update and conclusion of references experiment. this week the references were on and I got 13 requests. curves haven't changed much. from now on, I will keep the references visible when I don't have many guests, and hide them when I need a rest. that's what I've found, I get less requests when they're hidden, and it's easier to tell people apart (high vs. low scores).

so, in a nutshell, here's the informal meaning of the scoring system. the system is cumulative, meaning, each of 11 items is worth 1 point. the more true items, the higher the score. simple things like said my name, copy pasted or not, etc, are marked as true of false. I will not post the ranking here, obviously, because it would hinder future results.

scores and their meaning
0, sends a completely generic message with the location wrong (it happens, but not on this study sample!)
1, completely generic message, copy pasting everything
2-5, moderately original message, usually filling out the name, and copy pasting the "me me me" part of the request (note that I specifically request people not to fill anything else but the form)
6-7, wrote as I ask, include hidden words or generally write an original message specifically for me (detected using keywords)
8, does everything I request, plus adds personality to it.
9-10, does everything I request and deciphers my secrets (I have a lot of them there). in almost 600 people, maybe 1 or 2 people detected some "strangeness" in my profile. that strangeness grants a 9, a 10 is deciphering that "strangeness".
one extra point is granted for people that are new on the system and say so in the message.

so what are the implications, in my opinion, that would lead to each score?
0-3, someone that doesn't care about where they are going to stay. they are focused on getting the free place to stay and have fun. usually it might mean they didn't have time or patience to fill out something decent, and can't even bring themselves to think there is someone else on the other side. it could be any couch. they don't even care about references. it's pure bulk messaging.
4-5, someone that knows how the website works, and knows that not personalizing a message might hinder their chances of getting a couch. the focus is still getting the free place to stay, but they play by the rules, and hint at things to assert a better likelihood of getting a couch. again, it could be any couch. they do care about references, as demonstrated in this study, enough to read them, but not enough to look for them (e.g., scrolling down enough to see them, and get fooled by my "fake empty references") or doubt their absence. I mean, I'm still listed as having hundreds of references. it's a very immediate "want to get it now" attitude, again, consumerism at its best, but more "by the rules" (as defined by CS and experience).
6-7, someone that has taken the time and consideration to read the profile, and is choosing people mostly based on who they are and what they can provide besides the couch (because in the end, everyone offering a couch has a couch right?). in this category you'll also find the engineering types, that follow the rules to the comma, but add no charm to it, filling in exactly what I ask. it is questionable, in this case, whether there is genuine interest in the human factor or it is just exemplary intellectual performance. by my experience, it is the latter, as these guests tend not to understand the house in the beginning. overall, from these scores on, we are getting to the interesting, intelligent or remarkable people.
8, someone that not only took the time (and patience), but also has extra character to add. this means they understand that all of this is a test, and not only they understand that and fill it out, they might make fun of it, comment it, correct it, etc. these are, to this date, the people most alike myself. people that not only understand rules that govern things deeply, they are also inquisitive enough to question them and comment them. needless to say, I don't have enough people scoring this high. the proportion of emotional/romantic/intellectual involvement with people with scores this high is also disproportionate compared to the other cases. this score, usually, indicates someone that is just as nerdy as I am, in their own way, and someone I'll get along with.
9-10, someone that's so obsessive or nerdy that understands/knows any of the patterns (mathematical or other) hidden. my sample size of these people is not enough (2 people is nothing) but I do get along, even tough the two were very different, and so was my connection with them.

my initial hypothesis, based on a lot of bias, was that higher scores meant better guests. but now I'm keeping an objective track of this and I will have objective stats on this in the future. in fact, funny as it may seem, cleanliness and helpfulness are unpredictable, and seem to be more about each one's upbringing that their personality.

as for the emotional side of it, I have found that similar scores have more in common with each other than between very different scores (i.e., someone scoring 1 is more likely to get along with someone scoring 1, 2, 3 that they are to getting along with someone scoring 6, 7 or 8). this is an informal remark as I have no numbers on this (just the ones in my head, subject to confirmation bias).

I have no desire to make classification "ghettos" or in no way imply that we have top or bottom tiers of people. in fact, so far, numbers indicate that in objective metrics, like cleanliness, score is meaningless. this system, is, in a way, a formal method for detecting the likelihood of my own experience being meaningful or not.

as my score is 10 by definition, I have always gotten along much better with high scores. but that is mostly driven by what is the main focus of each person's use of this system. a score above 5 is someone looking to have an exchange with whoever they visit based on an emotional and intellectual connection. someone below 5 is someone looking for that same exchange but based on simpler pleasures, having fun, eating and going partying.
in a way, these are different necessities that are met by this community in different ways. and the fact is all of them are meaningful in their own way. my conclusion, as a host, is that each host should consider what they are looking for, and that a careful request is, a lot of times, not necessarily a sign of what they're looking for, as it indicates a specific type of personality.

some speculation
I postulate that high scores are correlated with immediate vs. delayed satisfaction (i.e., how long can we delay our own gratification). gratification here is sending a request and getting a reply. the reply is the reward, and sending a message is our best shot at it. so, in a way, someone sending it in a hurry is eating the marshmallow, whereas someone that takes extra time is someone that knows they will get two if they do it with extra attention.
this explains why some people don't read at all and some people spend mental time on it. this "hormonal" difference (quoted because there is insufficient scientific data on this, but there is a hint that is hormonal) ends up affecting the way people interact with each other.

heavy planners get along with each other, and impulsive passionate people get along with each other, and that is what I consider to be the reason for similar scores getting along with each other. so if score is correlated with delaying gratification, and delaying gratification is correlated with hormonal differences, and hormonal differences are correlated with basic social behavioral patterns, then in fact this system is capable of isolating social behavioral patterns (note the huge leap of faith in this sentence). it also has to be said that objectively, as demonstrated by my data thus far, delaying gratification or not has no reflection on how people behave in terms of cleanliness, house economy or general well being. it seems to affect more what people have in common in their social dynamics and their main drives in life, not whether they clean or cook.

as a subjective test case, I'm doing it for the intellectual exchange and political/social challenge, and people I've been getting along with are people who do it for similar reasons. they might express it differently, make a mess, whatever, but we do share a similar deep sense of purpose. in my opinion, even though I am not capable of putting myself in someone like that's shoes, someone looking for sex, fun, getting hammered or just sightseeing will, for obvious reasons, feel connected to someone that does it for the same reasons.

the graph of my scoring system does demonstrate that:
1) the overwhelming majority of people (75%) are sensual rather than intellectual. or, on the speculative scale, they seek a more immediate gratification and a pleasurable trip of simple pleasures;
2) people come in all colors and shapes and they appear in every score of this spectrum, so the diversity is remarkable. there is also no difference between sex, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, anything. so having something in common with someone has nothing to do with anything based on prejudice and is effectively easier to perceive through their verbal discourse alone!

these conclusions are both educated and speculative, and I hope to give my data to some scholar so they can publish it. if anyone is interested you know where I live. and if you read this far, thank you too for being able to delay the gratification of the close button.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


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