Friday, March 02, 2007

Signaling Gone Too Far

Last Friday after the prayer, I went for lunch with the Manager in, well, again, School of Dentistry's refectory. Over the lunch, we had this conversation.
Manager : I have this, the theory. You write it down to the cafe, I might be a lesbian, but I don't want to be accused as sexist.
Me : Is that the theory?
Manager : No, you idiot.
Me : So what's that?
Manager : Here. On Friday lunchtime, refectories, not only here, are more packed with girls.
Me : That's your observation, not yet a theory. Did you say every refectory?
Manager : Yes, and only on Friday at very specific hours, 12 to 1 pm. I recall AP's self-absorbed theory on his lousy Harvard T-shirt. What was that? Signaling?
Me : Yes. But what signal do the girls send?
Manager : They might send signal that they're available, but more importantly, it's for them sorting the signal from the boys.
Me : Now, I am officially puzzled.
Manager : One of desirable qualities of a man is him being religious --not like you, liberal (sic!). But who knows this? You called it what? Asymmetric information? All the girls can do is to catch and decipher the signal leading to that quality.
Me : I am religiously listening to you. Carry on.
Manager : So they are gathered on places where signals of high quality men strong, that is, refectories on Friday
Me : And why on Friday, may I know?
Manager : It is very likely those hungry high quality men would flock in refectory after Friday prayer. You see, there, the signal is clear, and even stronger if he takes with him a prayer mat.
Frankly, I was impressed with this manager and her signaling theory. But not for so long. A couple days afterward, I came up with a much simpler argument. During that lunch hour, practically almost all activities are halted and shut since men go to the mosque. One among few places that remain open is the refectory. The ladies, left with limited option to spend the hour, naturally would head to that place.

No signaling whatsoever. So boys, restrain yourself, I am afraid it's a hasty assertion. And I think the Manager is indeed sexist.


  1. There has been an economic value of being religious for many centuries in economic history. Beside the religious inheritance, material inheritance is also included in some religious laws. So, the signal might be related to the women intention for a matrimonial property. I hope this isn't very too far.

  2. So Rizal, now she goes out with you, the Manager! I don't think she's totally off the line, though. In fact, as Anymatters pointed out, those girls might be there for some 'matrimonial plan'. But not only that, the guys might have the same reason! A dentist wife, think about it.

  3. i'm impressed that it took two economists that long to figure that out.

    i had that many long years ago.

  4. Come on.

    The girls can find a better way to find just a religious man. May be through "Murabbi"cmiiw(??)

    After all " Jumat" praying is not a clear signal what-so-ever to a religiousity of a man.

    I prefer Rizal's explanation.

  5. hihi....

    I'm not sure what was more amusing to me when reading this post : the manager is possibly sexist, rizal's interesting deduction skills or the tounge-in-cheek reference to AP's self-absorbed theory...;-)

  6. T/S, yes, we take loooonnnggg time to figure things out. We're proud of that.

    Anonymous, or dangdut singer?

    Puspa, I think she is sexist :-)