Can Desire or Love Be Predicted?
Data versus the real world: what compatibility algorithms can’t tell you.
This is DATA, a monthly column by Angela Chen on numbers, nerdery, and what it means to live an evidence-based life.
I’m a friend of a friendYou know Mark, right?
I would meet my soulmate soonHe would be 5’8” and blond, with blue or gray eyes, and I would meet him in either two weeks or two months.
We’ll get to career,But more important is that I think you’ll meet a man who will be very important in an emotional way.
Not a chance
Angela Chen (@chengela) is a science journalist and writer. Her reporting and essays have also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Aeon Magazine, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, Hazlitt, Electric Literature, and more. She is the author of Ace, on asexuality, from Beacon Press.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Angela Chen
Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Angela Chen
More by this author
I learned to reevaluate the meaning of ‘normal’ in relationships, and also my habit of reflexively turning to data.
It can be easy to confuse real emotion with the shiny drama enfolding it. Sometimes grand gestures are signs of grand feeling—sometimes they’re not.
Remain forever hungry, or enjoy the tried-and-true? Sometimes, I learned, it’s okay to double down on the life you have.
More in this series
“What I look like” is not a static picture cut out and placed in different environments, but one that changes again and again.