Friday, August 10, 2007

10 Things you didn't know...

... about lists with 10 Things you allegedly didn't know.
  1. The list contains between one and ten items you never cared to know.

  2. The list contains at least one item you already knew so you don't feel utterly stupid.

  3. Adding numbered list items is the easiest way to convert a badly written, unstructured text into a format that has the appearance of useful information.

  4. This doesn't change the fact that it's a badly written, unstructured text with irrelevant content that you'd never have read without numbers from 1 to 10.

  5. It makes it unnecessary to come up with an intelligent title.

  6. There are most likely more than 10 things you didn't know, but the author didn't know these either, and who cares whether point 6 has been rated an unconfirmed urban legend repeatedly.

  7. Counting down items gives a sense of drama and usually ends in disappointment.

  8. Counting up gives a sense of increasing irrelevance and usually ends with a supposedly funny final point.

  9. Not counting at all causes the reader to verify the author counted correctly.
  10. By the time you've reached the last item, you've forgotten the first.

So then maybe somebody could tell me why on earth these lists have become so incredibly popular during the last years?


  1. There are 10 reasons why these lists have become some popular.



  2. :-)

    It just occurred to me these list-Things don't add linearly. I doubt that ten lists with 'One Thing you didn't know...' would have the same effect as one list with 10 Things. I think I'd like to introduce fractional lists. 6 1/2 Things you didn't know about Wilhelm Eigen, famous for the discovery of the Eigen-vector.

  3. The other 1/2 being the discovery of the Eigen value by his sister, Fredricka?

  4. Dear Bee,

    When I was young instead of the "10 things...." similar stuff started with "All you wanted to know about...." (usually it was sex, how to fix your car or watering correctly the garden not the Eigen-vector). :-)


  5. Hi Rafa,

    Right! I recall these, I like them better. I think I could write a successfull series of essays that way. Here is one:

    All you ever wanted to know about Frederika Eigen

  6. You were apparently in Frankfurt a day before piss screens were installed at all restrooms, see

    I am sure that because of evolution, skillful Germans will be able to do doubly special relative calculations using the organ in a few years. ;-)

  7. Didn't Sean also post exactly ten supposedly nontrival facts one can deduce from Anthropic Reasoning? :)

    Anyway, Cosmicvariance is offline, I wonder if the Chinese have hacked it...

  8. Hi Bee,

    How about writing "10 things you didn't know about magnetism!"

    As for myself, surely 7-8 things would ring my bell as an eyeopener.



  9. 1. Magnet is a music magazine

    2. The Turkish word for magnetism is manyetizma.

    3. According to this website "Research has found Magnetic Jewellery has been beneficial for helping enhance the natural healing process of the body by increasing blood circulation, decreasing inflammation, rebalancing the nerves which cause pain and improving the immune system. " Their reference list is a classical

    HTTP Error 404 - File or directory not found.

    4) The Magnetic Fields is a band led by New York City singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt

    5) The magnetic permeability of water is −8.0 × 10−6 1.2566270 µN/A2 [source]

    6) Rattlebacks have a relation to the earth's magnetic field

    7) Members of the Flat earth society believe the magnetic north pole is the center of the disk we live on.

  10. Hi Bee,

    Tks! I didnt have the faintest clue abt rattlebacks.

    next time I am in china or thailand I'll be on the lookout for this hand crafted item. Interesting!

    have a nice Sunday! here, almost already halfway through.

  11. Dear Bee, you're too humble and forgot the most important things about you and magnetism.

    8a) The auroras (you showed us a stunning movie some time ago) are "magnetic" storms and in the auroral zone the likelihood of an aurora occurring depends mostly on the slant of IMF lines (known as Bz, pronounced "bee-sub-zed" or "bee-sub-zee")

    8b)I've been told bees derive directional data from magnetic sensing of geomagnetism (uhmmm.... don't know if it's true)


  12. what's that again?
    what didn't I know?


  13. ;-)

    N things you didn't know about this list

    1) This list has no content.

    n -> n+1) The previous n items are void of content.

  14. I knew that;)


COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ARE PERMANENTLY CLOSED. You can join the discussion on Patreon.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.