Top of the List

Ever since Moses came down from Sinai with the Top Ten social no-nos in the eyes of the almighty we have been compiling our favorites into a decimal hierarchy for the elucidation and criticism of others. Today’s postaday 2011 questions asks if these lists are lame or awesome but, after giving that question some consideration the jury is still out. All that I can decide is that top ten lists seem to be here to stay with a vengeance. A quick perusal of google will turn up hundreds of these lists and there are so many top10 sites on the web that it would be useful to compile a top ten list of top ten list sites on the web. This got me thinking about why people make top ten lists in the first place.


Ten Reasons for Making a Top Ten List

1 To enumerate the comparative quality of a group of things. Whenever we are presented with a choice we judge and qualify it, grouping things into good, better, best, listing the things by their quality so that we can make a more satisfying choice.

2 Listing the top ten of something defines a limit of which ones are truly the best out of a selection that may be quite large such as movies.

3 Top ten lists determine the hierarchy of importance of the listed things either from the perspective of from the top down or from the bottom up. So the top ten list of the most powerful people in an organization might be seen from 1 to 10 whilst the top ten list of things that you need to do to get to the top of the first list might be studied from 10 to 1.

4 Top ten lists create a quick frame of reference rather like a bullet point presentation with extra emphasis. So a sales pitch might use a top ten reasons to buy my product list to enumerate the quality and desirability of the goods.

5 Top ten lists satisfy the need that people have for order in the universe. They collect data about life into neat little packages and grade them into usable bite sized ideas. Once we are secure with our top ten best movies, or we have fixed the top ten rock songs firmly in our minds we are more comfortable in a confusing world that seems on the surface to be chaotic.

6 Making top ten lists present an interesting diversion, a challenge and a good deal of mental exercise for folk who like that sort of thing. Musing over the finer points of ice-cream flavors or murder mysteries to assemble top ten hierarchies takes a considerable amount of concentration and contemplation before decisions can be accurately plotted into a supreme ten. I imagine that it is rather like the feeling of accomplishment that is derived from successfully filling out the crossword in the Sunday extra is for other people.

7 Top ten lists are a means of measuring ourselves against others (other list makers at least). Comparing one’s own top ten favorite footballers or reckoning your own list of most desirable automobiles with another’s is a means of determining our place in our social circles, how cool we are. In fact a great deal of life is spent constructing and editing the top ten list of reasons that people think I’m a groovy dude/dudette.

8 Another reason that we make top ten lists is because they are there. Some people are just compelled to make lists. In fact I have known people that make so many lists that they really need to make a list of their lists.

9 A major reason that people make top ten lists is sheer laziness. It is a lot easier to make up a lame top ten list than it is to write a lengthier piece that covers the same material.

10 The main reason, I think, that we make these silly top ten lists is that they are fun.


About dgmattichakjr

D G Mattichak jr was born in 1963 in Syracuse New York and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family in 1972. He was educated in one of Melbourne’s exclusive private schools before studying art at Preston Technical College. D G Mattichak jr has been a student of the occult arts since the early 1980s and has become well known in Australian magickal circles and, in recent years, around the world due to a string of essays on a variety of occult subjects . He discovered the “key to the order & value of the English alphabet” from Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law in 1983 and has since used this English Qabalah to unlock the secrets of Thelemite magick. Success in these methods admitted him to the highest levels of attainment in various Hermetic disciplines and until recently he has been passing on his knowledge to private students, many of whom have gone on to become notable occultists in their own right. After almost three decades of study and development D G Mattichak jr has finally been able to distil his knowledge of magick and Thelema into a book- A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, the first in a planned series of books on Hermeticism and Thelemite magick, revealing, for the first time in over a century, the secrets of magick that have been hidden in Crowley’s magnum opus, the Book of the Law. D G Mattichak jr currently lives in Melbourne Australia with his artist wife Michelle and their two cats. He has had a long career as an al a carte chef in Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene and now spends his time writing blogs on cooking, writing and, in the guise of Master Ankh af na Khonsu, about magick. He is also one of the founding members of the Mt Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering and regularly contributes to its official website as both an administrator and as an author. D G Mattichak jr’s first book Loot was released in 2009. His books are available through at G Mattichak&x=13&y=20 .
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