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I used to work in manufacturing. The vast majority of lead time in most manufacturing processes is parts/jobs waiting to move on to the next step (for a variety of reasons). So all you have to do to rush things is to move the rushed job to the top of the queue on step 1, then when it's done move it to the top of the queue on step 2, etc. It's somewhat common practice for manufacturers to employ people whose job is to expedite certain orders, basically by shepherding them through this process. 

In other words, most manufacturing lead time isn't stuff that seems reasonable and predictable by someone outside of that particular system, like "this machine takes batches of 1000, so we're building up parts before starting". It's mostly stuff that seems dumb from the outside but intractable from the inside, like, "we've always done these in batches of 1000," or "Alice does this step, and she's on vacation, so we're waiting for her to get back [even though we all technically know how to do this step.}" Most of "Lean Manufacturing" is about cutting down this lead time at a fundamental level instead of having to rely on employing expediters.

This reminds me of attempts to rate the accuracy of political pundits. Maybe this was in Superforecasting? Pundits are a sort of public intellectual. I wonder if one place to start with this intellectual-sabermetrics project would be looking for predictions in the writings of other intellectuals, and evaluating them for accuracy.

I think there's probably a fundamental limit to how good the ranking could be. For one thing, the people coming up with the rating system would probably be considered "intellectuals". So who rates the raters?

But it seems very possible to get better than we are now. Currently the ranking system is mostly gatekeeping and social signaling.