Steve Sailer quotes one of several readers writing in on the dating scene today:

My experience in the undergraduate dating scene, such as it is, has been that Feynman’s admonition against paying compliments to women is somewhat outmoded. He was writing at a time when chivalrous traditions in America were still relatively strong, everyone thought that the way to woo and wed was trhough [sic] whispering sweet nothings. Not to be melodramatic but today chivalry is dead or at least in a persistent vegetative state. What this means for the women in my social circle is that they almost never receive compliments from men. I noticed this and have found that when I do issue a compliment they are remarkably greatful [sic]. Obviously compliments alone don’t do it, you have to show enough ‘machismo’ to be in the game, but their rarity has allowed compliments to regain a certain amount of value today.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but this seems to me to be almost completely and in all ways untrue.  Not only are compliments rare, but when they are offered they are a sure sign of a man who has no idea what he is doing.  Men who persist in this habit are almost assuredly living in a time warp or are, like myself, dedicated reactionaries. 

I do not presume to know much of anything about this part of life, but I can tell you that chivalry is (unfortunately) only too dead and complimenting ladies has gone the way of wearing powdered wigs and waistcoats–as has the distinction of referring to some women as ladies–because the compliments, while technically appreciated, are worse than useless.  They are in most cases counterproductive or as good as putting up a giant, blinking sign that says, “Hey, I’m desperate and a walking, talking anachronism!”  This is a loss for the ladies, and for women in general, and a loss for civilisation, but there it is.