Monday, December 2, 2013

8 Ways 'List Articles' Make You Stupid

1. They are trivial.
List articles deal with things you all ready know, unless you have severe learning disorders or think reality shows are concerned with reality. Let me guess, the "7 Warning Signs of Heart Attacks" are shortness of breath, fatigue, obesity, chest pains, sweaty palms, occasional blackouts, and waking up in the emergency room.

2. They are useless.
The list articles that aren't concerned with things you all ready know, are concerned with things which will make no difference in your life. For example, "The 10 Best Strategies if Aliens Attack During the Zombie Apocalypse" or "10 Stains Which Most Resemble the 'Crusaders Entering Constantinople'". You can practically feel your I.Q. lowering.

3. They are written to grab eyeballs not minds.
No list article, other than "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", is written to push the limits of human knowledge or aesthetics. They are written to entertain and, more often, to get you to a web site where, after reading the list, your intellect has so suffered that you may actually click on a banner ad.

4. They cater to and promote ADD.
Let's face it, all these learning disorders are scientific names for being stupid. Granted you could be brilliant in some areas of thinking and deficient in others, but why promote the deficiencies? List articles cater to people who can't keep their mind on one particular thing for more than ….

5. They have no depth.
The articles' appeal is knowing each item will be described in one or two short sentences or paragraphs. There is time enough only to give a gross misrepresentation of the subject without nuance, subtly or dialectic. No thinking is required, only rage when you discover your favorite singer-songwriter, Bobby Goldsboro, is included in the list of 25 artists who most often generate nausea or failed relationships.

6. They appear in society's wastelands.
No Yale or Harvard professor will title his next publication "10 Reasons Promoting the Ineluctable Modality of the Visible" or "The 5 Best Mathematical Representations of Schrödinger's Cat" if he wants to make tenure. Serious papers are titled, "Are Cows More Likely to Lie Down the Longer They Stand?" or "Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder: People Who Think They are Drunk Also Think They Are Attractive".

7. They are born of doubtful inspirational origins.
List articles arguably received their inspiration from either the aforementioned Wallace Stevens poem or the fine Nick Hornby novel, "High Fidelity" where list making was a favorite pastime of a very self absorbed, emotionally stunted character, who was really a jerk throughout, but somehow you, the reader, lowered your expectations of humanity to such a level that you liked him.

If the poem is the origin, then every subsequent list has been slowly spiraling downward into unrecognizable depths.

8. They are a waste of time.
Consider what you have just read.

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