I decided to write a non-fiction book with the title and subtitle RANKING – The reality, illusion and manipulation of objectivity. The book discusses the Hows and Whys of our love and fear of making ranks and being ranked through many real life examples to be viewed from three different angles (reality, illusion and manipulation) of objectivity. Ranking converts scientific theories to everyday’s experience by raising and answering such question as:
- Are college ranking lists objective?
- How to rank and rate states based on their fragility, corruption or even happiness?
- How to find the most relevant web pages?
- How to rank employees?
Life and society is really complex, consequently our message is not so simple such as ”Ranking is good!” or ”Ranking is bad!”. Since we permanently rank ourselves and others and are also being ranked, the message is twofold: how to prepare the possible most objective ranking and how to accept that ranking does not necessarily reflects our real values and achievements. The reader will understand our difficulties to navigate between objective and subjective and gets help to identify and modify her place in real and virtual communities by combining our human intelligence with computational techniques.
While the world is disrupted, ranking is still with us. I am sure many of you are too familiar with the new Ranking game . I also believe, together with many of you, that the world – for better or worse – will not be the same, as it was.
As concerns the Ranking book itself, it looks that so far the German, Chinese (with simple characters), Korean and Japan translations have been licensed, and the Hungarian translation seems to be plausible. Assuming we will have some reasonable Fall, I will teach a class at University of Michigan about Ranking.
From mid-December I am thinking about the plan of new book with the working title REPAIR! How to Improve Broken Objects, Ourselves, and Our Society. It looks I will have a co-author, the Hungarian social psychologist Zsuzsa Szvetelszky . Here is a paragraph from the draft of the book proposal:
The question of when to repair and when to replace objects is always with us. We could mention a number of illustrative phenomena. Many of us are suffering with the problem of broken friendships, and we ask ourselves whether or not they can be mended. A stopped clock can be repaired, but a burned-out light bulb must be replaced. A bulb, however, is replaceable. It would be ridiculous to throw out your whole crystal chandelier with sixteen lights (as part of your family inheritance) if one of these lights does not function. But sometimes big companies adopt business policies that do not provide access to spare parts, and a whole new gadget must be bought. The “right to repair” movement started a legal fight to allow consumers to repair their broken electronic devices by being able to buy replacement parts at a reasonable price. So we also review the possible change of the attitude of people from living in a throw-away society to accept consumption reduction.
We prepared an article as a response for the open call for the Hungarian social science journal Replika . You can download the paper from here:
Hope the Reader is well!
well, some more self-promotion during this nerve-wracking times …
Ranking with Péter Érdi
As coronavirus cases grow, hospitals adopt a system to rank patients for treatment
a point system calculating a patient’s likelihood to benefit from ICU care, based on two considerations: 1) saving the most lives and 2) saving the most life-years.
The lower the patient scores, the higher their prioritization for care. In the system’s eight-point scale, the first four points illustrate the patient’s likelihood to survive hospitalization, and the last four points assess whether, assuming they survive hospitalization, they have medical conditions associated with a life expectancy of less than one year or less than five years.
In any case, students who applied for graduate studies in the US should get response from the programs by April 15. Here is my OUP blog about the beauty and difficulties of
Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 150 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan). The day is reset after midnight GMT+0.
You can follow the dynamics, (and can make your own prediction).
Well. There is an emergency in New York state, and we decided to cancel/reschedule my talk.
Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
It would have been a better chance to die while I am driving to Grand Rapids airport.