Computer dating 1970
Various anecdotes confirm, however, that daters of yesteryear suffered from the same problem online daters do now -- the goods often failed to match the bill, as a 1984 article wryly relates: "No doubt about it.
It shows that, contrary to what was previously believed, the first computerized dating system in either the US or the UK was run by a woman.
The drawing of the computer was supposedly based on the huge SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator) mainframe that IBM had shown off in its Madison Avenue showroom in New York City from 1948-1952.
But the reason that it was making an appearance on the cover of the New Yorker almost a decade later had less to do with the specific computer in question, and more to do with what computer technology was coming to represent by the early 1960s: a potential challenge to the capacities and talents of human beings. By the early 1960s, mainframes had crept into the popular consciousness through news reports and advertising.
Psychedelia and New Journalism, civil rights and the Velvet Underground, JFK and the sexual revolution. Decades before Match.com, Ok Cupid, and Craigslist there existed a different sort of online interaction.
The last gift spawned something else entirely -- the 1960s introduced us to computer dating. The 1960s sport carried many of the same hazards and thrills as virtual matchmaking today.
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Any time of profound social change calls for a good date."Inevitably, the singles game is putting technology to use," magazine declared back in 1967, "and the computer-dating service is growing as steadily as the price of a share of IBM." The article describes "punchcard-plotted introductions" that cost $5 to $150. Harvard students founded a landmark computer-dating service around the same time, and as the reported in 1965, "Their banner reads 'SEX,' their creed is written on the circuits of a computer, and their initial organized uprising is called Operation Match." A black-and-white video celebrates the "computer marriages" emerging from Operation Match by 1968.