“We know that’s going to piss a lot of people off, and we’re more or less tongue-in-cheek with this advice, but it’s what the numbers say.” Ok Cupid’s founders — four 30-something guys who met at Harvard — recently took home the “Humanist of the Year” award from their alma mater. “Humanism is a philosophy of life that is focused on building a better world for all human beings” without belief in any gods, said Greg Epstein, Harvard’s humanist chaplain.
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But at the online site Ok Cupid, it might just help you get a date.
In the 1990s, while still Harvard math majors, they created Spark Notes, a series of study guides that was eventually sold to Barnes and Noble.
The four launched Ok Cupid in 2003, and the site has since attracted more than 10 million users.
“The site is an attempt to apply the scientific method to matching people up,” he said from the company’s Manhattan office before traveling to Boston to pick up the award on Nov. “We are not secret about our algorithm — all the details are on display on the site.
This is the idea of open inquiry and scientific understanding.
(Dominick Reuter/RNS PHOTO BY DOMINICK REUTER) “That is the value we were putting our finger on with these guys,” he said.
“I don’t think there has ever been a place with a mixed environment of people from religious and nonreligious backgrounds where it is more comfortable and respected to be an atheist, an agnostic or a humanist.” The site, Epstein said, embodies America’s “secular future.” Ok Cupid was founded by Rudder, Sam Yagan, Chris Coyne and Max Krohn.
In 2009, the site’s founders analyzed responses from more than 500,000 users and discovered that including the word “atheist” in a first message to another user was more likely to garner a reply than any other religious descriptor except Christian.
“Mentioning your religion helps you, but, paradoxically, it helps you most if you have no religion,” co-founder Christian Rudder wrote on the site’s blog at that time.