The Unmeasurable Value of Nanaya

Atoms, or perhaps it would be more accurate the say those aspects of the atom which scientists choose to consider, are immeasurably less complicated than men. And yet nobody who is not professionally a physicist would venture to discuss the nature of atoms. Where man is concerned, the case is different. Not only the professional anthropologist or sociologist but every human being thinks himself qualified, by the mere fact of his humanity, to lay down the law about man and society and with what arrogance, too often, what absurd cocksureness! An amateur like the rest, I too rush in. But before rushing, I would offer some brief apology and explanation.

Aldous Huxley, “Measurable and Unmeasurable” 

Some people might be moved by the numerical results: that there are genuine odds of finding love that can be predicted. Or that there may be a uniquely shared bond between one and their partner that may be better or worse in provide happiness than any other.

As I wrote in my first post, I’m actually not one of those people. Of course I believe we can calculate those odds or simulate that happiness, but to measure that which is unmeasurable leaves me feeling unmoved.

Rather, I personally value Nanaya for the process we are busy designing, not just for its numerical results. When we have enough data to finish the implementation of our algorithm we won’t just be putting together a machine that generates numbers. For the algorithm to work, we need to ask detailed questions about what you want in life and how certain you are of it. Do you want to settle down? Do you want children? How many? Where do you want to live? How do you get along with your friends?

Not everyone has these answers. People may never have actually sat down and asked themselves these questions. Even if family and friends have asked those questions, did you answer?

Of course some people may have these answers but they may not have the answer to the follow up question: Are you sure?

Marriage or any long-term monogamous bond may be singularly the most important life decision – and there’s a lot of discussion online. Notably Tauriq Moosa  expresses “We need to have a frank discussion about marriage” on The Guardian on the mythos surrounding matrimony. Carolyn Hall addresses men in a frank open letter that exposes the truth of living with someone for decades beyond the ideals that have been engraved by culture and media.

Last week, Nanaya was covered by the New Scientist. There was a critical remark expressed by Dr. Harry Reis, “You simply can’t do [prediction of attraction] from paper and pencil characteristics.”  Though Nanaya does quantify quality of life in relationships, I agree with his sentiment. As far as Dr. Paul Eastwick’s comment on matchmaking, Nanaya does not perform traditional matchmaking and we do plan on performing extensive validation during the Beta with a control set (there will be emails to users and a post about that when the product becomes ready). Plainly, Nanaya will provide the best estimate of your romantic options you’ll ever find.

To return to the introductory quote by Huxley, Nanaya is yet another group to try to understand and assess human behavior. I can’t deny that! However, whereas online dating is a platform to explore others, I hope that Nanaya is a platform to explore yourself.

Ultimately,  Nanaya does assess relationships in a numerical way but the result is not an end in itself. I hope future users value the process of Nanaya, the questions we ask and the results, as much as I do. Think of Nanaya as a canvas where you can sketch out your life dreams and see what it looks like. If you don’t like what you see, contemplate further what you want out of your life and why you seek it. The sketch is but a draft – completing the masterpiece is up to you.