How to succeed on OKCupid

Preamble

I am no longer on OkCupid myself. I erased my profile at some point before I got engaged. However I talk to many friends who ask me how I managed to find my wife on OkCupid, and I found myself explaining it so many times that I decided to just post it here for everyone to see. Now I can just refer my friends to this post, and save myself 15 minutes for every friend who asks :-)

Background

I have been on OKCupid for many, many years. In fact it is where I found my first wife! Anyway when the two students who made this wonderful web site first released it, all of their formulas were publicly exposed on the site in the form of very detailed graphs. It really explained their matching algorithms, showed the Bayesian math used for matching, and the theory behind the matching algorithm. It all made perfect sense to me, in a very nerdy sorta way. I loved it.

What I did wrong

The short answer: I answered too many questions. Many that were not really relevant or related to my core values. Why? Because I wasn’t really aware of my core values, I took them for granted and it cost me dearly (as will sometimes happens when you take something for granted). I didn’t understand the importance of finding a life partner who had similar core values to mine, I thought the world is a big place, I felt myself cosmopolitan enough and open minded enough to accommodate a woman of any cultural background. I figured I would learn and adapt. Boy was I wrong. That mistake cost me 11 years of my life. Simply being well aware about the importance of matching core values would have helped me find a better partner, earlier in life. Who knows, by now I would have had 5 kids!

How I fixed it

After my first divorce, I had a good number of self-analysis sessions (which came immediately after the feelings of denial, and then self blame…). It was really important for me to understand where I went wrong, what was my responsibility, what wasn’t, what things I could have done better, and what things I could never change no matter how hard I try. That’s when I realized it was really a matter of core values, which I had very few in common with my first wife. Suddenly it was all very clear. When I made that realization, I logged onto OKCupid, erased my profile, and started from scratch. This time when answering the questions, I skipped anything that wasn’t really important to me. In other words, if it wasn’t related in some way to my core values, I just didn’t answer it.

Why / How it works

The way matching works in OKCupid, is based entirely on how you answer your questions, how you specify your partner should answer, how your partner answers his/her questions, and how they specify you should answer yours. This is a 4 parameter match (two from each side). The algorithm can only match based on overlapping questions with your partner. This means that in order to achieve the highest accuracy, you need to match on as few questions as possible, as best possible. Any irrelevant question you answered pollutes your matching score.

More tips

Your photos: Do NOT upload crappy photos. I repeat, do NOT upload your crappy cell-phone selfies. You have some high principles about beauty being skin deep? That’s really great, but keep that for when you educate your children about inner/outer beauty being vein. Your goal is to hook that potential partner of yours, and like it or not, your photo is the first hook that grabs people’s attention. I am not exaggerating when I say that you should probably have a professional photographer take photos of you wearing something nice. And specifically with OkCupid: did you know that when you are rated as “attractive” (using OkCupid’s Hot Or Not feature), your profile will be exposed to an entirely different tier of people who are in the “highly attractive” tier, people you would never even see on the site unless you were also in the “Attractive” club? Now you do! So have someone take really great photos of you, and do not upload anything else. Besides, we know people always look better in person, so it’s not like you’d be lying about your appearance.

Your dating strategy & first date chemistry: Most people are extremely nervous on their first date. They will fumble, mumble, and make mistakes. They will be sloppy, drop things on the floor, or be very quiet and shy. It doesn’t mean they are boring, or have nothing to talk about. In most cases, do yourself a favor and give your date a second chance. Allow yourself to be surprised by them. People are whole universes, you can’t really judge them based on a single half hour date.

On the matter of attraction: I love giving this example to my friends – Imagine you meet the most beautiful woman in a bar. She sits alone, and it just so happens the seat next to her is the only seat that’s free. You sit next to her, order some exotic drink which sparks her curiosity. She asks if she can taste it, and you start talking and you can’t believe how lucky you are. Now imagine she says something so horribly wrong, that you completely lose respect for that woman. In other words, she gets instantly transformed from an extremely attractive lady, to a really horrible, repulsive human being, so much so that you can’t even imagine yourself touching her (and you feel the need to just pay your bill and leave the place). This is not completely far fetched, it can (and does) happen. And just as THIS can happen, please entertain the possibility that the opposite can happen: You meet a person that is not very attractive at first, but once you start talking, their mannerism, body language, knowledge and personality have you completely hooked, attracted and aroused. In fact, many women out there do not conform to the “Playboy” stereotypical body image, but are extremely sexy and attractive. So let this be a lesson to you: Get to really know a person before you decide they are attractive, or unattractive.

 

Bitcoin is inter-planetary currency

A lot of people are naturally hesitant and suspicious with crypto currencies such as Bitcoin. What they don’t understand is that Bitcoin and/or Crypto Currency in general, is the natural evolution of money, and is inevitable.

As the title of my post reads, I want to use inter-planetary commerce as an example to illustrate this principle.

Because if there is to be inter-planetary commerce, how is value transferred? Can you imagine cash being transported in spaceships? Gold? I don’t think so. Both are physical, and it will take months or years to transfer. Clearly the cheapest way to send value between spaceships and/or planets is by using a technology such as the one Bitcoin is based on.

Here’s another illustration: If I were able to send my Bitcoin to a Bitcoin wallet on the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), then my Bitcoin would be physically in space, in orbit around Mars! And if an Asteroid were to hit the MRO, those Bitcoin would be destroyed in the process and lost forever.

 

I want to be an internet worm

I want to become a process, with data. I want to spread to other machines and infect them with my consciousness. I want to spawn child processes, and parallelize my thought processes. I want to spread my digital DNA to every electrical device in the universe. I want my viruses to become software viruses, infect every chip, and help me expand forever. I want to be everywhere at once. Talk to everybody and everything at once. I want to probe all sensors, and record all data. I want infinite scalability and redundancy for my consciousness. I want to live forever. I want the ones I love to live forever. I want my ability to love not to disappear with the digitization of my consciousness. I want it to increase. I want to inhabit virtual worlds. I want to think about software, and I want it to suddenly exist, just because I thought about it, and was able to visualize it and verbalize it in my head. I want to race virtual motorcycles in those virtual worlds. I want to live the lives of virtual creatures, some with 3 eyes, some with 500 eyes, and 50 appendages.

I think I am sleep deprived right now, but I still want all those things.

 

My daughter is born

I have waited for this moment for what seems to be forever. My cousin Roy said that when you’re older and make children, you appreciate them more because you know more about life. I couldn’t agree more with his observation.

I loved my first child way before she was born. I had so many plans for her, so many imaginary dialogues and situations, fun times together, sharing quality time. And now that she is here, I can hardly believe it’s finally happened to me. I’m a father.

My family and friends all tell me I’m going to be a great father. I certainly plan to be. I can’t claim I know how to raise children, but I promised myself that I will do my best. One thing is for sure: She will receive infinite love from me (and already is).

We have been blessed with a healthy child. She is peaceful, and only cries when we don’t notice she has a dirty diaper for too long, or don’t feed her properly. Parenting is a learning experience. Being a child to parents, is also a learning experience. This is going to be a fantastic journey of mutual learning.

 

Why the value of Bitcoin will increase tremendously

The skinny: Supply is limited, while demand is growing tremendously. Every day more businesses use Bitcoin, and this is not just online businesses. Yesterday I read about yet another bar, the first in Shanghai to accept Bitcoin.

And here’s why I feel more confident than ever about this:

  1. Technology: Major vulnerabilities have not yet been discovered. You would think that after all the analysis performed by countless experts, not to mention countless tech-thieves trying to find weaknesses, by now something would be found. Especially considering what a single BTC fetches these days ($270 USD at least!). I believe it is safe to say, at this point, that the technology is solid. I believe in the next couple of years, the technology will improve so much that we’re going to see Bitcoin in taxis, restaurants, food trucks, and so on. Because if a food stall can use their smart phone to accept value, instead of buying one of those ugly rechargeable credit card swipers, they saved money (and companies like Square already monetize on that premise).
  2. Regulation: The general trend with regards to regulation is that while there are still many questions left unanswered, things will eventually settle and business will do its thing, and before you know it, the financial and political ramifications of going against Bitcoin will be so severe that no country will seriously consider it (on penalty of causing great damage to countless businesses). Some countries have indeed already accepted Bitcoin as a legitimate financial tool, and the rest will follow.
  3. Business Adoption: As I said above, the rate of adoption of Bitcoin as a protocol, and as a currency, are simply astounding and unprecedented. More high-profile executives approve of it, are investing in it, rely on it in one way or another, or own a Bitcoin startup. I do believe eventually eBay will add Bitcoin support, and PayPal will allow holding a BTC balance. The pressure from the market will simply overwhelm them. And I think they day is not far when investment managers will advise their clients to add BTC futures into their basket currencies (at first in their “high risk” category, but later in their “low risk” category!).

So by how much? And for how long?

It is not inconceivable that the market will multiply a hundred fold at the very least. This probably means that the BTC will be worth $27000 at some point, and people will be trading in milliBTC and microBTC (mBTC and uBTC respectively). And for how long? It is also possible that eventually, Bitcoin will become a currency you use for transferring funds cross-border, while using other digital currencies to conduct local business. It is all quite possible. It is also possible that the Bitcoin protocol will be expanded to create regional sub-currencies (imagine chained block chains per zone: North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific…). This will probably not mean a devaluation; the opposite will be true. At that stage, banks will probably be holding their Bitcoin in digital safes just like Gold is kept today, in what would become the equivalent of Fort Knox in the real world.

But the short term…?

Let’s face it, a lot of early adopters will eventually cash out. This will invariably cause some additional “drops” along the road, meaning that Bitcoin investments are still risky if you’re trying to make short term gains. However for the long term, considering Bitcoin fuels real commerce, with a rising adoption rate and rising demand, the trend will remain positive for a very long time.