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They’d heard about some students at Harvard who’d come up with a program called Operation Match, which used a computer to find dates for people. She makes Quiche Lorraine, plays chess, and like me she loves to ski. ” One day, a woman named Patricia Lahrmer, from 1010 WINS, a local radio station, came to to do an interview.A year later, Altfest and Ross had a prototype, which they called Project , an acronym for Technical Automated Compatibility Testing—New York City’s first computer-dating service. She was the station’s first female reporter, and she had chosen, as her début feature, a three-part story on how New York couples meet.Each client paid five dollars and answered more than a hundred multiple-choice questions. (A previous installment had been about a singles bar—Maxwell’s Plum, on the Upper East Side, one of the first that so-called “respectable” single women could patronize on their own.) She had planned to interview Altfest, but he was out of the office, and she ended up talking to Ross.
The demolition of the Third Avenue Elevated subway line set off a building boom and a white-collar influx, most notably of young educated women who suddenly found themselves free of family, opprobrium, and, thanks to birth control, the problem of sexual consequence.
transferred the answers onto a computer punch card and fed the card into an I. was restricted to the Upper East Side, an early sexual-revolution testing ground.
Women were asked to look at a trio of sketches of men in various settings, and to say where they’d prefer to find their ideal man: in camp chopping wood, in a studio painting a canvas, or in a garage working a pillar drill. 1400 Series computer, which then spit out your matches: five blue cards, if you were a woman, or five pink ones, if you were a man.
The most frequently suggested date idea was for me to come up with the date idea.
21 at least giggled (haha), five chuckled (hahah), three belly laughed (hahaha), and two were actively trying to hurt my feelings (hahahaha).
In the fall of 1964, on a visit to the World’s Fair, in Queens, Lewis Altfest, a twenty-five-year-old accountant, came upon an open-air display called the Parker Pen Pavilion, where a giant computer clicked and whirred at the job of selecting foreign pen pals for curious pavilion visitors. Within a year, more than five thousand subscribers had signed on. It would invite dozens of matched couples to singles parties, knowing that people might be more comfortable in a group setting. They wound up in the pages of the New York subscriber.You filled out a questionnaire, fed it into the machine, and almost instantly received a card with the name and address of a like-minded participant in some far-flung locale—your ideal match. He called up his friend Robert Ross, a programmer at I. M., and they began considering ways to adapt this approach to find matches closer to home. “This loser happens to be a talented fashion illustrator for one of New York’s largest advertising agencies.Tired of staring in the mirror at my dumb, single face last week, I decided to do what any rational adult would do: I went on Tinder, matched with 100 possible girls, and immediately asked them where they wanted to go on a first date. We're talking almost ONE-THIRD of everyone who responded.A recap: I ended up getting way more responses than I'm used to (shut up). And that was kind of my biggest takeaway from this whole thing -- we still live in a world where it is apparently laughable that I ask the girl to come up with the date idea.More than HALF of the girls I messaged responded to me (54! Sure, maybe it’s pure laziness on my part to wish that more of the responses had been creative and usable date ideas, but I’ll take “Bowling…), and much more positively than usual (seriously, shut up), even though they had no way of knowing if I was dangerous/crazy/into house music. I like your style." I’ll pause to acknowledge a trend you may have noticed in the quotes so far. Then we can eat some chicken nuggets…” over “Lol you decide,” any day.