Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
/ About Me / Half-time Remote DevOps/Systems Engineer for $40,000 /

AskTeran: How could you engineer love?

Question: How could you engineer love? What would it mean to engineer love?

Engineering something usually requires you have tangible things to work with. Two pieces of metal that need to stay together, a decent power curve of an engine, or how quickly your webserver needs to be to serve your users. Love isn't even a single thing. It's both an action and a feeling. If you have a romantic love between two people, it's unique every time. I feel there's little in common between the truest of loves. I mean, there may be things in common for keeping the love alive and the pair together, but not so much for the love itself. So to engineer love, it would be either to find an accurate means of predicting two people that would fall in love, or perhaps a way in which you could pick two people and build a scenario in which they fall in love.

Engineering love through picking two people would be like marrying the first person on OkCupid that has a 95% match to yourself. Clearly, the algorithms have some logic to them, but all they make is a number. Even if you looked at many numbers, you could not determine before hand if love was possible or probable with a certain person. And I think the more you try to make it work, the less it tends to happen. Sometimes when true love happens, it's almost illogical and makes little sense at all.

With the dynamics of people and relationships, there are too many things to consider as to whether or not two people could fall in love. Even politics and the highest degress of physics are less complicated. And while there are some successful "match makers" out there, they are humans operating out of good will and an organic guess. Not mathematical algorithms, for sure.

Even to make a situation in which two people fall in love, you can never be sure of what it would take, or if it could happen at all. You could certainly place two people in a way that they have a high probability of going on a date. Or perhaps a dangerous and high-stress scenario that may make a bond, but not true love.

At most, algorithms can put together two (very) hopeless romantics, or perhaps find people who work well with each other. The first, if anything, may mean love, but is probably with the wrong person. The second is perhaps a relationship that should work on paper, but never really does because the feelings aren't there.

Huge thanks to an OkCupid user for asking me this. I liked the question so much that I put it here.

Sincerely, Teran

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