Tell a story – 2 – With a graph

There are geeks and nerds and there are geeks and nerds. The thing about geeks and nerds is that most of us tend to be socially awkward. Perhaps this will help you understand better: some of us are the Leonard Hofstadter kind of socially awkward – we want to fit in, but don’t know how to. Some of us however, are the Sheldon Cooper kind of socially awkward – we border on the misanthropic.

The thing is, though, that even Sheldon Cooper has a certain bunch of people he is friendly with. Vattam was telling me last night that I tend to be this way. It seems he says, and I agree, that I have a circle of friends with whom I’m positively garrulous, but around everybody else, I go into a shell.

There can be one more dimension to this, it turns out: Sheldon Cooper, as a rule, never has more than four friends; it’s too hard to maintain more than four friendships, he says. The number of people I’m prepared to let my guard down around isn’t that restricted. I’m just nutty about who it is I let into this ‘circle’. Time spent together seems to have nothing to do with this. Neither does gender. Let’s just say there’s a reason even I call this behaviour of mine ‘nutty’.

And now, since the title of this post says ‘graphs’, here’s a graph that says everything I’ve just said:



If you’re somebody this graph applies to, where in this plane do you think you are?

[End. Fini. Kaputski.]


5 thoughts on “Tell a story – 2 – With a graph”

  1. Your graph says that the deviation from mean friendliness is uni-directional, which seems to suggest that you consider people on the lower half ‘non-people’. Of course, i’m assuming that Nair is at zero. Or, is my assumption wrong??

  2. You didn’t read the titles for the axes, you mean! The y-axis isn’t just ‘deviation’; it’s ‘standard deviation’, or root-mean-square deviation. Which means that for Sheldon Cooper, who treats four people well and the rest of the world like trash, the mean is somewhere in the middle, and the standard deviation is high. Ditto for Croor Singh. Nair treats the three and a half people he knows roughly equally well (or equally badly), so his is small.

    Here’s all that in pseudocode:

    for fellows in {s.cooper, v.nair, L.hofstadter, c.singh}

    x = 1:n(fellows);
    y = sqrt(sum(abs(dev(1:n(fellows),1)).*abs(dev(1:n(fellows),1))));

    hold on;

    There. That’s much better than the verbose explanation.

  3. If you’re somebody this graph applies to, where in this plane do you think you are?

    Given the choice I’m sure everyone would want to be on the bottom right

    Of course, i’m assuming that Nair is at zero

    Ouch! that hurt. 🙂

  4. @Nair: zero deviation from mean friendliness would mean you’re about as friendly as most people. Such a ‘compliment’ should hurt croor but not you 🙂

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