How Online Dating Cherishes the Notion That "The One" Is Out There For You

It may surprise you to learn that the entrepreneur behind dating sites like OKCupid and got his start by creating and Edonkey, a video-sharing site.

It may surprise you to learn that the entrepreneur behind OKCupid and current CEO of got his start by creating and Edonkey, a video-sharing site. Indeed Sam Yagan is more a doctor of business than a doctor of love, though that doesn't stop him from seeing romance through the lens of his company. Before OKCupid existed, Yagan knew that ruled the roost:

"If you play the incumbent’s game, you’re usually going to lose. The phrase I always said, you can't ... But if you can change the game—not make it about doing beautiful TV campaigns and charging people $20 a month for a subscription—and create a new game, that game being one of 'get customers to talk about you by word of mouth,' use viral tactics, make it free. All of a sudden you have an advantage."

While social scientists have suggested that having too many choices may be paralyzing, especially when it comes to love, Yagan turns into a surprising romantic. His explanation of the high divorce rate is that people have too few choices and can only select from their immediate surroundings. By expanding the number of choices you have, you increase the likelihood of finding the person who is *truly* compatible with you. It's beginning to sound as if, despite the innumerable choices, online dating can help you find The One.

In his Big Think interview, OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder voices his concern over who owns online data and how a right to privacy might become a privilege of the wealthy:

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
  • These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
  • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
Keep reading Show less