Content (as it stands now)

Contents
1 Prologue: My Early Encounters with Ranking 1
1.1 How to lead the popularity list? Own a soccer ball! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Rating and ranking of soccer players: the illusion of objectivity . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 A not-so beautiful tale: An example for intentional biased ranking from a Hungarian
folktale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4 Lessons learned: The reality, illusion and manipulation of the objectivity . . . . . 3
2 Comparison, ranking, rating and lists 5
2.1 Comparison: ”thief of joy” or driving force towards future successes? . . . . . . . 5
2.2 From Ali’s ”I am the greatest” to ”the grass is always greener on the other side of
the fence” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3 When to use ranking and rating? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4 From the ranking of mathematicians to the rating of chess players . . . . . . . . . 10
2.5 From the Ten Commandments to the Top Ten Mania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3 Social ranking in animal and human societies 17
3.1 Pecking order in chicken community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.2 Dominance, prestige, hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.3 The tragedy of being the SECOND best . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4 Choices, Games, Laws and the Web 25
4.1 Choices: individual, social and algorithmic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2 Rock–paper–scissor: games and laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.3 The fortune-making algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5 The Ignorant and the Manipulator 33
5.1 (Not only) cognitive bias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.2 ”When the World Is Led by a Child” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.3 The importance and the difficulties of measuring society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6 Ranking games 41
6.1 Players and strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.2 Nobody likes, everybody uses: college ranking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.3 Is there any ”best” country in the world? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
6.4 About the results of the game: stability, reversal, statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
iii
7 Struggle for reputation 49
7.1 Reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
7.2 Ranking game what scientists play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
7.3 Rating artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
7.4 Nobel and Oscar the candidates and the winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
7.5 How (not) to rig an election? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
7.6 The dark side of a success story: the search engine manipulation effect and its
possible impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
8 You can choose something (somebody) if you know it (her/him): recommendation
systems 57
8.1 Algorithms: friends or foes? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
8.2 The music what you like: Cantometrics and the Music Genome Project . . . . . . 59
9 Epilogue: Ranking, rating and everything else. The mystery of the future:
how to combine human and computational intelligence? 61
9.1 Rules of the ranking game: where we are now? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
9.2 Algorithms humans use and create/control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
9.3 Controling the web: Who has the last word? The human or the computer? . . . . 62

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