January 09, 2007

My Dating Prospects, In Statistical Terms

These are the statistical odds of me finding someone I can date, as nearly as I can figure them out and without me being TOO picky:

1. First, I will limit the dating prospects to those who live on this continent. I'm no good at long distance relationships and can't afford to move overseas. According to WorldAtlas.com, that gives me a starting population of 501,500,000.

2. Next, I need to eliminate anyone under 18. I know that in some states it's technically legal for me to have sex with people younger than that, but you never know when I might want to get out the camera and THAT'S when the law gets tough. So just to be safe, no one less than 18 need apply. Various sources put the percentage of people between 14 and 22 per cent, so I am going to go with the least limiting number, which drops the number of dating prospects down to 430,818,792.

3. Naturally, I don't want to date anyone who is not into men, so after eliminating lesbians and straight men (again, using the least reasonably-limiting numbers), I am left with 219,372,928.

4. I don't want to date a regular smoker, simply because I like to cuddle with my lover while watching a movie without having to pause it while they take a smoke break. I don't mind if they have one or two on occasion, while we are drinking or whatever; I just don't like the whole dependence aspect because it's a constant interruption in an otherwise pleasant dating experience. This drops my list of dating prospects by about 20 per cent, down to 175,498,342.

5. Now it's time to get to the good stuff. My dating prospect must absolutely not watch television. Or more accurately, they must avoid commercials at all costs because COMMERCIALS ARE POISON! If they TIVO all their TV, or if they get the DVDs from the library (like I do sometimes), that's okay. And whatever they do, they must not, ever, EVER, plan their life around a TV show. If I want to do something with them, I don't want to hear, "But Such-And-Such is on at 7pm and I can't miss it!" This is a tricky thing to put a number on, but since I found that 2 per cent of households in the U.S. do not own a TV, I'm going to triple that percentage (I think that's more than fair). This drastically reduces my list of dating prospects to 10,529,901.

6. On to stupid magazines. Dating prospects should not read stupid magazines! Or really, any magazine with more than 2 per cent of its pages filled with ads. ADS ARE EVIL and anyone I hang out with regularly should not be willingly subjecting themselves to so much evil. This is another thing that's tough to put a number on, but I think it's more than fair for me to take the top 3 stupid magazines I happen to find subscriber totals for and add those figures together as the total number of stupid magazine readers out there (this is going to be a very conservative number; in reality the total is probably much higher). I come up with somewhere around 11 million North American readers, which, when averaged over the total population knocks my number down by 2 per cent, to 10,319,303.

7. And now, for soft drinks! OH NO, IT'S MORE POISON! Dating prospects should not drink soft drinks regularly. Since I found studies reporting soft drink consumption at as high as 80 per cent (those reporting having one in the last week), I think it's fair to use a number like, say, 55 per cent. I'll even knock it down to 50 per cent because I don't have a problem with the natural sodas like Hansen's. That cuts my list in half, to 5,159,652.

8. You may have predicted I was going to mention their taste in music. No bad music! Okay, sure, they can have plenty of guilty pleasures (I have an album by the Booty Boys, after all), but in general, when I go over to their home, I don't want to be subjected to hour after hour of music that I don't like. This is again a tough thing to put a number on, but I'm going to say that from personal experience, I tend to think that only about 2 per cent of the people I meet have good taste in music, so I think I'm being more than fair (even if this is not the most scientific way to calculate this) by comparing sales of Britney Spears' 2003 album, In The Zone, to Four Tet's 2003 album, Rounds, and using this data to calculate the percentage of people who like bad music. In The Zone sold about 3 million copies, and since I can't find data on Rounds I'm going to assume it sold 400,000 copies, even though there is no way on Earth it could have sold that many (I'm trying to keep this as positive as possible). This cuts my list, then, by almost 89 per cent, down to 607,018.

9. Naturally, my dating prospects must absolutely have a good sense of humor. What I mean by that is that the dating prospect should enjoy MY sense of humor, which involves Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Autobiography of Bigfoot, and they should also know when I'm joking at least half of the time. Quirkiness is appreciated. I couldn't find any reliable data on this, so I'm going to go with my own observations about people, then bump up the number by about 20 per cent (because, as I said, I'm trying to get the most positive possible number, right?). This knocks another 50 per cent off the list, bringing it down to 303,509.

10. They must be intelligent. Intelligence is tough to measure, so even though I don't consider I.Q. tests a good indicator of intelligence, I'm going to use the I.Q. simply for lack of a better way to do this. I have a 140 to 145 I.Q. I'd like to date someone that is at least my equal in intelligence. Therefore, I don't feel like I'm using an unfair number when I make use of the percentage of people at 120 and above. While the dating prospect's actual I.Q. doesn't matter (because true intelligence is not measured by these silly tests), I'm using these numbers as a general indicator of the percentage of people who will be intelligent enough for me to date. So, at 120 and above, a person is at around the 93rd percentile, which means my list of prospects gets cut down to 21,246. Wow. Only 21,246 people in North America that I'm compatible with so far (and I am erring on the side of positivity!).

11. I love to debate, so if I am going to have any sort of relationship with someone, that person should like to debate as well. When I typed "I like to argue" into ask.com, I got 6,720 hits and I got 5,900 hits with "I don't like to argue". Using these numbers as data, I am knocking 47 per cent off my list. This brings me down to 11,313 people.

12. Oh yeah, what was I thinking? My dating prospects need to love reading. Let's just assume that all people that are literate love to read, just to be generous. That lowers my list by 3 per cent to 10,974.

13. Did I forget something? Have any suggestions? 10,974 people seems like a lot. In fact, if they are evenly distributed throughout North America, that means there are 135.7 of them in Washington state! That gives me a HUGE chance of finding my perfect mate!

1 comment:

Joey Polanski said...

Maybe you shoud limit th prospeckts to those who got th goods.

Or woud that be bein too picky?