Rank is just an artificial thing, but people's real value and abilities are fortunately so easily noticed in aikido.
If rank is artificial why have it? What purpose does it serve?
If rank indicates a level of technical skill, why not award it when it is deserved? Why have time in rank requirements? Further, why do some (most?) organizations stop testing for rank and assign advanced rank for reasons other than technical skill?
If rank indicates the quality of the instructor or a body of technical knowledge, why do examinations not indicate this or attempt to measure it?
Why can only certain people assign rank, if it is artificial?
Who tends to get more recognition, someone of high rank, or someone who is technically competant (haven't we all seen a beginner from martial art X --- but unranked in aikido --- perform at a higher level than someone who is of higher aikido rank?)