TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Online Dating

Re: Online Dating

Henry Cabot Henhouse III (
Fri, 14 Oct 2005 06:24:11 -0700

Actualy, "online dating" started with the single line bbs in the early
80's. By the late 80's to mid 90's, there were thousands, many of
them with dozens (a few with a hundred or more) dial up lines and
quite a few sporting connections to packet (X.25) networks.

"Catherine Arnst" <> wrote in message

> C'mon, Baby, Light My Brain Cells
> Thu Oct 13, 8:16 AM ET

> Online dating has been around for about a decade, and it's undeniably
> popular: Some 21 million Americans subscribe to online dating services
> and 1 in every 100 Internet visitors posts a personal ad.But high use
> doesn't necessarily mean high satisfaction levels. Anyone who has ever
> tried Internet dating knows the pitfalls -- the difficulty of sifting
> through hundreds of often generic-sounding profiles, the misleading or
> outright dishonest ads, the failure to find any connection once you
> meet the person you've been happily e-mailing for weeks.

> Helen E. Fisher thinks she can change all that. Fisher, an
> anthropologist and research professor at Rutgers University's Center
> for Human Evolutionary Studies, specializes in love, marriage, and
> gender differences. She's the author of four books, including her most
> recent, titled Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic
> Love. She believes that the type of person we are attracted to is
> hardwired into our neurons, etched by a combination of hormones, brain
> chemicals, and childhood experiences.

> "Love Map." As an adviser to new spinoff,, Fisher is
> trying to quantify that certain something we're all looking for in a
> mate. She designed a lengthy set of questions that a subscriber fills
> out. The answers are then run through a computer, which tries to
> decipher the "love map" in the subscriber's brain. It then searches
> the site's database for potential matches.

> The site launched on Oct. 11. Later that day, BusinessWeek Senior
> Writer Catherine Arnst talked to Fisher about her research and its
> role in online dating. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

> So, how does come up with matches?

> is quite different than anything else that's out there
> (in the online-dating world). I designed a lot of these questions to
> determine your brain chemistry. If you have high levels of serotonin,
> for example, you are likely to be calm and stable. More of a guardian,
> a pillar of society.

> There are other personality types as well that are based on chemistry.
> There are questions that tell us if you are good at abstract thinking,
> or quick to make decisions and act on them.

> It's not exactly like I'm going to light a fire between the two of you.
> It just raises the chances. Most people fall in love because they have
> shared values, but they stay in love because their personalities mesh.
> We're trying to increase the changes of finding that spark and joy and
> excitement you feel when personalities mesh.

> But how can science be used to find something that most people feel is
> more akin to magic?

> There is still magic to love, of course. Even though we employ science
> we recognize that many factors determine who we love. Your childhood
> also plays an enormous role in shaping your likes and dislikes.

> We ask questions, for example, about the characteristics of your
> former best relationship. We are trying to get at who you were really
> compatible with, what kinds of characteristics that person had. I want
> to know not only what your brain chemistry is, but what was successful
> for you in the past.

> Why did you decide to get involved with

> So many scientists have theories and don't really ever learn whether
> they work or not. Also, I wouldn't have gotten involved if I didn't
> think it had some real value. The typical dating sites match you based
> on similarities, but there is more to a good match than similarities.

> There are the complementary features as well. We fall in love with
> someone who masks those parts of us that we don't like and accentuates
> the parts of us we do like. ( is trying to get at some of
> those very subtle ways that people complement each other.

> How confident are you that it will work?

> I'm certainly confident in the brain chemistry. But can we ever be
> totally confident about love? Certainly not. The clients play a big
> role in the outcome, after all.

> What really astonishes me, though, is that I came up with four basic
> personality types in my research, and these same four types have been
> described by Plato, Aristotle, Carl Jung, Myers-Briggs. Mankind has
> long known that there are personality types. And we can use that
> knowledge to up your chances of finding the right person.

> One of the questions on asks how long your index finger is
> compared to your ring finger. What's the significance of that?

> We are measuring how much testosterone you were exposed to in the womb.
> There is new data that shows that the brain is patterned before birth.
> The length of the finger can give some clues as to how assertive they
> might be.

> (Studies have found that the length of the index fingers is genetically
> linked to the sex hormones. A person with an index finger shorter than
> the ring finger will have been exposed to more testosterone while in the
> womb, and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will
> have had more estrogen. In women, the two fingers are usually equal in
> length, as measured from the crease nearest the palm to the fingertip.
> In men, the ring finger tends to be much longer than the index finger.
> You can all run for your rulers now.)

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