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Mazel Tov!

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"Then COVID hit. We switched our dates to a Minecraft virtual world, where we built a house together." - great

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations! So delighted for you. Marriage is great.

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Congratulations. Welcome to married life and the on-going chance to continually make a better and better partnership with another human being.

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Congrats!

For whatever coincidental (or not coincidental) reason: I had never heard of her. But in the past week or so, she's been all over my Twitter feed.

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Congratulations Scott! Really happy for you both

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founding

Congratulations! My wife and I also played online games together while remote dating for a bit, although the cause was my work and her school in different states. It's always nice to know that your relationship can flourish without the easy fixes of physical proximity.

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Aw, that’s lovely. Congratulations!

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations and good luck to both of you! :)

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Congratulations!

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Congrats!!

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Congratulations :) as one of the aforementioned people who've been reading the blog ever since it was about how impossible it was to have a date, I'm really happy about this.

(Also thank you; I've been depressed about dating lately and this gives me some hope).

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Congratulations, and best wishes for the future.

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Congratulations!

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Many congratulations, Scott - and, as someone married for 47 years, 1) have the difficult conversations 2) acknowledge when you've got it wrong & 3) be prepared to laugh at yourself.

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Congratulations! I hope you both enjoy the honeymoon, and don't worry about posting, we'll still be here afterwards :)

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Wow! Congrats! I'm really happy for the two of you :)

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Congratulations!

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Congrats!

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Mazel Tov!

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Yay, this is lovely and uplifting. Many congratulations.

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Congratulations!

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Awww! Mazel Tov!

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Congratulations Scott!

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Good for you! That metaphor of sliding into a black hole with increasing feelings of dread and bitterness, or a newly-born star with increasing feelings of euphoria and amazement, is pretty apt. Been through the first one, and have had hints of the second one - but like you said, it's worth the persistence. Best wishes for the future.

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Congrats. Now go make some babies - we need babies.

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Congratulations! I got married last year to the first guy I ever dated - and we met when we were both putting our lunches in the fridge at my internship. He asked good questions about my research and then I started going to him to whiteboard algorithm problems and it snowballed from there.

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Congratulations!

Somehow it's hard for me to imagine "Scott, one of the brightest intellectuals and bloggers in the world", "Scott, a guy who attends weird naked parties", and "Scott, a man who takes the risk of marriage in 2022 driven by the metaphysical/romantic motivation" to be the same person, but I wish you all the best. :)

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Congratulations! May you have many happy years together.

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Congratulations! What a funny, interesting and very moving text! And thank you so much for the beautiful picture at the end :-) I wish you the very best and some more!

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

WHAT OMG YAYAYAY

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Congrats, you beautiful humans! <3

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Congrats, wishing you all the best

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Congrats Scott! I'm so happy for you two. Lots of love!

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Congratulations! So happy for you both. :)

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Congratulations!

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Love this. Congratulations and thank you for sharing. My 20 year anniversary is in April. Marriage/Long Term Partnership is a worthwhile journey.

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Congratulations!

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congratulations!

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Congratulations to you both! I wish you a long and happy life together.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations! May you have many years of joy together.

Re: Dating. I tell people who get frustrated that dating is about failure. You go on dates, they don't work out. You fail. You learn from it. And eventually you stop failing and you settle down with the right person, and it's great. (I do envy the people who marry their high school sweethearts and live together forever.)

Re: Micromarriages. Good concept! To meet the right people you have to leave yourself open to opportunities, and seize them when they come up. In August of 2004 I sat down on a plane flight and started talking to a cute girl. In August of 2005 we got married and she moved across country to be with me. Seventeen years and five kids later we're managing quite well.

The last thing: Marriage is about commitment. Literally a do-or-die commitment. The commitment is the important part, because there are always rough spots. But when you're committed to each other then you know that person is always in your corner. You know there's always someone there to back you up, no matter how badly you've screwed up. So be forgiving of each others' flaws and work on building each other up. And then the sum of you is greater than the parts.

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Congratulations. So glad to hear there is a Time for Everyone, not only a Time for Everything!

And you are right here as well:

"Darwin spends five billion years optimizing your genes for reproduction, and God laughs and decides that whether or not you mate will depend on which weird parties you go to."

(I met my wife for 30+ years at a party themed “Carnival in Hell”.)

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Mazal tov! And thank you for this funny, insightful and romantic post, which was immediately shared with my shipmate :)

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Congratulations!!! I hope you have a nice honeymoon.

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Very happy to hear! May you marriage be fruitfull and filled with joy!

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Yes, mazel tov. Tied to the mast doesn't quite work here; the beauty is eminently worthwhile and indeed the odyssey itself, not a dangerous distraction off course. Best wishes. Ben

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So that's what you look like!

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Congratulations. This post might be my favorite that you’ve written.

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If you construct your online profile well, internet dating probably gives you the most micro marriages possible. Congrats!

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Well I’m charmed!

Best wishes to our host and his beloved!

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The combination of the title and the photo made me cry. I needed that. Congratulations to both of you, this is amazing!

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Mazal Tov!

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Congrats! Also, could someone please explain the kabbalistic significance of building a house together with someone in minecraft?

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Congratulations! Since you discussed the Odyssey, there are two parts of it that I always point out to my students, which I think are very romantic illustrations of marriage. The first is a typically pre-Platonic Greek sentiment--and quite contractual sounding--but rather lovely:

"Nothing is stronger or better than this:

when two people, united in purpose, make a home together.

It brings much pain to their enemies, but joy to their friends,

and they themselves know the greatest blessings." 6.182-185

And the second is the extraordinary simile that Homer gives us when Penelope and Odysseus are reunited:

"As welcome as

the land to swimmers, when Poseidon wrecks

their ship at sea and breaks it with great waves

and driving winds; a few escape the sea

and reach the shore, their skin all caked with brine.

Grateful to be alive, they crawl to land.

So glad she was to see her own dear husband,

and her white arms would not let go his neck.” 23.234-241-ish

Penelope is turned into Odysseus: she's the shipwrecked sailor who has made it safely to land. Their marriage makes them both equals and counterparts, each the sailor and the land.

Anyway, wishing you all happiness!

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מזל טוב!

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Congratulations!

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founding

Congratulations Scott! As a long time reader, I'm delighted to hear you found someone to take a shot at marriage with. :)

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Congratulations, and best wishes to you both, Scott!

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Congratulations Scott! Been following you since the LJ days, under alternating pseudonyms, so feel like I know you in am odd parasocial way. So happy that you are happy

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Many happy returns :)

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First, congrats!

Second ...

> Is it possible to like someone so much that the positive emotion builds on itself, grows stronger and stronger with every interaction, until it’s one of those blue supergiant stars in the galactic core?

As someone who's been married nearly 21 years, I'd say yes, this is definitely possible. My wife and I get along very, very well. We fight, of course, but mostly we just enjoy each other's company. I definitely find some of her very normal behaviors very adorable, and I'm sure no other person would have the same reaction to these behaviors of hers.

I feel pretty lucky to have found _a_ right person to get married to (neither of believe in soulmates).

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Congrats!

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Hey congratulations!

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Congratulations! I don't know what the kabalistic symbolism for building a house together would be, but the straightforward symbolism is very straightforward.

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Huge congratulations to you both. That’s wonderful news.

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Good luck! Am approaching 30 years, and while it is not always easy, it is definitely worth it.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations!

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"Prudence while fully exposed to supernatural unearthly beauty."

This was beautiful.

I was very happy to read the announcement. Congratulations to you both!

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Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! So excited for you!

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Mozel Tov!

God grant you many years!

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Micromairrage indeed. I spent 3 years actively messaging and dating on a dating site before I found my spouse. (About 10 hours a week for 150 weeks)

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Mazel tov!!!!

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Okay, seriously, what kind of person announces his marriage and then makes most of the announcement about soul-sucking messes and the exigencies of tying oneself to the mast in order to stay married? Why is it a good idea to explain all of that *in your wedding announcement*? We are all delighted if you're delighted. Congratulations. Let me know if you need a romance coach. Sounds like you need one.

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Congratulations to the two of you!

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You know, I was going to make a joke about airline manufacturing contracts not being the most romantic metaphor, but then you hit me with that "the feeling of love is like the siren's song" analogy and I nearly swooned.

Mazal Tov, Scott!

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So happy for the both of you!

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founding

Congratulations!

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One of my favorite descriptions of marriage came from Ira Glass on This American Life. He was talking with someone who absolutely refused to ever consider getting married, because he was terrified of being stuck or losing freedoms. Ira said that to him, the permanence of marriage was a feature, not a bug. Having someone that you *know* will always be with you is a tremendous comfort. No matter what may come, you won't have to face it alone; you're inescapably bound to this other person.

Of course a year or two later he ended up getting divorced, but I still find his vision to be very comforting.

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I'm curious, how does being married work with polyamory? You mentioned you were dating a biosecurity grad student, is that your wife or a different person?

(It's fine if you don't want to discuss this publicly but I was just curious.)

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Well, congratulations.

Micromarriages, huh. I spent ten years folk-dancing, which is a great way to meet people of the opposite sex, before I met her who would become my wife. If I'd thought of it as micromarriages, I would probably have given up. I was there because I liked the dancing. Dating someone I'd met there, which didn't happen until after I accidentally ran into her somewhere else, was not on my radar, thank goodness.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations! You got married in the same week as a friend from another internet sphere -- good signs all around. Wishing you and your wife joy and wonders.

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Congratulations!!

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Congratulations!

Also because I am totally that guy and this is totally the only community where nobody will look at me oddly for this:

"All you need to do is go to a thousand parties and you have a 50-50 chance of meeting the right person! Maybe that number would sound more encouraging if it was lower"

(1999/2000)^1000 =~0.606

So at 500 micromarriages per party you'd need to attend 1386 before you passed the 50% point.

At 4500 parties there's still a 10% chance of no marriage.

At 9125 parties there's still more than 1% chance of no marriage.

So assuming a flat 500 micromarriages per party, if you start with 100 people who want to find a partner and they party nightly, 365 nights per year from age 18 through to age 43 there's still going to be like one guy who's just like "I'm so tired of partying, so very tired."

https://i.redd.it/dvgc4l7nc7841.jpg

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This is really heart-warming and I've very happy for you.

I'm slowly realising that if I want to ever end up in a relationship I'm going to have to actually do something rather than just waiting for it to happen, and the micro-marriages framing seems like a useful motivational thing.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations are in order. Also thanks, I took this post as a much needed reminder that it's not too late for me.

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Congratulations!

In the great marriage tradition of unsolicited advice, the best most succinct marriage advice I've seen is "love is a choice, not a feeling". Almost every marriage has "bitch eating crackers" moments - and a key is that the basis of the marriage can't be positive feelings: you have to choose to continue showing love to your spouse even when the positive feelings aren't there.

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There is plenty of opportunity for crude love-at-first-sight jokes

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Many congratulations and best wishes to you both! Long life and great happiness, and may it go well! Kindly accept this virtual throwing of confetti, rice, and old shoes 😁

Marriage is a big step and it takes courage, so you both have done a brave thing. You are linking yourselves as one more link in the great chain that connects families and peoples and societies all the way back into the past, and helping carry that on into the future.

Don't worry about marrying at 37; my father was 35 and my mother was 31 when they married and they ended up with four of us kids (I admit, I am not the greatest inducement for "and here's a potential offspring" but your roll of the genetic dice, should you both decide to have children, will undoubtedly go a lot better).

Since you mentioned Chesterton, I'll also presume your wedding day went more smoothly (though maybe not more happily) than his:

"A man does not generally manage to forget his wedding-day; especially such a highly comic wedding-day as mine. For the family remembers against me a number of now familiar legends, about the missing of trains, the losing of luggage, and other things counted yet more eccentric. It is alleged against me, and with perfect truth, that I stopped on the way to drink a glass of milk in one shop and to buy a revolver with cartridges in another. Some have seen these as singular wedding-presents for a bridegroom to give to himself; and if the bride had known less of him, I suppose she might have fancied that he was a suicide or a murderer or, worst of all, a teetotaller. They seemed to me the most natural things in the world. I did not buy the pistol to murder myself or my wife; I never was really modern. I bought it because it was the great adventure of my youth, with a general notion of protecting her from the pirates doubtless infesting the Norfolk Broads, to which we were bound; where, after all, there are still a suspiciously large number of families with Danish names. I shall not be annoyed if it is called childish; but obviously it was rather a reminiscence of boyhood, and not of childhood. But the ritual consumption of the glass of milk really was a reminiscence of childhood. I stopped at that particular dairy because I had always drunk a glass of milk there when walking with my mother in my infancy."

Tolkien has a more pragmatic view, because making a marriage work *is* hard work:

"Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the 'real soul-mate' is the one you are actually married to. You really do very little choosing: life and circumstance do most of it (though if there is a God these must be His instruments, or His appearances). It is notorious that in fact happy marriages are more common where the 'choosing' by the young persons is even more limited, by parental or family authority, as long as there is a social ethic of plain unromantic responsibility and conjugal fidelity. But even in countries where the romantic tradition has so far affected social arrangements as to make people believe that the choosing of a mate is solely the concern of the young, only the rarest good fortune brings together the man and woman who are really as it were 'destined' for one another, and capable of a very great and splendid love. The idea still dazzles us, catches us by the throat: poems and stories in multitudes have been written on the theme, more, probably, than the total of such loves in real life (yet the greatest of these tales do not tell of the happy marriage of such great lovers, but of their tragic separation; as if even in this sphere the truly great and splendid in this fallen world is more nearly achieved by 'failure' and suffering). In such great inevitable love, often love at first sight, we catch a vision, I suppose, of marriage as it should have been in an unfallen world."

May you both be happy, may you both be content, may you both be a strength and support to the other during the troubles of life.

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Congratulations. Sometimes it is a good thing to throw one's lot in with someone else.

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Congratulations!

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Super many congratulations! And H/T Aella! Listening to Aella’s awesome weirdness. ….https://open.spotify.com/episode/32BmFQ1AgobWFmBsqJkEew?si=3uz_LEWVRyCQ0tkrTOjRUA

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Mazel Tov! I'm so happy for you! May you have prosperity and joy and a the family you want! And yes, being hopelessly in love *can* last. I still stare at my partner while he sleeps, and we've been together for 14 years.

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Congratulations!!

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Congratulations!!!

I'm an anti-marriage rationalist myself. I don't need a contract to maintain loving commitment to my partner. We've been engaged (as we define it, which is a level of commitment beyond dating) for 22 years. Made easier by deciding to not have kids.

If we were to have had kids, a contract would have had been far more prudent, and more likely to have happened, however.

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A few years ago, I was sitting on an airplane next to an airplane engineer of some sort (I don't remember the specifics). As was my wont, I asked him what's new in his industry, and he started talking about how one of the engine manufacturers recently announced they had a new design that would save on fuel costs by ~20%. He said normal incremental improvements weren't usually enough to spur new airplane purchases by airlines, but that this was big enough to drive some relatively large airplane orders.

This in turn set off a sort of 'bidding war' with the other two major engine manufacturers, who had to figure out how to also achieve a ~20% fuel reduction or miss out on the new round of plane orders.

I asked him how they managed to do that. Presumably, if they already knew how to squeeze an extra 20% fuel economy they would have. He said they did the same thing the first company did: they lied.

Or rather, they got some engineers to put together an engine that could 'theoretically' get 20% better fuel economy, but as is normal in the industry they sold it all without even a working prototype. That's because the engine, to work, would need to ignore a few minor details like the melting point of some of the materials it was made of. The practical engineers who would need to implement the design would have to completely overhaul the whole thing in order to even begin to make it work.

Since they would never be able to deliver what they promised, they wrote concessions into the contract. The airlines didn't EXPECT to get what they were promised, but they weren't going to pay for something less when it was delivered so the contract made sure they were compensated to the degree the manufacturer under-delivered.

This gave the manufacturer the incentive to try and provide as close as possible what they originally promised. After a few years of iterating, they would eventually get to the 20% improvement, but not until a lot of planes were already delivered.

I don't know if someone else here is more familiar with this process, but something about it feels apt to me in a post about marriage. Lots of excitement early on about major promises for future improvements. Later failure to deliver all that was promised (despite attempts to do so) because the promise was unrealistically high. Then, over time, the product is improved to the point where the original promise is finally realized. As someone who has over a decade of marriage under his belt, this feels like a good analogy.

Congratulations, Scott and +1.

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Congratulations and continued fortune!

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Congratulations Scott! I wish you the best in your marriage.

You have lots of intellectual children now, so I think you'll do fine with some physical ones.

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I know this is supposed to be for rationalists, but that is really cute.

Happy for you Scott. Every life needs those dials pegged at 100% every once in a while.

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Best wishes, Scott!

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Congrats!

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Congratulations, Scott! Best to you both.

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I wish you the joy of it. Tie yourself tightly to that mast.

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Congratulations!!!!!

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations!

I completely understand the reluctance to blog about your personal life, but I'm so glad you didn't deprive us of the opportunity to rejoice with you!

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Congratulations!

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Mazal Tov!!!

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One of the most wonderful things. Sincere congratulations.

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Congratulations - this is a wonderful post and a wonderful new beginning. Wishing you both every happiness

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations, Scott!

I think in "increasing my cross section", which may be something similar to micromarriages.

"In physics, the cross section is a measure of the probability that a specific process will take place when some kind of radiant excitation (e.g. a particle beam, sound wave, light, or an X-ray) intersects a localized phenomenon (e.g. a particle or density fluctuation). For example, the Rutherford cross-section is a measure of probability that an alpha particle will be deflected by a given angle during a collision with an atomic nucleus. Cross section is typically denoted σ (sigma) and is expressed in units of area, more specific in barns. In a way, it can be thought of as the size of the object that the excitation must hit in order for the process to occur, but more exactly, it is a parameter of a stochastic process."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_section_(physics)

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Wonderful! 15 years in myself and it only gets better and better. Congratulations to you and your beautiful bride!

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Congratulations!

“Chris says: instead, think of yourself as getting 500 micromarriages each time . All you need to do is go to a thousand parties and you have a 50-50 chance of meeting the right person!”

I feel like the math here is a bit off. Surely you don’t just multiply the probability with the number of events to get the correct number, right?

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This is a beautiful post -- thank you for sharing it with us. Congratulations to you both!

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Thanks for sharing, and congratulations to both of you.

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Mazel Tov!

My wife and I received this toast when we got married, and it really stuck with me: Welcome to the first of many marriages! May they all be with the same person. :-)

Congratulations to you both.

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Dammit.

Just yesterday it occurred to me that I have no idea what you look like, and I resolved to not correct that.

So much for resolve. :D

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From the title, I was afraid you were about to announce you'd died. Congratulations on much happier news.

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congratulations!!!!

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Congratulations! Marriage is about the shared storied, and you are well on the way to a long and successful relationship. Wishing you and your significant other a lifetime of bliss.

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Congrats!

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founding

Congratulations!!

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Congratulations!

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Congrats Scott! Thanks for sharing the good vibes :) and the micromarriages approach!

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.مبارک باشه! امیدوارم خوشبخت شوید

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Mazes Tov!!!

(Yes, autocorrect turned “Mazel” into “Mazes,” but I like it, so it’s staying)

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Congrats! I've done it twice, once badly and once (apparently/so far/knock on wood) better. Yes it is a contract but....no it's not "like any other". It is in my own experience its own unique category for good and/or ill.

(And even while failing at it I never stopped wanting to learn and get better and try again. Very glad that I did.)

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"Is it possible to like someone so much that the positive emotion builds on itself, grows stronger and stronger with every interaction"

Yes.

Invest in your joint future every single day. The currency is sacrifice.

It isn't even complicated. Just that few think it worth the price. They are fucking idiots.

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Congrats! Best of luck to the both of you!

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Aaand here goes rationalist bachelor #1!

Congratulations!!

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Congratulations! I have long used a game theory - restricting options - type description of marriage but I'm stealing yours now because it is better. Also: I like your suit, the purples go well together (I'm on a compliment men about their garments kick, it happens too infrequently and is an easy way to make people happier).

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations!

I'm one of those rare breeds that found success on Tinder. It's only been about 6 months with my current partner, but I still think about these questions of commitment a lot. The only metric I've ever found to be successful is the same one I used for deciding my job and college major - on my worst days ever, am I still going to pick this (person/job/field/etc)?

It's easy to choose in a euphoric happy mood or even your default. But is it still the decision you make when you wake up late for work, your coffee was wrong, your boss gave you extra projects, and some asshole cut you off in traffic on the way home?

If the answer is yes, chances are you're on the right path.

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I never realized I wanted to know what a Scott Alexander article on marriage would look like until I saw it. So: thank you for taking time out of the rest of your life to share that with us. Wow. Enjoy the rest. I can't wait to see what it will be like, either.

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

Obligatory nerdpick re "exactly one million micromarriages later":

I think the number of micromarriages after which your probability of being married is 1/2, is that X for which (1 - 1/10^6)^X = 0.5. In LISP, that's (/ (log .5) (log (- 1 (/ 1 (expt 10 6))))) = 693146.9.

(That's 1 million times the natural log of 2. The simplification of the formula is left as an exercise to the reader.)

Your probability of being married at least once after 1 million micromarriages is

(- 1 (exp (* (expt 10 6) (log (- 1 (/ 1 (expt 10 6))))))) = 0.6321207

The expected number of the roughly 340,000,000 Americans alive today who would fail to find marriage after 10 million micromarriages is

(* 340000000 (exp (* (expt 10 7) (log (- 1 (/ 1 (expt 10 6))))))) = 15435.902

To estimate your own personal chances of getting married using standardized micromarriage values for particular social events, you must merely assume that all people are identical, and that your perceived desirabilities at different social events aren't correlated. If these conditions aren't met, you may wish to replace your native social responses with ones generated by GPT trained on a sufficiently large corpus of observed social behavior.

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Scott, are all 100k readers of this blog invited to the wedding? :D Congratulations!

I love the idea of micromarriages. I would also point out that doing things like working out hard at the gym and losing weight down to 10-12% bodyfat will do wonders to improve one's rate of success. So if you had 500 micromarriage points at 20% bodyfat, you'll probably have 2000 micromarriage points at 12% bodyfat. Being attractive works :-)

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Congratulations, Scott! Super stoked for you!

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Congratulations! Wonderfully wholesome post.

I have used the advice of 'maximize the amount of low-probability chances' with dating as well (it does seem in a way like just a nerdy extrapolation of 'go outside and do things', but works online too!), with the other side I sometimes tell people being a Shelling point-like approach: 'imagine the types of places you might, by chance, encounter your ideal partner, and go to those places, whether it is a loud bar, an introverted book club, a role-playing video game, Twitter responses to an obscure poll, a niche discord server, or something even weirder'.

Having absurdly strong positive trapped priors with respect to another person sounds a lot like a nerdy definition of love to me, and in my opinion makes it worth pursuing all the more.

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Mazel tov!

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Mazel tov, you two lovebirds!

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A good ending. Congratulations!

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What a fascinating approach!

Congratulations and wish you both a lovely life together.

On staying married, I think there needs to be a commitment to the commitment. I think Westerners cut themselves too much slack on this one.

My advice to people trying to get married is to think about the type of person you like, and put yourself in places where they are likely to hang out. At some point, if you meet someone and connect, make a commitment without over-thinking it. :) What is over-thinking...? You'll know.

Best of luck!

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Jan 12, 2022·edited Jan 12, 2022

קול ששון, וקול שמחה, קול חתן, וקול כלה!

Re-met my wife in a role-playing one shot of blades in the dark I arranged to get over a breakup. We knew each other before, but she had a boyfriend at the time and it wasn't meant to be. Until it was.

What I'm trying to say - life is hilariously weird. Mazal Tov :)

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"and exactly one million micromarriages later"

Unlikely.

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Congratulations!

Really boring and incredibly pleasing comment section at the same time.

Nice photo too, although one from Aella's party would have been more interesting.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations Scott!

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Congratulations. You're a good person, and you deserve to be happy.

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For anyone looking to maximize their micro-marriages, I highly recommend some kind of dance class. Our salsa rueda class ended up pairing off half of the people who stuck with it, including me. It was a 500k micromarriage event!

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Congrats!

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Congratulations! May you have a long, happy life together.

(very cute post)

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Wow, congratulations, Scott!

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Many blessings!!!

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Awesome, congratulations and best wishes to you and your wife - she can count herself extremely lucky!

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Thank you for sharing Scott - many many congratulations

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Congratulations!

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