in december of 2009 the new york times published an article on the rising popularity of korean growth clinics. a quote from the article: “Swayed by the increasingly popular conviction that height is crucial to success, South Korean parents are trying all manner of remedies to increase their children’s stature…”
the article caught my eye. way back in the day when i realized i was going to end up being a short man, i remember thinking that of all the possible disadvantages to being short what worried me the most was diminished dating prospects.
today, the charlotte observer posted this article. (found via boingboing) the article summarizes the findings of some duke university researchers on the subject of dating. the results are not exactly shocking. a quote: “The study, still under peer review before publication, analyzed 22,000 online daters and found that women put a premium on income and height when deciding which men to contact…”
what most interested me about the article is that they calculated a dollar value for height: “the study showed a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool.”
now, i’ve been out of the dating game for some time now. when i look at these two articles, i immediately think about the upcoming generation of kids. i can start to see just the bare beginnings of a framework that would allow parents to calculate the value of their investment in growth therapies for their kids. and yes, i realize dating is only one aspect of social success, and yes i understand the value proposition would be different for girls. also, i’m guessing the relative value of an inch of height is not linear. when you get down around 5’5″ or so, i bet those inches get very, very valuable dating wise. 🙂
as usual, the gulf between the have and have-nots continues to widen…
this article at nature.com is thought provoking. basically these scientists feel that they have found physical areas of the brain responsible for spiritual thinking. their methodology certainly leaves a lot of room for interpretation… but my first reaction upon reading the article was to wonder about the implications of mapping spirituality to the physical world. what would it mean if we find that by removing or disconnecting specific brain regions we can reduce or increase a person’s professed ability to believe in something? the implications are certainly far reaching…
the concept behind this place is simply amazing. i can’t tell if i am inspired by the ambition, or worried that korea is about to squander an unbelievable amount of resources on their version of dubai. one thing is for sure. if they can pull off an economic free zone that is also the most highly networked and environmentally sustainable city in the world, they will become world leaders in one of the most important movements in modern society. blade runner here we come!
youversion.com is an online bible reader with social networking aspects that is also available in mobile device versions. it offers some really great features, but suffers from an incomplete feature set and buggy implementation.
the good: the best part of this site is the the simple 2 pane setup that allows one to read the bible on one side, and quickly jot down thoughts on the other. one can input/post privately to a “journal” or a publicly to a “contribution.” this feature, coupled with a social network, can be incredibly useful. one can quickly tap on a verse and see the feedback of a large community. also, it is hard to envision an easier way to read the bible and record one’s thoughts. multiple bible versions are supported, and the bible navigation is fast. also, there are a variety of reading plans one can try out. the system will record your progress within a reading plan. since study of the Word is considered so central to Christians, this system offers real value. and it is free!
the bad: the system is very buggy. often journal entries cause a freeze. often one must re-enter username and password info. the reading plans will often not allow you to file a given section as completed. journal entries aren’t always shown on the main page. there is no easy way to change a preference, so if you liked the niv bible at first but now prefer the cev, you must make that change manually every time you use the site. the social networking is very incomplete. there is no obvious way to tailor your feed to your friends only, for example.
this program is a great, great start. it is the number one result returned from an iphone app store search using the term “bible” with over 10,000 reviews. that statistic alone means as a social product they have achieved escape velocity. the danger is that people will probably start leaving soon if the usability doesn’t improve quickly. i was inspired to find out that youversion is largely the work of one man, but also worried about the amount of support he will be needing to finish the job. his church might not grasp the opportunity they have. now is the time to massively ramp up resources and make this the game changer that it could be.
bottom line: this program gives us a peek at what bible study could look like in the future….the fundamental aspects of youversion are desireable, but the programmers might be better off using facebook for the networking infrastructure and concentrating on the reader/journal/contribution features. the scope of their ambition might make them a jack of all trades and a master of none.