Monday, December 28, 2009

Why the Top?

It seems that the media loves to reminisce. Over the past few weeks I've read, heard, and saw hundreds of top-10/top-100 lists depicting the best/worst of 2009 and of the past decade. Everything from iPhone apps to music to sociological phenomenons to scientific breakthroughs has been scrutinized and ranked.

Now a little bit of nostalgia is always fun but never have I seen such a heightened sense of past-awareness. Is the future so uncertain that all we can do is wrap ourselves in the safety of previous events? This is probably a big part of the answer for mediums such as newspapers and magazines - which might not even exist by the time 2019 rolls around.

But why are so many bloggers so obsessed with cataloguing the past 1-10 years? Probably because it's such an easy concept to turn into quasi-meaningful content. A ten minute search can revive my memory of nearly any concept. The 2000-2009 decade is the first to have broadband documentation of every significant moment. So top-10/top-100 lists are the perfect mix of convenience and nostalgia.
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