Friday, December 20, 2013

Jesus ranked biggest name in history has been ranked the biggest name in human history, reports the Religion News Service on NCR Online.

So say the authors of a startling new book, Who's Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank, which tries to settle, once and for all, the question of who's who.

It's a work of 'culturometrics,' a fancy term to describe quantitative data analysis applied to individuals in society the same way Sabermetrics tracks performance in baseball, pundits aggregate polls in elections, and algorithms rule computer search engines.

The book is a complex collection of lists and rankings, but none is more provocative than its Top 100: Jesus is No. 1; Adolf Hitler is No. 7; everyone is overwhelmingly white; and 97 are male. 

But keep your blood pressure in check. 

'Bigger does not mean better,' said co-author Steven Skiena, a computer science professor at Stony Brook University where he heads the Data Science Laboratory.

To research Bigger, Skiena and Charles Ward, an engineer on the ranking team at Google, created a complex amalgam of measures. 

To establish their 'significance' ranking, they assessed more than 800,000 names, calculated scores of celebrity and achievement or gravitas and then factored in how long, and how long ago, someone lived.

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