Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How to describe idiots in your facebook social network using mathematics

joão pestana

For my first publication, I thought of presenting some recreational mathematics. This type of mathematics is not meant for research but instead used for entertainment, specially through the creation of puzzles and games.
I won't spend much type describing what I'll do in this blog or try to justify it in any way. It may happen that this will be its only post or I may still be updating it years from now. I'll do it for as long as it pleases me.

Now back to the problem at hand. The title is quite appealing! Wouldn't it be great if we could mathematically describe moronic people? This is one of the things that fascinates me the most these days — describing people and society objectively, using the concepts of the so called exact sciences.

Let `I` represent the set of all the people that belong to your facebook friends (or your extended network — your facebook friends of friends). That is to say, people with whom it's likely you might exchange messages.
Let `i` represent a single person within that set or, in other terms, `i in I`.
If `T_0` represents the time that you last sent a message to the person `i` for which you did not receive either a reply or an acknowledgement (marked as read), and `t_i` represents the last time that same person `i` has been active, then we may simply describe the set of all idiots in your facebook social network as:

`X={i in I: t_i>T_0}`

Or put into words, `X` is the set of all people which are in your network such that the last time they were active largely exceeds the last time you sent a message to them.

The reason I consider those individuals to be idiots is that if someone intends to pretend he/she didn't notice the message, then he/she shouldn't also be active on facebook. Because the platform informs of such activity, people know that others will realize they've been there, conscientiously ignoring them.
I suggest, at the very least, acknowledging the message by marking it as read. The difference is in admitting there is no intention of reply.