Power and lists

"A reputed Mexican drug lord with a $5 million reward on his head has been named to Forbes magazine's list of the most powerful people in the world.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who authorities say heads the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, is believed to have shipped $6 billion to $19 billion in cocaine to the United States over the past eight years, Forbes says in the listing.

The magazine ranks him No. 41, ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (No. 43), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (46), French President Nicolas Sarkozy (56) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (67). Guzman also bested U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts (49) and entertainer Oprah Winfrey (45) on the list, released Wednesday."

See : http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/13/forbes.mexico.guzman/index.html
and http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/11/worlds-most-powerful-leadership-power-09-people_land.html.

I wrote before about the lack of significance of most (statistical) lists.

How do you select your targets ? How do you measure their prestations ? This is a shining exemple of this type of all American horse manure listings. There is absolutely no relevance in this kind of exercise, except maybe for a slight economic benefit : it creates, or saves, jobs for the poor sods who slave on these listings.

And of course, it has always been a known fact that many US citizens can not and do not differentiate between "powerful in the US" and "powerful in the world". Am I right Oprah ?

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