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A horse robot talking to a meat robot
February 19, 2013 4:41 AM   Subscribe

Will members of the "seduction community" attempt to mate with nonsensical robots? Yes, yes they will.
posted by JDHarper (72 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
a/s/rub rating
posted by griphus at 4:51 AM on February 19, 2013


That seems about right to me.
posted by discopolo at 4:53 AM on February 19, 2013


The money quote:
This is a pick-up artist talking to a horse robot and claiming he just read its personality. If they had continued talking, “her” responses would have continued to be irrelevant (in case you were wondering, next he would have offered to tell her over dinner what aspects of her personality could be divined from her fondness for strawberries, along with her lucky lotto numbers for the week).

Even if a real woman had been involved, this kind of exchange would not constitute real interhuman communication, any more than would an exchange between reality TV actors after having been told by their producer to “bitch up that last take.” Instead, this is a PUA acting out another PUA’s creepy fanfiction verbatim to an ebook aggregator. As one Twitter follower asked, ”if a PUA guy talks to horse_ebooks, is anyone really speaking at all?”

Devoid of actual communication, the only remainder of the conversation between @horse_ebooks and a PUA is the context of one man’s desire to have sex with a picture of a woman. As Sam attested, “These people are talking by rote. I’ve had people send the same message to several of my accounts, some in different continents, all with the same avatars. They’re completely oblivious. It’s a horse robot talking to a meat robot.”
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:56 AM on February 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


Yes yes it's all funny now but what if they actually manage to breed? It would be like _Blindsight_ only worse.
posted by Balna Watya at 5:00 AM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


John Searle's Chinese Babe
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:01 AM on February 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


It’s a horse robot talking to a meat robot.

If it really is the same message sent to multiple accounts it seems unlikely that the meat robot is made of meat any more than the horse robot is made of horse. You realize that email can be automated, right? The user just flags a bunch of pictures and then Seduction Master 2000 takes over. (One assumes.)
posted by DU at 5:02 AM on February 19, 2013


Seems like nowadays, the George Saunders stories just write themselves.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:09 AM on February 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


MISCELLANEOUS EAR
posted by Segundus at 5:15 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


it seems unlikely that the meat robot is made of meat any more than the horse robot is made of horse

DO NOT RUIN MY MORNING WITH REALISTIC ANALYSIS! ALLOW ME TO KEEP MY ILLUSIONS!

I AM NOT LISTENING TO YOU!!!!!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:18 AM on February 19, 2013


I'm going to use MISCELLANEOUS EAR, MISCELLANEOUS EAR, MISCELLANEOUS EAR as my initial okc message from now on. Any woman that responds is bound to be a perfect match.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:19 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even given that analysis, this means people are using robots to do their negging routines rather than doing it themselves. I'd say this is even more horribliarious in the right light.
posted by solarion at 5:20 AM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


The text equivalent of a broomstick rammed into a fleshlight.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:23 AM on February 19, 2013 [25 favorites]


Some days I think, Man I have it so good being a dude.

I wish that Slacktory article hadn't gone here, though:
OkCupid is itself a numbers name, with analytics ranging from precise compatibility scores to selectivity of responses. The schlubs who blast out hundreds of messages hoping for a nibble are playing a numbers game the site facilitates almost by design. If a man gauges his online dating success solely by the amount of phone numbers he snags, doesn’t it make sense for him to embrace the sexual context that everyone is aware of? Isn’t it more effective to abandon the pretense of engaging in original, real communication and become, well, more like @horse_ebooks?
The claim that a dating site that incorporates "numbers" somehow drives its members to become manipulative assholes who only copy and paste PUA routines is a bit specious. I'm excited about the idea of examining the culture of different online dating sites, and specifically how the structure of a site can encourage or discourage specific behaviors, but as far as I've heard OKC is no worse than any other in the Douche Index of its userbase.
posted by aaronbeekay at 5:24 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dr Dracator: "I'm going to use MISCELLANEOUS EAR, MISCELLANEOUS EAR, MISCELLANEOUS EAR as my initial okc message from now on. Any woman that responds is bound to be a perfect match"

FORGOTTEN MINESTRONE
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:24 AM on February 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: house, just just just, house house house house, just just just just, over over over over, then then then then
posted by graphnerd at 5:25 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mefi 0-day word exploits:
☑ miscellaneous ear

☑ horribliarious

☑ forgotten minestrone
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:25 AM on February 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


okcebooks reminds me of nothing so much as those fake "mating puppets" they fool fruit flies and whatnot with.
posted by DU at 5:29 AM on February 19, 2013


This is exciting
I never plooked
A tiny chrome-plated machine
That looks like a magical pig
With marital aids stuck all over it
Such as yourself before
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:33 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


MISCELLANEOUS EAR

I bet you say that to all the boys.
posted by Phanx at 5:33 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


No seriously, it's a David Lynch reference.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:35 AM on February 19, 2013


Do you know the chicken walk?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:44 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


AMAZING! Bros hitting on robots is sort of an idea I enjoy a lot; the less coherent (on both sides), the better.
posted by jake at 5:46 AM on February 19, 2013


I'm confused. Are these guys actual "pick-up artists," like people who read The Game and hangout on seduction forums talking about negging, or just random desperate guys on OKCupid?
posted by justkevin at 5:46 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, "or"?
posted by griphus at 5:48 AM on February 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


To be fair, there are people, women even, who make even less sense than those robots IRL.
posted by Skeptic at 5:52 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The bro's persistence is reminding me of this one guy who used to be on a BBS I was on in the '90's; he was a guy with a foot fetish who would harrass all the women with private messages about how he wanted to give us foot rubs and stuff, and would not listen to repeated requests to leave us the hell alone. The only thing that finally chased him off was speaking to him entirely in Irish (I had a phrasebook and would just say random things from it and it sufficiently confused him).

It looks like these guys aren't equipped to comprehend whether they are even reading syntax. They only can identify whether the words are English words or not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:53 AM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I figured it'd be more than a week before I learned of a community more ridiculous seeming than beer community. But "PUA" sure as hell does it...
posted by aerotive at 6:01 AM on February 19, 2013


What is a beer community? If it is a community of people who talk about beer I am down with that.
posted by rtha at 6:04 AM on February 19, 2013


Hopefully they do more than talk about it.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:05 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


talking to a meat robot

THIS IS INSULTING TO ROBOTS!
posted by wolfdreams01 at 6:07 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is disturbing how often this is appropriate to post on MetaFilter, but I feel I must:

"They're made out of meat."
posted by Rock Steady at 6:09 AM on February 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


This is the most brilliant thing ever.

This discovery (I'm going to call it a discovery) enables us to develop fully automated systems for identifying PUA tools and ... and this is key ... getting them to meet at a specific time & place. They will do so because they cannot resist. Even if they suspect what will happen next, they cannot resist their programming.

That means we can simply sit at a specified location and seize each PUA tool as they arrive. It will be the greatest slaving operation in modern times, and I'm going to let you folks in on the ground floor.

My god.

Just think of the industrial smelting operations we can fully staff with these labor resources! Practically free! Those low-margin mining facilities? Not low-margin any more baby!
posted by aramaic at 6:10 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Sorry, "or"?

Yes, "or." There's a community of "pick-up artists" who read the same books, hang out on the same forums and have all these pseudo-science theories about picking up women. I'm asking if these comments are from those guys?
posted by justkevin at 6:12 AM on February 19, 2013


Those horse_ebooks responses are genuinely more interesting and witty than 90% of the conversations I engage in on OKC, so I'm kind of sad these dudes just bullheadedly stuck to their boring sex requests instead of going to truly weird and freaky places. One day you'll find the dada prince of your dreams, horse_, don't give up hope!
posted by naju at 6:22 AM on February 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


I learned the word "aleatory," so this post didn't manage to make me dumber. I win! I win!

The rest of you probably know what aleatory means or are losers.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:46 AM on February 19, 2013


Oh, right, as in alea iacta est.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:48 AM on February 19, 2013


What's the angle for the dude that realizes horse_edater is a robot? Does he say that to all the ladies?
posted by ennui.bz at 7:00 AM on February 19, 2013


Re: the possibility of some suitors being robots themselves - Dating Denial of Service Attack
posted by XMLicious at 7:03 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd frankly love it if half the dating site users employed software that writes messages and replies, just fucking hilarious.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:05 AM on February 19, 2013


The claim that a dating site that incorporates "numbers" somehow drives its members to become manipulative assholes who only copy and paste PUA routines is a bit specious.

Some sites, such as eHarmony, only let you see and contact people who are high matches for you. That discourages the numbers game. Sites like OKCupid that let you send unlimited messages to an unlimited number of people whether they match or not, do facilitate spam tactics.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:13 AM on February 19, 2013


Some sites, such as eHarmony, only let you see and contact people who are high matches for you. That discourages the numbers game. Sites like OKCupid that let you send unlimited messages to an unlimited number of people whether they match or not, do facilitate spam tactics.

Possibly, but there are definite downsides to eHarmony's model. At least back when I used it years ago, the system was so paranoid that it required two back-and-forth rounds of canned multiple-choice questions to "get to know each other" before it even let a participant choose which questions to ask. Four rounds were required -- with eHarmony holding algorithmic veto power based on the answers -- before participants could even use their own words. It filtered out PUA spammers, but it also effectively filtered out anyone who was comfortable writing or communicating in their own words.

"You only see high quality matches!" sounds great in marketing copy, but the reality was more like a middle-school dance chaperoned by CAPTCHAs.
posted by verb at 7:39 AM on February 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


What's the angle for the dude that realizes horse_edater is a robot? Does he say that to all the ladies?

Perhaps he is just a man at peace with the fact that what he actually wants is a sex robot and not a real human being.
posted by Zalzidrax at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


As one Twitter follower asked, ”if a PUA guy talks to horse_ebooks, is anyone really speaking at all?”

I'm going to be laughing at that all day. :-)
posted by Kit W at 7:59 AM on February 19, 2013


if a PUA guy talks to horse_ebooks, is anyone really speaking at all?

If a tree falls on either one of them in the woods, does it make a sound?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on February 19, 2013


I feel kind of sorry for this guy - I could be wrong but I don't get the PUA vibe from him. At the end he seems to try and explain the nonsense with "Soo u like weed then ? "
posted by exogenous at 8:16 AM on February 19, 2013


The bro's persistence is reminding me of this one guy who used to be on a BBS I was on in the '90's; he was a guy with a foot fetish who would harrass all the women with private messages about how he wanted to give us foot rubs and stuff, and would not listen to repeated requests to leave us the hell alone. The only thing that finally chased him off was speaking to him entirely in Irish (I had a phrasebook and would just say random things from it and it sufficiently confused him).


Interestingly, that's been known to work in real life too; when my mother was a young woman in Italy, men would bother her on the street; she was obviously a tourist, hence assumed to be a hopeful prospect, and telling them to go away in Italian didn't work. Neither did telling them in English, because they spoke English and saw it as a chance to start a conversation. What did work was pretending she didn't understand any of the languages they spoke.

As luck would have it she did speak Irish, so she'd tell them to go away in that, and generally they gave up.

It's a language that's suffered massive historical pressure and the number of native speakers is small. In most circumstances this is a sad thing, but every now and again, it turns out to have an advantage...
posted by Kit W at 8:18 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regarding eHarmony, I was under the impression that it has some sort of religious under-pinning that made it hetero and marriage biased. The "middle school chaperone" approach would make sense in that context. I could be totally wrong though.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:19 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sites like OKCupid that let you send unlimited messages to an unlimited number of people whether they match or not, do facilitate spam tactics.

I think OKC is certainly more lassez-faire in its approach to what kinds of user communications are allowed. But they also give tools for filtering incoming messages: you can disallow messages from anybody who doesn't meet some match percentage threshold, or you can disallow from anybody whose profile says they're looking for "casual sex".

Thinking about it now, I guess Facebook's approach to privacy and filtering is similar (give users tools for controlling who can see things, let them configure as they prefer), and Facebook is criticized often for it. I definitely don't think that giving users some "privacy tools" is an excuse to ignore the way your site's interaction model guides users to be more or less harrassing. But I still prefer the way OKC does things, and it doesn't seem like the site is a total cesspool for women-- is it?
posted by aaronbeekay at 8:21 AM on February 19, 2013


Panjandrum, I had the same impression, although I don't know much about eHarmony. You still can't sign up at all if you're gay, right?
posted by aaronbeekay at 8:23 AM on February 19, 2013


> You still can't sign up at all if you're gay, right?

I just looked it up and that's correct. It took a lawsuit for them to even consider it, and instead of opening up the main site to gays and lesbians they created a whole alternative site called Compatible Partners instead.

I think their slogan is "Finding lasting love in the gay ghetto."

> you can disallow messages from anybody who doesn't meet some match percentage threshold

Given how people use their Facebook privacy setting, I'm wondering if some people on OKC play a different numbers game of messaging their lowest matches and asking if they want to meet up for angry hate sex.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:31 AM on February 19, 2013


Oh, I didn't even use accurate phrases, Kit - I was telling the foot fetish guy things like "The party is next Tuesday" or "Please pass me the salt" or whatever. It worked so well that all the other women found out and would chat me privately if he hit them up, asking "quick, give me something to say!" and I'd get a random phrase about train schedules or something for them. The very rarity of the language allowed us to be that indiscriminate.

Although I do think I did one tell him "pogue ma thoinn" just for accuracy's sake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:41 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finding lasting love in the gay ghetto.

Is that where the Sex Jews live?
posted by zombieflanders at 8:52 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Yo bro, Turing was gay..."
posted by bodywithoutorgans at 9:01 AM on February 19, 2013


The claim that a dating site that incorporates "numbers" somehow drives its members to become manipulative assholes who only copy and paste PUA routines is a bit specious.
aaronbeekay

I think you're misinterpreting the paragraph you quoted. I don't think they're making such a broad claim. It's saying that if you're the kind of guy who just blasts out tons of messages looking for a response and all you care about is getting phone numbers, you might as well go full-on robot because you're not looking for actual interaction. If you're not such a guy and you really are looking for a relationship, the article isn't talking about you.

The controversial part of that paragraph might be that "the site facilitates almost by design" this shotgun approach, but I don't think it's saying that OKCupid inherently leads to this behavior, just that those who are inclined to do this kind of thing are facilitated by the site structure.

Yes, "or." There's a community of "pick-up artists" who read the same books, hang out on the same forums and have all these pseudo-science theories about picking up women. I'm asking if these comments are from those guys?
justkevin

Yes, it's from that community. The author of the linked Slacktory article says:

I operate PUA.txt, a Twitter and Tumblr outfit that features a mix of repulsive and pathetic quotes from pick-up artist message boards. Having spent a few months trawling the “seduction community” where men share canned routines for “opening” (i.e., talking to) women, it’s fascinating to see their scripted conversations play out from the opposite perspective, that of a robot horse.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:17 AM on February 19, 2013


Plus eharmony's founder thinks that people are out to kill him because he created the gay site (under pressure), and that eHarmony and other Christian companies should pool their money to figure out how to cure homosexuality.
posted by tavella at 10:30 AM on February 19, 2013



This is a pick-up artist talking to a horse robot and claiming he just read its personality. If they had continued talking, “her” responses would have continued to be irrelevant (in case you were wondering, next he would have offered to tell her over dinner what aspects of her personality could be divined from her fondness for strawberries, along with her lucky lotto numbers for the week).


But can he tell them that a challenge at work is really an opportunity? If not, score one for newspaper horoscopes. I think one of the most interesting thing about humanity is how much effort we put into exploiting the blind spots of others and how little effort we put into checking our own.

I mean, imagine how much happier everyone would be if the PUA community put all that effort into seeing women as people, instead of trying to find the correct combination of buttons and levers to get sex.

If it is a community of people who talk about beer I am down with that.

Yes, yes it is. As near as I can tell, it's exactly like every other community of people centered around a shared hobby, but with a slightly larger number of people who wear hats.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:43 AM on February 19, 2013


Isn’t it more effective to abandon the pretense of engaging in original, real communication and become, well, more like @horse_ebooks?

Christ. I was just thinking that adopting the horse_ebooks strategy would almost certainly be equally if not more effective than my current one of attempting to spark conversation.

I think I'm going to delete my account now.
posted by cmoj at 10:50 AM on February 19, 2013


If a tree falls on either one of them in the woods, does it make a sound?

If a tree falls on a PUA, does anybody care?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:15 PM on February 19, 2013


Imho, the dating denial of services attack doesn't sound too likely. Instead, you'll find the dating site itself running oodles of fake profiles that talk to everyone on the site so that users spend more money. And larger markets could enjoy pimp companies running chat bots for hookers.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:25 PM on February 19, 2013


If a tree falls on a PUA, does anybody care?

Hey, man, his field report would have worked wonders for other guys looking for love in the depths of the forest. Now they're going to have to figure out for themselves what negs to deploy on Baba Yaga.
posted by Copronymus at 12:29 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are we sure this isn't some social media ploy to hype a modern reboot of Equus?

/s
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:53 PM on February 19, 2013


If a tree falls on a PUA, does anybody care?

You mean, if someone who does jerky things dies, does anybody care? Experience tells me that, most likely, yes.
posted by benbenson at 2:00 PM on February 19, 2013


Most girls I date or try and meet are so strange that the spam it's probably make more sense.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:16 PM on February 19, 2013


And honestly given the low response rate I get on OKC an automated mailer will probably have better luck.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:17 PM on February 19, 2013


PUAs are assholes, and I have no problem with picking on them.

However, I can say a few things about online dating in general, as someone who's used online dating sites extensively, both for what most sites coyly call "casual encounters" and for finding more serious relationships (all my relationships over the last 15 years have started online, although at first mostly through chat rooms and so on).

For men looking for women, it's almost 100% necessary to send out relatively large amounts of messages, just based on statistics. Most dating sites have more men than women, some times by a substantial factor, and it's even worse on the sites geared more directly towards sex, where I wouldn't be surprised if there are 10-20 times more men than women.

If you don't have an enormous amount of time to spend (and boundless optimism and cheer), these first messages are going to be generic presentation messages, a sort of condensed version of your profile. You might throw in a line or two tailored to the specific person you're writing to some times, if you see a particular point of common interest, but often not.

Basically, if you're going to get no answer 19 out of 20 times anyway, personalized message or not, it's just common sense to send generic messages. There's nothing wrong with it, you just push the more personalized communication to after you've both had a chance to look at each others' profiles, and have both confirmed that you're interested in staying in touch.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:19 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


this is an operation run by gross creeps who have been warped by schadenfreude, their echo chambers, and the nature of the internet that preys on gross creeps who have been warped by loneliness, their echo chambers, and the nature of the internet

there is nothing good or funny about this and i feel less human and alive for having seen it
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:18 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


basically watching goons go at PUAs is like watching scorpion fight sub-zero in the first Mortal Kombat

but it's a "let's play" and there is no mute button
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:25 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did I use OKC in some kind of forgotten golden age, or am I just an absolute master of dating site message composition? This was years ago, but I remember my response rate being much, much higher than the 5% that Joakim Ziegler cites.

On topic, these PUAs make me want to chop my and everyone else's dick off.
posted by valrus at 10:38 PM on February 19, 2013


valrus: "Did I use OKC in some kind of forgotten golden age, or am I just an absolute master of dating site message composition? This was years ago, but I remember my response rate being much, much higher than the 5% that Joakim Ziegler cites."

My general feeling is that response rates have gotten lower as online dating has gotten more mainstream, yes. Also, I think OKCupid has better response rates than many other sites, especially compared to the sex-oriented ones, where 5% is probably extremely optimistic.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have good response rates on OKC but that's because I only message people that I actually want to meet. It helps that I don't see women as interchangeable objects.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:11 PM on February 20, 2013


I have good response rates on OKC but that's because I only message people that I actually want to meet. It helps that I don't see women as interchangeable objects.

You can do all those things - and craft messages individually for women - and still get a low response rate.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:14 PM on February 20, 2013


The key is just to accept that there will be a low response rate, and give yourself license to have fun with it.

Interested in a specific partner? Compliment their hands effusively and attempt to lead that into a hiring offer if she wants to find employment as a koala groomer (I have done this with excellent results). Don't hesitate to be weird or kooky - this is internet dating, everyone expects weirdness. The main picture on my profile involved myself, suggestive positioning, and a stuffed sheep, and I managed a pretty good reponse rate.
posted by mikurski at 12:41 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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