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Disappearing Cryptography, 3rd Edition by Peter Wayner

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Chapter 13. Ordering and Reordering

13.1. Top 10 Reasons Why Top 10 Lists Fail

  1. Who wants to be last on the list? On the other hand, making the list is much better than being 11th.
  2. Is nine really better than 10?
  3. There are usually twenty to thirty people who say they are in “the top ten.”
  4. “Lists provide a simulacrum of order that reifies our inherent unease over the chthonic forces of disorder”–Guy de Montparnasse, doctoral thesis.
  5. Sixth is a comfortable position. It's not high enough to provide endless anxiety about slippage, but it's not low enough to slip off of the list. Slipping off the list would be terrible.
  6. Five golden rings.
  7. There is no number 4.
  8. All good things come in threes. But it's not the same if you're number 3 in a list of ...

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