Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rankings

I saw Malcolm Gladwell on TV the other day.. He was on this CNN show called Fareed Zakaria BLT. Or, GTE ...? TP? Something like that. Anyway, Gladwell says university rankings are bunk, because say #48 and #49 are such different universities that comparing them, let alone having them in the same ranking is like comparing apples and oranges.

Gladwell's TED talk had a similar theme. In it he proposed when it comes to consumption, there is no "best of", but many "bests" to choose from. We add, standardized rankings are part of industrial / modernist mentality, a sign of a Taylorist mindset. From an earlier post:
In the early decades of [20th] century Taylor decided that there was one best (standard) way to perform each job, one best (standard) tool to perform it with, and a stipulated (standard) tune in which to complete it.
In the postmodern world, choices are many.

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