Is Facebook About to Crack Online Matchmaking?

Here’s a good article from Wired on how Facebook is leveraging our friends to give a good predictor at potential romantic relationships. Click through for the full read.

Facebook Inches Closer to Figuring Out the Formula for Love | Wired Design | Wired.com

For a long time, social scientists have believed that embeddedness—the number of mutual friends you share with someone—is the best indicator of how close you are to that person, romantically or otherwise. That seems to make a certain intuitive sense: After all, if you know a lot of people in common, aren’t you more likely to know someone well? Not so fast. As Kleinberg and Backstrom learned, a more accurate barometer of a relationship status is not how many people you have in common, it’s what kinds of friends you have in common.

This idea, dubbed “dispersion” by the researchers, is a measure of how many overlapping social circles a friend touches in your network. An easy way to think of it is this: Pick out a colleague and you’ll likely have dozens of friends in common with that person on Facebook, the majority of whom also work with you. You share a lot of people in common, but is this person your closest friend? Probably not. Rather, the people you’re closest to likely share friends who span across your different social spheres—work, school and family—regardless of the total number of mutual friends. The degree to which you share friends across many spheres yields far better predictions about the nature of your real-world relationships.

via Facebook Inches Closer to Figuring Out the Formula for Love | Wired Design | Wired.com.

TEDEd and OKCupid – Behind the Numbers

When two people join a dating website, they are matched according to shared interests and how they answer a number of personal questions. But how do sites calculate the likelihood of a successful relationship? Christian Rudder, one of the founders of popular dating site OKCupid, details the algorithm behind ‘hitting it off.’

Lesson by Christian Rudder, animation by TED-Ed.

Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?

Here’s a good article on why romantic comedies have gotten so bad. Apparently there aren’t enough taboos when it comes to love and relationships anymore.

Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad? - Christopher Orr - The Atlantic

A few years ago, A. O. Scott of The New York Times suggested that for explanation we need look no further than the names just mentioned and others like them: the downslope from Katharine Hepburn to Katherine Heigl is simply too steep, and “the few remaining stars who show the kind of audacity and charisma that great romantic comedy requires tend to be busy with other things.”

This is certainly true, but it in turn begs the question of why today’s genuine stars (with all due respect to Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey) no longer bother to find the time for romantic comedy. Will Smith, for instance, displayed tremendous chops in Hitch—but apart from that toe-dip, he’s stayed clear of the water. And this generation’s most obvious fit, George Clooney, has modeled his career on that of Cary Grant in almost every way save his profound reticence to explore the genre that made the latter an icon.

No, there’s more at work here than the vagaries of stars or studios. It’s not just them; it’s us.

Among the most fundamental obligations of romantic comedy is that there must be an obstacle to nuptial bliss for the budding couple to overcome. And, put simply, such obstacles are getting harder and harder to come by. They used to lie thick on the ground: parental disapproval, difference in social class, a promise made to another. But society has spent decades busily uprooting any impediment to the marriage of true minds. Love is increasingly presumed—perhaps in Hollywood most of all—to transcend class, profession, faith, age, race, gender, and (on occasion) marital status.

via Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad? – Christopher Orr – The Atlantic.

Free eBook from Charlie Nox on Online Dating Profiles

This is a great little (free with registration) ebook that offers tons of practical advice on setting up effective online dating profiles.

I have a free ebook that’s out and ready to download just in time for SXSW!

Just visit http://charlienox.com/sxsw/ to get The Babe Hack – An Expert’s Guide to Writing the World’s Best Online Dating Profile.

This 90 page full color guide will show men AND women how to write a dating profile that will get you noticed, express who you really are, attract the kind of people you want to attract, and lead to quality real life dates.

 

via Charlie Nox | For Guys Who Refuse to Choose Between Being Nice and Getting Laid.

Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?

Shiney #1 (Returned)

The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade. Until the late nineteenth century, diamonds were found only in a few riverbeds in India and in the jungles of Brazil, and the entire world production of gem diamonds amounted to a few pounds a year. In 1870, however, huge diamond mines were discovered near the Orange River, in South Africa, where diamonds were soon being scooped out by the ton. Suddenly, the market was deluged with diamonds. The British financiers who had organized the South African mines quickly realized that their investment was endangered; diamonds had little intrinsic value—and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity. The financiers feared that when new mines were developed in South Africa, diamonds would become at best only semiprecious gems.

The major investors in the diamond mines realized that they had no alternative but to merge their interests into a single entity that would be powerful enough to control production and perpetuate the illusion of scarcity of diamonds. The instrument they created, in 1888, was called De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., incorporated in South Africa. As De Beers took control of all aspects of the world diamond trade, it assumed many forms. In London, it operated under the innocuous name of the Diamond Trading Company. In Israel, it was known as “The Syndicate.” In Europe, it was called the “C.S.O.” — initials referring to the Central Selling Organization, which was an arm of the Diamond Trading Company. And in black Africa, it disguised its South African origins under subsidiaries with names like Diamond Development Corporation and Mining Services, Inc. At its height — for most of this century — it not only either directly owned or controlled all the diamond mines in southern Africa but also owned diamond trading companies in England, Portugal, Israel, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland.

De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices — and unassailable — that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

Apparently not. According to this article, we all have been subjected to the collective willpower of a diamond cartel and brilliant advertising campaign over the last 100+ years.

Again, when deciding to propose to your significant other – you don’t need a ring if the moment is right.

Image via Flickr user ilovebutter