Jews, Dating, and Digits

Jews need love too– but some sure do have a funny way of going about finding it.

In Times Square hangs a huge billboard advertising JDate, a jewish-only online dating service. It’s like match.com, but for Jews.

Singles create profiles to describe themselves, their perfect date, and what they expect out of a relationship. They include pictures, yiddish phrases, and statistics including religious denomination and astrological sign to woo potential mates. Though users are asked for a user name, many men and women opt to use their unique serial numbers, a number assigned during signup, in lieu of a name to identify themselves.

Let’s read that again.

Though users are asked for a user name, many men and women opt to use their unique serial numbers, a number assigned during signup, in lieu of a name to identify themselves.

To boot, user numbers are unique, assigned, and permanent. You’d think for a cultural group so greatly affected by the holocaust, certain members would be more aware of the irony. 

At least you can change your phone number.

Notes: The author identifies culturally as Jewish. The author is not on JDate. Friends of the author, over dinner, noted that it was hard to remember girls that used JDate-assigned numbers instead of user names. The author remarked how funny that seemed in historical contexts. Laughter ensued. Promises were made to produce a blog post. The author makes no apology.

More: Spark Networks (LOV), the parent company of JDate, uses the same technology for other niche dating sites such as aptly-named Interracial SinglesBig Beautiful Woman Personals Plus, and Indian Matrimonial Network. These names are so wonderfully descriptive.

My Writing on Thoughts: My Thoughts on Writing

Filed under: thoughts Topics: , , , ,

Does precise writing stifle creativity?

As a species, we communicate primarily through writing. Literacy has no doubt improved learning, but does the act of translating thoughts into words harden cognition and narrow our creative abilities?

For me, thinking is seldom linear: imagine shmoo-shaped colors, textures, and emotions rubbing, tugging, and mixing in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Somehow, that system produces a communicable idea. 

Whenever someone asks me a question, I immediately have a pinging sensation. Then, somehow I translate that into a response. Ask me again and there’s less pinging, but you’ll get the same or similar response (and perhaps a hint of irritation). It’s like my brain has created a record of the question and a shortcut for me to make thinking easier. 

I shall call it learning.

The problem is that precise writing is rigid. (Ignore creative writing, poetry, and other artful forms for the moment.) So, if we communicate our thoughts primarily with rigid tools, over time our brains create shortcuts and scaffolding that promotes rigid thinking, making things easier.

See the problem?

Thankfully, not all communication is verbal. Artists (as writers categorize them) use movement, imagery, sound, void, touch, emotion, and all sorts of sensory to (as they say) express themselves. So do athletes. (Not so much the mathletes.)

Generally, artists who excel visually, aurally, and spatially come up short linguistically. They’re called “creatives”, and their expressive mediums are far less rigid; but, that doesn’t mean they’re not useful for precise communication. 

But, that’s another post for another day.