Funny how we love making lists and ranks the best of whatever. It seems the very essence of humanity, even the Hellenes chose the 7 wonders of the old world . There are more judicious and scientific using indicators contrasted such as the ranking of universities , tennis players, the most touristic countries or the top 100 movies. Most are based on statistical queries , sometimes solid sometimes informal . Every newspaper publish its ranking on hotels, phones, video games , cars , TV series , etc. .

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http://blogs.elpais.com/turing/2013/04/ya-es-oficial-la-maquina-de-turing-es-la-mas-grande-de-las-innovaciones.html

This has probably already been studied sociologically in a more scientific way, but the rankings are a way of simplifying, of giving a very simple message, perhaps to avoid making us think, perhaps to guide us towards what to think. They are used as a weapon of war when it is of interest (as in the case of universities) or are ignored if the results are not to our liking (Spain is ninth in the world in terms of research results, which does not seem to be consistent with the supposedly disastrous results of universities). But they also serve to provoke: given a ranking, a thousand detractors and objections to the decisions taken appear.

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http://blogs.elpais.com/turing/2013/04/ya-es-oficial-la-maquina-de-turing-es-la-mas-grande-de-las-innovaciones.html