This blog is highly personal, makes no attempt at being politically correct, will occasionaly offend your sensibility, and certainly does not represent the opinions of the people I work with or for.
Understood effortlessly, or the main attribute of my life partner

Over the past....., how long it's been already?..., well, years, at least, I have observed that some people have got a property that I have been trying to identify and find the correct name for, but which for some reasons I have never really managed to pinpoint.

From my own observation, men tends to have it more often than women and university educated people tend to have it more often than others. Beside those two factors, I haven't detected any other statistical correlation (or hint of a correlation), beside maybe the fact that people possessing what I would call "a mathematical mind", almost certainly have it. Having a "mathematical mind" doesn't mean that you have studied mathematics at university, it doesn't even mean that you like mathematics, it means that I would be able to detect that you have it by giving you few little puzzles, or simply talking with you a sufficiently large amount of time, sometimes minutes, sometimes hours (I was recently in presence of a female friend who has a mathematical mind but alike many of the victims of pre-university teaching, ended up disliking mathematics and doesn't have any knowledge beyond basic high school numeracy. I know she has it because she succeeded in answering correctly few questions I asked her that on the other hand some of my Masters classmates failed completely). It could also be that the presence of this attribute is related to IQ, but I have too little evidence of it (even though the little I have confirms it perfectly), the thing is that it is not easy to find really clever people in every day life...

I have spent years trying to describe what "it" is, always failing, but today I got a clue (actually several clues) of what it might be. I think I can describe it in the following way: people who have it are people that I understand effortlessly when they talk to me or write to me. The important word here is "effortlessly" not "understand". Effortlessly meaning that I do not need to waste any particular mental energy in trying to understand them (beside the bare minimum required for language processing). What they say makes sense, always, and sometimes, actually relatively often, I can guess what their next sentence is probably going to be. Not always, but relatively often.

People usually get very surprised when I say "...can guess what their next sentence is probably going to be", because they think that a conversation where I would be able to guess such things is certainly a useless, fruitless, imbecile, boring conversation. They are wrong. Let me explain why: Imagine that you visit a friend who recently moved to a new city, a city where you have never been, and your friend proposes to give you a tour of the city, by car. You have never been there, so you do not know what to expect. You are in the passenger seat and you know that you cannot guess in advance where your friend will drive you and which direction he/she will take at each crossroad. This is normal. But something you can be pretty sure of, is that *between* crossroads/junctions, the *natural* position of the car, few seconds in the future, is a bit ahead of its current position on the same road. So what I mean is that talking to some people feels like being in the passenger seat of a car during a romantic night tour of a nice city, while talking to others feels like being in a fighter jet during an air gun fight. The G-forces and the constant change of the horizon line is just mind blowing, literally (and headache inducing). I get out of those latter discussions feeling that I have wasted my time... It doesn't matter if what they say was grammatically correct or even interesting, the fact is the flow was totally illogical.

Incidentally, another situation where I am famously known to guess the speaker's next sentence is math lectures. Even subjects I discover for the first time...

Now, beware that I have never said that I always agree with those people (or even that I always like them). They may have opinions that I do not share, but when I talk to them, and even if I argue with them (which interestingly never happened), the verbal fight remains.... logical. In the sense that none of the two parties is going to take the fight as an excuse to violate standard logic or the natural flow of human communication.

Today, something else came to me, something that ultimately is helping me understanding what "it" is as well as understanding myself and also understanding why I eventually get bored of girl friends (more exactly getting bored of having to always maintain active the part of my mind whose job is to untangle the constant flow of unstructured thoughts they sent at me). I observed that the part of me (I insist on the use of the word "me" rather than the expression "my mind"), a sense of beauty or elegance, that activates when I am in presence of the people with this attribute, is actually exactly the same part which activates and makes me smile when I read correctly written mathematical proofs, or when I come across extraordinary well designed computer APIs.

Having understood the above is amazing to me, and is my biggest breakthrough so far in the understanding of what I find attractive in people, and more specifically potential sentimental partners. Now, I only need to find a cute, fit, intelligent and fun loving girl with this attribute and I will be ok...