What is the compatiblity and motive system?

Last updated: Oct 16, 2007 (first version)
Level 5 update on Oct 23, 2007 (clarified a few details and added another theory)

1 About this document

This document explains what my compatibility and motive system is with many examples given. It is a work in progress, but is moderately well-developed (like a 2000-piece puzzle with 1/3 of the pieces left). On my site (the blog and other things), forums, conversations, etc., I have some reference to the compatibility and motive system in some form. As I have a habit of doing, I tend to put numbers into things and quantify things that otherwise wouldn't be quantified.

2 Brief history

The compatibility system originated around 1999 and was based on a 0 to 999 scale for a while then increased to 0 to 1000. It was part of my Status System that, since about 2005, has been practically abandoned. I was often rating everything on the extreme ends, but found that there is no real limit so I devised the half-step method which, for every half step toward the outer limit, the effect became 4 times greater and this was the first concept for the "times better than neutral" system which didn't get used actively until about 2005. I then found a relationship between compatibility and motive and saw how different aspects of things affected the actual values. I took science as a guide where I formed a basis on what the values represent and, over time, theories and other improvements were included and compatibility/motive today is easily understood and can be quantified, with a 5% logarithmic margin of error at the absolute best possible though usually 10 to 20% (better at the higher values, usually above 100). As of today, the system seems very promising though it is still something in development. The known details (and a few questionables) are explained.

3 The basic system and scale

3.1 The basics

Compatibility and motive use the same system and scale. The scale is logarithmic where the numbers 1, 10, 100, and 1000 are each equally spaced apart in this order. They are based on the "times better than neutral system". Neutral is defined as 1 and is the point where you neither like nor dislike something. A value of 2 would mean you like it twice as much and could last at it for up to 4 times longer. A value of 10 would mean you like it ten times as much and could last at it for 100 times longer. When disliked, the values, mathematically, are between 0 and 1, but are commonly represented as negative values. -2 means 0.5 and -25 means 0.04. Anything that you've never experienced before will always start as 1 for the compatibility, due to the law of new neutrality.

3.2 Affectors

An affector is an attribute that affects the compatibility or motive toward something, usually motive. They can be positive where they increase the degree you like something or the motivation toward doing something, negative where they decrease it, and neutral where no change is made at all. Most affectors are typically from -2 to +2 though some go out to -5 and +5 and rarely anything higher. Smaller values (nearer to neutral or 1) are more common than larger ones. For an example on how affectors work and impact motive, let's say an activity had a motive of 10 meaning you'd sustain it 100 times longer than something neutral-rated. If this activity is required by law, you'll have a positive affector toward the motivation toward doing that, usually something big like +12 in this case. This means that the original motive of 10 becomes 120. Note that 1012=120. When an affector is positive, you simply multiply the original with the affector to get the result. Now, let's say you had to travel about 5 miles to get to the nearest place where this can be done and you disliked travelling. The affector for this may be something like -1.5. A negative affector decreases the value since it takes away your motivation for doing it. With the motive at 80 with this factored in, less than 120, you can see a clear difference. Note that 1201.5=80. When negative affectors are used, it's often easier to just divide the positive value. Mathematically, when working it out when the result crosses over the neutral mark, the 0 to 1 value range is sometimes useful (just take the reciprocal of it to find the negative/positive result). Now, let's say that you don't care whether the area needed to be visited is indoors or outdoors. This would be an affector of 1. As you learned in school, when you multiply or divide by 1, the value remains the same. Most affectors will usually be 1.

4 About compatibility

Compatibility is simply how much you like something. Positive values mean that you like it and negative values (or those less than 1) means that you dislike it. At 1, the fundamental basis, one neither likes nor dislikes it. The highest compatibility I've ever encountered is 3190, with music, one case that causes me to remain at the song for days on end, but this is only a spike. The sustained value, the average (linear average, not exponential; which is much less than 2000), is primarily what determines how long you remain at a song or video. By doubling the compatibility, which also doubles motive, you can remain at something for 4 times longer. For the 3190 spike, if it was sustained, I'd last over 10 million times longer than something neutral-rated, enough to keep me at the same song for about 140 consecutive days at the absolute maximum. At neutral, I wouldn't listen to it for more than a second (in extra repeats mainly), nothing to 140 days or, my current record (as of Oct 16, 2007), 52 1/4 days.

5 About motive

5.1 What motive is

Motive is the strength of one's will-power toward an activity. Doubling the motive means lasting four times longer at it. Compatibility directly affects motive and is, in a sense, an affector toward motive. Take my case of mowing the ditch during the summer. The law of base neutrality means that it will always start at 1. Being outside has an affector of 1 which means it makes no difference. This is a compatibility affector. If it was hot out (above 80F) or cold out (below 70F in my case), it would have a negative affector. Since I have some control over this (timing mainly), this negative affector can be otherwise eliminated. Because its exhausting to me, it has a -4 affector. Having to empty the bag of grass into the dumpster just once is a -2.5 affector because this is very exhausing and I can spend a long time at it, close to 10 minutes even for just one bag (the typical size, around 5 or 6 gallons' worth). Being a "waste of time" to me as I could be working on my games or learning new science-related stuff on TV, this also has a negative affector, at about -2. Because I end up sweating from this which means more complaints from my parents to needing to take showers (which has a -13 motive), this adds another -1.5 affector. This totals -30 in negative affectors. There are some positive affectors though, but nowhere near enough to counter all the negatives. It keeps the dangerous mosquitoes away which adds a +1.5 affector, and it also makes the area look nicer which adds a +1.1 affector. Putting all this together, the actual motive is -18 (the math gives about -18.18 which makes the actual -18 very reasonable (The logarithmic margin of error of 10% causes much greater variation than this.). Given the fact that the motive toward other things unrelated can have an effect on the motive for the main target being calculated.

5.2 Gradual neutralization

One common thing involving motive is gradual neutralization. Gradual neutralization is essentially a negative affector toward motive. There are two forms, active and passive. Active (gradual) neutralization is a special negative affector where the motive decreases with time but at a decreasing rate. It's this decreasing rate of change that causes the square effect - double motive for quadruple the involvement duration. This is the case where one can't keep at the same activity forever and lose interest in the motive system. After doing something once, active neutralization has a much stronger effect for repeated attempts. Passive (gradual) neutralization undoes the effects of active neutralization as it's the reverse. However, as far as I can tell, the rate of decrease in the rate of change is the same unlike the decreasing rate as with active neutralization. With my repeated returns to my top-favorite song of all, FF6 World, in such short notice (returning to it for several more days after having been away from it for just a few months), there doesn't seem to be any change in the rate, the only evidence I have for this (I'll need a bigger range for this though). The rate is, of course, logarithmic since the scale is logarithmic, but this detail has yet to be worked out. Over time, passive gradual neutralization will gradually get the basis to original value of 1 (ignoring other affectors) which is how it gets the term "neutralization". The exact rates I don't know for sure, but it measures in the parts per thousand area. Certain mental conditions like OCD or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) change the rates both types of neutralization has. Those like me with OCD would have have slower rates (mainly in the active neutralization part) and those with ADHD would have faster rates. The formula goes something like this:

ActiveNeutralizationAffector = (1+(BaseValue/-1000))^(Duration^0.5);

BaseValue is the rate. A positive value is used for active neutralization. Passive would be negative, but it uses another formula, of which I don't yet know.
Duration is the amount of time, in seconds, at the activity.

Those without rate-affecting mental condtions would have about 8 as the base value. Those, like me, with OCD would have maybe 2.5 for the base value and those with ADHD around 20. The value is the same regardless of the activity (whether doing homework, sky diving, or playing a board game with friends). I'm not sure if active neutralization affects that for sleep, eating, and other life-essential things (in the general terms - I've had it with eating as I end up losing interest in a certain type of snack food but later return to it losing interest a few months later). The result from this formula multiplied by the motive before it started would be the resulting motive.

6 Laws and theories

There are an assortment of laws and theories which are sometimes referred to (the names for some are not yet established or finalized).

Law of new neutrality: "anything never experienced before will have a compatiblity of exactly 1 (neutral)". Affectors will cause compatibility to have higher values.

Law of base neutrality: "when working with affectors, the basis at which calculations start will always be 1 (neutral)". I use this every time I work with calculating and comparing motives with known affectors.

Theory of choice: "one does whichever activity has the highest motive, unless they can be done at the same time". One can listen to music and type at the same time so motive, unless one or both were negative, wouldn't matter here. However, one can't play video games and do their homework at the same time so the one with the highest motive (better be the homework though that's not always the case) will be the one being performed. Also, because something will (always?) be at least neutral, anything with negative motive (below neutral) will never be done until that motive gets out of negative territory. I mention this a lot in my blog where I stop working on something due to motive going negative.

Theory of affector-splitting: "affectors split into multiple smaller attributes must have their values total the original". The affector for the case of something being exhausting to do as mowing the grass is for me (in section 5.1 above), this may be -4 as is. It could be split up into 2 smaller attributes - the stress it has on the body (a -5 affector), and the fact I'm getting exercise (a +1.3 affector) combines to make -3.85 which, due to rounding, is close enough to -4.

Theory of compatibility-splitting: "when compatibility toward something is split into smaller fragments, these fragments must linearly average to the original value". Take FF6 World, my top favorite song. The compatibility is actually 1000 sustained (a 2.2 affector for listening to music gives the familiar 2200.). The first part (8 measures) has an average of about 1600 for compatibility. The second part (also 8 measures), the best, has an average of about 2300 for compatibility (spikes at 2800) and the third (9 measures (10?)) has a much lower average of just 350. This would be a weighted average calculation which comes out to 981.4 as the linear average, very close to 1000.