This article on NPR looks at Max Hawkins, a techie who has algorythms randomly pick events for him: from which events to attend, where in the world to visit, to Christmas parties at complete strangers. Max is planning on releasing these tools to the public, and you can read updates on his projects here.
One year, Max decided to use the Facebook-event generator app to choose where he would celebrate Christmas. It came up with a party at someone's home in Fresno, Calif.
With a pie and a friend, Max drove for three hours and showed up on the doorstep of a retired psychologist, Karena Beasley. Karena was celebrating with a handful of friends and family — and now, also two 20-something strangers.
"She was completely not fazed," Max says, describing the moment they met Karena. "She didn't miss a beat. She said, 'Oh, wonderful! We love Facebook, I'm so glad you're at the party. Welcome.' And it was like instantly we were friends."
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