There is a world not too different from our own, at a technology level not too different from our own, with a population similar to our own. Recently, scientists have discovered (by chance in an unrelated study) that there is a legitimate measurable brain wave pattern that matches between two people that can be considered "soul mates." (Assume the study is scientifically rigorous.)

The study found that these "pairs" of individuals share patterns of thought when separated by distance and when not interacting with one another. Similar to quantum entanglement, they think similar thoughts at similar times, even going to much as to share emotions in the vast majority of cases.

Naturally, as a result of the study, nearly everyone on the planet wants to find their match.

The scientists are busy working on commercializing a solution, but Joe is an enterprising young man who wants to beat them to it. He thinks that there's some way he can exploit this "mental link" if you will to pass messages to his other half. (Her name is Jane, but he doesn't know that yet.)

Some details about the system:

  • There is exactly one "match" per person. Ignore the situations where one of the matches is eliminated (death, other reasons)

  • Basic thoughts and motivations are shared in real time. As a result, when fully separated and outside major external influences, a pair of individuals that are "matched" will say similar things, act similarly, eat and sleep around the same time, etc.

  • The problem arises when two people know about the rule and attempt to "pass" messages to each other by thinking particular thoughts. If Joe thinks "Hello" then Jane also thinks "Hello", so simple things like this are passed easily. (It's important to realize that Joe doesn't cause Jane to think the same things, or vice versa, they just probabilistically happen to think the same things around the same time. Call it just a feature of this particular universe)

  • Jane and Joe are simultaneously thinking about how they would like to communicate with each other, but to their disappointment, all the "easy" ways they can think of don't work. If Joe and Jane think: "My address is: XXX Main Street," or even something as simple as: "I live in the city called: XXXXX", by the nature of the system, they each think the answer of that question that applies to them, so they have no insight into what the other is thinking.

  • Jane and Joe do have free will, but in this system, I think you'd have to consider it free will as a unit, together, where maybe one entity controls the both of them (and they make the same, or very similar choices.) That's the only way I can think to permit this system to coexist with a concept of "free will."

Is there any way for Joe and Jane to transfer any information about their selves as separate entities, in order for them to sell this process as a way of meeting your "match?"

  • $\begingroup$ If anyone can think of a better title, by all means proceed to edit. $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 6:08
  • $\begingroup$ The sounds a lot like RSA random number generators that are used for security in online transactions. A server has a pseudo random number generator that changes output with time, while the end user has a token with a copy of the program that generates the same number at the same time as the server. When completing a transaction, the user inputs the output of his token, which the server compares with its own copy. If they are identical, the transaction proceeds. Instead of two programs here, you have people. $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Nov 18, 2017 at 6:15
  • $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting that if users could compare the times in which they shared thoughts it could eventually be used to match them? That sounds like a compelling solution, but I don't know how the two of them would coordinate to share the data... something like this would only work if there was a massive system where MANY people input their data and it auto matched. $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ Are both of them guaranteed to live in same country? Are they guaranteed to have similar capability, i.e financial economy, disability, etc.? $\endgroup$
    – Vylix
    Nov 18, 2017 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Vylix probably not, but for the purposes of this question assume they are... The only difficulty I'm trying to focus on in this particular question is the difficulty in overcoming the information scrambling portion of this... $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 8:10

3 Answers 3


If the information you have provided is known to the soul-mate seekers, then averaging might help. Assuming that both members of a pair are simultaneously attempting to find their mate, the following set of rituals are recommended.

During your next day off, relax and listen carefully to your body and try to get a sense of when it is getting hungry and/or tired. Now compare those feeling to the norms of your local cultural. If you seem to be running a little ahead of your local culture, then your soul mate probably lives to east of you. If your natural hunger and sleepiness are running later than those around you, then your soul mate lives to the west. What is happening is that your soul mate's circadian rhythms are pulling against yours, trying to make you more accustomed to the day night cycle of their homeland. These sensations of hunger and tiredness are not information which can be corrupted by each individuals frame of reference. They are exactly the kinds of pure emotion which travel without translation across the link.

Once you have a direction to go, move to a timezone which is exactly half way between your local timezone and the timezone that your body prefers. You only have to move halfway because your soulmate, having similar thoughts and experiences to you, will be crossing the other half distance in the opposite direction.

Now relax again and take a few days to measure your body's acclamation to your new home. If you are right in sync immediately, then your soul mate is nearby and you are ready for the next step. If not, watch your body's hunger and energy levels over the next few weeks. Your soul mate might be having trouble crossing the distance. When they arrive, you will know because you will finally feel comfortable in the new land where you live.

At this point, it is safe to go to the scientific testing center in your new timezone and get compared to the other people who are entering the testing center at about the same time. The scientists, using the same techniques with which they discovered the phenomenon in the first place, should be able to lead you to your match from among this greatly reduced candidate pool.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The cleverness about the timezones is brilliant! It's a great start! I'm not accepting this immediately since the situation indicates that there are not yet testing centers, and Joe and Jane are trying to come up with a way to do this without the scientific testing portion, just using their minds. If there's no better options soon though, I might have to accept this one just because it's so clever! $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ In the absence of testing centers, the couple could use other shared traits to minimize their mutual search area. As time zones drove them on an east/west axis, sensitivity to heat or cold might drive them north or south. Then instead of thinking about the name of the city they are in, they could simply go to the small town which they most want to see. If their curiosities are in-sync, they will end up in the same town. Then each simply needs to choose the most obscure cuisine that they love for lunch. Thus they end up in the same restaurant. Finding each other should be easy from there. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2017 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ I love it! Your answer is brilliant! It might be a lot of work for Joe and Jane, but if they're serious about it, this would work! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 17:08

Hmm ... simple thoughts transfer, eh? How about there is a pamphlet published which maps colors to numbers. GREEN is 0, RED is 1, ... BROWN is 9. Pamphlet also says that women are to try this process on even numbered hours (GMT) and men are to try it on odd hours.

What's the process? Assume it's 9pm GMT. John thinks, YELLOW...WHITE...WHITE... etc until he's encoded his phone number. If Jane is "listening", she can write down the colors, translate them to numbers, and call up her soul mate!

If it doesn't work, no problem! At 10pm GMT, Jane will start thinking, WHITE...RED...PURPLE... and so on, trying to send her number to John.

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't really address the issue I'm trying to solve. I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear, but I'm specifically asking how a person would "listen." Just changing numbers to colors provides no specific advantage. $\endgroup$
    – Sam Weaver
    Nov 18, 2017 at 8:12

What you suggest is not consistent with the laws of physics in our world. Even in quantum entanglement there can be no instantaneous transferring of information or device to exploit such information sending. There is an information paradox that exists that makes it impossible for anyone to originate a signal. Consider the case that particle one has a state that corresponds with a bit of information. For anyone near particle two to extract this information he must alter its state. This altering is instantaneously experienced by the entagled counterpart, effectively ruing the original information sent. This information paradox cannot be violated with thoughts either. I don't feel you have way out of this unless your world is fundamentally unlike ours in a way where paradox is possible. Such a world would be incongruent, though. For our existence to have causality and logical timelines certain things cannot be violated. Hope that helps.


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