A finite ordered set of interesting objects


The alphabet is one. 26 letters, no more. One order, that’s it.

The Beatles are another. John, Paul, George and then Ringo. The Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, The Supremes.

The astrological zodiac gets us to twelve, but I’m having a really difficult time finding a memorable set with more than that.

When we start talking about trees or stars or even colors, the list isn’t clearly finite. Anatomy or species don’t work either. There’s always one or a hundred more to add. And human lists like saints or countries are hard to put in a memorable order, same with the US states.

The Great Lakes are five, the planets are eight. I wonder where we find a list of 30 to 100 items. And no fair picking something in Latin or involving multiple dimensions of advanced math.

There must be some sort of human or cultural limit that makes the alphabet a natural exception to our desire for this sort of knowable set.

I know this has nothing to do with our regular programming, but I’d love your best riff on this. Here’s a simple form. I’ll publish some of the winners.


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