RNDP 8: Google Love

Our next stop on the quest for an RNDP is Google Love. Reece Dano advocates that Google create a new online matchmaking service leveraging their knowledge of us. While other online dating services suffer from limited pools of available people and self-misrepresentation by the people that are there, everybody uses Google and Google knows "your interests, your true friends, your pet peeves, your neurotic preoccupations" and "probably knows about your ‘private’ sexual proclivities".

4D Analysis: Google would indeed have better data and as much computing power as anyone to throw at this issue. You wouldn't even have to sign up for it as Google already knows if you need help finding a date.

But is Google able to tell what constellation of interests will match with another constellation? For example, a man who loves golf can also love a woman who abhors the game, but a woman who likes camping and mountain climbing should never try to be with a man who doesn't even like sitting in a suburban backyard.

More fundamentally, is a high degree of common interests, opinions and preoccupations a good indication that two people should be together? Or that they will want to stay together?

In my next instalment of the RNDP series, we'll see that there is a growing body of scientific research, and we're talking real science with control groups and test tubes, suggesting we should be looking in a different direction entirely.


Milan said...

"More fundamentally, is a high degree of common interests, opinions and preoccupations a good indication that two people should be together? Or that they will want to stay together?"

This is a critical question. Personally, I think relationships are a lot more durable and interesting when people are quite different. That way, they can impress one another without stepping on one another's toes. You also have more to talk about.

It's a bit like how foreign trade is most valuable between economies that are very different, or how herbivores with good sight sometimes pair up for grazing with a good sense of smell. In both cases, differing aptitudes are complimentary.

coyote said...

Even so, Milan, two singles that want to become a couple, with the best of intentions, need a certain amount of common cultural shorthand to build communication upon. Finding it can become surprisingly involved, quirky and arcane. Maybe that's why it's called 'chemistry'.

A frivolous example: If, in casual conversation, all of one's pop culture cartoon references are from Bugs Bunny, and the other's are all from Scooby Doo, they'll need to work very hard to understand each other. It's not easy to re-cast a childhood - rather, a lifetime - background of osmotic cultural absorption. Although it can be done, it can also be exceedingly strange which parts of it matter most, from person to person.

You can see how this pretty quickly spreads into a big picture, about more than referencing common cartoons. Or whatever. The above example hints at a generation gap with accompanying differences.

I'd suggest that durable relationships may be less about a black/white, common-ground/complementary-difference dichotomy than having the right blend of the two. Everybody needs places to share and private places to shine on their own. And it's up to every couple to work out how that works for them.

But hey. Since when does a talking dog know what he's talking about...?

4th Dwarf said...

Coyote, I think it is wonderful that the internet lets those who know nothing about a topic interact with the experts.

Do couples need "a certain amount of common cultural shorthand to build communication"?

What about all the happy marriages of partners who grew up on different continents speaking different languages?

What about all the guys who tape the Simpsons every week and can quote every episode who are married to women who won't watch the show?

Or to put it in cultural reference you may relate to, how about Oliver Wendell Douglas and his wife Lisa? Farm livin' was the life for him, but New York was where she would rather stay. They had their difficulties, but they made it through them all.

Woodsy said...

Woodsy would consider going on a date with a fellow who liked watching Green Acres as a kid, not because we could quote lines to each other or talk about our favourite episodes, but because it would give me insight into his personality...

coyote said...

Shorty, Shorty, Shorty. I'm willing to let you call yourself an expert. But I believe the record shows that not so long ago you were hot to sign up a certifiably insane woman with natural purple hair sight unseen, as our new muse. Just to score yourself a pity date...

4th Dwarf said...

I think you are projecting, Coyote. I would never date someone that I metablog.

coyote said...

And we never did metablog her. That means you dated her, right...?

4th Dwarf said...

Why are you going through these twisted contortions to establish something that if true would mean that I'd had additional dating-research fieldwork?

"I would never eat something that I cooked."

Does this mean I've eaten everything that is raw or other people have cooked?

Precisely which people I've dated is not something I'll be reporting. But you can rest assured that there has been a spectrum of personality types and interesting quirks.

coyote said...

Uh, huh, whatever. Meantime, our witty sparring has finally squeezed out the deleted blog spammer who was hanging out like a bad smell in our 'Recent Comments' widget. Which is the important thing. Ta!