XKCD’s What If? Soul Mates

Science comic xkcd.com has starting posting fairly amusing hypothetical questions every Tuesday and trying to answer them scientifically. This week’s question:

“What if everyone actually had only one soul mate, a random person somewhere in the world?” —Benjamin Staffin

What if we did have one randomly-assigned perfect soul mate, and we couldn’t be happy with anyone else? Would we find each other?

We’ll assume your soul mate is set at birth. You know nothing about who or where they are, but—as in the romantic cliché—you’ll recognize each other the moment your eyes meet.

Right away, this raises a few questions. For starters, is your soul mate even still alive? A hundred billion or so humans have ever lived, but only seven billion are alive now (which gives the human condition a 93% mortality rate). If we’re all paired up at random, 90% of our soul mates are long dead.

Read the full thought exercise.

For the record, I am very happy with my not-even-close-to-soulmate-but-still-awesome partner. 🙂

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