On this Valentine’s week, I give you two sides of love. A love that goes on from above, and a love that ends in an analytic haze.
First, we have love everlasting. A magazine article from who knows where or when, passed on for its inspiration, like those you get from your mom, clipped out and delivered to you on this Valentine’s week.
Proof that even a dead guy is more romantic than me.
From that we move to love economical, as McSweeney’s shares with us this tale of Josh, who breaks up with his girlfriend with this explanation:
Susan, we need to talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. About us. I really like you, but ever since we met in that econ class in college I knew there was something missing from how I felt: quantitative reasoning. We can say we love each other all we want, but I just can’t trust it without the data. And after performing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of our relationship, I just don’t think this is working out.
Please know that this decision was not rash. In fact, it was anything but—it was completely devoid of emotion. I just made a series of quantitative calculations, culled from available OECD data on comparable families and conservative estimates of future likelihoods. I then assigned weights to various “feelings” based on importance, as judged by the relevant scholarly literature. From this, it was easy to determine that given all of the options available, the winning decision on both cost-effectiveness and comparative-effectiveness grounds was to see other people.