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>I'd be very surprised if they aren't using that data to match roughly equally attractive people.

I can confirm this is true. Last year, as an experiment, I made a dummy account with a picture of former NFL quarterback Kyle Boller but the same profile/personality as me. His matches are significantly more attractive than mine. He also received this email a few weeks after registration:

We just detected that you're now among the most attractive people on OkCupid.

We learned this from clicks to your profile and reactions to you in Quickmatch and Quiver. Did you get a new haircut or something?

Well, it's working!

To celebrate, we've adjusted your OkCupid experience:

You'll see more attractive people in your match results.

This won't affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But we'll recommend more attractive people to you. You'll also appear more often to other attractive people.

Sign in to see your newly-shuffled matches. Have fun, and don't let this go to your head

"You'll see more attractive people in your match results."

Reading this email actually disturbed me. A computer program is telling you that you're attractive, and that it's going to hustle "more of the attractive people" to you.

"the attractive people"

I'm only 20 years old and still have plenty to learn about ladies and relationships, but I know I can do better than have a server cluster tell me who is "in my league" and who are "the attractive people." Holy shit.

I am 23 and I think it's pretty cool. It makes sure that the attractive people are not swamped with messages and driven off the site.

Yeah. Attractive people are fairly consistently approached or hit on or treated differently or what have you every day in real life. Remove the approach anxiety that the other 90% who DON'T approach these people but want to by creating an easy forum for approach, and you have an overwhelming amount of messaging. I don't blame girls for being quickly disillusioned. Even as a guy, I feel like the pickings are slim, and I'd much rather date a friend than meet someone through OkC.

Imagine if "attractive people" walked around with body-guards who only let other "attractive people" with body-guards come up and talk to them.

I can see the value in it for this website as a product, I think what really hit me was the way it's worded.

> Imagine if "attractive people" walked around with body-guards who only let other "attractive people" with body-guards come up and talk to them.

So what you're saying is you've never been to, say, a particularly hip bar or club in a big city.

Yes, the attractive women do have people who keep losers (like, say, the typical HN nerd) away. That's exactly how the real world works.

I don't know what the typical HN user looks like, but anybody can work at being attractive regardless of their career or interests.

It's sort of a self-fulfilling role anyway. Staying away from an attractive woman makes you the loser. Having the mindset you just described does as well.

"self-fulfilling role" is another term for "blaming the victim." You know, that guy in a wheelchair could totally walk--he just doesn't want it enough.

Ok, well if you find your ability to appeal to women comparable to a paraplegic's ability to walk then I am truly sorry. Certain things like attractiveness do come with effort.

It is easy for the attractive to say that; like most traits, people don't like to believe dumb luck helped them. It makes a much better personal narrative if it was their own hard work. That doesn't mean it's backed up by any fact.

May I suggest you create an OKC account in a big city, set to female?

I tried this, and it was an enlightening experience; women's experiences on OKC are completely different from men's.

When I signed up for OKCupid however many years ago that was, it told me explicitly that a human being made that decision, not an algorithm.

I thought everyone got that as a marketing gimmick since I received it too.

Nope. I never got the email. Make a fake account with a generic ugly photo and that account will never get the email either.

The attractiveness status can change BTW: http://www.quora.com/OkCupid/Is-being-one-of-the-most-attrac.... It is a running record of how attractive you are compared to other users.

I got one of those emails and I don't consider myself to be particularly attractive. I just assumed they sent them to everyone.

I believe this is a very, very wide net. They send it out to the upper 50% is what I've heard.

That's too funny. Why would anybody stay on the site after gaining that piece of information?

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