September 10, 2010
Posted by Jay Livingston

Quantitative methods for cultural analysis.

Jay Caspian Kang at The Awl:
. . . my crack team of consultants, statisticians and graphic designers have assembled DIVA-OFF 2010, a highly scientific (we used computers!) evaluation of the greatest divas of the past twenty-five years. A list of divas was evaluated on eleven levels of diva-ness, and, because each diva characteristic is not created equal, we scaled the values in the hopes of creating an aggregate diva number that will serve as a reference point for future generations.
Here, for example, are the results in the Hand Gestures category:

Admittedly, rater subjectivity may be a factor:
Of all the diva characteristics, Hand Gestures is the most open to personal preference. I certainly don’t like Celine’s slow-motion-deodorant-commercial hand gestures, but who am I to tell your mom that they aren’t cool? And while I always liked how Mariah would point out the notes in her runs, I can also see why your mother might find this to be a bit show-offy. One thing your mother and I can agree on, though: Carrie Underwood will never ascend to diva status because of her awful, awful work in this category.
Read the whole post (unless, of course, you’re a big Jordin fan), and watch the accompanying videos (with the sound off for the Hand Gestures).

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