I like what Tim Pool represents in terms of being an alternative to traditional journalism. He’s basically doing the same thing journalists do, but he strips away the pomp and suits and globes spinning in the background and the sing-songy voice and the pseudo-academic facade. He’s a regular guy like you might have known in college, a pretty bright guy, who has a camera and talks about stuff that’s going on. He’s also willing to go to dangerous parts of the world, or to confront very powerful people and ask them the questions that are on lots of people’s minds. But I also like to rag on Tim Pool because for some reason he comes off (to me anyway) as the dopey kid brother of the so-called “intellectual dark web.”
Today I watched a video in which Pool talks about why millennials aren’t getting married as early or as much as people in previous generations. To make his point, he discussed his personal experience looking for a girlfriend: he goes to OKCupid or some such dating site, and it asks his ideological stances on things: he’s sort of moderate left-wing on social and economic policy, he’s anti-war, he’s a secular atheist, etc. The dating site proceeds to recommend girls who are either extreme far left-wing, or very religious and pro-war. From this, and from some statistics he got (I forget where), he concludes that there simply aren’t enough women in his age range (he’s 32 so he’s looking for women who are about his age or a bit younger) with whom he’s compatible. He then rang the alarm bell that millennial women are extremely far left and that his generation is politically polarized along gender lines so the on-average conservative men don’t like them, plus a few other things like both men and women being too busy with their careers, and that this is why millennials aren’t getting married.
Caveat: I have zero first-hand experience dating as a fully-formed adult; I was effectively engaged at 21 and before that most girls, except for a handful in high school, took very little interest in me. (I had no money, no prospects, I dressed like a homeless person, and I was also scrawny and eccentric; I don’t blame them.)
That said, what I do have is fourteen years in a stable, happy, productive, monogamous relationship. I’m pretty sure no dating site would ever have matched my wife and me together. Therefore I propose that Tim Pool’s first mistake was going straight to the internet to find a serious romantic partner. (From what I hear the internet is a fine place to find a one-night stand, if you’re into that kind of thing and aspire to one day attract the rage of the MeToo movement.) Tim Pool lambasts Twitter’s and Youtube’s algorithms all day; can’t he see the OKCupid’s might not be great either?
Pool’s second mistake is to assume the best match is someone he agrees with on everything. He said he’s kind of burned out on the culture war (understandable, given his job) and doesn’t want to have to debate it with a hypothetical girlfriend.
My grandparents have been married something like 70 years. All they do is argue: about politics; about art and music; about what to cook for dinner. But they love each other dearly. I’ve seen few couples who are so compatible. So even if Tim comes home every night to Mrs. Pool and they debate politics and war and religion, Tim might still find it to be a very rewarding relationship.
Pool’s third mistake is to assume there would be arguments at all. Just because someone responds to a multiple choice question on a website doesn’t mean their answer is the thing they are most interested in and always want to talk about. Tim Pool demonstrates this himself, since he answered those same questions and then said he doesn’t want to argue about the culture war with his girlfriend!
I said earlier that no dating site would have ever matched my wife and me together. We’re different politically, religiously, and we’re different races too, with very different life experiences to boot. Our tastes in music and movies etc. overlap in critical places but are still quite divergent.
What we agree on are the values with which we raise our children, what’s important in our lives, what we’re willing to do to make our relationship continue to work, and that we always support each other — those kinds of things. These are what matter in the end, not politics or religion or if we like the same books.
The point of marriage isn’t to find someone who’ll validate all your opinions, and it’s frustrating to see people close to my age walking away from the institution that holds society together just because they don’t understand this.
As he himself admits, Tim Pool doesn’t realistically have time for a girlfriend. The guy puts out like twelve videos a day or something; he’s always working, and he travels a lot too. And that’s fine; he doesn’t have a ticking clock in his abdomen. But if the day comes when he decides he’s interested in getting serious and settling down, he should look for ways to meet women organically, or maybe connect more deeply with a woman he already knows. He should keep in mind that there’s bound to be lots of discussion topics he and any given woman disagree on; that’s normal and doesn’t by itself indicate a lack of compatibility. Mutual respect and admiration, and a willingness to work together and be present with one another, are far more crucial.
The final thing to consider is that people change. Their politics change, what they’re interested in or consider important changes, and who you start dating is often not the person you marry, is often not the person you’re married to 1, 5, 10, or 50 years later. (People tend to get more conservative as they age too.) Aside from always continuing to change on your own, you change each other, and the things you experience as a couple change you together.
I sure hope Tim changes his hat, though. Otherwise I can’t imagine what that thing must smell like.