“Kiss her now!”

I gotta read this new book by the amazing Tyler Cowen:

In the book, you write that algorithms might urge us to go out with apparently unlikely partners—they might even guide us during our dates, monitoring our heart rates and sending us text messages like “Kiss her now!”

Maybe most of the time it won’t go very well—you’ll get rejected quickly or you’ll look like a fool—and it’ll feel wrong to us. But if that risky behavior increases your chances of connecting with the right person quickly enough, before they end up meeting someone else, it might nonetheless be good.

And there will be Luddites of a sort. “Here are all these new devices telling me what to do—but screw them; I’m a human being! I’m still going to buy bread every week and throw two-thirds of it out all the time.” It will be alienating in some ways. We won’t feel that comfortable with it. We’ll get a lot of better results, but it won’t feel like utopia.

(reminding me of: Boyle’s horrifying impression of a fourteen year old girl about to get kissed.  painting)


Most people who write about inequality write in a tone of moral outrage, and make suggestions about how we might reverse its growth. You seem to have deliberately avoided that; you’ve written about it in purely predictive terms.

I do, in numerous places, point out things we might do to make inequality problems less severe. (Mostly we’re not doing them.) But I think that to dispassionately lay out the facts is often the best first thing to do, to open up that dialogue—to step back first, and view things more analytically, and then to apply our judgments.

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