Statistics-informed approach to marriage goes awry

A story of math and romance… “Local professor says he lost $50,000 after being deceived by a Russian mail order bride” (WMAR, Baltimore):

Dr. Jonathan Farley met his wife through a Russian online dating site. He was after true love, but he believes his wife was after a Green Card and his money. He estimates he lost close to $50,000.

Farley, an accomplished mathematician, looked at finding love like a statistics problem.

“There are 10 million more women than men in Russia,” said Farley.

He liked his odds, so he traveled to Siberia where he met a woman in an unconventional way.

The website delivered a match. She was 20, he was 42.

Within two weeks of getting married, Farley said his wife’s behavior completely changed.

Perhaps the problem is that he didn’t work from complete data? Wikipedia does not show that dramatically more 20-year-old Russians identify as female compared to the number who identify as male.

I wonder if this being featured by a TV station shows Americans’ fascination with Russian villains. “America, Home of the Transactional Marriage” (Atlantic) suggests that more Americans get married for the cash than do folks in other countries (in a lot of other countries, it is almost impossible to turn a substantial profit on a past sexual relationship).

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11 thoughts on “Statistics-informed approach to marriage goes awry

  1. What a new height in stupidity & it doesn’t aid the stereotype of certain races having lower intelligence. The guy can solve lattice theories & graduated with the highest honors but somehow went 42 years without ever discovering the social order.

  2. The guy got a cheap lesson in probability theory and the woman was a real dolt to have been so impatient — if they had had a child he would have been on the hook for a lot more than $50K and she would have had a life annuity.

  3. It doesn’t add up:
    1. He courted her for 3 years (!) before the marriage. That’s a very long time for it to be a planned scam. $50K profits spread over 3 years is not a lot, even in Russia.
    2. He complains about her bills from Walmart, B&B and Ikea. Those are not exactly high end jewelry stores. The girl was probably shopping for the household stuff (vacuum cleaner? microwave? TV?).
    3. She scammed him for a green card to go to… Turkey? Yeah?

    • Yes! To be precise, we only get stories from one side of the barbed wire fence, the other one being more difficult: is it even worth it?

  4. Perhaps the problem is that he didn’t work from complete data? Wikipedia does not show that dramatically more 20-year-old Russians identify as female compared to the number who identify as male.

    In the end, that doesn’t matter. The relevant statistic is probably the median or average income of Russian men compared to American men. I know a guy who came over form Russia around twenty years ago. He and his wife have a few of these couples (American guy/Russian woman) in their circle of Russian immigrant friends. He told me that misunderstandings about money are common. One difference between the two countries is that Russians usually buy their homes for cash, so there’ no monthly mortgage payment.

    • Please note that there are more than two genders! If you talk about the men earning power, you are advocating for the patriarchy! And do admit it, you are advocating for the worst of its kind: the WHITE patriarchy.

      As Uncle Vova Putin tells us, the main reason Russians buy their homes for cash is that credit products are not as common or available in Mother Russia as in the decaying US of A: only thieves, speculators, prostitutes, and American spies can afford purchases on credit

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