To gather materials for my upcoming book “How to not get your ass kicked in Vietnam: The native’s guide“, I decided to test out the dating scene for white people. Since I’m not white (unless your vision is seriously impaired), I had to hide behind a platform that let you be whomever you want to be: Tinder.
I went on Tinder to create two accounts: one as a white male (James, 24 y/o) and one as a white female (Lauren, 22 y/o). They are both Americans traveling around Asia. In the opinion of three Viet friends that I asked, these people are attractive but not Brad Pitt/Scarlett Johansson level of attractive. They are like the girl, the guy next door. I can’t post their photos here because I need the accounts to do further research.
Continue reading “[Day 234] What’s dating like for a white girl/guy in Hanoi”
One of my favorite sayings was the one populated by Mark Twain and frequently (probably wrongly) attributed to the late British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I get slightly annoyed when accredited newspapers use statistics to manipulate readers.
This afternoon, I saw this headline on the Washington Post:
Continue reading “[Day 171] Lying with statistics: why Allan Lichtman’s predictions aren’t that good”
Today, I told a friend about the time I went out with a guy who told me it wouldn’t work out because he didn’t find me attractive. I was cool with it and we remained good friends until today. My friend, after hearing the story, said:
“That wasn’t very nice of him.”
“I disagree,” I said. “I think that was incredibly nice of him to tell me that.”
And then we proceeded to have a head-on discussion for almost an hour. He stood by his words that no one should ever reject another person for not being attractive enough. And I’m a believer that if it’s the real reason why you don’t want to date the other person then you should just tell them.
Continue reading “[Day 92] Is it okay to tell someone you wouldn’t date them because they are ugly?”
Not to brag, but last night my Uber driver hit on me. On the one hand, I’m flattered. On the other, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. He drives in my area and I often take Uber late at night. What if he resents me for saying no and I have him again in the future?
Continue reading “[Day 79] Is it okay for Uber drivers to hit on their customers?”
I don’t know about you, but my friends and I have always been clueless about the number system people use to rate someone’s attractiveness. What it means when someone says: “that girl is an 8”? Tucker and I attempted to rate someone and found out that we had wildly different opinions. But is it true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Can we find a mathematical formula to express someone’s attractiveness?
Continue reading “[Day 71] We built a system that can tell how attractive you are”
I have just finished reading Dan Ariel’s book “Predictably Irrational” and it haunts me. The ideas he presented in the book are not new, but it was fascinating in a way that he found a way to measure things so abstract such as distrust, honesty, and the effect of horniness on our decision making. One of the things that made me think about a lot in this book is the IKEA effect.
Continue reading “[Day 70] The IKEA effect and the writer’s disillusion”
When I did the research about the value of attention for my rhetoric class, several people asked me to share the result. Here it is. I’d really appreciate it if you have any feedback for me.
If you speak the English language—I sure hope you do, because this article is written in English—you have probably come across the phrase “It’s not worth your attention”. We nonchalantly point at things and decide their value using the worth of our attention as the benchmark. We affix the verb “pay” in front of “attention” as if it is a currency we can use in a transaction. But what exactly is the worth of our attention? Say, if you have to put a price tag on it, what number would it be?
Continue reading “[Day 64] Here is $2.50. Can I have your attention now?”