In his book, “Dataclysm,” he points out that who we want to be and who we really are can be two very different things.
Data reveals truths that we might not want to say out loud.
If this mentality pervades our decisionmaking in so many realms, is it also affecting how we choose a romantic partner?
The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.
Now, I don’t always agree with all of the conclusions that Rudder draws from his Ok Cupid data.
I checked the website Eater for its Heat Map, which includes new, tasty restaurants in the city. The stunning fact remained: it was quicker for my dad to find a wife than it is for me to decide where to eat dinner.
Of course, when you flip the data around and look at what age men find women most physically appealing, you get an appalling answer.
Instead of the female curve, which suggests that 34-year-old women like 34-year-old men, men find 20 year-old women most physically appealing, no matter how old they were.20 year old men prefer 20 year old women. It’s shocking to see on paper, but not so surprising if you’ve ever talked to an actual man, read a men’s magazine or looked at porn intended for men.
Regardless, big data is often very revealing about people’s real preferences – height, weight, age, income, sex, and so on.
The one problem with big data is that it removes the human element – and dating is very much about human connection. I think the attraction to 20 year olds is in large part biological.