An indication of the extent of the crisis that the Labour Party finds itself in is that the Virtual Stoa has been included on a list of the “Top 100 Labour Blogs” that has been compiled by some outfit I’ve never heard of called Total Politics.

An indication of the extent of the crisis that Total Politics finds itself in is that they’ve included the Virtual Stoa on the list twice, at #67 and at #86.

Perhaps it’d be for the best if I could roll my rankings into one, come in at #153, and fall off the list altogether?

If you combine your rankings in one you would not be #153, but much higher. One could do it in a number of ways, but say we give no.1 100 points and no.100 0 points, your 33 and 14 points would mean you got 47 points, and should in fact be #53.

Or I could just deduct 67 from 86 and declare myself at #19.

(The number of arbitrary mathematical operations is endless.)

I think Chris was just being silly. Obviously you wouldn’t add the rankings together – you’d take the average. Derren Brown showed how it was done the other night. Of course in this case it’d be more complicated because you’d have to divide each of the numbers by 100 before taking the average, and then you’d have to multiply back out. I haven’t got Excel open at the moment so I can’t check, but I think your correct ranking would be something like 0.76. Round up to get rid of those decimals – rankings have to be whole numbers – and multiply back out, and you’re down at 100th, I’m afraid.

Not really, that was my point. You can’t necessarily average a ranking as you can say a score.

If five of us enter an art competition each week and I finish 1st,1st,3rd,3rd,2nd then I can say my average position over the five weeks was 2nd. But if multiple entries are allowed in the same week and not everyone has a multiple entry then it gets more difficult. If one week I come 3rd and then the next week I come 1st AND 5th, that would average out the same, but on m ost reasonable assumptions I’ve done better in the latter week (on my points system I would get 3 in the first week and six in the second week). The assumptions are to do with what’s behind the multiple entries.

“(The number of arbitrary mathematical operations is endless.)”

I’m not sure this is right. Anything that puts your ranking below 100 I think is wrong.

[I’m not being entirely unsilly here either]

Re: the two appearances, I think sometimes this happens because you get separate references to a site with www and without it. I don’t know why this happens but I noticed it before when checking out the “top referrers” to our chess site (via “detailed, public site stats here” in the LH column and then Referrer 2 at the bottom, should anybody care) where we have, for instance, separate totals for http://expectingrain.com and http://www.expectingrain.com.

That’s true Justin, but both links to Chris omit the ‘www.’ part. I do think being counted twice is an achievement. Also, not sure why Harry’s Place isn’t in there. They are Labour aren’t they? If your definition includes Chris, Jamie (Blood and Treasure) and Splintered Sunrise, anyway.

If five of us enter an art competition each week and I finish 1st,1st,3rd,3rd,2nd then I can say my average position over the five weeks was 2nd.Ugh. Sorry, Matthew, but that’s just as erroneous as my and Chris’s suggestions (both of which were jokes, in case you were wondering). Means are only meaningful on interval/ratio variables – not ordinals (like rankings) or nominals (like the numbers 1 to 49, when used to label lottery balls).

Does this mean that political theory and animals (and especially their interface) are now core policy areas for the Labour government? I hope so.

Means are only meaningful on interval/ratio variables – not ordinals (like rankings) or nominals (like the numbers 1 to 49, when used to label lottery balls).

I don’t think that’s true if the ranking is a fixed interval, so 5 people, 5 places.

[You don’t need to keep pointing out its a joke]

The correct thing to do would be to add the first and last digits of each ranking together, repeat the process with each of the results then concatenate the two single digit numbers you are left with in order to form a two digit number you can use. This means you come in at #45.