Christian Rudder is co-founder and President of OkCupid—yes, the same OkCupid that has rescued your “love” life from the doldrums and is now the only reason you ever leave the house even though sometimes it makes you feel as if the search is futile—and he’s now also the author ofDataclysm. The book is subtitledWho We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking), and whether that sounds ominous to you or not probably depends on your stance on the highly controversial personal data mining carried out by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and (yes!) OkCupid. Blithely sidestepping the political ramifications of such practices, Rudder instead dives enthusiastically into the social science potential of big data. Dataclysm examines what our online lives reveal about who we really are, focusing intently on the magical potential of the algorithm.
Remember the Love Calculator? Though still a reliable standby, we’ve come a long way since the days when we depended on Dr. Love to diagnose compatibility. There’s now a whole universe of dating data out there thanks to the explosion of Internet dating sites. Christian Rudder, co-founder of endless source of romantic hilarity, OkCupid, put his Harvard degree in mathematics to good use and tapped into this datasphere. Tonight at the Yard, he’ll present material from his forthcoming book about data driven matchmaking.