The train seating algorithm

The train seating algorithm is not something invented by me nor anybody else. It is a common thing, and we are all doing it unconsciously. Let me explain.

Now, first off, for those of you who do not know what an algorithm is, I will explain it to you… NOT! Look it up in Wikipedia yourself.

When you board a train, you wanna sit by yourself if possible, right? Voilà, you’ve already used the train seating algorithm! But sometimes you cannot sit by yourself, because the train is crowded. This is what you do then: (divided into three steps)

(click on images for enlarged view)

Why did I spend so much time drawing this? Because it’s fun to look at people in the train doing exactly that. We are human after all.

Try not to follow the algorithm next time you ride the train. It goes against your instinct. If you sit next to a stranger in an otherwise empty train, he/she will probably react irritated.

Of course this algorithm does not apply when you find a friend and want to sit next to him/her. Also, this algorithm suggests that you like window seats better than aisle seats, and also does not integrate the fact that some people don’t like riding backwards. By the way, you may replace “scary” with “smelly”, “disturbing”, “gross” or anything else you don’t like.

UPDATE: I do not claim completeness of this algorithm! For example riding backwards, as I already mentioned, and the ability to conquer a compartment by farting, as my friend and reader Jan pointed out, are not featured. If you have a more complete version of the algorithm, post it, or post your suggestions.

Advertisements