March 2, 2016

Don't Hurt Me: Ansari's "Modern Love"



For the most part, Ansari’s book can pass as a contemporary social science book.
It is so conventional, in fact, it cites both Iyengar’s “Jam Study” and the Aron / Dutton “Bridge Study”. It does not invoke Philip Zimbardo, Milgram, or the Marshmallow study, as far as I know. For what it is, it is an interesting look into the dating scene for the contemporary lonely-hearts in terms of modern courtship. It is, at its heart, a larger explication of the book “Dataclysm” by Christian Rudder (who the author cites).

What makes the book stand out is the credited author is the famous comedian Ansari (His coauthor makes the inside flap copy, but not the cover). Ansari’s voice is very noticeable throughout the text – but I had the feeling that on reading that the authorial intrusions would be relatable to people who know the speech cadences of the comedian, but perhaps off-putting to those who were unfamiliar. Aside from the fact that the argument could be made that the book’s look at modern love is one that is highly privileged to the urban and straight first world, the book works for what it is.  Fans of both the comedian and contemporary social science books should find something that is interesting and entertaining stories to pass on.