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The Top 10 Lists of All Time


The world of bloggers seem to be firmly divided into two groups: those who hate lists and those who like lists. This being a list of two puts me firmly in the latter camp.

Those who hate lists. I get a lot of criticism for some of my posts. I’ve used lists on only about 20% of my posts, no more than that. But because of this, some people comment, “oh, there goes James again – using lists.” As if there’s some sort of intellectual laziness in neatly organizing material with a common theme in the form of a list. Any book with a table of contents, of course, does this as well.

But there seems to be some intellectual snobbery, as if its an accusation when someone uses a list and others point it out. “Why couldn’t he use a bunch of paragraphs instead?”

Those who like lists. I like my ideas to be easily read. There’s a lot of competition for what your eyes can look at. It’s easy to click away. Even on my browser right now I have about 12 tabs open. It takes seconds for me to move from one tab to the next. Lists allow your eyes to dance down the page. It allows the blogger to give the reader a roadmap on how to speed read through a post. I’m more than happy when people read every word in a post of mine (and I do think every word is important) but I understand that people are busy. Perhaps they will read the highlights, the important points, first, and then read more deeply later or more deeply the topics that most interest them.

And bloggers aren’t the first to realize that lists are an important historic tradition for holding people’s attention and getting an important point across. Here are 10 other lists that have changed the course of history.


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