The Countdown Begins

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Can I tell you a personal memory? (Don’t worry, it’s not that personal.)

I grew up in the ’70s, and I remember the sensation that hit when the “Book of Lists” came out. Eventually there were three of them, all best-sellers, ranking bizarre things by some unknown criteria. It was all there, from 10 Famous People Who Died in Their Bathtubs to 20 Things You Didn’t Know Had Names. The lists alternated from silly to sly, voyeuristic to simplistic, moronic to melancholy.

It was quite a little fad before long, and there were books listing the best (and worst) movies, sports injuries, acts of heroism, whatever. But it was a fad that, unlike the anti-disco movement or the Pet Rock, never quite hit big.

But I remembered. Fast-forward 20-something years, and I still remember. (I’ve still got the books, too.)

By now, you’ve got to be wondering what I’m getting to. Just this—all these years later, we’re bringing back the serious List (let Letterman keep his Top 10 silliness … this really matters). We’ve taken that concept and applied it to the world of certification, creating a handful of lists to help you consider the credentials available for your career.

We’ve borrowed a theme from that book, in that the lists we present (starting on page 22) have vague criteria for ranking. In other words, we’ve left it up to author Ed Tittel to create copy that you’ll find entertaining and useful, and that’s just what he’s done.

But we’ve bested the book as well, in a way. Outside the trivial pursuit of useless knowledge, the original “Book of Lists” ultimately offered no insight, no social value. The lists we’ve created may be randomly compiled, but as you’ll see, they can carry the weight of your life’s ambitions.

Go on, turn the page and check it out, but don’t expect a photo-finish competition. In other words, don’t lose sleep if your favorite acronym is listed No. 3 on some list when you think it’s No. 1. In this case, the honor truly is in being nominated.

Please do let me know what you think, and as the “Book of Lists” authors did, consider this an invitation to submit your own certification-related categories and pecking orders. These are trying times, and it never hurts to lighten up a bit.

Tim Sosbe

Editorial Director


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