Sunday, April 30, 2006

Selection Functions

After a brief brush with matrimonial exerscises six months back, my parents gave me back the baton to proceed as I see fit and let them know of my choice. I havent done anything on that front till the last week and my folks were slowly thinking about wresting back the control knobs for accelerating this process, which brings me to this musing.

In an effort to see what can be done via online communuties, I did the usual thingy of putting up my profile and stuff. It also happens that you can search for people based on certain search criteria. I have seen profiles that were straitjacketed into the standard a/s/l, hobbies,demographic data, etc. almost like I am analysing census data for this year. These are profiles that never moved me despite the desi tradition of micromanaging the details .The only part of this standardized user interface o, where personas can be expressed happened in the section where people write about themselves, the free form text field where you write something (with the assumption that the person willing to be married is writing it as opposed to someone else in the family or friends). This is the only bit where someone's taste shows up. Sadly, most folks put in 2 liners like "I am a [adjective], [adjective] and [adjective] person. To know more, write to me." Some of the stuff is written by parents in ALL CAPS thus making it seem like they are akin to a towncrier advertising for the latest news or what have you. Then there are folks who spout inanities like "I am a fun-loving person". (who isnt? ) or some blanket statement like "I am a broad minded person" whereas in their partner preferences you see a contradiction that contracts the sample space for that person's search is almost zero within the same online matrimonial site (or their competitor). If you dont believe me, you should try this just for the heck of it. In essence, it is very confusing for me. I know I should proceed it the way I do and use the online thing just as a selection criteria for further distillation but somehow something in me tells I am missing out on something of a protocol that is very well understood by these folks.

I understand the Darwinian theory attributes that selection of mates is not based on how intelligent/rational/elegant the mating partner is, but more for survival and reproducability. That is, if I have an Einstein, a Farmer and a Woman who can bear 10 children, the darwinian selection algorithm would choose the woman which means the genius of einstein would be lost for the next generation.

One of the first projects I was involved was, in a genetic algorithm for a game called "Reversi" where it was upto our group to decide what we wanted to code into our so called utiility function that would be used as a criteria by another selection function to make the best move in a given situation. We just coded it to do one thing alone (which was dont care for the opponents' score but aim for getting the diagnoal squares) and it worked well enough that it beat one of the best humans to play the game. Thrice. That was our professor.But then that was a simple term project.

I recollect there was an experiment done by neurosurgeons who removed the part of brain responsible for emotions,etc so that they have this cold calculating human who will always be rational and make the best move. Guess What? The fellow couldnt get out of his hospital bed as his brain was thrown into a loop about calculating should he get up or not. The point here being that emotions feed the rationality of the brain. Each half cannot survive without the other.

So all in all, I need to have a particular selection criteria so that I can set my partner preferences in those (just maligned) online matrimony sites. I think it can be put in one statement : "I should choose someone for no reason at all". That is, I shouldnt be able to express why I like a certain person. If I can say I like so and so because of these xyz reasons, then the lack of xyz in future would cause some issues.( not really a bright logic here but serves the justification) . So the best selection algorithm available for me is that I should like someone but for no reason whatsoever that making sure that I have no reason to dislike her too. Strangely this starts to sound like a Caffeine Deficiency Syndrome posts by gvenum. That means I have to stop now :-)


Priyanka said...

*sigh *
You poor idealist.
Stick with the standard "I am fun-loving person with good income and great looks looking for fair,beautiful,intelligent, loving,caring partner" line, and you might actually get somewhere.
Btw, wasn't your target the end of the year? half-year mark approaching..:p

Anonymous said...

I completely understand your situation. The whole online thing is a load of BS. And the worst part being analyzing yourself and putting it into words.


Anonymous said...

Hey Man, I guess I can also say that I have been there. I guess everyone is there.

"If I can say I like so and so because of these xyz reasons, then the lack of xyz in future would cause some issues".

That was a very intersting point, You know that the xyz allways changes so it is possible that people who are clear about what they want( and smart enough to pin-point that so and so xyzs are what compliments them) then I guess they should never get married as people keep changing with time.
No Wonder someone once said that "Ignorance is Bliss" and it if you think you are ignorant of what you need then you need to get married to someone like you said "For No reason" at all.. Just in case the qualities are lost/change(xyzs) in the future atleast you may never know what was lost as you never knew what was there.. just a kind of a " I lost something and am myself LOST" feeling.

So what would be another interesting option would be let the other person make the decision and you just watch.. maybe you will not like her for some reason and then you can say its time to move on and find someone else whom you cannot say why/what you like about her..

Well I guess this is a little confusing.. I am also a little confused..

Chill Madi..