Loneliness and revealed preferences

Philip Greenspun starts a post:

Nearly everyone in the U.S. has Internet access. Many online dating services are inexpensive or free. Many people are single and say that they would prefer to be partnered and/or married.

From the above facts I think it is reasonable to infer that online dating services are not very effective (see my 2011 posting on the subject).

I left a comment, however:

1. The term “revealed preferences” was invented for moments like this.

2. Most people would probably prefer to be partnered and/or married with a person of sufficiently high status, however the first party defines “status.” But many if not most of us have contradictory desires or preferences or dreams.

3. People who can make reasonable compromises do not appear to spend much time alone, especially because they tend to find other people who can make reasonable compromises. We live in a society that valorizes rejecting the existing order and heroically going it alone. In some circumstances that is probably good and probably works, but in many others it’s probably bad and doesn’t work real well.

From points 1 and 2 I infer that the online dating industry may be working reasonably well but that a) search costs are high, b) people don’t want to admit who they can “get” given what they bring to the table, c) a lot of people want novelty more than security regardless of what they say to others, and d) a lot of people are full of shit.

Links: The long-distance reader, Flowers in the Attic, goodbye camera, get a real job, and more

* The loneliness of the long-distance reader.

* “Goodbye, Cameras;” in the last two or three years I’ve become more interested in photography.

* “The Flowers in the Attic generation grows up;” after reading innumerable pieces like this one I read the novel a couple years ago and found it boring, perhaps because I’m not a teenage girl?

* “Most likely you go your way and I’ll go mine.”

* “Can’t get tenure? Then get a real job.” I’m following this advice.

* “Don Jon” [the movie] Is A Blue Pill Disaster.

* Tyler Cowen on Megan McArdle’s The Upside of Down,” a book I was ready to dismiss as a writer (who I generally like) recounting the usual papers, but Cowen says “It is extremely well written, engages the reader, is based upon entirely fresh anecdotes and research results, and makes an important point.”

* D. G. Myers: Academe quits me.

* I was prepared to hate “Written Off: Jennifer Weiner’s quest for literary respect” and yet admire the even tone and frequent humor. I’ve often read descriptions of Weiner’s books, considered them, then gone on to something else.

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