Lots of people find it very hard to fit in. They find it hard to get a job. They find it hard to get friends. And more than anything else they find it hard to find love — and hard to get sex, too. A lot of these people wonder if there isn’t something wrong with them, and wonder why it is so difficult to find what they need. Some blame themselves. Many people think there must be something wrong with them if they can’t find a job, a friend, a wife or husband, or a lover. But it’s not their fault at all — yes, some people are very clumsy in life, say silly things, make stupid mistakes, but everybody has done that, and even people who are smart and good at most things they do still have a hard time finding what they need.
We’ve done a lot of work in this area, using a lot of heavy math and reading endless books and papers about people and human society, and the conclusion is very simple: there is actually something wrong! It is not me, not you, not any of those people who find life so hard, it is something wrong with our society itself. The reasons are very technical and even experts have trouble with the ideas, but we are absolutely sure — what we have figured out is the real reason the world doesn’t work very well. And we can fix it. The solution is also very technical, but all the details can be hidden inside computer programs, and nobody needs to worry about understanding the stuff “under the hood”. If you want to open it quickly, and peek inside to see how it works, try How It Works .
This web site is still “under construction”. It’s new. It is missing all sorts of pieces. But they are being added day by day, as you will see if you read our daily Progress Report . But we are almost ready to go, and can collect information from people who want to participate right now. There is a form called What Do You Want which asks people what they want and how much they want it. There will be other forms later, but this is a start.
All information will be kept confidential, and we don’t want to know who you are so we won’t be tempted to betray any secrets. All we need is an e-mail address where we can send you the results when they’re ready. It shouldn’t be your ordinary e-mail address, because it would be too easy to find out who you are from the address you use every day. So we ask you to get a new e-mail address from one of the many places on the web which give people free e-mail services.
We have posted a list of free webmail services which you can use — pick one, get a nice anonymous address with a name nobody would guess is yours, like Joe-Bstjplk@webbox.com and then you can join us, fill out the forms, and see what happens. The e-mail-alias or fake name will be like the handle or call sign people use in CB radio or in chat rooms, to disguise your identity. You never tell us who you are or where you live or who you work for or anything else that could identify you.
If you want to learn more about this, try the SocialTechnology.ca home page, or Doug Wilson’s home page , or an older page of his with more links on it. This is not a company trying to make money, it’s really just a successful research project which is now trying to move out into the real world. But some of us have the idea of turning into a commercial enterprise, and are sure it would be very successful. But even the commercial version will be free to all users, being supported by advertising and services to other businesses. The commercial version might sell some data, but it wouldn’t be traceable to anyone using the service, and probably wouldn’t be answers people gave to forms and questionnaires anyway — it would probably be various kinds of statistical information like big covariance matrices — something most people wouldn’t know what to do with or care very much.
As we have said, this is a brand new project, just getting started. We have very few participants right now, and that is something that must change. It is hard to match people to jobs, friends, lovers, or anything else if there aren’t very many of those to go around. So we are doing everything we can to persuade people to join us and be a part of our user-pool. Please consider joining us — it is free, absolutely confidential, and will have many interesting features like reports of how you compare with other people in terms of interest, activities and so on. Know thyself!
There are other pages available for people with some technical abilities, like the ones (also “under construction”) for computer programmers and mathematicians , or for psychologists and sociologists , but the page this is probably the easiest to understand is probably the proposal for the Internet business that might someday take these ideas completely out of the laboratory and into the real world.
Please join us. Go to our first form or questionnaire, and fill it out. And tell your friends to do it too, please. None of you will regret it, and all of you will have a more interesting and satisfying life because of it. If you are not sure, follow some of the other links on this page, especially those at the very top and bottom of the page. You’ll see a lot of places where we still have to write new text and polish up the look of the pages, but you’ll also see some fascinating ideas.
Try our old home page, here first. It is a good general introduction.