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At Philly event, OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder discusses ‘sociological potential of data’

Humanity in the aggregate is screwed, and other data-driven gems from Tuesday's Arts + Business Council event.

Disclosure: Technical.ly was a media partner for this event and Editor-in-Chief Zack Seward served as moderator.

Did you know that dating-site data has revealed that women are much more selective than men when rating attractiveness?
Or that when guys don’t get message replies they adopt the fight-or-flight mentality of either ditching their account or doubling down on their message attack?
Or how about this?


(On the individual scale, however, with tales of finding and sustaining love, there’s still hope.)
That’s all according to OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder, who spent Tuesday morning at String Theory Charter School in Center City speaking about the emerging role data is playing in understanding the human condition.
Rudder is currently on tour promoting his book, Dataclysm: Who We Are (When No One’s Looking) — but really, in an affable, laid-back style, he’s just dishing out dating-data gems and pondering how to best grapple with today’s deluge of digital information.
The event, hosted by the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, featured a keynote presentation by Rudder, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Technical.ly Editor-in-Chief Zack Seward.
Here’s a taste of what went down.


So, what is the sociological potential of data?
Rudder says there are certain datasets out there that can impact and re-shape the way we look at others. The more depressing realizations, he says, come when we look at what data is telling us about humanity in its entirety. Case in point: racism.
Still, Rudder made it clear that businesses and organizations need to be transparent about the data they’re collecting and why they’re collecting it.


Attendees then saw a panel discussion on how local businesses can better analyze and apply their own (albeit less sexy) data.
It featured Gary Kurtzman (Safeguard Scientifics), Somesh Nigam (Independence Blue Cross), Todd Homa (CapTech), and was moderated by eMoney Advisor Data Scientist Vicki Boykis.


The takeaway: whether we’re talking about dating sites or healthcare, data is becoming an increasingly significant predictor in understanding the way we as humans operate on a daily basis. There’s a massive surge of information pulsing at the floodgates; we just need to learn how to make that information work to our favor.

Companies: OkCupid / Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia
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