Mark Liu: Week 4

Relationships are like Civilization 5 and should be stuck to on a one-year contractual basis. Yes, it’s the mathmo’s answer to Dr Phil: MARK is back.

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markliuFirstly, if you missed this, I interviewed Footlights President Ben Pope. I am a master of all trades, jack of none. Anyway, I’m now going to talk about relationships.

Let me break down what relationships are about. They are about tricking the other person into thinking you’re great, so that by the time they realise you’re not, they’re too committed to you to let go. If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d use stagnation, or in some cases, stagflation.

Personally I’m not a fan of relationships. The last time I was in a relationship I didn’t even know it until she used those magic words: “we’re supposed to be in a relationship.” There are some upsides to being “in love” though, such as never having to say you’re sorry. I hate admitting I’m wrong about things for the same reason people hate terrorist attacks: it so rarely happens. However, these are not nearly enough to make up for the downsides.

Mostly, relationships are like playing a game of Civilisation 5. The most interesting part is starting a new game, where everything is still novel and exciting. But eventually, you reach a stage of the game where playing becomes by the numbers, where military conquest is already guaranteed, but it just takes a long time to get there. You’d much rather start a new game instead, or have several on the go, depending on which stage of the game you’re in the mood to play.

After all, there’s no real logical reason why relationships should only contain two people. We have all been brainwashed by Hollywood rom-coms, which are a result of movie industries wanting to save money by only casting one male and female lead.

Obviously arguing from a biological standpoint makes no sense, because of gays. So there should be no reason why I shouldn’t be able to raise a family with a harem of seven Newnham girls. If I wanted to adopt a child with my 5-man League of Legends team and have it grow up in a gaming house, I shouldn’t have to be subject to society rolling its eyes at me.

The idea of just one woman for my whole life is haunting. I have a very diverse set of interests, which range from Pixar movies to bondage, making it very difficult to find anyone with the exact same interests as me. After all, you wouldn’t eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, so why would that apply for delicious, tasty women? Some nights, I fancy an Indian, while other times, they disgust me.

The biggest problem, though, is that long-term committed relationships remove competition from the equation entirely, which is necessary to incentivise people to constantly self-improve. For example, I often text other girls during dates and the results speak for themselves. The texts on average become 50% more entertaining, even though the dates usually leave. Competition breeds innovation.

Relationships cause the opposite effect as people start becoming too comfortable. Their security leads to a slow gradual self-destruction, which is why all people in relationships eventually become utterly miserable and trapped. Just take a look at Apple’s relationship with its consumers; once great, it’s now just bringing out the same products over and over again and constantly disappointing its customers: that’s what marriage is like. In many ways that’s why affairs can be great. Affairs are the Samsung Galaxies of the relationship world.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have relationships, but there needs to be some sort of contract system in place when you enter one. By default, I would work on a one-year basis, which can be renewed at any point, but no hard feelings if it expires. People need the constant threat of competition undermining their relationships or they end up regressing, becoming unemployed and inflated: stagflation.