Welcome to the site of Ranking

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.

 

Oh, Nobel in literature and in peace …

As the Reader remembers,  due to a scandal the Nobel laureates in literature for both 2018 and 2019 will be announced together this week. We all know now how difficult to navigate between subjectivity and objectivity.

Here is a list, led by the Canadian poet, Anne Carson.

This year sensation is the peace award. According  to the odds offered by LadbrokesGreta Thunberg has 4/6, see here. since the numerator should be larger than the denominator. There are two questions: (1) Does it mean than six of four people suggests her?? More importantly, how this prize would influence her life?

Dear Reader, any comment would highly be appreciated.

 

 

RANKING – formal introduction

Ranking: The Unwritten Rules of The Social Game We All Play
(Oxford University Press)
Author: Péter Érdi (Henry Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies, Kalamazoo College and Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Budapest)

We like to see who is stronger, richer, better, more clever. Since we humans (1) love lists; (2), are competitive and (3), are jealous of other people, we like ranking. Students ranked in ascending order based on their heights in a gym reflects objectivity. However, many Top Ten (twenty one, thirty three etc) lists based on subjective categorization and give the illusion of objectivity only. We don’t want to be seen always objective, since we don’t mind to have a better image and rank as we deserved. The book applies scientific theories to everyday experience by raising and answering such questions as: Are college ranking lists objective? How do we rank and rate countries based on their fragility, level of corruption, or even happiness? How do we find the most relevant web pages? How employees are ranked ?

The book is offered to people whose neighbor has a fancier car; employees, who are being ranked by their supervisors; managers, who are involved in ranking but may have qualms about the process; businessmen interested in creating better visibility for their companies; scientists, writers, artists, and other competitors who would like to see themselves at the top of a success list; college students who are just preparing to enter the new phase of social competition. The Reader will enjoy the intellectual adventure to 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 human and computational intelligence.

Google Preview: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/ranking-9780190935467?cc=us&lang=en&#

OUP website of the book: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/ranking-9780190935467?cc=us&lang=en&#
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