Archive for September, 2009

Launching a Social Network

Currently, we are in the process of finishing up work on the new iMeetzu. Here’s a sneak peak screenshot of the conversation logs interface, although it will be changed a bit from its current state to allow for commenting etc.

Sneak Peak Chat Log

So you will be able to view an essentially never-ending list of conversations, although we will be restarting the logs at first to ensure people don’t have private information divulged, etc. You will be prompted at the end of your conversations as to whether or not you are comfortable publishing them. It is beneficial to publish them in certain ways. If a conversation you publish gets high ratings, and you have registered, you will be able to take credit for it with your username, which will then make you somewhat famous on the site. This will be especially true if you have lots of conversations with high ratings, as this will raise your overall rank as a conversationalist. With a high rank as a conversationalist, you will be in high demand to have conversations, which will give you a chance to reduce boredom and meet a lot more interesting people than normal.

Of course, there will be other new features as well. I can’t give you a sneak peak of the profile system yet, but features include displaying links to your latest conversations and a list of all your published conversations. You will also be able to view any conversations you had that you decided not to publish, which of course nobody else will be able to see other than the person you talked to. You will be able to add friends/contacts, you will have a wall for people to leave comments, and you will be able to add pictures. You will also be able to fill out an about me section. We’re still debating on whether we will allow you to use HTML, but it seems likely. And another great feature will be the ability to plot yourself on a map, which will involve the usage of Google’s Map API. You’ll be able to find people near you to talk to through this new map feature as well.

The site is close to being finished. Within the next couple days it should be up and running, so stay tuned! The new features will definitely blow you away, and you won’t think twice about chatting here instead of Omegle. I’m sure I left some features out, but it’s obvious that this new conversationalist social network will blow any other 1-on-1 chat sites out of the water.

Sincerely,

- AaroNeo

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Economics Gone Wrong, Prisoner’s Dilemma

If you’ve taken a course in game theory or economics, you may already be familiar with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Here at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell, we just went over it today in class. My professor is the esteemed Robert Frank – I find him to be quite likable and his course to be quite intriguing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him or his work, he has co-authored a textbook with Ben Bernanke (presiding Federal Reserve Chairman), among other things.

At any rate, today he brought up the famed Prisoner’s Dilemma, which I vaguely remember seeing during some game theory class during my undergraduate computer science days. In economics, there is a beautiful thing Robert Frank calls the “Invisible Hand”, which guides prices to their correct equilibrium points. Before today, the equilibrium points were illustrated as being good achievements for the most part, other than certain social surplus implications, which is another whole topic in itself. But today we were shown the case where the “Invisible Hand” actually guides those partaking in a particular market to a less desirable option. This was illustrated with the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

prisoner's dilemmaThe image to the left from Investopedia.com shows a visual representation of the dilemma. The problem starts like this: there are two prisoners being held for crimes the district attorney knows they committed together. They are given the following plea deals: if one of them confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses gets no time in jail where as the other one gets 20 years in jail. If both of them confess they both get five years in jail. Finally, if both of them keep quiet, they both get three months in jail. The criminals are not allowed to talk to each other before making their decisions.

So, how do they decide? First, you might think that they would both keep quiet and thus get the lightest average sentence. However, the two haven’t been able to talk to each other, and even if they were able to talk and reach some sort of agreement, what would keep one of them from backing out and screwing the other one over? These are criminals by the way.

So what gives? Well, if the criminals behaved economically in their own self interests, they would have to confess. The worst case scenario for either of the criminals is 20 years in jail, and this can be avoided for sure by confessing. Neither criminal can trust the other criminal to keep quiet, and even if they thought they could the temptation to break the agreement and get out of jail immediately as well as the constant thought of getting screwed over by the other criminal would most likely dissuade them both. From the standpoint of either criminal, confessing leads to surefire avoidance of the worst option, 20 years in jail. Furthermore, confessing leads to the possibility of achieving the best option, no time in jail, should the other criminal elect not to confess. Thus, by confessing both criminals are eliminating the worst option and keeping the best option on the table as far as either of them know.

The end result is that the “Invisible Hand” guides the prisoners to an equilibrium point that is not as desirable as one that could have been achieved if they somehow could have reached and maintained a compromise. The best result possible collectively for both of them would have obviously been three months in jail each, but in this case we have economics gone wrong, and they end up both spending five years in jail.

It is cases such as this that fuel the need for regulation in certain industries in order to achieve the best collective results. This is why completely unregulated free market capitalism actually isn’t always the best answer. And this is why I’m growing to love economics, it really does hold a lot of interesting insights to the way society functions in the world around us.

- AaroNeo

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Trolling Our New Website, iMeetzu

So, we have started a new website that is similar to the infamous Omegle, only with better features. It’s called iMeetzu, and we will be releasing the new version of it sometime this week. At any rate, Omegle has been known for its abundance of trolls looking to confuse and play around with the actual conversationalists. iMeetzu isn’t really any different, at least thanks to me :)

vasectomy

I mean, it’s just too easy really. And quite entertaining. Of course, there’s always the chance that someone will fire back, so be prepared to engage in a battle of epic proportions if you stumble upon a worthy adversary. Practice up as much as possible, because when we launch the new version you will be able to actually publish and rate conversations as you wish, and if you are an amazing conversationalist you might even be able to top the ranks of the best conversationalists, thereby solidifying yourself in the internet wall of pointless fame.

You will also be able to have your own profile, thus allowing you to capitalize on any fame you should acquire through your conversations. This will also enable you to save your favorite contacts, at least if they choose to let you know who they are.

There are going to be some other new developments as well that you should find to be quite satisfying. The end result will be a ridiculously addicting and pointless web interface, but usage of the site should greatly increase your conversational capabilities. And having great capabilities in that regard will benefit you quite well throughout your life. Just my two cents, or maybe three.

Later dudes,

- AaroNeo

2 Comments

Welcome

So, I’ve decided to move my ramblings out of my head into clear textual format. This should result in some interesting posts involving all sorts of things, most especially related to the internets and business school debauchery.

Who am I? I’m AaroNeo, also known as Aaron Mannenbach, a Matrix-loving (Matrix as in the movie) Ivy League (Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell) Serial Entrepreneur (Wired Web, Inc.).  I’m often condescending, always overconfident, and many times a raging dickhead.  Just kidding, well, at least about the condescending and raging dickhead parts.

At any rate, I can’t say for sure what I will be writing about, but it will likely tend to fall within the realm of business, as well as random things I think you should read about. And if I think you should read about it, you better read about it.

That’s all for now, later dudes.

- AaroNeo

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