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Top-10 Gospel

Good news for those who love top-10 lists

Not long ago we sailed through one of the staples of our culture, the annual New Year's flood of top-10 lists. What does our interest in top-10s tell us about ourselves, and what is the gospel for listaholics?

When you think of top-10 lists today, you probably think of comedian David Letterman. His unique brand of top-10s obviously tell us we love to be entertained and to laugh, but I don't think Dave's lists reflect the usual sort of top-10s in our culture. His normally don't have a true sense of relative value between the 10 picks; Dave's lists are just a way of packaging 10 funny things on a topic with the funniest hopefully coming last.

For true top-10s I think of a radio disc jockey's weekly countdown of top hits. Many times when I was growing up, I laid in bed at night listening to the countdown of top songs of that week with a growing curiosity about which song would capture the prize. I really had a sense of increasing value as the countdown moved from 10 toward 1. The same sense ...

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