Weight is a useful measure. 10 pounds is twice as much as 5 pounds.
Measuring things and then categorizing them effectively allows us to make better choices and expand our operations.
Sometimes, however, in our rush to normalize and deal with a complicated world, we start measuring things that cannot be easily measured, and then, since we have measured them, aggressively categorize them.
Clever is not easily measured. Neither magnificent, Well or to success. And particularly happy.
A high SAT score is a measure of whether or not you performed well on the SAT. That’s all. A bank balance is a measure of how much money you have in the bank. That’s all.
Faced with the difficulty of the system to measure things that do not measure, we create proxies. Things like popularity as an indicator of the value or not of a work of human creativity.
It’s a method designed to deal with commodities rather than people, and it goes wrong.
Precision ranking is nothing more than a number, an inaccurate and ultimately unnecessary replacement. These proxies are created, disseminated and used by a system that strives for certainty and order.
Carrying out proxy fraud might help us get back to what matters instead.