1. You might think that our love of lists could be pinned on the Ten Commandments, but Umberto Eco says otherwise. “The list is the origin of the culture,” he once said on a subject he knows well, having written a book titled “The Infinity of Lists.” And culture wants “to make infinity comprehensible” and “to create order — not always, but often,” hence Homer’s catalogs in “The Iliad” and the roll call of never-completed household chores on my fridge. “We like lists because we don’t want to die,” Mr. Eco also said, which is the best explanation of the listicle that I’ve yet read.
3. 1.Under no circumstances should you ask your taxi driver how excited he is about having the Olympics in London this summer. It's not that he will be reluctant or embarrassed to offer a personal opinion on the matter. That is not the problem at all.