October 23, 2008

New and improved singles map

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at October 23, 2008 5:43 PM

Remember the infamous singles map? The weird east-west gradient in which single women were concentrated on the east coast and single men in the west always seemed very odd to me. I think there must be some demographic explanation (I'm guessing related to immigration patterns) but I haven't seen a compelling one yet.

In addition, I used to wonder just how useful it was to look at the entire single population at once. The statistics were likely to change substantially under various demographic slices, so the overall average may not be very interesting—any given person is only going to be looking for singles within some subset of age, socioeconomic status, and so forth.

So this remix of the data in which one can select an age range is pretty interesting. It turns out that moving the age slider alters the picture radically, primarily because women marry earlier than men. So in the 18-39 range there are excess single men pretty much everywhere. (Don't miss the commentary at that link, which is both entertaining and insightful.)

What this needs now is more sliders along other categories so that a user can locate the demographic that offers him or her the best odds. Meanwhile I am going to continue to deprioritize my own efforts at dating until the market recovers, and working for a major bank is once again held in higher regard than professional puppy-kicking.

Tags: Dating
Comments

I'm not sure "until the market recovers" is the right criterion to use. IMO, that means you'll be waiting for several years! (Though I suppose you mean something more along the lines of less volatility rather than actual recovery?)

Posted by: Mason | October 24, 2008 2:00 AM

You're right, I meant something like "until the immediate crisis passes". However, waiting until the next economic expansion is not as crazy as it sounds, since deprioritizing dating tends to improve my quality of life.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | October 24, 2008 5:59 AM

Heh, fair enough.

That definitely holds for me as well, though somehow as far as is possible---obviously it's not always obvious at first---more important than a priori priority levels is whether spending time with any specific person or set of people improves life or not. If you like spending time with someone, you find a way to make time---which I suppose is somewhat analogous to the old Caltech combinatorics problem ({work, sleep, social life} choose two).

Or maybe I should just say that "not psychotic" should be an explicit criterion (and also very high on the list) rather than an implicit one? :)

Posted by: Mason Porter | October 25, 2008 12:03 PM

I don't disagree, and indeed the general category of "spending time with people I like" (which right now just means my friends) is a very high priority. What I'm deprioritizing are efforts to meet new people specifically for a potential relationship. If it happens incidentally that's good, but I'm not going to sink any time or resources into actively looking.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | October 25, 2008 12:33 PM

Such efforts certainly do make it harder to get work done. (I can't help thinking of a balance involving number of publications, though I suppose if I were a better person I wouldn't quite think about it quite as quantitatively.)


Posted by: Mason Porter | October 25, 2008 6:02 PM

Nothing wrong with a quantitative approach--I think a cost-benefit analysis is the right way to look at this problem. (Plus it annoys any romantics who might be reading.)

For me at least the tradeoff isn't with work: time spent dating would replace whatever I'm currently doing that's least valuable to me. And I think my free time portfolio does need rebalancing, but there are lots of things I could be doing in my free time that are better than both dating and what I'm currently doing (namely lots of video games and web surfing).

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | October 26, 2008 12:17 PM

I used to have free time. :) OK, I have free time but I feel like I need to be creative about making sure it actually exists.

It should be said though that I have managed to come up with a research project with baseball, so fun and work are definitely blending a bit these days. (Yes, it blends!)

I am creative about free time, in any event. I've been going to quite a few cool theatrical performances and concerts lately. And I am in a new D & D game (3.5 ed) one night a week. I am playing goblin druid/monk, and I have wicked saves. ;)

Posted by: Mason Porter | October 26, 2008 3:25 PM
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