It was the best of lists. It was the worst of lists.
I am a little tired of seeing articles and blogs featuring the “best” of something or another in list form.
I’ll just use pizza as an example, because it is probably the least contentious of the bunch (though where I grew up this discussion could include fisticuffs and lots of Mommas thrown into the line of fire). But what exactly is the best pizza?
First of all, best is totally subjective. Even if there is a very clear breakdown of methodology and criteria, “best of” lists rely heavily on personal preference. And usually these lists are like bikinis. The hide more than they reveal. They are dangerous and can really wreak havoc in people’s lives and goals (eg Best Colleges). Despite this, lists can of course be influential and leave millions hanging in the balance (eg NFL Prospects & Recruiting Database). There is way too much being put into a number that frankly is never really the best, is it?
That leaves us with good. Here is a list of good pizza places in America. See how that doesn’t present any bait for clicking? But even good, that leaves much room for subjective personal preference.
Where does that leave us? Essentially with just a list.
And the only list that is even worth a dime is a to-do list, with everything crossed off of it.
So I guess we’re back to just a list.
Cheers to 2016! May our lists be filled with subjective choices and may we look back in 365 days with satisfaction at a list and a dime.