iTUNES • RSS • SOUNDCLOUD • MP3
You're looking for your perfect partner, but dating sites keep matching you with duds. So what do you do? Conduct an elaborate linguistic experiment, of course!
At least, that was futurist Amy Webb's response.
Spreadsheets were involved. For what is the pursuit of love without spreadsheets?
NOTE: A number of you have written to posit that Amy's date who claimed to be an orthopaedic surgeon was saying 'anaesthetist', which is a legit job. Amy couldn't pronounce his mispronunciation, but he actually kept saying 'anestethist', which is not a legit job. (He also happened to know very little about orthopaedic surgery, but a lot about carpentry. You're allowed to say you're a carpenter if you're a carpenter, sir!)
- Watch (or read) Amy's TED talk: 'How I Hacked Online Dating'.
- There's far more detail about Amy's experiment in her very enjoyable book Data: A Love Story. Read an extract here.
- And here's an article she wrote about the data in dating.
- A mathematician did is own experiment with OK Cupid.
- OkCupid used to keep an interesting blog in which they analysed their own data. TL:DR? Here's a summary.
- And a linguist analysed OkCupid usernames.
- Cute as a button = urgent as pox?
- Here's a history of 'cute'...
- ...and one of 'adorkable'.
- inwhiches.tumblr.com - go!
- Missed WLTM part I? Here it is.
- There's a transcript of this episode here.
Do me a favour? / Want to appear in an upcoming show?
Go to a quiet place, and record yourself on whatever you’ve got - phone voice memo is fine - and tell me the worst thing you said to someone to break up with them. Or the worst thing someone said to you to break up with you.
By ‘worst’, I do mean ‘worst that you can kind of find funny now’ rather than something that will emotionally devastate you afresh to recount in this forum.
Send recordings to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’re willing for me to use them in the show. It’ll be anonymous, apart from your voice.
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS:
1. Play Fallen London for free in your browser, but remember to stop off on your way at failbettergames.com/allusionist to get yourself a free gift to play with in the game. Now ready yourself for romance, because the Feast of the Rose is approaching.
2. Our generous benefactors Squarespace.com want to help you realise your online dreams in the form of beautiful, well-designed websites. To get 10% off yours for the first year plus a domain thrown in, use the code ALLUSION at checkout. Unlike my mug of a husband.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Amy Webb is the founder and CEO of Webbmedia Group and the author of Data: A Love Story. She is @webbmedia on Twitter. She would also like to point out that what worked for HER might not work for YOU, so don't just copy her home-made algorithm wholesale, ok? Build your own!
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with editorial aid from Radiotopian comrades Julie Shapiro and Hrishikesh Hirway.
- Aside from a quick blast of 'The Perfect Nanny' from Mary Poppins, all the music is by Martin Austwick.
- Greet me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman, but don't you dare refer to any of your body parts as 'The Captain'.
Back in a fortnight.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.