I wouldn't care, as I don't date, nor have I ever dated, nor do I really know anyone who does or would, nor do I care toi, except Diller's IAC keeps publishing all sorts of inanities to support the delusions of investors wrt its okcupid flagship (I suppose it could be worse -- they could decide shoebuy.com is really the flagship, for instance). I understand why he does it, of courseii, and I understand how, and I understand... heck, I even understand why him.iii But stupid annoys me, so here we go.
The entire proposition that okcupid has some sort of value stems from a supposed "matching engine".iv which somehow increases overall hapiness by suggesting people to each other.
This worldview, notwithstanding its complete divorce from reality, is flattering because it applies to narcissism. Everyone likes to think that they actually have an identity, and in the typical reversed logic of narcissism the fact that ok cupid "has" a putative "matching engine" is proof of the identity in question. And so the idiot becomes invested : it's not so much that a) he has an identity, and so thus therefore b) it might be the case okcupid could do him a service. Exactly the opposite : it's the case that a) he posits okcupid could do him a service, and thus therefore b) he must have an identity. Because if he didn't, why'd they bother, right ? (To get a dime each out of ten billion insecure idiots just like you, maybe ? Impossibru!)
On one hand, the notion that the accumulated detritus of uncounted masses of failed existences is somehow not merely valuable, but specifically valuable is beyond ridiculous.v On the other hand, the proposition that all this mange and cold sore crust is not merely meaningful but outright uniformly distributedvi beggars belief. Seriously, you're great as you are, all that's needed is someone who's the exact complement to reconstitute together the platonic sphere ? And you'll find them with a lot of tinkering of levers labelled 60% smoking and 39% pine shavings and 18.5% likes Woody Allen movies ? Darn, if only you had gotten that third decimal percentile right on "thinks blood diamonds are red colored" you could have the love of your life in your arms right now!
In plain terms, OkCupid is a strange sort of junkyard. If you need some shit to put in your house, you typically have the choice of the upscale junkyard (think Ikea), where you get whole pieces as new ; or else you can go to the common junkyard (think garage sale), where you get reusable pieces, on the general understanding that here's what works and here's what doesn't, and if you have any use for it it's yours for the cost of relocation. Instead of this, OkCupid is a large open air storage filled to the brim with broken pieces, and it purports to find the exact chunks that go with the broken pieces you already have! Think about that for a minute.vii
Back at reality ranch, dominant partners are (sometimes, rarely) looking for submissive partners that generally understand that they suck, and are eagerly looking for someone to tell them which parts have to come off and in what order. That's it. There hasn't yet been under the sun such miracle as that "equal power relationship", you get a master and a slave whether you're willing to admit this or not. Who the fuck cares if she smokes or doesn't smoke ? If you want a smoker she'll either smoke or learn to smoke, and if you want a non-smoker she'll either have been not smoking or quit. The notion that "I want someone that wants me for me" is predicated on "me" being a void class. Yes, I know the statement is enraging. Do you know why that is ?
And sure, I can see in the distance the self-sufficient smugness of "but MP, for as long as people believe it works, it will work for them!" Sure it will. Until the time comes to sit on a pineapple it will, and once that's here it'll be all "nobody could have predicted" and all sorts of various considerations made-up on the spot and so on and so forth. Sure.
As I said, I have no stake in the whole charade, enjoy it while it lastsviii, I guess.———
- Here's a way to understand this thing : in some obscure Romanian movie whose name history has misplaced, there's a scene where a lower-middleclass mother of the 90s is trying to sell her twenty-something daughter on the idea of an "arranged" marriage. It's not arranged in the hard sense of Arab nights (here's a thought - the things they scare you with aren't actually true, they're just shaped that way because that's what scares you), it's soft arranged in the sense of, girl's life is manifestly going nowhere, there's this guy a little older who actually makes sense, the parents like, he's not poor, why not marry him and cook his meals and darn his socks and write his eulogy ?
The girly has however had a tiny bit too much exposure to the Diane Keaton nonsense... see, it didn't start with Horseface In The City. It's old, very, very old, like any tired old scam, like any worn through hobo trick to get a cockpuppet, and so back in the 90s, before it was "even invented" it still existed, with a different ugly stupid pretentious broad as the flag...ship.
So the girly's had a little too much bait, and the persuasion's really not going all that well, she knows she can't be as worthless as she obviously is, she knows she must be destined to the greatness that she obviously isn't, she feels it in her comic book, and therefore the damsel demures. In desperation the mother goes "wouldn't you like to eat here every week ?!" and they're in a McDonalds. Because you see, in Romania cca 1993, the absolute sum total symbol of greatness was exactly that : to be able to afford eating out once a week, and not in any dingy old place, either, but in one of these great and shiny new miracles of American engineering - the McDonalds. Yeah, that's right, that's where it was, back when "too big to fail" still meant something, back when the dollar still meant something.
This is exactly how I feel about the dating bullshit. Really, you eat at McDonalds ? Once a week ? Good for you, you're probably too rich for my blood. Let me sit right here with the tuica and the whores and go, enjoy your dating. No, thank you, don't worry about me, I'd rather drink paint than join you. [↩]
- Once you're at the party you'd better be drinking, and once you're in the bezzle you'd better be scamming. That's what it is, and as there hasn't yet been invented a way to scam that doesn't reduce to misrepresenting reality for the gullible, of course that's what he'd be doing. As a great Romanian actor pointed out in a great film whose name history has not misplaced, "The hand that doesn't tell a story doesn't get to go into any pockets". And so stories, of course, of course, by all means. [↩]
- What else is the man going to do, squigee on 44th and 5th ? Teach math ? From everyone according to his abilities. [↩]
- This is universally the claim, by the way. People are savy that 2001 came and went, so they're not actually making the nude argument that reality debunked, "hey we got eyeballs".
Instead, they're making the "hey we got eyeballs IN SECRET SAUCE" muchly improved, advanced and "rapidly moved forward" argument. This is what unites Google ("hey we got eyeballs in a secret advertising matching sauce") with Facebook ("hey we got eyeballs with various matching sauces that we don't wanna discuss) to OkCupid ("hey we got a secret matching saucengine!!). That's where the pretense of value is these days, the secret matching sauce, which is why stuff like Reddit (and Conde Nast generally) is going under, this is why Techcrunch (and AoL generally) is going under - they didn't have the sense to pretend to sauce, and absent that any gimmick conceivable (hey - defraud the general public under the pretense of "investment" that gets unilaterally reclassified later on while the SEC claps like a trained seal ?) is coming to naught.
- That's the actual proposition : that "life experience" is specifically valuable. Ie, that if Joe gets breast cancer this does not only result in a better Joe, but in a better Joe specifically to Joe - Moe's breast cancer (while equally valuable, of course) is specifically valuable in a Moe sort of way!
This is the great sleigh-of-head that allows the same twerps to build their identity out of hairdos that were copied after those seen in mass market publications and assorted consumer goods. Yes, they're mass produced, of course, but the Puta Madre tshirt on Joe is adding a Joe value of Puta Madress to Joe, that's not the same (but nevertheless is equal!!1) to the value the same very shirt would add to Moe.
Does your head hurt yet ? [↩]
- Think about it : if you take some bites out of a dozen cookies, what are the odds you'll end up with a dozen cookie remains that exactly fit in six pairs to reconstruct six whole cookies ?
It's pushing it for even one in six to exhibit this improbable property, and yet okcupid proposes this is the case of roughly speaking one billion out of one billion. And people believe this, too. [↩]
- Why are you keeping the broken pieces anyway ?
Oh, I'm sorry, I remember - because having an identity is hard, having a hairdo-and-tshirt-ity is all that's left on the table for you. Go right ahead, "find hapiness" and "your other half", it makes perfect sense now. [↩]
- Do you know how long the enjoyment of McDonalds as a status symbol lasts, incidentally ? Yea, that's right : until you stop being poor.
This one'll last until you stop being stupid. But my advice is to never stop : if you do, you might discover a lifetime of bad decisions has put you in a pretty lonely spot. Who could have predicted! [↩]