Things should not be short, or rather, things need not be short, though they are still welcome to be, which is exactly why lists are so excellent: lists are potentially endless but demand conciseness by definition. No one wants a list made up of paragraphs. People want lists made up of sentences. Fragments. Lists of nouns, lists of verbs, lists of nouns and verbs with each item containing exactly one noun and one verb: cut grass, clean room, call grandma. The numbers go on and on but what is constant is the nature: condensed, compact, curt, like a bump in the hallway, a nod in your direction, a telephone conversation with your mother's mother on mother's day.
Lists have an overwhelming potential for frivolity, like that list you wrote about things you want to do before you die, which is so important it becomes pointless (go skinny dipping, punch someone, sex with a french girl), but lists also have an overwhelming potential to do good, to serve purposes, like your list of the major accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin (discovering electricity, inventing insurance, sex with a french girl), but lists have an underwhelming potential for extraneousness because lists are by definition brief and also briefs; they are both brief and briefs; they are brief briefs because they batter you with a barrage of blunt bulletins, a basket-full of bright bits, a bombardment of benign beings.
- Lists are good.