November 17, 2006

Best, Worst, Most, Least

I have never intended Found History as a place for serious or systematic research into popular historymaking, so it’s hard to talk about “findings,” “results” or “conclusions.” But over the course of nearly a year of anecdotal stumbling, some definite trends have emerged. One is the general public’s tendency to conceptualize history in terms of “best” and “worst” and “most” and “least”; to argue history in terms of “ever” and “of all time”; and to pen history as “top 10” and “top 20” lists. Yesterday’s post on Drivl’s “Top 20 Hackers in Film History” is a very good example of this.

Because it is such a prevalent phenomenon (and also because I have struggled lately to post consistently), today I begin a new series called “Tops of All Time.” Each day between now and the New Year (with maybe a couple breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas), Found History will present a different Top 10, Top 20, “best of” or “worst of” list from somewhere on the web. Some of these are bound to be more interesting than others, and where they are, I will offer some commentary. Where they’re not, I’ll just post them for your casual contemplation. At the end of the series, I’ll try to say something smart about what we’ve seen.

So sit back and enjoy the best (only) Found History series of all time.

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