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The Top 3 Things Debasing Public Discourse Today...

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  • The Top 3 Things Debasing Public Discourse Today...

    3) Lists


    2) Lists


    1) Lists



    From the New Yorker'sPage Turner blog: 


    10 PARAGRAPHS ABOUT LISTS YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW



     


    1.  Recently, a close friend sent me an e-mail with the subject line


    music and social stuff | The Forgotify Files | A Year of Songs | mutant pop on facebook | roots acoustic on facebook


    The chorus seems a little weak... I think it needs more lasers.

  • #2

    I suspect that the list-making tendency is to a large degree, a protective, defensive move on the part of the speaking/writing parties.  When someone deigns to stand up and say something, is it not the case that this "uh..oh!" feeling wafts through the consciousnesses of all in audible/readable range, in the sense of "uh.oh..how long will this go on?"  

     

    So announcing right off that there will be only THREE things (or five or ten if you're Dave Letterman) just might assuage the worries of the crowd that an embarrasing self-display or rant or anything otherwise intolerably overlong is about to commence.  

     

    I can just hear Homer yelling "make it TWO things".  

     

    nat whilk ii

    Comment


    • #3

      I dunno...   when i talk to people of my parents generation (they were born during WWII),   I can't help but notice how longwinded they are.    They come from an era when people had more time,    and a story could be told in a very roundabout,  shapeless,  windy  way.     Sometimes i feel like wearing a t-shirt that says   AND YOUR POINT IS...?

      This new spate of listmaking may be often banal,   but i appreciate its spirit of brevity.
        

      <div class="signaturecontainer"> <br />
      <font color="blue"><b><font color="olive"><font color="sienna"><font color="purple">Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. </font> </font></font><font color="olive">Wayne Thiebaud</font></b></font><br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <b><font color="#808000"><font color="blue"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/#!/rasputin1963/info" target="_blank">Friend me on FACEBOOK!</a> </font></font></b><br />
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      • blue2blue
        blue2blue commented
        Editing a comment

        rasputin1963 wrote:

        I dunno...   when i talk to people of my parents generation (they were born during WWII),   I can't help but notice how longwinded they are.    They come from an era when people had more time,    and a story could be told in a very roundabout,  shapeless,  windy  way.     Sometimes i feel like wearing a t-shirt that says   AND YOUR POINT IS...?

        This new spate of listmaking may be often banal,   but i appreciate its spirit of brevity.
          




        I think the tendency of older folks to ramble on is greatly exaggerated. As I was telling my cat the other day...


    • #4
      Is it list making that is the issue? Or is it the dancing around the heart of it that is the real issue?
      ___

      Comment


      • Anderton
        Anderton commented
        Editing a comment

        My next "Craig's List" for Electronic Musician magazine is "5 Reasons Why Cassettes Are the Gosh Darn Best Playback Medium Ever!"


        I like lists as long as I can make fun of them.


      • blue2blue
        blue2blue commented
        Editing a comment

        Lee Knight wrote:
        Is it list making that is the issue? Or is it the dancing around the heart of it that is the real issue?


        I'm actually a big fan of to do lists and such. Lists are a good mnemonic assist -- and, at least for guys like me -- they can help one prioritize and organize all the little bits and pieces of responsibility that might otherwise float around creating anxiety and a foggy sense of un-ease. No matter how noxious the tasks in front of me, I find that putting them down in black and white, in order, in one place, really helps me avoid the free-floating anxiety that used to plague me... I'd feel like, without an organized list, all those worrisome items would be floating around randomly in my head, firing off little reminders whenever a neuron nearby was tickled... I'd feel like I was under this big, dark cloud. But by symbolically objectifying and collecting all those concerns into one place, I regain my sense of control, the sense that I can then take care of these items one at a time.


         


        But... since I was a kid I've been seeing these 7 Greatest Things About Lists type articles. I agree with Ras that having an enumeration does, indeed, telegraph a sense of mangeability and sensible limitation.


        And I'll even go on to suggest that, long-winded as I am, I nonetheless will look at a big block of text and think -- Oh, man, this is in response to something *I* wrote... I really have a responsibility to read it. 


        But... that said... I honestly feel like if more folks discovered the magic of the paragraph break, everyone would be a lot happier.  wink.gif 

         

         

        I guess what makes these numbered lists sort of a minor b
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    • #5

      YES! I finally found this web page! I

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      • blue2blue
        blue2blue commented
        Editing a comment

        displayorder wrote:

        YES! I finally found this web page! I

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