Re: AltInst: Marriage Election

From: George L. O'Brien <>
Date: Tue Jun 23 1998 - 11:42:44 PDT

Voting on who someone should marry is about as logical as "arranged"
marriages and probably no worse than hormone driven "quickie" marriages --
but I find it hard to see this as some kind of ideal.

As a rule, I suspect that other people who care about you are likely to be
able to tell you who is not a good match for you (even if popular fiction
suggests otherwise); but I am less likely to believe they will know who
will make a good match.

The problem is one that comes up in computer dating systems. Determining
core values, preferences, interests, tastes, styles, and pscyhological
needs (not to mention the ability to meet such needs) is hard enough simply
to identify -- let alone quantify and weigh. Tradeoffs are necessary but
not easy to determine even through intense introspection, "Is sharing a
love of art more important than my distaste for smoking? Is strong sexual
attraction enough to compensate for poor communication skills?"

Often close friends cannot tell how badly a current relationship is
working. So how can relative strangers tell what should work?

George L. O'Brien

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Received on Tue Jun 23 19:46:11 1998

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