When he looks for lovers, my great engineer friend George relies on data. They need to have blue eyes, blond hair, an appreciation for fine dining and an IQ (and height) just two points below his.
Oh, and the lover must be a woman. Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg, however, has declared that women should not marry George, except in exceptional circumstances.
For she is adamant that women should marry women. The reason is very simple: the data says so.
In an interview for the PBS/AOL "Makers" series, Sandberg didn't quote the source of her data but was sure of its truth.
"The most important thing -- and I've said it a hundred times and I'll say it a hundred times -- if you marry a man, marry the right one. If you can marry a woman, that's better because the split between two women in the home is pretty even, the data shows," she said.
As I understand it, in real life, Sandberg went against the data. She married a man -- but presumably the right one, David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey.
On the other hand, perhaps it was SurveyMonkey that actually provided her with the data, when it was all too late. For, on the company's fine Web site, I noticed this recommendation: "SurveyMonkey makes it easy to conduct, manage and analyze research that drives our business forward."
This recommendation came from Sheila Normile, a market researcher at, well, Facebook.
I am imagining, therefore, that one day a debate ensued in the Sandberg household as to whether it was better for a woman to marry a man or a woman. The publicly available information strewn all over Facebook was then corralled to see whether women married to a woman were happier than those married to a man.
A number was put to every emotion. A number was put to every nuance in every status update, wall post, and tagged image. The conclusion was that women were happier being married to a woman.
During the interview, Sandberg says that the more successful a man gets, the more he inspires "likes," whereas it is the reverse for women. Which suggests that any data that led to her conclusions might be imperfect.
What we surely need to see is data that suggests that the more successful a man or woman, the more (or less) they contribute to their marriages.
Perhaps less successful men contribute more because they think less of themselves and therefore need to prove themselves at least competent at home. Perhaps more successful men (and women) don't feel the need to contribute, especially if the they are married to someone less successful.
Data, like the most beautiful of marriages, surely has no end.
So, for my friend George -- and, indeed, for all of us searching for the perfect spouse -- we need to discover more details of the true inclinations of both men and women to contribute to the household lot.
Surely Facebook, the repository of all human feelings, is the perfect company to provide it.