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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It’s Not You, It’s Quantitative Cost-Benefit Analysis

After performing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of our relationship, I just don’t think this is working out. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s not me either: it’s just common sense, given the nature of my utility function.

There’s no need to try to persuade me otherwise, Susan. We just can’t let our feelings get in the way of the math.

The calculations are fairly simple. At this point in my life, the opportunity cost of hanging out with you is fairly high. Sex with you grants me seventeen utils of pleasure, but I derive negative utils from all of the cuddling afterwards and the excessive number of buttons on your blouse that makes it very difficult to maneuver in the heat of the moment. I also lose utils when you do that weird thing with your hands that you think is affectionate but feels almost like you’re scratching me. Overall, I derive thirteen utils of pleasure on a typical Friday night with you, or fourteen if we watch The Daily Show as part of it (fifteen if they have a good guest on the show).

Meanwhile, I could be doing plenty of other things instead of spending time with you. For example, I could be drinking at the Irishman with a bunch of friends from work. I derive between 20 and 28 utils from hitting on drunk slutty girls at the bar. Since Jeff always buys most of the drinks anyways, the upfront pecuniary costs are low, and I have no potential negatives in terms of emotional investment. However, most of those girls don’t laugh at my jokes, which drives down utils gained. Thus, I could get between 14 and 21 utils from a night out at the bar.

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