Cosima Rohilla Shalizi - Polymath & Ultimate Pantologist
March 21, 2003 12:09 AM   Subscribe

Truly that is a miracle of wonder surpassing the tongues of the eloquent, and far beyond the most cunning speech to describe: the mind reels before it, and the intellect stands abashed

Ibn Hazm
The Dove's Necklace

Cosma Rohilla Shalizi, who contains universes: Notebooks, Pieces for the SFI Bulletin, The Bactra Review, Books and Other Texts I've Put on the Web, Poetry and not the worst links page I've ever seen. This is the worst home page ever, according to yankthechain. I'm very proud. He likes, among many others, Avram Davidson, Sappho, Jack Vance, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. Courage, garrulousness and the mob are on our side. What more do we want? Now, is that a tagline or what?
posted by y2karl (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Thinking about complaining about length, are you?
posted by y2karl at 12:14 AM on March 21, 2003

Thinking about complaining about something once I can work out WTF you're on about.
posted by krisjohn at 12:19 AM on March 21, 2003

Is this something you'd need a copy of Finnegans Wake to understand?
posted by Ljubljana at 12:25 AM on March 21, 2003

That Yankthechain site ain't none too pretty either it has to be said...
posted by jontyjago at 12:36 AM on March 21, 2003

There are no copies of Finnegans Wake - there are only artifacts which augur the possibility of Finnegans Wake - or memorialize its consequence, or both, depending on the depth of one's auger.

It's hard, thankless work - but somebody's gotta do it.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:31 AM on March 21, 2003

Opus, you wouldn't happen to be a Wake Watcher, would you?

P.S. Is the first rule of Wake Watchers not to talk about Finnegans Wake?
posted by Ljubljana at 5:54 AM on March 21, 2003

Yankthechain is just trying to yank people's chains. There's nothing wrong with Cosma's site. It's readable and straightforward. It's not beautiful, but it doesn't try to be. He's just a guy who cares only about content, and nothing about style, that's all.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:10 AM on March 21, 2003

Such timing! I -- a professional website designer for damned near a decade now -- just gave up on design on my personal website, at least for the next few weeks. Consequently -- Shatner aside -- it strongly resembles the "worst home page in the world." yankthechain is apparently a WWW newcomer -- Cosma's site makes me yearn for the web of yesteryear. :)
posted by waldo at 6:34 AM on March 21, 2003

Now why exactly did you have to use italicized blockquotes in a post, rather than the more prosaic quotation marks? It would have been much more readable.

It's not that it's too long, it's just way too ugly.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 AM on March 21, 2003

I dunno, man. This is looking to me like a quintessential homepage, the kind of thing that homepages should aspire to be. There's a great deal of data here, at least arranged to give the appearance of being interesting, and wandering around a bit, I've found one or two things that are really deeply interesting...
posted by kaibutsu at 7:40 AM on March 21, 2003


his cthulhu hymnal is spectacular.

someday, I'll get back to reading his notebooks again...
posted by jann at 8:06 AM on March 21, 2003

Now why exactly did you have to use italicized blockquotes in a post

Um, I like italics. And I suggest you click on View Source and
show me the blockquotes!
I dunno, man. This is looking to me like a quintessential homepage, the kind of thing that homepages should aspire to be.

I agree. The design is fine--it looks like the homepage of a web old timer. When I clicked on yankthechain and saw how butt ugly it was, and what he had to whine, I realized someone was intimidated by the content. Man, them grapes has got to be sour.

Cosma is a very well read physicist: I'm intimidated by the physicist part but the well read part is fascinating. When it comes to food for thought, he provides a seven course meal.
posted by y2karl at 8:24 AM on March 21, 2003

I'm disappointed. I hear no looping mr. tamborine man. I even shut off "Ra-ra-rasputin" to hear it.

posted by Hildegarde at 8:30 AM on March 21, 2003

My god, I didn't know anybody but me had even heard of Frederic Prokosch's The Seven Who Fled, let alone written a review of it.
Prokosch was, manifestly, a tremendously talent verbal artist. I cannot decide whether he used that art to say something false, ugly and boring, or whether (as I hope) he used it to say nothing at all. In either case, his talent was shamefully --- judging by his introduction, joyously --- squandered. I may give him another chance, with another book, but for now I put him away with admiration only for the books he could have written.
Sounds about right to me. A great find, y2karl (and an admirably succinct and compendious post). Pay no attention to the philistines.
posted by languagehat at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2003

I ♥ y2karl!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:19 AM on March 22, 2003

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