Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our View of "The View"

Our book "Who's Bigger" was the topic of a segment today on the popular ABC-TV talk show "The View", starring Whoopi Goldberg (ranked 3728) and Barbara Walters (ranked 7184).   Please check it out: Whoopi's issues with the word "algorithm'' are worth the price of admission.  

The notion of identifying the ten most significant people in history clearly caught their fancy, but the four all-women hosts and apparently all-women audience were distressed to learn that our top ten list contained all men.   To their credit, the three women they came up with as candidates for our list are exactly the top three women in our rankings: Elizabeth I [13], Queen Victoria [16], and Joan of Arc [95]. Further, they listed them in exactly the right order.  Other candidates they proposed included physicist Marie Curie [667] and the first female self-made millionaire in the United States, Madam C. J. Walker [7730], shown above.

We believe they would be more pleased to hear our results concerning the relative significance of the men and women appearing in Wikipedia, which we write about in ``Who's Bigger''.   Over the past 300 years, the average women in Wikipedia is notably more significant than the average man.  Our results reveal that women required greater accomplishments (analogous to 4 IQ points in the mean) to be recognized than men, up until very recent history.