So, there's this thread started by Jools on the downsides to being poly:
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2506
LovingRadiance, SchrodingersCat, Twig, and I wound up on a math tangent. I thought it might be more appropriate to put it in its own place, so here we go...
LR:
Quote:
When we add a partner we now have twice as many issues to deal with.

SC:
Quote:
would say adding a partner more than doubles the issues. You still have your own issues as an individual, plus their issues as an individual, plus your mutual issues as a couple.
Theorem: the number of issues for n people in a poly arrangement is multiplied by 2^n  1
So for 3 people, you have 3 people's individuals (3x) + the couplewise issues (3x) + the issues as a 3some (1x) = 7x
4 people, you have 15x the issues as a single person. And so on.
(4x individual + 6x pairs + 4x triples + 1x quad = 15x)
Hey, maybe there's a jointmath/psych thesis in here... lol yeah ok, I think it's bedtime, brain's getting silly...

Twig:
Quote:
Schrodinger, your math isn't quite right. I would agree that that adding a partner more than doubles your issues. By your formula moving from single to just one partner would only double the number of issues. You should make n=2 a special case and apply 2^n1 to n>2.
I wonder what happens when you add imaginary partners. Are they represented by i/ You would start having trigonometric issues.
If you haven't guessed I'm a math geek.

Twig, I'd rather not have a solution with exceptions.
Seems too inelegant. It also seems appropriate, if we're doing this properly, not to assume that each person/relationship has the same # of issues. That does, however, throw the math utterly out the window (which is what happens when you let a social scientist get involved!).
Twig, who's looking over my shoulder, recommends a branch of math called network theory...
Any thoughts? Any math on other poly topics?
PS: I couldn't think of any appropriate tags. Feel free to add some!