The Pain v/s Pleasure Matrix!
After publishing my most recent blog titled A loser’s Irish tale, I was made privy to an interesting turn of events that piqued my interest so here I am writing a follow-up blog on this story. As we are all aware by now that things didn’t work out between the loser and the potential match when they met in-person in Ireland. Upon returning home, the loser simply mentioned to his near ones that she is a nice girl but unfortunately, she didn’t want to move ahead with the relationship. One would expect that the potential match may have said something along those lines to her near ones as well but turns out that wasn’t the case. Trusted sources tell me that her messaging to her family was that the loser is “robotic, not charming, doesn’t speak much and doesn’t allow people to consume food items in his car.”
<One-minute pause to allow my loving readers to actually LOL here> I, at least, am done LOLing, so I will proceed to draft the rest of this blog where I will make references to my first-ever blog titled Arranging for a life partner!. You, of course, can pause for some more time if your laughter pangs are simply refusing to subside!
As a data scientist currently involved in a text analysis project, I wanted to dig deeper into the disparity observed between the loser’s and the potential match’s sentiments for each other. Before we get into this, please allow me to digress here for a bit and split the girl’s messaging to her family into 3 tokens:
Token 1: robotic, not charming
Token 2: doesn’t speak much
Token 3: doesn’t allow people to consume food items in his car
Tokens 1 and 2 could be classified as the loser’s overbearing characteristics as these traits are immediately apparent when we first meet an individual. In the field of analytics, we frequently quote W.E. Deming’s line: “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” While I couldn’t find any evidence to test the hypothesis in Token 1, I did come across some interesting data points which make the plausibility of Token 2 questionable. These data points were in the form of the loser’s phone call logs and from them, it was immediately apparent that a significant number of calls (voice and video) between the loser and potential match had lasted for more than half an hour. If Token 2 is true, don’t you think that the potential match talks a bit too much and the loser has some phenomenal listening skills?!
And now coming to the most interesting (and funny!) token, i.e., Token 3. I would classify this trait as a subtle competency as one needs to spend quality time with an individual to understand why they possess such traits. My best guess would be that the loser is an avid automobile enthusiast and is hence extremely possessive about his car(s). Readers who know me well would know that even I am an ardent car enthusiast and as a result, I will shamelessly admit that I share this amazing trait with the loser. If you ever have the pleasure of being driven around in my car, please take note of this — the breadcrumbs from your favorite fast-food joint have no legal right to occupy any square footage of my car’s real estate and your periodic caffeine hits contained in flimsy cups are certainly not allowed to mark their territories!
With this micro-analysis out of our way, let’s get back to understanding the disparity observed between the loser’s and the potential match’s sentiments for each other. Every candidate possesses a mix of desirable and less desirable traits. The candidate’s desirable traits are the pleasure points for the potential match and the less desirable traits are the pain points. The continuously learning naïve classification algorithm of the potential match’s brain “packages” a candidate based on these pleasure and pain points, and spits out either yay or nay. Yay when the pleasure points prevail over the pain points and vice-versa. In our story, the potential match’s brain spitted out a nay for the loser when they first met in the hotel and the rest is history!
Having understood this algorithm, let us now try to unearth why the girl’s messaging to her family only included the loser’s pain points and not the pleasure points? Why didn’t the potential match mention that the loser “placed me on a pedestal” (sic) throughout their interactions? Why didn’t she mention that the loser used to frequently send her personalized letters in the mail? Why didn’t she mention that the loser made efforts to land her a job after graduation? In my opinion, this is solely because our naïve classification algorithms are almost always biased towards the pain points and have a tendency of not giving the pleasure points its due importance. As I end my blog here, may I please ask all of you to re-train your brain’s algorithm to eliminate this bias and view the pleasure and pain points in a more balanced way?