Sick of Silly Lists? Don't Blame the Internet

Old-school journalists can get angry about the listified content of the Internet era. 10 Words you can't pronounce correctly! 18 famous brains and what they weighed! 15 famous events that happened in the bathtub! Ugh. How can the Internet have turned us all into such idiots!

Except that those three lists and many, many others originally ran in a book first released in 1977, The Book of Lists, which received a bunch of rave reviews, according to its Amazon page:

"Impossible to put down." Independent on Sunday; "Imaginatively insane." Sunday Herald; "Packed with more fascinating, trivial, vital and perverse non sequiturs than you can shake an encyclopedia at." New York Times Book Review; "A lot of fun." Wall Street Journal; "Oddly addictive." Sunday Express

Clearly the listicle not only predates the Internet, but the same people who would probably look down on them in slideshow form found them "imaginatively insane" on pulp.

To honor the way The Book of Lists, which set the tone for the Internet age, we present 13 lists from the 2005 version of the book, along with the Web publication that it would (hypothetically) run on now.

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In