CommunityMy FDL

Wednesday Watercooler

Hi, y’all.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and so here’s a little math for you. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?

OKCupid is a free dating site I’ve used to meet a lot of friends, and some people who became more than friends. I like the site so much I co-wrote a small online guide to how people in alternative lifestyles can meet there.

It’s fascinating to me that while I am not a strong supporter of personality tests (such as Myers-Briggs), the site gathers enough data points about its users to make a pretty good educated guess about the compatibility of any two people.

This works well enough that, essentially, no one else has been able to compete with OKCupid on this model of free, personality-based dating. All the others, including niche sites for particular subcultures, have fallen by the wayside when it comes to free online dating — because if you answer the right questions, your kind of people will theoretically rise to the top anyway, whether you’re polyamorous or just a gigantic otaku.

What’s also interesting is that this seems like such an advanced technology which we only, publicly, use for sex and romance. Before the site sold to, OKCupid staff played some interesting games with their massive dataset, which suggests what might be possible with the amount of data you could keep in a secretive center in Utah.

What’s on your mind tonight? This is the latest MyFDL open thread.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and