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.
In February 2018, The Washington Post launched new lists of best-selling books. In an attempt to combine online and in-store sales, some of the new lists incorporated data from both NPD BookScan and Amazon. For the first three months, all the lists were published correctly. But in late May 2018, the software that merges the two data sets began to experience substantial, intermittent errors, rendering the lists inaccurate. Two causes have been identified. One was related to how the software ingested and combined data from the two sources. The other started in late December 2018, when a change in one data source led the software to begin inadvertently removing the top bestseller, causing the books to be listed in the wrong order and ignoring some sales from top-selling titles. These errors were caught in June 2019. All errors have been corrected and the lists have been republished online and labeled with corrections. The Post is now hand-checking every list before publication to ensure accuracy.
For further details, see The Digital Reader
Rankings aren’t perfect, and they shouldn’t be treated as such.
See Sarah Linney’s article here.
The marketing is on.
Even if you have not read the whole book, you may grade it based on the excerpts you know.
A chat with Natalie
(You may turn the volume up more than you