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Let's Hook Up

John Donvan
Saturday, February 3, 2018

On the Intelligence Squared U.S. stage, we like “engagement.” The rhetorical kind. But did you know, we have a little experience in the other kind – the kind where people get engaged, and then they get married?

It’s true. Once, back in 2014, an IQ2 fan named Ryan contacted me to say that he and his girlfriend Nicole were huge IQ2 fans, so much so that listening to our debates was one of the things that brought them together. And now he was planning to propose, and was hoping I would record a mock debate introduction to surprise her. The resolution? He and Nicole should spend the rest of their lives together.
So of course I did it.

And we’re not stopping there. This Valentines' Day, we're putting our matchmaking skills to the test with a special love-themed debate that doubles as the smartest date in town. Call it "intellidating," if you will. In fact, for this debate, we're offering a special intellidating ticket package for our audience members ready to open their hearts  – and minds – on debate night. It includes the debate and a special post-debate cocktail reception with me and the debaters. More on that here.

Before the debate starts, I'm going to sit down with Daniel Jones, the longtime editor of the New York Times’ legendary feature, "Modern Romance." I'll get his insights on how he has seen love and romance change since the arrival of dating apps, from the thousands of first-person stories that people have sent him over the years. The nice thing about Daniel's perspective: He gets way more submissions than he can possibly publish, so I'll be interested to know what the rejects have to say, because there's probably some gold in there.

After that, our four superb debaters will take the stage to argue over this resolution for the night: Swipe Left: Dating Apps are Killing Romance.

On one side (and arguing in the affirmative) Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's Note to Self; and Erik Klinenberg, author of Modern Romance.

Opposing them, Match.Com's chief scientific adviser, anthropologist Helen Fisher; and Tom Jacques, VP of Engineering at OKCupid.

It's a debate about science and business and social mores and hopes and dreams and yes ... luuuuuuv.

I hope to see you there, or, if not, that you'll tune in by live stream here. Either way, VOTE.

Yours truly,

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