do you use pandora radio? hard to believe that you can capture the essence of music at the fundamental level using a list of 400 attributes and mathematical algorithms. (when i was a young girl, we listened to music the good "old-fashioned" way: on a turntable, song by song, entire albums at a time) (i know! can you imagine? how archane!) (i also believed that there was a little man in the record player who was responsible for moving the needle across the vinyl grooves.)
but, back to pandora. in laymens terms: each song that plays gives me the option to "like" or "dislike" it. the little man in my computer then analyzes the attributes of the songs i "like" and suggests songs that are similar (likewise, he does not suggest songs with attributes of the songs i "dislike.")
netflix does something similar. each time i log on, i have a chance to preview movies that have been suggested to me based on the movies i have put on my queue.
you can have your personlized blend of coffee created by gevalia, based on your favorite chocolate or preferred steak done-ness.
iTunes offers you a Genius feature, ensuring that you create the ultimate playlist based on tunes you absolutely will love.
i believe this is also how match.com works (although i did not personally rely on the little man in my computer for help with that one...)
what i'm getting at is this genome project idea. this idea that you can fine tune your (song list/movie queue/beverage) life by tweaking and tweaking, eventually working your way towards perfection? comfort? tolerance?
i don't remember what i wanted to "be" when i was growing up, although i'm sure it vacillated between "writer" and "teacher" (my mom has me pegged to be a minister. we'll see how that pans out...) speaking of which, i'm pretty sure "mother" was in the mix somewhere. heading to college without a clear idea of what i wanted to "be" left many doors wide open for me. french? 'like,' but not enough... intro to psychology? 'like'... research methods? 'DISlike'... sociology of responsibility? 'like'... and so on.
and then graduation. the "what next?" and, guess what? i 'liked' my B.A., but had no interest in getting my Masters in Social Work. certainly i could find a job, and i did. i found several. a succession of paycheck-earning positions that i could tolerate. pre-school teacher? 'dislike'... pool and tennis club director? 'like, but not too much'... gift ware and porcelain doll importer? 'liked' the travel and wholesale discounts, HATED the job...
and what of my social life? girlfriends? 'inherently dislike' (i'm sorry, i'm sorry... it took me a long time to get comfortable with girl friendships!) that guy? 'like'... THAT guy? definitely 'dislike'... those older people in church choir with whom i sit every thursday night and practice harmonies? 'like,' although we probably don't have much in common outside of our choir robes.
do you see where i'm going with this? after almost 40 years, i have 'liked' and 'disliked' my way to this place. this career. this family. i have naturally gravitated to the places where i am most comfortable. and most of the time, i have felt i was on the right track.
i eventually grew to know that there was no little man running the turntable. and i'm pretty sure there's no little man in my computer. but there is friendship and faith and good graphic design and well-written fiction; there are decisions to be made about birthday parties and vacations and hairstyles and hybrids; there are people still to know, and people whom i'd like to forget; there are choices to be made.
and i 'like' that...