Saturday, June 25, 2005

the distal science + green grow the crushes

Martine writes:
i've had independent conversations with friends who have said they feel like the outsider of a group. when i ask them to describe who the core of a group is, each ends up listing the other that had described herself as the outsider. essentially a group ends up consisting of a bunch of people who think they're the one on the outside while thinking the rest of the people are a cohesive whole.
One can observe an exactly analogous phenomenon if you go up to sociologists and ask them who a "mainstream sociologist" is.

With regard to Ang & Martine's back-and-forth crush discussion: although JFW rarely weighs in on any matters of the heart, two points do have to be made:

1. As a matter of mathematical necessity, the average crush of the average person is of a sort where the crushee is the object of more crushes-by-other-people than the crusher. The proof is left as an exercise for those bloggers who occasionally burst into calculus.

2. Crushes are always known to the crusher and only occasionally known to the crushee. To be the sort of person who would sit down and count as many outgoing crushes and incoming crushes, you would--not quite by mathematical necessity--have to have either a massive crushee:crusher ratio or be the sort of person who often falsely judges her/himself to be a crushed object.

8 comments:

A+ said...

Okay, I admit it. I have no idea what you're saying in point #1.

lago said...

Also, all of your friends have more friends than you.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I think what he's saying is that people upon whom many people HAVE crushes do not themselves have many "crushes." They get laid.

On a related note, I apparently became "cool" in the town where I went to college right about the time I graduated and moved away. Now all the hep kids speak of me admiringly, or so I hear. But I never got invited to their parties.

A+ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jeremy said...

As Lago suspects, point #1 is the extension of the "your friends have more friends than you" point to the domain of crushes. On average, if A has a crush on B, there are more other people who have crushes on B than crushes on A.

astrid jane said...

"Your friends always have more friends than you" reminds of how most people, when asked, will admit that they consider themselves to be "above average" in attractiveness/intelligence/driving ability, etc.. Even though most people will then modestly demur that they may be only "slightly above average," slightly more than half of them still have to be wrong unless all of the average/below average in looks/IQ/driving ability are locked away in a cave somewhere unable to be polled.

If "most people" believe their friends have more friends than them and their crushes fewer crushes, assuming a closed and finite system how can most people be mostly right?

A+ said...

I didn't say that people I have crushes on don't have crushes on other people; all I said was that they're not crushes on me.

So this is the point that "had to be made?" That my anecdotal evidence of being a loser can be proven mathematically? How cute.

lago said...

Jab: "Why your friends have more friends than you do," The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 96, No. 6. (May 1991), pp. 1464-1477. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.