February 29th, 2012


Honeybee Webs

One of my habits on OkCupid (which I'm not entirely looking forward to giving up if/when I stop being single at some point) is using it to try to understand regional and national cultures. It paints an interesting picture of different parts of our country (and other countries) to try to get a feel for how people's lives, concerns, and national cultures corrispond to their location. It's also a fun way to try to understand ethnicity; what's do belgian people look like, compared to scottish people? What kinds of TV shows are popular in Brasil? What are the subcultures of $place? All of this is of course filtered through self-selection, but it's still informative. Mixing a bit of spot research into what ethnicities tended to settle into various parts of the US, it's possible to try to get glimpses of how national cultures developed/faded here. It's weird seeing things I've come to see as being facial features mostly-specific to my family much more common in the profiles from certain parts of the world (found spitting images of my sisters and some of my cousins), as well as clumps of people that look a lot like other people I've known in areas specific to their ethnicity. It's also interesting to see some substantiation of reports from places that've had national/regional dialogues about health crises with obesity. OkC is a neat tool for getting honest surveys of large numbers of people from random places.

(before anyone asks, I think it's improper to use a dating site while one is romantically involved with someone, so if/while I'm involved with someone, I'd expect neither of us to use such sites)

Whenever I travel, I'm usually am thinking about different ethnic proportions and settlement patterns and cultural development; a different approach to the same thing. I'm expecting NYC to be really interesting in that regard; each time I've visited it has been. I've come to think of some parts of the US (and other nations) as lands-where-I-will-probably-see-unfortunate-eyebrows, lands-of-people-often-of-X-religion, lands-of-frequent-obesity, lands-of-people-with-frizzy-hair, or lands-of-people-with-certain-personality-types-being-more-common. Differences in match-percentages, or proportions of people in various subcultures, that's interesting stuff and usually makes me curious as to the whys.