I Know They Are Real, I Just Dont Feel It.

Most people just dont feel real to me. Like if i really stopped and looked at them, i couldn't imagine thoughts and feelings going on behind their eyes, they feel more like characters in a film. Most people in fact can be reduced to a simple algorithm. Im not really all taht good with people, so when i meet someone, my mind starts working on an algorithm that sums them up, something concrete i can follow, its just working away in the back of my head working on simplifying a living person down to a few input-output routines. The funny thing is, it usually works.

Most people i have met can be reduced to a very simple set of behaviours, some people's algorithms can be so simple, that i can more or less predict everything they ever say or do. If i am nothing extraordinary, if i am not some super genius, then everyone is as complicated as me, so if all real people are as complicated as me, then why do so many seem so simple that you can predict their every action?

By simple, i dont mean stupid or uncultured or anything like that, i just mean that they have a very rigid set of behaviours that never vary. Most of my friends are algorithms to me, of course they are people, and i like them as people, and i think of them as people, but when i stop and really think about it, i just cant see that much going on in their heads, because if there was so much going on, then i wouldn't be able to predict what they would say to most things i could say, what they would do in any normal situation.

I decided to see how accurate some of my algorithms were, and it was shocking, i had a conversation with a friend, and i knew what he was going to say every step of the conversation, practically word for word, he didnt even need to be there, i could have filled in his every response. He later did surprise me, he acted like a **** at a funeral, i didnt see that coming, i thought better of him, he was acting like he was down at the pub, he was making insulting jokes (tongue in cheek stuff) and being loud, just as always, but at a funeral. We are no longer friends, but seriously, do people only have 1 setting? If these people were real people, wouldnt they occasionally be different? Wouldnt they once in a while surprise me?

Its gotten kinda bad, as soon as i have completed an algorithm in my head for someone that predicts their every move, they become extremely boring. I have tried to not make algorithms for people, but its automatic. Its difficult for me to hold onto friends, simply because most people are just so boring. Very few people defy any attempt to predict them, but those who do, i hold onto. Some people, really special people, are real.

There is one person however, who has defied all attempts for me to make an algorithm for her, every time i think i have it, she does something i didnt expect, she doesnt fit any algorithm, she cannot be reduced to a set of inputs and outputs, every time i question something she does, it just adds a whole new layer of complexity to the algorithm. She is so complex i dont see how it could all fit in her head. She is a puzzle i will never finish, a real person that i will never fully understand, and it is incredible, everyone else is so predictable, and 2 dimensional, and boring, and she is so complicated and colourful...

I have digressed a lot just now... but im not changing it.

Long story short. Most people are just too simple and predictable for me to believe they are real. I know they are real, i know they are, but sometimes i just cant feel it.

A little side point, they must be more complicated underneath the algorithm, but i think the algorithm is societal protocol, it is programmed responses  we all do it, if someone says "you're welcome", if you haven't said thank you, it is automatic to say "thank you" and this is just one of millions of little programmed responses  so maybe these people are just so predictable because they have been taught to act that way...


Addendum 07/05/2013

A sad addition to this story, that girl who defied my attempts to make any algorithm for her, well, a huge piece fell into place recently that ties together almost every unanswered question. Her algorithm is still the most complex and amazing one i have ever made, and the idea that all that could be happening inside someone's head is powerfully beautiful, but it is no longer unsolvable, which has removed the mystery, I can now predict her.

She walks into a shop, i can point out what she will look at out of the entire shop upon entering, i can tell you if she will like any film or TV show, i can tell you so much about her now, all because the algorithm is more or less complete now. It can be fun telling her what she will do/look at/say before she does, and seeing the playfully irritated look on her face, but i preferred it when i couldn't.

Still, her algorithm took me longer than any other ever has, it took me 7 years. Every second in her head is 7 years worth of complexity. It is incredible.
MrWinstonSmith MrWinstonSmith
26-30, M
2 Responses Jan 5, 2013

An actual writable algorithm? Please write an example.

Its not really writeable, it's one of those things you can picture in your head, but not put into words, i can tell you a series of inputs and outputs, but the whole map is kinda more complicated. I call it an algorithm because im a mathematician, and it acts like an algorithm. The problem is, it is usually all too vague to be written down, if i ever get it concrete enough to write the actual algorithm, then i think i would have proven once and for all that free will is a myth and that we all follow basic patterns. Suffice it to say, i think a psychologist mist call it a psych profile, but i like "algorithm" better, as my eventual goal is to get it to that level of precision.

Great, I understand that. I only asked because you wrote you could predict at what or where people would look. Maybe I am imagining what you do in excess detail, but how would you predict someones point of interest in a, let's say, randomly generated environment? Or are we talking about more banal things? Thank you.

For example, we entered a charity shop (she likes them) and instantly i can say that she wont look at the books at the back, she prefers book shops because she likes to leave encouraging notes in random books, as well as spending time just browsing, and has more opportunity to do that in a large book shop, she will not look at any of the nick-nacks because none of them suit her particular taste for objects which is "personal" items, she prefers decorations to have personal meaning rather than to look pretty, so since none of these items mean anything to her, she will give them a glance, and nothing more. She is so particular about her shoes that it takes her forever to find a pair she likes, meaning she is always on the look-out for them, so she will go over to that section, but as i could see from a glance they were mainly men's shoes and boots and overly girly shoes, she will not linger there too long, she prefers trainer-type shoes, not too garish, preferably purple, foot coverings as opposed to a statement. She WILL however be drawn to the clothes, she will skip over the sensible clothes, as she clings to the idea of feeling free (band, no desk job, lots of friends, her own personal style, ignores trends) So all that is left is to decide which items she will look at, which is a mixture of her current mood (setting how bright the clothes are) mixed with her chosen style with is a kinda colourful indie, nothing overly revealing, plenty of colour, original. Upon being told i guessed all right, she will give a foax-annoyed expression covering a grin, as is her usual when a friend beats her at something, which is what she will perceive this as, my victory, my powers of deduction predicting her individual style, designed to be spontaneous.

I have equally detailed notes, observations and predictions on all her behaviour, as well as that of a few other friends, the most predictable being one of my best friends, a guy i met at uni.
There is one of my "friends" who defies my abilities to make an algorithm, but that is because she lies and pretends a lot, as opposed to being a complicated personality.

Thank you for replying so much. It is an interesting practice, definitely very fun. Potentionally very revealing of the subject at hand. But I believe it will lead you nowhere, because all you can calculate is the seen effects of the personality. What other potentials in any given situation does the subject personality have you don't know. You can only guess using already seen effects. The practice can be useful and correct, but is actually in no way penetrating the actual personality and revealing any of its current, actual aspects.

Your liar friends isn't defying anything. You could make an alorithm of him if you would see that that which makes him a liar, is the same which makes him a bigger personality to grasp. You don't know why he lies, what motivates him to lie. That which does that is the actual part of his personality, the lies themselves are faux. They stand for nothing of the person.

You may predict things, in a sense. But it's more like, by chance, accurate guessing rather than any actual clairvoyance. I know you didn't claim clairvoyance :), but I would argue that what you did claim is a rusty and lowly iterration of clairvoyance. It would be better tp be clairvoyant, yes?

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Something to think about indeed, good story.