So I posted yesterday about SocialGrid, the proposed “Hey, I know! Lets make everyone’s demographics completely explicit!” peer-to-peer Google-reliant online dating service. What I didn’t see is that it’s part of a larger effort to “solve dating”, in the author’s felicitous phrase. The Solve Dating manifesto runs thusly:

1. Modern Soulmate Theory is based on math and probability calculations. 2. It has nothing to do with reincarnation, astrology, or magic. 3. Soulmates are not destined to be with each other. 4. God may have made a soulmate or a few soulmates for you. God may help you find your soulmate or He may not. Evil forces or your own free will may influence you to choose the wrong person. 5. You may have one or millions of soulmates depending on how different you are from the population mean. 6. Statistically, there is at least one person in this world that will bring you true love, a love that will last a lifetime. 7. People spend a lot of time, money, and energy in their search for soulmates. 8. The odds of finding a soulmate are very slim. Only a few people are lucky enough to find their soulmates. 9. Current dating services are inefficient and flawed. 10. People are “forced” to settle for incompatible mates resulting in break ups and divorces. 11. Human and social capital decrease because of relationship problems. 12. One day in the near future, because of technological advances, people will find their soulmate or soulmates very easily.

You may also want to try the SoulMate Calculator, which looks like FOAF gone mad, and don’t miss the notes on Love Economics. There really is a very particular mental illness associated with presuming that human dealings can be perfected through reduction to discrete variables. (I wonder if DSM IV has a name for it?) This site obviously veers far into net.kook territory, but the scary thing is the number of proposed services that suffer from a mild case of the same disease.

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