The fictitious dating site. A sci-fi novelette.
Fiction was set up by a group of geeks who had finally had enough of watching their mates going out and scoring while all they had was an empty bed to look forward to at the end of every evening and consequently had to put up with an exceedingly dull and uneventful life.
Sick of the whole dating fiasco, they decided it was time to invent a radical solution.
By the way, all this takes place on the planet Fict, in a universe far, far away from this one, in a completely different time, and where all the rules of physics are beyond anything comprehendible on Earth. But nevertheless, a rough translation enables a vague tale to be told abut this remarkable machine.
The civilisation on planet Fict had just invented a complicated type of numerical device and the population all happened to have one each. Through a collection of wires and transmitters they all connected up &c &c &c.
Fiction Dating had an algorithm. It was free to join, since the algorithm couldn't guarantee to always find a match. And on the planet Fict there were strict violent trading laws which made it impossible to sell a duff product. In this respect it was a horrible place to live because you could get your head chopped off if you failed to run an honest business. So, all the planets dating businesses didn't exist. No businessman on planet Fict had ever worked out how to sell dating at a profit, because there was no way enough customers would be satisfied with the service using traditional matching criteria. And their knowledge of people was so limited, they didn't have a clue how to match people up.
Fiction worked on a trust system, like Wikipedia here on Earth. There were enough geeks and clever people who wanted a mate that finding people to run Fiction was not a problem. They had the staff. They had the technology. They had the demand. Finally, they now had the ALGORITHM. This was the bit that was really hard to build, but there were enough geeks out there willing to build it. It was a clever algorithm. It worked on the principle that when you logged in, you didn't run through reems and reems of profiles. To hell with that. There was no need.
It was all based around the word "hello". The scientists knew that if someone wanted to open a dialogue with someone else the first word to be uttered would be, "hello". Well instead of saying "hello" millions of times to uncounted strangers, all you had to do was say "hello" just once, and this "hello" would go out onto the Internet with millions of other "hellos". The following sentence was going to be "how are you?" After that, the primary question on everybody's minds was "who the hell am I talking to?"
Well, you are talking to anyone and everyone, simultaneously. The algorithms job was to sync everyone up in Real Time or, in Relevant Time as the Fictish preferred. As the conversation progressed, the numbers of people you were talking to whittled down, till the conversation you were having was so unique that you were only talking to one other, usually, though as this algorithm only obeyed mass input, could put a group of people together in one room.
Now obviously people wanted to see each others photos, but on the planet Fict there were strict laws about showing people their photographs. They had to be taken by special honest photographers who were on the Fiction admin team. They would be sent out to photograph people to guarantee their genuiness. Bit by bit, a members profile would be drawn up in order to rate their genuiness. It was a very complicated algorithm. And this was an extremely advanced civilisation.
At some stage people were going to have to meet. But the algorithm was so sophisticated that it held no prejudices and never prejudiced someone's choice concerning who they wanted to meet. And of course, it worked out all the different types of people you could meet by monitoring your personality. It was as if it could almost read your mind. Of course it couldn't read your mind really. It wasn't psychic. It deployed special techniques of investigation as used by the secret services. On Fict, the secret police were highly skilled in working out what peoples personalities were to a startling degree of accuracy, using many different schools of psychology. So it was a doddle for the geeks at Fiction to get it converted for the uses of their members who obviously wanted tips and suggestions on how to find out as much as possible about who you were talking to by asking really useful questions.
And the amazing thing was, the Algorithm let you practice this and even gave you a score rating so you could see how well you were doing. This was all really state of the art stuff going on here, what would be called on Earth, Rocket Science. Blimey.
So when you started out you didn't actually start by talking to any potential mate in particular. You kind of talked through the Algorithm. Now some people were very suspicious and thought it was really dodgy, so they didn't use it. But there were some die hards that did use it. And they talked kind of through the Algorithm. The Algorithm was like a virtual person, or guardian angel as some more affectionately referred to it. The guardian angel. Some nick named it, Dungeon Master. Others called it, The Teacher. And in a way it was like all of those things. It stopped you from making repeat mistakes. It stopped you from getting an unwarranted bad press. You were not revealed until it was time for you to be revealed.
And by the time you were revealed, the level of disappointments were reduced. After all, you should not buy a goldfish and take it straight out of the bag and hurl it into the pond, for it would die of shock. So the real philosophy, the principle behind Fiction was the reduction of the shock factor, to psychologically prepare both sides for meeting, to make sure that there could be minimal misunderstandings on the initial meeting. This was science at its best. So people weren't shitting themselves on the first meeting, which meant they could be themselves. And the knowledge that there were plenty of others to meet meant that the stress of trying to get it right was reduced to almost zero.
You didn't any longer have to look your best on the first date. They could see you as you normally were.
Fiction dating was really popular. And the people that used it went, "WOW!"
And so the tale ends. I hope you enjoyed this fantastic adventure.
Well, you never know. One day in the distant future humans on Earth might be able to invent something like that. Imagine that, stress free dating. Currently an Oxymoron at time of writing. After all, the flat screen was once only in the domain of Sci-fi. They once laughed at Thomas Edison for trying to invent the electric light bulb. He must have been a great comedian... Then there was that idiot Alan Turing who tried to build a computer, pfaa ha ha harrrr. The Write Brothers; pssssss. Dream on I say. Whoooo haaarrrrr.
BTW The Algorithm does what YOU want, not what it wants.
Pondering, I suppose it would start with gathering up lots of people from all over the world and tapping into the free software foundation, and Open Source Foundation and Linux and IT departments at universities and finding out if anybody is clever enough to mastermind such an advanced, world changing, revolutionary project. Wonder if governments would try to stamp it out. Boof, bang, crash, biff, wham, bong, clang. Argh. Eeeech. Ouch. Arrgghg. Ughughgh. Neeeeeeowwww, Kabooooomm!!