February 5th, 2005


(no subject)

I want the world rearranged into a better accord with graph theory. If you tried to map relationships in a graph of nodes, with physical distance being reflected in the distance between nodes, the graph would be an impossibly stupid mess. There must be thousands of nodes (people) between me and any of my 'close' friend-nodes after the nearest two. And it's not just internet-happy people who are in this sort of state - people go off to universities far away, move for jobs and the like, and so do their friends, until everyone's all far apart and it's a pain in the arse.

The world is all arranged like a millions of times more complicated version of the graph to the left, node lines crossing all over the place even though pretty much nobody wants it to be that way. You want to live near your friends, yes? Everyone prefers to live near their friends. Graphing diagrams prefer to have related nodes near to each other.

The image to the right is the how things should be (only, still, millions of times more complicated, of course). The nodes with the closest relationships should be closest together. If 2 also liked 7, the 3-4 pair should be swapped with the 7-8 pair. Obviously it wouldn't be possible to have a perfect arrangement for every node, but surely we could do better than nearly all of my connected nodes being in different continents. Most of my friends are also friends with others within the same sub-group, so a fairly tight sub-graph would be perfectly plausible.

But noooo, the stupid world is instead arranged according to stupid pragmatic things like where people have employment, or which governments won't refuse to let them in their country, or where they can afford a house. Which last factor is especially annoying - even if a sub-group of nodes wanted to become proximate and didn't have any restrictions of employment or legality, they would still have a difficult time of it because abodes are mostly only ever sold one at a time. So if our hypothetical Adam and Beth, nodes 1 and 2, want to move near their friends Agnes and Brian, nodes 3 and 4, they either need to wait until the unrelated unfriendly Arthur and Beatrice, nodes 6784324 and 6784325, decide they want to sell the house next to Agnes and Brian, or all four of them have to move at the same time to some new place that's still in construction so that none of it has been sold to Angela and Bertram yet.

Which is even more stupid when you consider than there's a good chance, metaphorically, that Arthur and Beatrice want to live near to Angela and Bertram. If everyone weren't so attached to their current location, and a massive organised rearrange was scheduled to position everyone in a manner better suited to them, we'd all be a lot more pleased with the new arrangement (assuming equivalent accommodation).

Thus, I propose that everyone in the entire world be assigned a unique ID number, and then enter into a database numbers representing the strength of their relationship to each other unique ID number where their relationship is non-zero. A huge clever graphing program can then sort out where people should live in terms of proximity to their friends and suitable employment, and reposition us all appropriately. With a really fast computer, the calculations would be complete about 3000 years after we're all dead, since optimising graphing is notoriously computationally expensive even with a small number of nodes and joins. The killer robots of that time will then be asked to shuffle our corpses around into the appropriate arrangement. Problem solved.