Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Towards a Unified Theory of Proximal Awkwardness

I have spent a great deal of time studying the phenomenon of awkwardness.
Much of my research has been in the form of hypothetical "Would You Rather" questions, and though that would, on the surface, appear to be too informal of a research method, I have found that it yields a bounty of raw data from which to begin to formulate certain hypotheses that could be tested through further study.
I believe there is a direct correlation between awkwardness and proxemics.
Let me illustrate:
Obviously, there is a correlation between my proximity to the person I do not know and my measurable level of awks. 
Having demonstrated the relationship, let us apply it to real world situations to see if it holds true through multiple experiments.

Situation A:
I have been asked to pick up a woman from the airport. This woman is a Catholic nun.
Nun's proximity to Jesus means no awkwardness between her and Jesus.
My relative lack of proximity to Jesus does not seem to effect the awkwardness between us.
My proximity to the Nun during the car ride means maximum awkwardness between us (64 awks is as high as can be measured).
A conclusion and a hypothesis:
Proximity/awkwardness relationship potentially inverses when using equations with Jesus in them.
If my proximity to Jesus was closer, would my awks drop in proximity to the Nun?
Meaning, since we are both close to Jesus, we would have that in common, and would be able, based on that shared proximity, to reduce our awks.

The theory becomes more complicated, however.
Proximity is less of an influencing variable on awkwardness when the presumed intelligence of the subjects in the equation are taken into account.
Let's look at Situation B:

No matter how close I am to it, I do not feel awkward around the baby.
However, the closer I get to Bill Gates, because of his percieved hyper-intelligence, the more awkward things become. An interesting variable here is my use of Bill Gates, as he is known to not be a "people" person, and begins along the proxemics line with heightened awks, which only increases as he gets close to me.
I have begun to fumble my way, through all of these convoluted charts, towards some important conclusions:
The closer you are to someone who is smarter than a baby, the more awkward it could be, unless you both are very close to Jesus.
I will continue my research....


  1. So, I was many awks is it to be in close proximity to a baby genius? Someone like Mozart. Or Bobby Fischer. Which factor dominates in determining awkwardness, age or intelligence? What if the baby genius believes in Jesus?

  2. Are awks measured like bits? 8, 16, 64... But if 64 is the max, then are we stuck with Nintendo 64 type awkwardness? Is Turbo Grafx 16 less awkward then Nintendo 64?

  3. I'm crying laughing. This is very important research going on here. I do think though that it is missing the key, though shallow component of how someone presents themselves i.e. hygiene, looks, clothes (or lack there of), but mainly just HYGIENE.