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Musings

what is a psychprint

a psychprint is like a fingerprint for your personality. it depicts in an icon the personality traits that make you, you. it’s just one of the crazy new features we’ve rolled out on likebetter.com in the past few days before launch. come try it out.

this is my psychprint, it shows you my personality as it stands right now. as I use likebetter, it will grow and change as it learns more about me:

what’s your psychprint?

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Musings

random acts of advertising

my cofounder and partner in crime, Brian, mentioned something interesting while we were discussing the story about the starbucks customer (below). starbucks could have made the whole thing up for the purposes of viral marketing.

think about it, what if they gave one out of a thousand drinks for free, and told the customer it was the car in front of them who paid? two things would happen: they would make a lot of customers happy for very little money, and people would start noticing a trend.

provided starbucks could keep it under wraps, this would undoubtedly make news – “starbucks customers a friendly lot!” the headlines would exclaim. In fact, I think running this campaign for just one or two weeks, before anyone had a chance to catch on to the ulterior underpinnings, would be enough to tip a fad, and regular customers would start paying for the people in back of them.

pretty soon, the movement would have wings and everyone would think of starbucks customers are these amazing people who do wonderful things (and in fact, they would be). heck, people would then attribute it to the company itself, and starbucks would shine their tarnished image.

Whoa, I just gave myself chills. I think I need to package this up and mail it to them or something.

Categories
Musings

random acts of kindness

My good friend Jono forwarded me this encouraging story and I thought I’d share it:

In the drive-up lane at a Starbucks in Lynnwood, David Haslam reached out for his usual nonfat raspberry latte with two Splendas stirred in, but the barista wouldn’t take his money. “She leaned way out and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but the lady ahead of you paid for your latte. She said she wanted to make your day.'” Events like these don’t typically make news. There’s no Samaritan Index to say whether anonymous good deeds are up 11 percent or down 2 percent from last year, or whether Seattle ranks 7th or 77th in per-capita goodness. But Seattle Times reports that anonymous acts of kindness are catching on!

And why not? A latte sets you back only about $4, but I know I’d pay $4 to get the kind of love of humanity that David must now feel. It’s a net gain – you are exchanging money for a product, but you are creating good will wealth as a free byproduct. I really think this idea could catch on. It kind of reminds me of my staged kindness idea.

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Musings

rewarding trust

I finally got my haircut today.

It’s been a few weeks, and it was starting to look shabby. So I took a stroll to the local barber shop, and waited my turn to go under the knife. Anne was the hair massacurist of the day, she owns the two-seat shop with her sister. Been cutting hair for 20 years. Two decades hence, she worked across the street, and saw the “for sale” sign posted on her current shop. I wonder what it would be like cutting hair for 20 years.

Once the gobbs of hair were successfully detached, I grabbed my wallet, expecting money would await me there. It was somewhere else. One nervous glance at the cash register indicated that they did not indeed take fake money either. I, er, um, could I run down to the ATM? I offered her my cell phone in exchange for her trust.

No, don’t worry about it. Just pay the next time you pass by.

Wow. That’s trust. I really respect that. In a world full of suspicion and mistrust, she gave a stranger the benefit of the doubt. It cost her nothing, but it made me feel great. People need to do this more.

So I headed to the ATM, grabbed some cash, and gave her a 100% tip on the way back. She politely refused, but I told her that I appreciated her trust, and wished more people were like that. And I gave her the tip. It was worth it.

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Musings

If a tree falls in a forest

In both Buddhism and Quantum theory, there’s an interesting shared hypothesis: that our world is created through our conscious interactions with it. As the saying goes, if a tree falls in a forest, it won’t make a sound because it wasn’t observed. In fact, the tree cannot exist without an observer.

This is a pretty crazy statement, but let’s assume it’s true for a moment. And let’s assume we’re part of a computer simulation like the matrix.

For any sufficiently large application, developers must implement some sort of caching to save programming resources for where they are most needed.

Think about it: It would be remarkably inefficient to process areas of the simulation that aren’t being directly observed. Imagine all the pixels needed to render the eruption of a volcano? If no one were observing it, it would make more sense to just render the aftermath.

So are both these theories just arriving at the truth – that we are, in fact, just digital beings inside an efficient computer simulation? Or are all our theories about the world up until now, incorrect? The former just seems so much simpler to me.

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Musings

likebetter update


likebetter and pairwise are going well, now that Louise Crow is here helping Brian and I. We’ve released a ton of new features, and have really been working our behinds off loading new images and enhancing the algorithms. so if you like looking at pictures of really cool things, and dating, check out likebetter.com.