September 2008 Archives
Only have time for a one-word answer? Then our answer is - conversation. We made this to give you a topic of conversation with a person you care to have one with. Not sure what I mean? Then go to the results page for your guesses of someone (or their guesses of you) and click the link at the very bottom that says Compare all guesses and answers. Then give them a call. "Wow, I rated you a 4 on loves order and regularity and you rated yourself a 1. How did I get you so wrong? I'll tell you why I thought that..."
Nice. For me that will make it all worth it.
What's my two-word answer? T shirts. Kidding. Sort of. I have two - one that shows what I think of myself, and one that shows what everyone else thinks of me.
Seven-word answer? We just thought it would be cool.
The real answer? Get a drink and settle in.
People who get me know this...at some point you sat through a lecture like I did on Rene Descartes' Meditations. We listened to the whole "I think therefore I am" thing and heard the lecturer explain that the only evidence we have that the our desk exists is what our senses tell us. But since they are our senses, the desk is dubious and the only thing we know exists is ourselves. We exist because we sense and think...and everything else is dubious because it's just us too.
Cute, clever, have to bring that one up later today at 4:20...until you realize that it goes for other people too. My dad. My daughter. My love. What if they're just mirages of me. Descartes may have proved I exist, but he also proved I am alone.
The science of psychology offers no way out of this "solipsism" or problem of other minds as they call it...metaphysical solitary confinement I call it. Nope, psychology only deepens our isolation with its fundamental tenet - that all the activities of the mind are produced exclusively by the brain and its constituent neurons. All activities. Including getting to know someone. For indeed, no neurons reach beyond the locus of our bodies, let alone connect our brains to other brains.
Take a walk, shake it off, you say. I did and I kept overhearing people say this phrase "You don't know me." I'm not sure indie rock could exist without it. Nor would young adults know what to say to their baffled parents, disengaged teachers, manipulative employers, shallow acquaintances, or soon-to-be ex-boy and girlfriends. And that was before they invented online dating and social networking. To think a thumbnail and a list of favorite bands could help at all with the "you don't know me" problem, especially since any random person in the world could theoretically stop by.
Does YJGM solve this problem? Not in the least. At best we just measure it and show you the results. But what if the accuracy is nearly perfect? Well, keep in mind that, first, no one is guessing anyone's "true" personality on this site (whatever that is) only how they see themselves, and second, the person you are guessing is filtered through a computer AS WELL as your senses. Might just be a video game (like all of life according to Descartes).
But..BUT...to my knowledge there is one tiny, absurd way that you could ever hope to put a nano-sized wedge through your sensory prison cell...one ridiculous indefensible reason to hope that there are indeed others who exist independent of your own mind. The best evidence I ever found was this: Do, be, or say something that my mind could not possibly have come up with. Something so foreign, brow-furrowing, and WTF inexplicable that I can respond in no other way but to laugh...laugh that I could never have thought that...laugh because I completely didn't get what you just said or did...and laugh because we can now begin a conversation, because you've just proven you exist.
Did I just argue that You Just Don't Get Me is a pre-requisite to You Just Get Me? Maybe so. There must have been some reason we bought that other domain name. Absurdity aside, I am arguing this...It's the mismatches that matter. And the conversation you have about them. That's the point of this site.
Congratulations to BryceWilliams and MJR, the two highest guessers of Sam Gosling's personality! They guessed Sam with an absolute amazing accuracy of 0.93 and 0.92, the highest any celebrity has ever been guessed! Of course, Sam was hugely impressed because he wrote the book on reading other's personalities from minor clues. But BryceWilliams was so pleased just to be on the top of the heap, he graciously conceded his signed book and t-shirt to the silver medalist, MJR. Hope you enjoy reading about all the cool science behind YouJustGetMe!
Be watching for a new celebrity contest soon for your chance to win a YJGM t-shirt!
Congratulations to Macfrugal, Augusts Best Guesser! We had 1,109 new guesses of random people for the month of August and Macfrugal out-guessed everyone with an average of .86. When we asked Macfrugal where his skills of observation originated he said, My highest scores are for people who are highly similar to me. It doesn't take much magic to understand people who are already like you. For his powers of observation, Macfrugal won an awesome YJGM t-shirt.
So what does it take to be the best guesser of the month and get your own t-shirt? First you have to guess a random person by clicking the Featured Person box from your home page (people you invite to the site or choose when browsing dont count). The highest guesser is calculated by taking the SUM (not the average!) of all your guesses for the month. So you can win highest guesser two ways- 1) by being a really great guesser or 2) guessing a lot of people. Throughout the month, we keep you updated about who is winning in current month on the Science page. Currently SLF has the best guess with a 0.86.
You might also notice there are a few other categories- easiest to guess and hardest to guess. Easiest to guess people had the highest average accuracy for the month and hardest to guess had the lowest average accuracy for the month. Once again, all the people in these categories were guessed using the Featured Person link.