Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ok OkCupid, a little insensitive?

First, as a service, I love OkCupid. If you're single, I recommend trying it out. I met my previous & current girlfriend on it and I'm psyched. I'm also psyched on OkCupid's blog, OkTrends. They post a lot of interesting statistical work in a fun, playful tone. I mean, if you're going to read about science & math, the writing might as well be good.

But in reading Monday's post, "The Mathematics of Beauty" I was taken aback by the following:

Now I'm the first to admit that, under certain circumstances, with close friends, I might say something like that. But, in academic work (no matter what the style of writing) I'd say this crosses the line and has no place. I think it's tasteless to joke about murdering children in a country known for human rights violations in this setting. The basis for that joke is a serious problem, not one to be used in an off-handed, ill-written sentence for laughs when publishing real research.

I hope OkCupid's editors (if there are any) do a better job in the future.