Go to the cook and learn your duties.
But that was the bad old days of fiat money. Now there are dozens of love-based cryptocurrencies — LoveCoin, CupidCoin, Erosium, Nubilo — with market caps in the mid nine-figures. The year-old genius behind CupidCoin just bought the state of Tennessee. Luna, which bills itself as blockchain-optimized dating.
They caught my attention by hiring Aella, previously featured on this blog for her adventures taking LSD megadoses weekly for a year. And they maintained it because — well, goodness knows we need new dating sites now that OKCupid has devolved into an off-brand Tinder clone.
Most dating sites suffer from attention imbalance: Luna solves this by making attention a commodity tradeable on the free market. Stars can be bought with dollars and vice versa, so popular users can actually earn money reading all the messages sent to them. This system has some pretty powerful advantages.
Market forces are the known solution to the problem of connecting resources to their highest-value use. But everywhere this solution is tried, it runs up against its one great weakness — rich people with mild preferences can outbid poor people with strong ones.
And even a well-off person might hesitate to send out a hundred messages a day, every day. Also, really good information about preferences in exchange for a biased system that favors the wealthy has been the deal Capitalism has been offering since Adam Smith first put quill to paper; it seems kind of weird to back out now.
A more practical issue: Neither of these seem like too high a bar. Better is their offer to provide data, including how often users respond to messages and how often users meet with other users: I have bots pretending to be pretty women try to friend me on Facebook something like once a week, even though I have no idea what their endgame is or how this results in them making money.
Luna claims that their model gives them a profit only when it succeeds: At Luna, we intend to structure the token economy in such a way that our system is rewarded when users achieve their goals, thus aligning our own incentives with those of our users and ensuring that all data, AI, and machine learning technology will be used to actually connect people…the approach consists of two parts: As described in 3.
Luna intends to take a small fee for this transaction, but only if the recipient responds to the message within a window of a number of days yet to be determined.
If the recipient does not respond, or only responds after more than this number of days, this fee will be re-paid to the sender. The number of Stars transferred to the recipient, however, will remain the same, whether they respond to the message or not.
Possibility of tipping in case of successful offline dates. Once users have rated their experience, Luna will then allow them to choose whether to leave a tip of their choice in the form of Stars.
As this is a voluntary option, it should have no effect on user feedback. Tipping a platform is an infeasible idea in the context of currently existing dating apps; however, the free and direct-to-user benefits of Luna may register to users as something more resembling the mechanisms of Wikipedia: A tipping option may thus encourage a feeling of alliance with Luna in the user.
In addition, Luna may use advanced NLP techniques in conjunction with IBM Watson to integrate additional information from the contents of messages sent in-app, as well as from social media sources such as Twitter, if users choose to provide that information.
I find the idea of letting users link their social media accounts to provide more data really fascinating, and this reassures me that the attempts at incentive-alignment above really do have them thinking about how they can do better.
For us to ever find out [how to design a match algorithm that really increases human happiness], we are going to require an open data ecosystem around computer dating.
Just getting rid of that dynamic once and for all would be a great result, but I think that Luna offers far, far more.
By establishing the decentralized paradigm in dating, Luna helps to remake dating culture. Luna is not a service or a place, like Tinder or a bar. We could pay the best people in the world to design algorithms to match other people, and make them happy.
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