The Social Experiment Archive



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img November 21, 201012:15 pmimg 17 Comments

Nancy and Ronald Reagan cutting cake!

Bwog caught up with the winners of The Social Experiment, Sharon Wu and Abril Dozal, to find out how they won, what they plan to do with their winnings, and whether or not they will buy their friends cake.

What are you going to do with the money?

Sharon: I’m using it to pay for my sorority dues.

Abril: I’m paying for my plane ticket home.

We’re also buying a cake for the friends that helped us win.

What was your strategy for winning?

We asked all of our friends to play even if they weren’t actually interested, just so that they could help us out. We also asked anyone we could via facebook and text. Because we were working together, we were able to reach more people than we would have if we had worked alone.

What did your friends think about you playing?

Our friends were pretty supportive. We’re getting them a cake to show our gratitude.

Do you think anything has changed about the way people interact with each other?

By the end of the game, not many people were playing, so we made better use of our existing contacts than engaging with strangers. Maybe if more people had played and really understood the game, there would have been more campus interaction.

Do you like talking to people in elevators?

Yes! In Nussbaum (where we live), people are really friendly, so it isn’t awkward to start a conversation in the elevator.

What’s your favorite fall-back small talk conversation?

Lately we’ve been obsessed with Harry Potter, so that’s been popping up in every conversation.

Do you think Columbia’s reputation as an anti-social school is unfair?

We’ve always felt like people here are really friendly, but we understand why we might have a reputation for being anti-social. We might not have the same campus cohesiveness as some of the schools in rural areas do, but we definitely are social people. We don’t think you can actually enjoy living in the city if you’re anti-social. We think that because of this reputation, the media really distorted the purpose of the game and put it in a negative light. We took it as a fun way to distract ourselves from the stress of classes, not as a necessary means of facilitating friendships. We do hope that the game continues in years to come… we promise not to win again!

Image via Wikimedia Commons



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img November 20, 20104:35 pmimg 13 Comments

The Social Experiment is over. Spec reports that roommates Sharon Wu and Abril Dozal, both CC’13, tied for the win, both accumulating 145 passwords. Ian Kwok and our friends at the Socialist Experiment came just behind them, acquiring 108 passwords. “I didn’t feel the purpose of the game was to get me to talk to other people… to me, it was just a really fun game,” Abril said.

If the Social Experiment taught Bwog anything (besides that Columbia is really easy to make fun of), it’s that the Columbia hacker community is going to run the world. The Sunday night before the Experiment started, Bwog was sent the entire list of passwords by one adept hacker. We let ResLife know, being good sports and whatever, but received no response or comment. The passwords were changed by the morning. Another hacker-friend got into the system again easily on Thursday, who then wrote this little poem for you that contained all the passwords. Hacker-friend also did some math and figured out how many people played the game each day. It dwindled! Take a look:

Columbia, resume  your lives! We’ll see you guys in the elevator. We’ll be the ones not talking.



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img November 16, 201011:30 amimg 43 Comments

A portion of one of the database files which were available online.

A tipster notified Bwog yesterday that the source files of the Social Experiment website, including the databases of passwords for each day, had been uploaded to the open source project hosting site GitHub and were publicly available. Bwog has since notified the Office of Residential Programs and the files appeared to have been taken down from the site as of yesterday. However, Residential Programs has not responded to any requests for comment, and it remains unclear how, if at all, the Social Experiment will be affected by the leaks.

So good luck to all you Social and Socialist Experimenters, and a big shout out to our tipster for valuing his or her ethics over $500.



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img November 16, 20109:58 amimg 8 Comments


The staff of the Harvard Crimson is concerned our Social Experiment will backfire, causing vicious competitive tension which will destroy any existing social cohesion at Columbia. (Harvard Crimson)

NYU’s neighbors are concerned that its plans to add an additional 3 million square feet of space in Greenwich Village are not a good thing. NYU’s president John Sexton readily defends the plans. (NY Mag)

Steadfastly refusing to acknowledge which side of the magical apartheid they fall on, over a thousand people showed up for the Quidditch World Cup this weekend.  The cup was won by the team from Middlebury College. (NY Mag)

The Feds are looking into a Four Loko ban. Connecticut Senator elect Richard Blumenthal, caught up in PotterFever, describes it as “witch’s brew”. The New York Times prints the phrase “Edward Four Loko Hands.” Good times are had all around. (NYT)

Also tickets for your opportunity to meet Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Roone on Friday are almost sold out!

photo via Facebook



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img November 14, 20104:00 pmimg 19 Comments

An Experiment

Today marks the beginning of the Social Experiment! Enthusiastic experimenters (and strangers) will be trading prompts and passwords on elevators, on college walk, and on the ramps…or will they? Res Life certainly thinks they will, and there’s a $500 prize for the most avid password collector. Go get to know each other, Columbia.

Image via Wikimedia Commons



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img November 10, 20109:30 amimg 6 Comments

Why you came here. Admit it.

Butler was rated 4th most beautiful library in the country!  If only the judges knew what a wretched hive of scum and villainy it is during exams when there are people in it. (CampusGrotto)

Nissan wants us to buy their fancy-pants eco-friendly car, the Leaf.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t perform well in extreme temperatures.  And do we even have roads? (Forbes Blog)

People are making fun of The Social Experiment.  (NY Mag)

Somebody good at football, Kal Prince from Kentucky, committed to Columbia today. (Roar Lions Roar)

Gov. Paterson released a ambitious plan for making NY green.  Conveniently it falls to Cuomo to carry it out. (NYT)

Image via Wikimedia



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img September 07, 20105:10 pmimg 5 Comments

The weirdest part: the “Social Experiment” is an official Res Life program. What’s all this, then? Leave your best guesses in the comments.

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