Computer courtship:
All right.  I have a grudge against computer courting.  You know what I mean.  You sign up for a service that looks for people to date who match what you want and who want what you are.  I had a high school chum who organized such a service rather early in the game.  He was at Harvard at the time, so I guess he kind of foreshadowed Facebook.  I never tried such a service myself. 

The reason I don’t like it much is that I was one of the first bloggers now many years ago.  I had a blog that was associated with my publication Wild Surmise.  I knew how to write articles, get them printed and mail them.  It wasn’t cheap even back then.  But what did I care?  I was very overworked but the pay was good and I had things to say. 

A young man showed up who set up the blog for me.  You can find remnants of it at  I can’t really remember how I met him.  But he would show up every month or so and post articles for me.  He met somebody online.  I think it wasn’t really a dating service.  I think they played cards over the internet and became interested in each other that way.  I was most impressed.

Then he disappeared.  I got somebody else to agree to look after the site, but he proved less than up to the task.  Then one day I went to check on my site and the whole thing was blank.  I had lost years of work.  Then somehow I lost ownership of the name.  Now who in the world would want Wild Surmise as the name of their site?  Only somebody with a pile of ideas that were not mainstream.  And such a person would be quite loath to use anybody else’s name.  No arrogance so overweening as the arrogance of imagination, I say.

Anyway, a friend managed to find much of old Wild Surmise on the internet for me.  He recovered what he could, and it awaits you.  It turns out that they archive all sorts of stuff of the internet.  I much doubt that this web site gets exhaustively recorded.  There are just too many links.  But maybe it won’t need to be. 

I can’t blame online dating, but the whole disaster rather soured me on it.  Well now the outcomes of online dating have been studied.  (The Modern Matchmakers ECONOMIST vol. 302 no. 8771 February 11, 2012 page 79)  The results are not terribly encouraging. 

It was not many years ago when I thought that something like an online dating service would be needed to sort out who was a biological good match with whom.  You know.  Compare genomes or something like that and get the right amount of overlap.  However it is now a strong opinion of mine that the genes really don’t matter here.  It’s epigenetic.  Those things can be compared by computer as well, but somehow I think it will never match meddlesome friends and relatives. 

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