How Blockchain Is Changing the Disastrous Dating Scene

“Everybody Lies.”

House M.D.

 

During the week beginning December 14th, The Atlantic posted three articles in reaction to the same story that appeared on a previously little known website called babe.net. The three articles were critical, supportive and critical chronologically. They were reactions to the retelling of a date between a somewhat well-known comedian and an anonymous woman whose only characterization was “a 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer.” A magazine—founded in 1857—which on recent covers pictured Vladimir Putin, an American Nazi and the Mona Lisa, posted those three articles. The date in question was first documented on a website whose solid pink landing page features menus for “lust,” “fads,” “looks,” “IRL” (in real life), and “pop.”

 

For at least a week, that date was prominently inked by serious writers for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and The New York Times. Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic starts her January 19th piece:

 

Fifteen years ago, Hollywood’s glittering superstars—among them Meryl Streep— were on their feet cheering for Roman Polanski, the convicted child rapist and fugitive from justice, when he won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Director.

 

As Bob Dylan wrote: “the times they are a-changin’.” So dominant has the redefinition of power imbalance in relationships between men and women in the workplace become that #MeToo, just three months old, has been updated to #TimesUp via an open letter to The New York Times on New Year’s Day.

 

But the babe.net article to which national publications devoted so much coverage did not concern the actions of powerful sexual predators and their cover-up armies of wingmen. The provocative post concerned an occurrence between two people, recently met, that covered a span of hours, not months, years or decades.

 

Merriam-Webster defines "date", in the context above referenced, as: “a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character.” Wikipedia calls dating “a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship or marriage.” The Urban Dictionary defines "date" as: “An audition for sex.”

 

Human beings consider themselves the leading edge of evolution and thereby proffer their interpersonal relationships as inherently more intelligent, sophisticated and complex than other species. But humans are members of the animal kingdom and have mating practices in common. Robert Sapolsky, professor of neurological sciences at Stanford University, who has for decades spent time studying a population of wild baboons in Kenya, says:

 

A large percentage of social mammals can be divided into what’s called pair-bonded species: they mate for life, males do a lot of child-care, females choose males who are good partners, there’s not a whole lot of aggression. Or tournament species: males are much bigger than females, and big sharp canines, ornamentation, they fight tons…. So what about humans? By every measure you could come up with from cultural anthropology to literally what sort of genetic diseases we have, we are halfway in between… and this explains like 90% of poetry and divorces... We are incredibly confused species in that regard.

 

Professor Sapolsky, until he was eight years old, wanted to be a gorilla when he grew up.

 

Humans form pair-bonds, but continue to compete sexually. Humans also form pair-bonds without intending to reproduce, reproduce and then separate, and have children with more than one partner. The process of choosing a partner may be as singular a process as the individual choosing. One method will not work for everyone, and every individual may have a unique process that is right for him or her.

 

Dating is part of the selection process or mating ritual humans use in order to choose a partner, for a night or for a lifetime. That process could be as simple as marrying the boy or girl next door and living in the same house for a lifetime, or the process could be a part of concrete societal structure and tradition. Formal arrangements such as marriage, as defined by law, have served to secure support for offspring and reduce competition for mates. The Tenth Commandment reads: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”

 

Until late in the last millennium, these arrangements were not made by the proposed partners, but by the families of the prospective couple. Weddings were the consummation of a business arrangement or contract with consideration paid with an exchange of value. Livestock might be traded for a desired daughter, or a dowry might accompany a bride. Dating was arranged, approved and chaperoned as a precursor to marriage. Which children were paired often involved a “matchmaker.” This authority could be a family elder, but often was a village priest, cleric or rabbi. Professional matchmakers included the Hindu astrologer, the Jewish shadchen, and the Romani people’s divinatory Tarot reader.  

 

In the twentieth century, dating became an activity unto itself. Rather than searching for a life-long partner, teenagers began to date as a recreational activity. Rather than search for someone to marry, more people looked for someone interesting to enjoy for a summer or a semester. Serious dating was “going steady.” Free from parental control, without the advice of elders and left to their own devices, young adults resorted to school functions, social gatherings, and more recently online dating services.

 

The most popular—Match, eHarmony, OKCupid and Tinder—use proprietary algorithms to suggest possible matches. Suggested pairings are based upon the data entered into the user’s profile that operates in a fashion similar to Amazon’s method for suggesting product purchases. But on Match.com, less than 2% of messages sent by males receive a reply; and seven times more hours are spent online looking for a date than dating. Females must consider their safety; a Pew Internet Study showed that 42% of females using Internet dating sites experienced harassment.

 

If a match is made, it is only as good as the data the algorithm used to make the match. As Dr. Gregory House (House M. D.) insists, “everybody lies.” Half of online daters feel that potential love interests seriously misrepresented themselves. Photographs can be altered or airbrushed; education, accomplishments, and interests can be exaggerated, embellished or simply made-up.

 

One can never really know what to expect from another human being. “The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted.”—Mark Twain. But the experiences and opinions of other trusted individuals can help reduce the possibility of dating disaster. People who think alike, have the same interests, come from the same backgrounds and are of the same age can be valuable resources when deciding upon whether an introduction would be advantageous. Such were the roles of matchmakers, but the matchmaker tradition has gone the way of chaperones and chastity belts.

 

Technology may have an answer for the trust problem with online dating. The same technology that allows secure transactions between anonymous holders of bitcoin—blockchain—may hold promise for seekers of companionship. As a blockchain distributed ledger allows verification of transactions between individuals unknown to each other, so too may blockchain be used to verify information on a dating site profile. As bitcoin pays miners for verifying transactions, so too can trusted individuals be paid for a consensus agreement on the identity and personality presented by an online dater. According to Ponder, it's “a game for playing matchmaker where you can win real money by making successful matches.” Ponder’s 70,000 users login through Facebook and are presented with profiles of both friends and strangers. The Ponder user may find a potential match or may choose to play matchmaker. A successful match pays the matchmaker in “Ponder dollars” which can be converted into real dollars upon achievement of 10 matches. As with other online games, a user can gain an advantage over other players by upgrading to Ponder Gold tokens and then be shown the most active singles or best matchmakers. Ponder Gold holders will also be able to participate in Matchmaking Groups which will take full advantage of blockchain consensus verification for assistance with the most probable matches.

 

The social awareness and change promoted by #MeToo may be something new, or it may be an open declaration of what everyone has already known but did not talk about: a system of social organization as old as evolution. #MeToo asks men not to act like animals in the workplace. But they are animals, so are women. Societal training has installed a frontispiece of respectability upon their seething and desperate struggle to survive, but underneath the same power-based hierarchical ranking system remains. Men have more power than women, but members of both sexes are subjugated by the system.

 

Among the troop of savanna baboons Dr. Sapolsky studied in Kenya, a terrible outbreak of tuberculosis selectively killed off the most dominant males and set the stage for a social and behavioral transformation. The victims had won rights to a tourist lodge garbage dump and were exposed to bovine tuberculosis. Left behind were the subordinate males, all the females, and their young. With that change in demographics came a “cultural swing toward pacifism, a relaxing of the usually parlous baboon hierarchy, and a willingness to use affection and mutual grooming rather than threats, swipes and bites to foster a patriotic spirit.”

Comments

any_mouse espirit Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:23 Permalink

Who validates the information that is stored in the blockchain?

Semper GIGO.

Besides just because, the reason for the dating apps and the rather anonymous meetups is the social justice war.

In real life, any interest in a person of the opposite sex may be considered sexual harassment on a level of physical rape.

The apps provide a buffer space, a DMZ.

In reply to by espirit

DownWithYogaPants Stuck on Zero Mon, 02/05/2018 - 07:22 Permalink

I feel like I was trolled by the usage of "blockchain" in that title.  Article is a long winded expounding on the obvious to those of us who have studied dating enough to get truckloads of pussy.  But they had to go on and on.

Professor Sapolsky, until he was eight years old, wanted to be a gorilla when he grew up.

I have to assume he voted for Obama.  But it's not nice to compare the poor gorillas to Michelle. Are there tranny gorillas?

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Trogdor any_mouse Sun, 02/04/2018 - 21:31 Permalink

My thoughts exactly.  Harassment and - to some extent - Rape are subjective - how easy is it going to be for a few girls who feel that John Doe "...didn't treat them like they princesses they are..." to destroy his reputation? 

In the dating realm, women have most if not ALL the power - just look at his own statistic of "less than 2% of messages get a reply."  The author's claim that men are more powerful, IMO, is pretty ridiculous.

In reply to by any_mouse

lew1024 Trogdor Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:25 Permalink

Perhaps you missed the fact that the 2% reply is because most of the 'women looking for men' on these sites do not exist?

And, I bet you the pickup bars are just as crowded as ever.

It seems to me that a major lesson of sociology and religion is that words among the civic leaders, intelligencia and clergy have remarkably little to do with people's mating behaviors, however much they might repress open discussion.

In reply to by Trogdor

Canadian Friend lew1024 Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:49 Permalink

A couple years ago Ok Cupid analysed numbers and they said the same thing, most women are interested in the same few men who happen to be tall, handsome, high status or rich...while men are more open to dating less perfect women...women want the best or nothing at all, men are more reasonable and will date more ordinary women/girl next door type...I cannot remember now but I know I read some other survey that had come to the same conclusion and a few articles at psychology today...it is in female DNA to look for the best, the top male, while men even though they prefer a super hot women understand it is unrealistic that we will all be dating a hollywood super sexy beauty...men and women are very different.

In reply to by lew1024

SILVERGEDDON espirit Mon, 02/05/2018 - 21:04 Permalink

Fucking retards. Online dating, indeed. What. A. Fucking. Joke. 

Recommendations. 

1. Grow some fucking nuts. 

2. TAKE YOUR FUCKING FACE OUT OF YOUR PHONE.

3. TALK to girls, real time face to face - break the ice, and fucking talk to them !

4. You buy the drinks, you buy dinner, you hold the door, you pull back the chair, you be the fucking gentleman none of your skanky idiot self centered competition will never be, you take her home, or to your place - her choice. You have to put out great bait to take a trophy home.

4. God have you one mouth and two ears for a reason - listen to the broads - they need to talk - a lot - about their feelings and shit like that there. 

5. Learn how to be a cunning linguist. If you can talk beaver, you will own the earth, female wise. 

6. If she ain't best friend material, throw her back, and go fishing again - there's plenty of women to choose from. 

7. Don't get married until you test drive her for several years, or you deserve the berserker Ragnarok psycho bitch she turns into 3 months from the date, or you are legally fucking yourself into forced divorce or a lifetime of deserved shit and abuse. 

8. Get old together, and remember - after marriage - you can go to the restaurant, you can look at the menu, but you better do all your eating at home. Or, you may wake up tied to the bedposts, with her curling iron shoved up your ass turned up to "Incinerate". 

In reply to by espirit

financedude85 To Infinity An… Mon, 02/05/2018 - 04:19 Permalink

We don't realize the amount of information we are already putting out there and so this system is saying if you are going to use technology, at least use the blockchain which is decentralized so no one place has your data, and all the data is encrypted as well so your privacy is protected.  People don't notice how much information about themselves they give to data giants like Facebook and Google-from personal pictures, to addresses, to actual locations, interests, passwords, bank information and the list goes on.

In reply to by To Infinity An…

any_mouse Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:27 Permalink

What did the three articles have to do with this article?

I would assume the magazine was running a research project on its readership without their knowledge, perhaps analyzing the comments to each version.

Umh Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

If you are focused on online dating you are missing the point. That being finding someone you actually like that likes you. Live your life with real people.

Pacman7293 Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:52 Permalink

So there will be fuck transactions on the ledger? Will this have any actual benifit to a man accused of “rape” because she regrets it? Who is going to actually make the app? Will it use ethereum? This is probably the only hope for dating in America due to its weaponized politicalized romance. 

snblitz Sun, 02/04/2018 - 20:56 Permalink

bitcoin miners are paid for identifying the next hash in the block chain.

More recently they are being paid for putting transactions into the block they create.

The only thing the hash does is verify that the data contained in the block has not been changed.

It does not verify that the data is "true", just that it is unchanged.

If I put "my eyes are blue" into the blockchain, by what possible methodology are you going verify if that statement is factually correct?

lew1024 snblitz Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:32 Permalink

The point is that anyone can claim anything they want, but they have a harder time getting other people to confirm claims that are not true.

The confirmations are on the block chain with the claim. The confirmations thereby confirm the claim in an unalterable way, identifying the confirmer as they do so. Thus, the confirmer's honesty can be evaluated against the reality.

This provides a network of claims that can be be validate by confirming a few of them yourself, or seeing that people you trust have done so.

This is the way many algorithms work, from local communities's gossips operating as a collective intelligence evaluating reliability of members in different dimensions through Google's page rank evaluating the importance of a web site's content, it shouldn't be mysterious to anyone in 2018.

In reply to by snblitz

lew1024 XBroker1 Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:42 Permalink

Category error. Conceptually incommensurate. Groups so large as to include every human trait, and combinations of everything at all frequent, thus it is impossible to make true statements about characteristics of the group except those that apply equally to all humans. Simplistic, even for a stereotype.

Please stop distracting adults in their conversations.

In reply to by XBroker1

libertyanyday Mon, 02/05/2018 - 00:04 Permalink

or we could try to talk to people...........you know, like we did in 1980, you asked a female out on a date if you wanted a chance at her nickers... technology doesnt always make things better.

lew1024 libertyanyday Mon, 02/05/2018 - 01:55 Permalink

Contrary to so much of legacy media's reporting on these issues, what I observe among my son's friends is more open acknowledge of the reality, but not that much difference in behaviors. My son has a much easier time than I did at his age, it seems to me, but the range of behaviors at every age is pretty much the same.

We had a friend who worked as a photographer in big tourist city bars, Drugs everywhere seems to me the main difference from earlier times. Talk to any of the veterans of the Pacific Fleet or Vietnam about their experiences in whorehouses on leave, their favorite bars had orgy rooms.

But it wasn't just professionals providing fun. One of the family served in Vietnam a couple of tours, loved Australia, the girls were so friendly. Also the girls of Taiwan and the girls back in the US in San Francisco.

And swingers have existed everywhere and in all times, but few records exist.

My half-Amish mother reports that Amish society is 'quite earthy' in discussions, at least. We know that one of our Amish ancestors was pregnant when married, and indeed that was the old way in most societies, because fertility of both parties could not be taken for granted. Makes you think about the whole mating game differently, it seems to me.

People don't change, talking about it changes.

In reply to by libertyanyday

Omni Consumer … libertyanyday Mon, 02/05/2018 - 02:08 Permalink

Sorry, dude, but by using the term "date," you're dating yourself, pun intended.

People in 2018 do not "date."  A date implies too much pressure.  You ask someone to "hang out." And usually, that means in a group of your friends.  Like, 5-8 people minimum.  There is no one-on-one face time.  Only ever in the group.

Perhaps back in the 80s, if you asked a woman out that wasn't interested, she would simply say, "no thanks," and that would be the end of that.

Today, in the 10s, if you ask out a woman that isn't interested, she can claim that you sexually harassed her, and it's a 50-50 chance that your carcass will be nailed to the wall.

Of course, make no mistake.  Online dating is a gigantic waste of time.  It creates a lazy, "my soul mate is out there and all I have to do is click to find him/her" mentality.

Do you know what the majority of women are doing while they're clicking through profiles?

Watching television.

Do you know what the majority of men are doing while they're clicking through profiles?

Sitting on the toilet.

You can't even begin to fathom the number of my peers that complain about not meeting a "nice girl/guy."  But when I ask them, how are you trying to meet them?  Are you out there?  At church, at the gym, at school, at the soup kitchen where you volunteer, etc?

No, they all say.  That's too much work. 

So what are you doing? I ask.

Oh, I'm signed up for at least seven different dating sites, they tell me.

These people LITERALLY think that the entirety of dating, romance, and seduction can be accomplished by slinging electrons across the interwebz.  They've spent their whole lives ordering whatever consumer products they desire right from Amazon, right from their phones.

The very notion that love can't be delivered to them in a nice cardboard box is an ontological crisis for them.

 

 

In reply to by libertyanyday