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Published by the students of Westminster School
By Johnathan Li ’24
The following paper, under the discipline of anthropology, is written by the Professor of Human Studies of the University of Erëhwon, Johnathan Li '24.
In the series “Martlet Ethnography,” I will attempt to bring forth the vibrant cultures inherent to the indigenous people of Westminster, or as they refer to themselves, the Martlet tribe. This Westminster culture, though was not often a well known or perhaps relatable style of life under modern inspection, bears academic importance and is rich in history. The field of anthropology has encountered its new era through my uncovering of this civilization on top of the inhospitable Williams Hill in Simsbury, and I shall explain further my revolutionary encounter.
Within the anthropology tradition, it has long been the consensus that the method of survival is the key to understanding the superstructure of a society. By close inspection, the way Martlets consume necessary ingredients to survive is rather peculiar and understandably archaic. Individuals gather into a hut they call “Armstrong,” within a line of food to be distributed in “Earl,” and lastly, a public space with delicate spices placed on each round table, strongly suggesting an emphasis on communal consumption. “Gund,” the name given to the greater assortment of tables, which would reappear as their nomenclature for a housing area and library; I found it indicative of a Martlet’s obsession with this word “Gund.” Maybe it was perhaps the name for a sacred deity, or perhaps an entirely abstract concept that is to be believed as the true essence of the universe? But, I digress.
Linear Distance Analysis
To comprehend the dining culture, an important concept must be explained in that in such a perspective reduced to the immediate vicinity of an individual Martlet, there are other Martlets in sight. There is a certain factor that plays in the affinity between Martlets which I will refer to as the “Individual Distance Factor,” , or in layman’s terms, “δ how much of a friend someone is to you.”
For any particular Gund dining table the following data could be readily calculated. The “Reduced Distance Factor,”Δ, could be found by the following formula:Δ = Σδ 𝑆, where S is the total number of individuals present in a given table. The interpretation of the “Individual Distance Factor” depends on its quantitative value: the higher the number is, the more psychologically perceived distance is between two individuals present. thus Δ encapsulates the mean of the “Individual Distance Factor” of all the individuals present in one table; the individual may or may not be physically present for they might be in Earl, engaging in traditional hunter and gatherer practices, albeit the recent reduction of “hunting”, as it proposed significant risk.
When there is only one individual present at one table, the lack of anyδis interpreted as an infinitely large Δ, a vertical asymptote. The exact details regarding this arbitrary decision shall be explained later.
The central phenomenon at hand, the tragic nature of Gund dining experience, is named “Iterative Alienation”. What this refers to is the gradual process in which the familiarity of other individuals in the table to a certain individual is gradually reduced through mere addition, subtraction, or succession of positions. Individuals come and go, and as if undergoing the curse of their deity, all tables fall victim to the destined doom in which every other face appears unfamiliar. Shocking and morbid happenings, am I right?
One individuals start with a stable and small number of Δ, as likely other individuals present are closer in relation. The other individuals attract their friends to the area, which inevitably to the subject is someone of a greater δvalue. For a subject had few friends, yet friends’ friends are truly exponentially exponential, as one would reasonably expect, so any additional individuals, or any individual leaving (due to timing would have a lower average) would yield a gradual process in which the Δincreases. This I call the “Law of Increasing Δ”
The reason any table with only one individual would be considered to have a Δ = ∞is because of the “Paradox of Isolation”. For any individuals that could be labeled as “compromising”, which have made decisions to sit with an unfamiliar person, threshold of familiarity be at δ > 2 = 𝑢𝑛𝑓𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑟, 𝑒𝑙𝑠𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑟, there will be a measurable factor, “factor of meta-distance,” α. α measures how much a table consisting of “compromised individuals” will attract other “willing-to-be-compromising” individuals. These compromised tables with no one truly being there since they know each other graphs a value of αshown as this:
(See photo at start of article.)
“The Paradox of Isolation” occurs because of the “One-man Effect,” in which, in active avoidance of awkwardness a single individual, will not attract any newcomers to a table, as . As affinity goes to zero, the potential distance of one person to α = 0 no one approaches infinity:
𝑆 1 lim → Δ(𝑠) = ∞.
One aspect of individuals worth mentioning is the apparent clustering of like-minded individuals from a long past that no one has yet had the time and energy to document for the Martlets. Any 8-chair table, if affords a “fixed group” from the start, that is, any people of close bondage, be it 2 or 6 people, there will be a substantial effect. Apart from an increasing possibility of a specific collective hunting/gathering strategy, a “fixed group” prevents the undergoing of a severe iterative alienating process; expressed quantitatively: | | 𝑑Δ 𝑑𝐼 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑑𝑒𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒.
Family Style Shift
The Martlets have long embraced the format of dining they have named with such an intriguing word: “buffet.” From the key historic event of the “Family Style Shift,”, or FSS as an acronym, the event ended the Era of the Tetra-tables, lending social factors that contributed to the rise of the new era, the Era of Octa-tables. This increase in seating not only further proves my analytical theories but has allowed the rare occurrence of “the diminishing possibility of compromising individuals.” More seating, more potential, more opportunities for Martlets to be left unchecked, neglected and sad, long excluded from the prosperous capitals the Westminster civilization expands from.