By/Association is a social networking site (for those of you over 40, that would be like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, Friendster, Linked In, and a bazillion others), but it’s not a social networking site like anything you’re used to. 

Eschewing the constant, digital chatter of Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter feed or the fail-prone, too-much-info’d updates of Facebook, By/Association is a membership based social networking sites that links up real people in the real world just one time a month.

And, to boot, you’re not even in control of who you meet. Their entire operation is predicated on the notion of synthesis being the true spark of genius/romance/whatever. That’s not exactly new, but they’re definitely doing it in a new (for our generation) way. Ironically, though, they still felt compelled to start a Twitter.

Their five-point list of inspiration is succinct, and interesting (like an internet list ought to), but our favorite is number five: 

Littlewood’s Law

According to Cambridge University professor J.E. Littlewood, mathematically, individuals can expect a miracle (an exceptional event of special significance) to happen to them at the rate of about one per month. We would like to guarantee those odds for you.

So, once a month, the Man Behind the Curtain assesses the membership of By/Association (at present, limited to N.Y., L.A., S.F., and London), and decides who else in the database they’d be best served by meeting.  Four more cities are planned for this winter, and as the site grows, the decisions for who meets who will be undertaken (at least in part) by a programming algorithm, but the spirit of the site will remain both exclusive and minimalist – something we can definitely get behind with a sort of masculine dignity.

You can apply here, your dues will be waived for 2009 (presumably because it’s almost over), but next year is going to cost you $99.  This is only paid, though, if your application is accepted. 

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