Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Top 10 Lists

top-ten-listAll the way from the home office in Boring, Oregon, comes tonight’s top ten list. You clicked here. You deserve this shit.

Beware anyone who comes at you with a Top 10 list. They are out to get you.

Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Top 10 Lists

10. If they build it you will come. The assumption is being made that when your brain sees “Top 10” you’ll click the link faster than a monkey pounding a button for a banana. Because, mmm, banana!

9. Fast acting. They know you have the attention span of a gnat on Heisenberg’s Blue Sky meth. Wait. What?

8. Unefficiency. Forcing content into a rigid format isn’t necessarily the best way to communicate information and ideas. It’s one of those “square peg – round hole” kind of dealios.

7. Fillers are delicious. Meaningless crap will often be added just so the requisite 10 items can be reached. Even most average idiots can count to ten. If you want filler go to a fast food restaurant.

6. You the dumb. They know you’ll fall for it again and again. That are betting on that fact that your brain is drain, i.e., not worky much.

5. Lemmings do that. Top 10 lists are trendy. No one likes to be on the outside and left behind. Grab your fedora and jump off that cliff. Come on in, the water is fine!

4. Tastes like McChicken. Little McNuggets of text are a very poor way of fully communicating ideas. The tapestry of the information and things like background, sources, nuance and opposing points of view are lost.

3. Darwinism biologicals. Hey, look. Ten fingers, ten toes. Light bulb! Ten is great magic. Lists should also be ten. Yep. That’s all the logic that went into it.

2. This shit is hard. The format oversimplifies complex information into easily digestible bits. Bon appétit. Real learning isn’t supposed to be this easy.

1. More is less. Overachieving towards an arbitrary number puts the emphasis on quantity over quality. (This is a form of McDonalization.) In all likelihood the key points are being obfuscated.

Can you think of other problems with top ten lists? Because I can guarantee you this: I left some out!

18 responses

  1. What? No banana? !@#$.
    I hadn’t realized you were out to get me. Thanks for the tip!


    1. Oops. I meant to say everyone but me. 🙂


  2. Grab your fedora and jump…


    1. Ah, the humble fedora. Capable of so much snark – and it totally delivers!


  3. Life’s secrets are a bulleted list? I cannot believe it to be so – for 11 reasons.


    1. I can’t wait to see that list. And you’re right. I neglected to consider the possibility that some people have 11 toes. My bad.


  4. The original Books of Lists were cool. When Letterman did lists in the ’80s they were still fairly cool. Now the format is worn out. Thank God it’s hard to do lists on Twitter; that would be lethal.


    1. Good point. I think I’ll go invent the Twitter Top 10 genre. Because, brevity.

      I once challenged David Letterman to a top 10 list. I wonder who won?

      Top ten things I’ll do if I win the lotto


  5. You know I can’t resist Star Trek.

    So, Number #4 means Twitter isn’t awesome?

    Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 1602:

    This business is well ended.
    My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is,
    Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
    Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
    What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
    But let that go.


    1. LOL! Good point. Twitter, apparently, is a bunch of people hurling Chicken McNuggets at each other.


      1. I called on Shakespeare to add nuance to my comment, but only because I couldn’t find any Star Trek scripts to steal from.

        I’ve had some disagreements on Twitter because the sarc tag and other info didn’t fit, but somehow I think those people are hopeless, Anyway. I know it can’t be me! 😉


  6. You weren’t on the list. And that makes sense. You’re a list of one. *snort*


  7. Agree with Knace, I want my banana. .. 🙂


    1. Monkey push button, monkey get banana. Unless, of course, I’m going a different way with the experiment. Perhaps, this time, I’d rather see you destroy some luggage. You had to be wondering why that Samsonite was in the room.


  8. Snoring Dog Studio | Reply

    I can rarely ever write my own Top Ten Lists – or any numbered lists for that matter. I get past #10 and lose interest. By the time I’ve gotten to #3, I’ve forgotten what the theme is.


    1. True. It is an exercise in unbearable endurance. I’m surprised I was able to finish.


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