September 20, 2004

I'm not the only one who does this.

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at September 20, 2004 3:59 PM

Tracy points me to the musings of Sour Bob. As I perused the archive, I discovered that, much like this blog, Bob sometimes finds it helpful to consider life from a mathematical perspective; here he calculates the odds of getting a date by asking for phone numbers in bars.

Of course, the values of some of the variables will depend on location, but his choice of K=.85 strikes me as ridiculously optimistic. On the other hand, my research in this field is predominantly theoretical.

UPDATE: I've considered this a little further. First of all, Bob's formula isn't a probability but an expectation of the mean number of successes. Just divide by x and you have a Bernoulli-trial probability p for individual attempts.

Also, since in the academic sphere I am an experimentalist (in the dating sphere I am apparently a theorist) I found it interesting to consider which of the variables are experimentally observable on their own. K, y, and z clearly are, although it may be difficult to get high accuracy (if I want to know K to 1%, I need to talk to 10,000 women). As for b, this seems to be a more complicated issue— it is something of a simplification, as it averages two quantities: the decay of my interest in a woman whose number I requested (this is what in physics is called a "relaxation time", huh huh) and the decay of the woman's interest in me, and these two quantities are asymmetric. I'd be inclined to split them up if I were to empirically investigate this formula.

Maybe I'll write a grant proposal.


I'm a theorist on both counts.

Hey, you can help me expand my quantum cuteness write-up, and we can send that in for a grant proposal.

It can't be any worse than the extra-large popcorn article from the arXiv (not to mention the network-theoretic analysis that I am told includes an answer as to which superhero is at the center of the Marvel universe---this one is also on the arXiv)

Crackpot session, here we come!

Posted by: Mason | September 25, 2004 8:33 PM

Hmm, perhaps the process of picking up women can be understood as an operation generating entanglement. I'll attempt some preliminary measurements and get back to you...

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | September 28, 2004 3:13 PM

Hmmm...entanglement between two excited states.

Well, you're the experimentalist, so get at it!

Posted by: Mason | October 8, 2004 7:35 PM
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