Morning Advantage: Love In the Age of Data

Fickle, romance is. Unless you're really good with spreadsheets. And with all the bemoaning about how digital technology is positively ruining our dating lives (see this and this), Amy Webb's Wall Street Journal account of her own online attempt at romance is particularly ambitious and refreshing. Webb, who has a background in data analysis, became increasingly frustrated with the gents her profile was attracting ("A surprising number of men high-fived me, for reasons that remain unclear.") As any smart woman would do, she created 10 fake male profiles that represented certain archetypes of men she might actually want to date. Then she scraped the data of the women who were popping up as matches. The women, it turns out, were engineering successful profiles based on a number of factors Webb was able to isolate. These include, but are not limited to, the number of photos they posted, and where and how they described their work and hobbies. The result? Her own "super profile" and Brian — her "last first date."


Rich Kids Finish Last (Inside Higher Ed)

Well, at least when it comes to grades. According to a new American Sociological Review study, college students who have their education entirely paid for by their parents generally get lower grades in school – and, in particular, at costly, private schools located out-of-state. It's an example of what's called "moral hazard": a person is more likely to take a risk if they themselves don't have to shoulder the consequences. At one school in the study, moms and dads who turned a blind eye to academic performance were left "shocked" and "angry" when confronted with their daughters' bad grades. One simple solution? Pay attention and tie financial support to goals — too many wealthy parents simply sign the check and walk away.


Want Welfare? There Isn’t an App For That. (Wonkblog)

The thing about safety nets is that sometimes when you're in freefall, the net, though it exists, is hard to keep in sight. Welcome to welfare in America which, even if you have access to the Internet, remains dangerously out of reach. According to a recent study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, eight states don't have online applications for any welfare programs like SNAP (food stamps) or Medicaid. Twenty-four states have some online presence. And only 18 states have digital mechanisms for checking to see if you're even eligible.


No, Not Tommy

Can This Man Save Pinball? (Slate)
Why You Can't Cry in Space (The Atlantic)
Japanese Hacker Continues to Taunt Police With Clue Strapped to Cat (Wired UK)

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