## Popularity

At my secondary school, the high-scoring wide receiver was more popular than the fat lineman. And the fat lineman was more popular than the team statistician. But you couldn’t really compare the wide receiver’s popularity to that of the actor who got most of the lead roles. They were admired in different circles, to different degrees, by different people. With so little overlap, a hierarchy must treat them as separate rather than comparable.

So popularity = a partial order (and, possibly, an inverted arborescence or join-semilattice). Sometimes there is a binary relation  between two people such that one is-more-popular than the other. Sometimes you just can’t say. And no such relation exists. (neither geoff ≻ ian nor ian ≻ geoff)

Transitivity did hold at my school, so if you were more popular than geoff, you were by extension more popular than anyone than whom geoff was more popular. ( ari, shem, zvi: arishem and shemzvi implied arizvi)

And, by definition, even I was more popular than the nullset. (thanks, mathematics)

56 notes

1. ultraparametric reblogged this from proofmathisbeautiful
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4. pipoytales reblogged this from isomorphismes and added:
At my secondary school, the high-scoring wide receiver was more popular than the fat lineman. And the fat lineman was...
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7. lavanguardia reblogged this from proofmathisbeautiful and added:
I totally would have gone to prom with this kid.
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11. default001 reblogged this from proofmathisbeautiful and added:
For all my HS followers
12. proofmathisbeautiful reblogged this from isomorphismes
13. bparramosqueda reblogged this from isomorphismes and added:
Matemáticas discretas!
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16. orbitalresonance said: All of the nerdy/non-popular kids in high school with are the same people that sell acid at college and get Ph.D’s. (It’s a good thing)
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