Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gal and guy flow in Shibuya...

On last Thursday (30th of July), I went to the Q-front Starbucks to evaluate the "flow" of women and the "flow" of men, circulating in Shibuya.
("women" means any Japanese female from 10-year old up to 80-year old. The same for men.)

A "flow" is simply defined as a quantity of individuals going past a certain point per second, in a given direction. The point I chose is the road direction board just in front of that little corner on the second floor of the coffee shop. The direction I chose is the walking direction from Tower records to the station.

Look at the following annotated photograph to get an idea of the situation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pascalhamonic/3788608141/

This small experiment is necessarily biased for getting a precise idea of the flow of Japanese female and Japanese male circulating in Shibuya...But at least it will give you a foretaste.
By the way, I count on the extrapolation bias of your brains, gals and guys. :)

So I started counting...but with what? I didn't have any mechanical counter like those seemingly weird Japanese guys sitting around the traffic lights counting cars...So I had to rely only on my visual processing ability. As you may know, the human brain is quite slow compared to current computers, in terms of "clock". The human brain relies on an electrochemical computation carried out by the neurones. Each neurone is 1,000,000 times slower than an average transistor that carries out an electrical computation.
But the human brain has parallel processing. With hundreds of trillions of neurones working at the same time, human brains are much better (at least currently) at visual pattern matching than current computers. Therefore we' re able to recognize precise shapes, colors and motion very accurately and quickly.

I used that ability to distinguish female from male, based on the following main 4 criteria:

1- hair style: generally women have longer hair than men.
2- fashion: generally women have flashier clothes than men.
3- height: generally women are smaller than men.
4- slimness: generally women are slimmer than men.

I measured only one thing: the time elapsed to get to the 100th passing person. I started around 10:00pm and I got eventually the following results around 10:40pm, after running 2 counting sessions for each gender:

1) 2m 14s
2) 2m 19s

1) 4m 47s
2) 8m 23s

(of course the more sessions you run, the more statistically accurate the results get.)

In average, to get to 100, I spent: 2m 16s for female and 6m 05s for male.

Let s deduce the average flow: 0.735 women per second and 0.274 men per second.

Therefore, we can infer that there are 2.7 times more women shopping in Shibuya than men, per second. I know. It's a rough inference :) . But at least it doesn't invalidate what I call the "Shibuya equivalence principle" which I will work on in the next posts... Stay tuned, gals and guys!

1 comment:

  1. An fun attempt to prove that Shibuya is a more place of feminine flow than male flow, using the strong pattern recognition algorithms of the human brain^^