…” type stuff. Right now its just fluff about the company which is a yawn to be frank. Heck even this is the types of films which make it to the top of most film related lists, and here’s the ones which tend to be in the middle ground… Come Harry… Data is the new source code (think I just coined a new saying)

So as a whole I think the concept is good, but it really needs someone to think about uses of the top 10’s. I’d also like to see a format which makes it easily transferable. Like a opml file with top10 extensions… but thats further down the line and I expect most won’t be interested in such a thing. Although when I explain what you can do with such a thing, it gets very interesting… Maybe I harry should pop up one day soon for a chat but he’s one busy son of a gun…

Anyway good luck and good to hear he’s moved on from all that Apple crap which he had to deal with a few years ago. Oh and congrats on getting engaged to the lovely Tiffany…