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" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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, Chemistry.com, 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 Chemistry.com come up with matches?
> Chemistry.com 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 Chemistry.com?
> 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. (Chemistry.com) 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 Chemistry.com 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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