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Doing things in lists

I recently completed a series on the Adam Smith Institute website of “Ten Reasons to be Cheerful,” listing areas in which humankind has cause for optimism that things will be better than they were.  I previously completed “Ten Very Good Things,” picking out some things which come in for disapproval from some quarters, but which are in fact beneficial.

Sometimes when speaking to schools I used to cover “Ten Things That Almost Everyone Gets Wrong,” and more recently I have dealt with a list of “Economic Misconceptions.”

Doing things in lists is a good way to put a point across.  It is easy for students to take notes from, and it can convey a general philosophical outlook through a series of discrete examples.  I have always done this.  At university I wrote a series that started with “Nine Lies About Capitalism,” then covered “Nine Truths About Socialism,” and “Nine Facts About Freedom.”  Early on in the privatization drive I used to list the various different methods that could be used to privatize state operations.

Even when I give debate speeches I will typically list and number the points I intend to make, and write them on a few small cards.  I think my preference for lists might derive from the fact that I tend to be analytical about things, picking out the points I think are important.  A major advantage is that it’s quite user-friendly.

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