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"The law claims that the number of people in a city is inversely proportional to the city’s rank among all cities. In other words, the biggest city is about twice the size of the second biggest city, three times the size of the third biggest city, and so forth." Fair enough, but that's surely a cack-handed way to phrase it. How about 'In other words, the second biggest city is about half the size of the biggest, the third biggest is one third the size of the biggest, and so on'? The point is that there is no need for the illustration if you assume that all your readers know what "inversely proportional means"; but if you believe that some don't know, then your illustration should have the same strucure as your generalistation.

The description of the pair instability supernova you linked to is rather misleading. The point is that for a star supported by radiation pressure, energy absorbing (endothermic) reactions cause a runaway increase in temperature, and consequent explosion. The original matter of the star does not annihilate - it's either blown about or dumped into a black hole.

The OKCupid blog post offers a devastating attack on Match.com. I wonder whether there are that many people on the site that aren't paying and can't respond to emails. I had been considering not renewing my Match subscription. This piece made my mind up to not renew.

The OKCupid blog post overlooks that a slight premium seems to deter parties who are not very interested in actually dating or finding a relationship.

My experience has been that women who are less interested in finding a mate or going on actual dates gravitate to the free sites because they won't pay the monthly fee. (My suspicion is this is some women and men receive an ego boost by having a number of suitors.) Men are also less likely to pay $19.00 a month for a shot at some casual sex. Further, fewer people are willing to pay to put up a fake profile or a misleading profile on a pay site. All these factors result in a way better chance of an actual match (a huge part of finding the right person is someone who is willing to invest the effort into a relationships).

Further, anyone who has online dated knows the problem is not to few matches but to many. Receiving hundreds of matches means you need to sort through them faster, and usually means you base your decision on the photo alone. (I was on e-harmony and everyone I met from e-harmony suggested that looking through the people provided - which according to the article is a smaller pool - was a full time job). This makes the free sites (with many users) ideal for someone trying to hook-up, but really difficult for someone trying to look for compatibility.

Accordingly, the pay sites are excellent for people who want to signal they are actually interested in a relationship, which is probably also why I'd bet on a high number of successful relationships from these sites.

I should clarify, I am not affiliated with any of these sites, but have met a wonderful person through e-harmony who I am very much in love with.

I'd also point out that my suspicion is that the various matching software programs and profile tools are actually less valuable in finding a match that the premium itself.

Sites with many features, like dating quizzes, tend to attract people to do those quizzes or the online activities. This ups the total number of people on the site and dilutes your chances of finding a person who is interested in a relationship even further.

(I'd be happy to confirm with Tyler that I am not affiliated with either organization) and am pleased to see economics being misused to market a product.

"Simple Solutions to America’s Long-Term Budgetary Challenges
Arnold Kling | Mar 26, 2010"

Any paper with the phrase "simple solution" offers no solution, nor insight into the actual problem.

Or at least, I didn't notice that the solution was soylent green, a simple solution to a society with many people without the means to deal with age, illness, or lack of employment.

I suspect the $30 something dollars a month for most of these services also eliminates a lot of "scrubs" and when combined with the other investments you can show on the site (a well written profile, profile picture and introductory e-mail tailored to the profile of the recipient of the message) is a really good indicator of a willingness to invest substantial effort into finding a mate.

As one would assumes the value one puts into searching for a mate would be correlated with valuing the mate, as (i) it shows you want a mate badly and (ii) are acutely aware of the opportunity cost of finding a new mate.

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