I always find myself googling to find out the "best" or "top" choices and ideas for me. From trip destinations, gift ideas, new music directions to life-changing advice. But I can't stop thinking of the evilness of these simple writings. For starters, they are completely subjective to one person's or "expert" committee's opinion.
My second critique to top-like lists is their restrictive nature. They push you into thinking "What if I don't like that? What if I have other preferences? Am I uncool or not expert enough? Or maybe I'm missing something here". I know I thought I missed something when I followed many top destination lists' advice and went to Lisbon. I'm sorry, but comparatively, Lisbon is no top and no destination for that matter (no offence, I still love the Portuguese).
Another evil side of top-like lists is the way they lure you into not thinking and not trying to figure solutions youself. For example, let's take the pretentious how to lists, especially the ones dealing with life changes. "How to become happier in 5 simple steps" or the more sought after "10 rules to loosing your belly fat". Give me a break! Happiness is not a five step plan and the belly fat will probably not go away by ruling out. Unless you are advanced enough to find a way to put a lock on your mouth, or modify your genes.
And for the irony of it I made my own lists of top-like lists and categorised them by usefulness.
Top 5 useful top-like lists:
1. 10 simple rules to being a human being
Because the truth is some of us do need some guidance in that area
2. 25 successful tips to tax evasion plus 5 bonus tips on cheating death
Because you can't avoid either according to somebody who had too much free time that enabled them to come up with it
3. Top 5 ways of cooking potatoes
Because they are awesome
4. 50 hints that your life sucks
Because you can never be certain enough
5. Top 10 evolutionary advances you should already possess
Because you should
Top 5 useless top-like lists:
1. 5 techniques to impress a woman
Because they won't work
2. Top 100 pop songs of all time
Because they don't exist
3. 10 strategies to spice-up your sex life
Because you'll probably end up divorced or in hospital
4. 7 steps to a happier life
Because happiness is subjective and doesn't happen in steps
5. 15 ways to look cool
Because if you haven't got it, drop it
My point is, you live, you fail, and you learn. You don't need ready-made guides on music taste, happiness, dating, or whatever other "bestness" is served out there by people who have nothing better to do. If you cannot avoid it though, browse and enjoy the diverse evilness of different lists created by intelligent aliens seeking to take over the world.