New Yorker: Malcolm Gladwell Parses Yeshiva University's US News Ranking

What the heck? We got three issues of New Yorker delivered in two days this week. How did that happen? How will we ever get through them?

Luckily our relatives in Teaneck (hat tip) read the periodical and were able today to alert us to the invocation of our revered alma mater Yeshiva University in an article by Malcolm Gladwell in which he parses Yeshiva University's US News #50 national ranking.

We are proud that YU has managed to attain a high ranking in the survey. It's good for us since we went to the school (oy vey, for eleven years - high school through college through rabbinical school).

So if you will open your anniversary issues - Feb 14 and 21 2011 - to page 70, you will find the discussion of Yeshiva's ranking as compared to that of Penn State.

Gladwell is brilliant in his analysis, though we are not sure what the ultimate point of the article is. We all know without Gladwell that rankings are useful to those who can use them, namely PR people at the respective institutions who can somehow cite them and/or prospective students who have made up their minds based on a host of other criteria and can feel better with the numerical ranking of their choice in hand.

We will read the piece again to see if it says more than what we think it says, namely that all rankings are at best subjective. Meanwhile we remind our readers that Gladwell, "He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.

And no, Malcolm Gladwell is not Jewish although he says, "our maternal grandfather was part Jewish."

And WSJ has a funny article that informs us of a new web site which is a riot:
Have you ever thought that Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling books were a bit on the formulaic side — from the punchy titles to the clean white covers to the mix of academic research and pop science? Check out the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator, a Web site launched yesterday that cranks out Gladwell-like book titles. Sample: “Power: How Power Powerfully Powers Power.” The Observer has a story on one of the site’s creators, who says he’s a Gladwell fan. Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery?

No comments: