The Order of Things – What College Rankings Really Tell Us by Malcolm Gladwell

613 Words Dec 13th, 2012 3 Pages
The Order of Things – What College Rankings Really Tell Us by Malcolm Gladwell
The main argument of this article is that it doesn’t matter who comes out first place in a certain ranking, it all depends on who’s doing the ranking and on what variables the ranking is taking place. Malcolm Gladwell believes that a ranking can be heterogenous (diverse in content), as long as it doesn’t try to be too comprehensive (including all or nearly all aspects of something). He also believes that a ranking can be comprehensive as long as it doesn’t try to measure things that are heterogeneous. Also even if the ranking is trying to be both heterogeneous and comprehensive at the same time, it’ll only work properly if the subjects being ranked are
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It requires someone to make a surmise about the intentions of the deceased at the time and although in some cases that is easy, in most cases there’s ambiguity. Different coroners and different cultures vary widely in the way that they choose to interpret that ambiguity. A suicide may be called a suicide, a homocide, an accident, or left undetermined, depending on the culture the deceased followed. As a result, nobody can truly know whether suicide rankings are real. This article explains in finite detail how if the variables on which a certain ranking is based on is changed, the ranking itself will also change especially if the ranking is both heterogenous and comprehensive as many variables are being taken into account at once. Another aspect that can change rankings is who the rankings is done by as everyone has their own opinions and thoughts and depending on what that specific person thinks or feels about a certain subject will alter how they will rank a certain subject compared to somebody else. For example if somebody was told to rank colleges based on their ‘graduation rate performance’, the school with the highest graduation rate will be ranked as first. On the other hand if those same colleges were ranked based on tuition fees, in this case the variable the ranking was based on has changed, there is a possibilty the school ranked first for the highest graduation rate would be ranked