That said, there is something reassuring about a list, a precision and formality that makes us think we’ve got a handle on things. Isn’t every list in reality a ceremonial flourish against amnesia and chaos? Indeed, before Copernicus and Kepler stretched the sidereal canvas, lists were the logical means of representing the analogical, immutable and hierarchical universe. Nature, after all, was once a series of graded entities from the lowest (grubs) to the highest (God), and a list — whether of elements or angels — automatically conveyed the Aristotelian notion of a place for everything and everything in its place. Even after astronomers abandoned the notion of a closed Ptolemaic universe, hierarchical thinking was not abandoned. Order wasn’t something you tossed aside because of a little thing like infinity. A list spoke the volumes that numbers could only symbolize.