Does Monogamy Work?

A note about the Dinner Table:

So Dinner Tables are a fun part of Wait But Why, a lot of people participate (200 – 500 on a typical week), it’s another way for the WBW community to hang out with each other, and it’s nice to have something new happening on the site at least once a week, even when no posts have gone up recently.

But taking a step back and assessing the Dinner Table experiment after our 50th question last week, I see two problems:

1) I have two options when I do each Dinner Table: do it quickly and come up with a not-that-clever question and a not-super-well-thought-out answer, or take the time to do it well and it eats up somewhere between a half day and a full day. Neither of those is ideal.

2) As I’ve gotten busier, Dinner Tables have begun to slip through the cracks and what was a consistent schedule for the first 30 DTs has become inconsistent more recently.

So here’s our solution: We have a huge pile of Dinner Table question submissions from readers (which readers submit to, and we’re going to simply choose a great one every week and post it—consistently and without fail, every Sunday at 9:00am ET. I’ll still answer the questions some weeks, but when I do, it’ll be in the comment section with everybody else. This new plan solves both problems above.

Other than the absence of the usual “Tim’s Answer” below the question, the Dinner Table experience should be the same for you—just on a much more consistent schedule.

What this means is that reader question submissions are even more important now—we’ll need them to keep the Dinner Table going. So think about moral quandaries, creative puzzles, life questions, current events debates, or anything else you’d like to pose to a few thousand smart people, and send them to

Long live the Dinner Table,



Does monogamy work?

Thanks to Bethanie G. from Washington, D.C. for this week’s topic.

Monogamous relationships are pretty common—but so are affairs. Is it possible for humans to be loyal to a single partner or is monogamy doomed to fail? Should people be monogamous? If not, why do you think so many people try to make it work? And what about open relationships—can they work?


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