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ord är dåd

Ett sätt att kategorisera information är att göra listor. Som Umberto Eco påpekade gillar vi listor eftersom vi inte vill dö:

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.

Ecos insikter har alltid förbluffat mig, men just detta känns särskilt sant – och:

SPIEGEL: Why do we waste so much time trying to complete things that can’t be realistically completed?

Eco: We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.

Jajämän. Så här samlar jag olika sorters listor som är mer eller mindre relevanta. En del kan vara till hjälp i olika ärenden, och andra listor har jag samlat här bara för att jag inte vill…dö.

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