PIG: Reclaiming the Protocols of Love


Reclaiming the Protocols of Love

Team member names

Nathan Chen and Yakubu Budu-Saaka

Short summary of your improvement idea

What does love look like? What does love sound like? What does it feel like? Chances are the flood of images and emotions that were immediately conjured in your head have been shaped and guided by a set of protocols that you probably never really think about. Increasingly these protocols have been universalized with the advent of a global media culture that we all share. But what if these protocols were not helping us. What if they were not giving us the right vocabulary to recognize and foster love. As we are on the verge of adopting a new evolution of communication technology — with advancements in speech & biometric wearables, access to AI, and the increasing influence of shared media — we have the chance to take a moment to evaluate what serves us and what doesn’t. Investigating the “Protocols of Love” and how this has been promulgated through the use of modern technology may provide us with clues as to how to better communicate all things Love moving forward. We posit that an inherent bias of a protocol itself is to benefit society. What happens though when no one recognizes a protocol that is broken.

Answers to the following questions. Please structure the body in explicit Q&A form.

  • What is the existing target protocol you are hoping to improve or enhance? Eg: hand-washing, traffic system, connector standards, carbon trading.
    • We are hoping to improve the common universal Protocols of Love; standards that exist within these contexts (i.e. courtship, relationship, etc.) include but are not limited to appreciation, expressing feelings, behaviors that maintain trust, and conflict & resolution.
  • What is the core idea or insight about potential improvement you want to pursue?
    • The “philosophy of romantic love” is just that, a philosophy; love need not be only defined by this world view particularly if it has not led to a flourishing of “love” itself. We can formalize this philosophy into a set of protocols to strip away its perceived sacredness. What if love is something much larger and expansive. How can we move beyond the lexicon and frame of “romantic love”.
  • What is your discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol? Eg: field observation, expert interviews, historical data analysis, failure event analysis.
    • We believe a combination of methodologies will prove useful in our investigation and so we endeavor to conduct expert interviews, literature research, conduct field observations, media audits.
    • The work of John Gottman in observing thousands of couples in a controlled environment, alongside tracking their physiological measurements, is an intellectual foundation that is particularly interesting.
  • In what form will you prototype your improvement idea? Eg: Code, reference design implementation, draft proposal shared with experts for feedback, A/B test of ideas with a test audience, prototype hardware, etc.
    • We anticipate the ultimate form of prototyping will reveal itself as we delve deeper into the research. An app, activity, event are all ways that we can imagine prototyping. However in this RFC we would love any immediate thoughts from the community.
  • How will you field-test your improvement idea? Eg: run a restricted pilot at an event, simulation, workshop, etc.
    • We anticipate the ultimate form of field-testing will reveal itself as we delve deeper into the research. Some combination of A/B testing leveraging existing social media platforms might be useful and effective to drive maximum attention and impact.
  • Who will be able to judge the quality of your output? Ideally name a few suitable judges.
    • For our topic a few particular names come to mind: Esther Perel, Alain de Botton, John Gottman, however we anticipate a few more to emerge as a part of the research process.
  • How will you publish and evangelize your improvement idea? Eg: Submit proposal to a standards body, publish open-source code, produce and release a software development kit etc.
    • Produce and release an app.
  • What is the success vision for your idea?
    • We live in the age of virality. A successful vision of our improvement idea would be to see these concepts catch fire and that rather than the typical Summer of Romantic Love instead it will be a Summer of an Expansion of Love.