Cambridge, Massachusetts

After my ROFLCon panel yesterday, I was approached by a recent Cornell alumnus named Ashley Kirsner. She told me she'd spent a year writing an honors thesis to test whether feelings of connectedness "increase altruism toward outgroup members," and she used the 2008 dancing video to induce those feelings.

According to her data, watching my video makes people a little bit nicer to each other, and a little bit less racist. That is just about the best news I can possibly imagine. Thanks, science!

Her methods involved layers of deceit toward her test subjects, as I'm told psych experiments so often do. I won't describe the experiment or pretend to grasp the details, but you're welcome to try. Anyway, she says the results were favorably conclusive, but maybe she's lying to me too. For all I know, this is part of the experiment. No way to be sure.

17 Responses to Cambridge, Massachusetts

  1. Rich Rossi

    All you have to do is read the comments on any given day to see how the video(s) affect people. It’s certainly for the better.

  2. Emilio

    That’s amazing. And I can assure that at least for me and the ones I know it definitely works!

  3. Derek

    For the love of god please let us know when you’re uploading the new video. Please be soon. Please.

  4. Rich Rossi

    Derek, we’ve waited for years, we can wait a few more days/weeks. It’s better to get it right. What’s the rush? It’s not going to be less relevant in a month. 😉

  5. Derek

    Well, I’m going to kill myself in a few days if I don’t see the new video soon. I hope Matt can live with that.
    I’m kidding by the way.

  6. Simon, London.

    That’s right Derek, it’s all about you. It’s Matt’s creative work, not yours (or ours). He’ll release it when he’s happy with it.
    I’m sure your first comment was deliberately tongue-in-cheek, but really… put yourself in his shoes and be as supportive as possible. Best wishes to all.

  7. Derek

    Wow, notice the last line posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM –
    “I’m kidding by the way.”

  8. Joe

    I think some of us are a little upset that Matt has started leaving us in the dark. This IS his only job. It takes under 2 minutes to post a quick update to this site.

    His book was nothing but a copy and paste of his journal plus about 3 pages of original work. If you don’t believe it, get the book and see for yourself.

    I really miss the Matt that kept us in his captive audience of journal updates with where he was and what he did, what the troubles were, etc with pictures.

    I don’t know how he expects to keep this up for a living if he doesn’t want to share his experiences anymore. As far as he is concerned, he “wrote” a book and published it, and he’s done with writing about his travel now. I pretty much got that response from him when I asked why he doesn’t write journal posts any more. Writing the book was something he had to to and he did it and now he is done, even though the book was basically just putting the journal posts together.

    It really doesn’t take that long even if you have a child to post a quick update at night.

    I am a fan of Matt, I am not trying to bash him in any way but Matt really opened my eyes to life and brought me happiness just like he has to many other people. It would be nice to hear from him more often. 50 countries and we got about 20 short updates with a picture or two lately :(

    I check the site every week or two and get the same :( Would have loved to hear more about alot the places. Guess I will have to find another site run by a guy with the same sense of humor, which will be tough!

    If you know you have tons of fans, a majority of which will ask you WHEN IS THE NEW VIDEO COMING OUT? You should update every day or two.

  9. Rich Rossi

    Good point Joe. As soon as my subscription runs out to this blog I’m not paying to renew!

    You know, when Matt started this blog he was single, didn’t have any kids, and wrote it because he wanted to and so his friends could keep track of him. He wasn’t organizing anything and he had lots of time to kill in airports and hotel rooms. I’m guessing all that stuff factors into his decision to keep the entries short.

    As far as the book, I remember suggesting to Matt that he just put this whole blog in downloadable format so I could have a copy. I almost peed my pants reading a lot of these entries. By the time I bought the book I felt like I already owed him more than what I paid based on what I had already read.

  10. Joe

    Good comment, Rich. I know this is free and all but I think it would benefit him to share a little more especially since he spent two years on his own dime with the to be released video. His fanbase will only grow stronger and they’ll want more, not just what there was before it.

    I’ll love to see the new video, but I’d love to read about the making of it as well.

    He did plenty of updates during the second and third videos while he was with Melissa. In fact,they were very detailed.

    Why encourage travel and inspire people but then stop talking about your travel, espcially if it’s how you make a living?

    I bought two copies of the book, one signed from Matt, and one from Amazon becuase I knew I’d get it quicker. I know Matt doesn’t owe us anything, but I’d gladly pay a few bucks a month if he did start writing again.

  11. Tammy Sylvester

    I keep your site in my favorites bar so I can watch it when ever I feel like it. It gives me a boost. It makes me feel nicer and it makes me feel as if my world is nicer. That is a good thing Matt.

  12. First up, one of the most important areas for pretty much everyone: people skills. I hope you can get a bit of wisdom and inspiration out of these quotes and from the people who have walked before us.

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