Part V 
Saturday, April 1, 2006, 07:15 PM
We've talked about many psuedo-random things, but what point does one
go from dating to relationship phase? Seeing someone special, the marginal utility of each date increases - but where is teh pareto optimal efficient point on the dating frontier? Plus, don't forget, you must weigh up the opportunity cost of other relationships the utility of expected emotional benefit and the large variances attached to such.

And at this point in time, do we use implicit or explicit differentiation? Assume the relationship to be true and prove by inducation or proclaim the relationship as an axiom amd build equations from there?

For me, the problem is sensitivity testing. How do I set the parameters just right? Usually with my exceptionally blunt methods, everything goes out of whack and I need to reset the program. But unfortuantely, I can't just reload the spreadsheet in relationships. It's like an exceptionally bad claims experience in one year that drives up my premium prices forever more.

In fact, I read a book on dating called "Mars & Venus on a Date" (research for the column, you understand...) which claims that there are 5 stages in the dating process.

1. Attraction
2. Uncertainty
3. Exclusivity
4. Intimacy
5. Engagement

At first I got very excited at this as I could potentially model this as a Markov Procoess, run a Monte-Carlo simulation and see the long run probablities of which state I'll end up in. But alas - the next state of the relationship is dependent on all previous states with varying transition rates - failing the Markov property.

So here I am wondering if the next time I open my mouth, how will it affect the rate of change to our relationship.

*sigh* But as they say, the higher the risk, the higher the return... and I need that return due to inflation of pressures the older I grow.

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Part IV - Beyond Fellowship 
Saturday, April 1, 2006, 07:14 PM
Considering my literary pretensions, I went to the Harlequinn Mills and Boon website to see their guidelines on writing Romance Novels. To my shock I discovered:
1. each book is approximately 55,000 words long
2. accepted on the basis of the 1st 3 chapters and a blurb (no wonder the blurb doesn't resemble what happens in the book!)

Interestingly, such a specific number - 55000 words. So I thought about it. Telling my girlfriends about the escapades of how any of my boyfriends and I got together; I'd have a 95% confidence interval of boring them to death, thereby skewing my mortality tables - hence requiring me to recalculate my insurance premium that I just finally worked out this morning.

"John (not his real name) and I met in Statistics. Sat next to each other most lectures, flirted then moved to phone calls. I worried about what to wear on those days we had Statistics. Finally asked me out after the Statistics Final."

Hardly exciting. However, I could rant for >55,000 words about our subsequent breakup, what a jerk he is and the perfidy of men.

I have noticed that in these romance novels, love is declared after a catastrophic risk event happens that makes them 'realise' their feelings & the book ends on some extravagant gesture which in my sampling experience, the probability of that happening is 0.

What is love? I feel SOME modicum of affection for most people. When does that affection become love? And love - like justice - means many different things to different people. Why is it such a necessity that I'd be willing to go on a blind date (despite the markedly low success rates) to find a 'special someone' to love?

To me, love is giving. Giving as much as you can to someone. Without that giving, I feel empty & alone and that is why I keep looking for it.

Every time I've realised that I love someone is when on a quiet night on my own, I decide not to read a romance novel and daydream about a joint life distribution.

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