HomeLifestyleJoan Ball, the forgotten creator of “matchmaking” – Liberation

    Joan Ball, the forgotten creator of “matchmaking” – Liberation

    The 400 Asses

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    Tinder owes him everything. Greatly forgotten in the history of “computer dating”, the English Joan Ball, alias Za, is the subject of a documentary at 87, the first to pay homage to her.

    Books on dating sites always tell the same story: they claim that in 1965, two students from the American University of Harvard created Operation Match, the so-called “first digital tool to find a soul mate”. However, this is false. “The very first computer-assisted matching service dates back to 1964 and was initiated by a woman: Joan Ball” : For Valentina Periartist and anthropologist specializing in romantic encounters, it was time to pay tribute to the true inventor of “matchmaking”.

    Born in 1934, Joan Ball had never before been filmed. When Valentina Peri learns that she is still alive, a sense of urgency seizes her: her portrait must be painted. “I had learned of its existence through two articles by a researcher called Mar Hicks, explains Valentina Peri. Immediately, I sought his contact. That was two years ago, at the height of the pandemic. Impossible to go to London in full confinement. The anguish that it was too late in my heart, I first called on the phone. Joan Ball wrote back to me. Immediately the connection was made. But for a year, I could do nothing but chat from a distance, racked with anxiety that she might be swept away by the disease that all the media says strikes the elderly first. It took


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