The Quantification of Everything: Burritos.

Heya all!

I am currently sitting at the Cleveland airport, having just left the excellent 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) conference. I am a bit grumpy about this, as I should be en route to Raleigh to attend a dinner the night before my cousin’s wedding. Instead, after a cancellation and a delay, I am stuck in Cleveland until much later tonight. I’ll use this opportunity to launch what I hope will be a series of posts. In my 4S talk (on the dequantification of admissions), I brusquely summarized the existing literature as describing “the quantification of everything.” For example, just today, our excellent co-panelists covered everything from misleading aircraft reliability data* to the energy savings of the internet to sexual disorders. This all reminded me of Tyler Cowen’s long running series of “Markets in Everything” posts on Marginal Revolution.

So, in that spirit, I bring you the first “Quantification of Everything” post about… burritos. The local Ann Arbor blog Food and Wine Hedonist has started a project to quantify the burritos of Ann Arbor (and Chicago): The Burrito Guide. Currently The Burrito Joint ranks last with 5 points (of 25), including a subscore of 0 on taste, while BTB (formerly Big Ten Burrito) tops the list of local contenders with 17. The rankings are a bit suspect to me, as the comment field for Chipotle describes the Burritos as “smallish” which suggests either an absurd notion of reasonable burrito size, or a failure to take advantage of the various cheeses, salsa and veggies available.

In any event, please submit any suggestions for future posts on the Quantification of Everything by leaving a comment or sending me an email (asociologist at umich dot edu).

Now to find something else amusing on the internet to occupy my d(el)ay…

* And trust me, the irony(?) was not lost on me that I am now two maintenance-related events into my wait at the airport while writing about this paper.



  1. I have no idea whether the quantification of burritos is a good or bad things but I appreciate the shout-out. How cool is it that burritos are spoken in the same breadth as the quanitifaction of aircraft reliability data…. Yes, it’s completely subjective and, while it has happened yet, I’m sure I’m going to be the subject of a burrito bribery scam. I started the guide because Burritos are like sports – guys can sit around all day arguing which is best. However, there’s aren’t any stats or record books on burritos. THanks!

    -The Hedonist

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