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Posted by: Péter Érdi
Title/Position: Henry Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies
School/Organization: Kalamazoo College
Sent to listserv of: SESP, SPSSI
Date posted: November 28th, 2017

My Dear Collegaues:

I have a website/blog:

about the topic, (possibly a book) RANKING. The Unwritten Rules of the Social Game We All Play

If you find relevant/interesting for you, please click the "Follow" button in the lower right corner of the page, and make comments and suggestions! Any advice is highly appreciated.


Ranking of people, schools, products, countries and of everything else is part of our daily life. We are in a paradoxical relationship with ranking: ''ranking is good, because it is informative and objective; ranking is bad, because it is biased and subjective, and occasionally even manipulated." RANKING helps to understand this paradoxical nature of ranking procedures, and reveals the basic hidden rules of constructing and understanding ranked lists. It also offers strategies for adopting ranked lists in our decision makings. The Whys and Hows of our love and fear of ranking and being ranked are discussed by real life examples, from college admissions, and gradings of countries via the performance of employees to ''top ten" lists and popular recommendation systems.

People should find strategies of navigating between objective and subjective evaluations. We also need skills to identify and modify our place in real and virtual communities by combining our human intelligence with computational techniques.

Kind regards,
Peter Erdi

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